Are You a CSA Purist? We’ve Got You Covered.

March 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm

The Salt,’s food blog, pointed out the growing number of gripers about what they claim are “fake CSAs.” Traditionally, CSAs (short for Community Supported Agriculture) are programs in which shareholders front a small farm with seed money in the beginning of the season and, in return, receive a weekly share of the farm’s yields later on. But some are taking umbrage with non-traditional “CSAs”, in which a company gathers produce from several farms or even a co-op, and dubs the program a “CSA.” Here, at the Beet, we take a moderate approach; if the food is local, and is ultimately derived from a small(ish), independent farm or farms that practices good stewardship of the land, it’s up to the consumer to make distinctions between the programs. But, we recognize that it may matter in making your choice of CSAs, and to that end, we separately designate “aggregators”  with an asterisk (*) in our CSA Guide so as to minimize confusion.

How do you feel about non-traditional CSAs? Do you think CSAs should be limited to small farms?