Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a growing movement in America, which has provided economic support and predictability to farmers, practicing traditional family farming, that they will be able to continue to farm, and that communities will be able to enjoy fresh, local farm products. Partnering with local farms by purchasing a “share” in the season’s harvest, consumers can know where their food is coming from and have the satisfaction of supporting local agriculture.
Participants, who purchase their shares early in the season, provide the farmer with a stable income, and in return they receive a weekly supply of fresh local farm products. This concept of Community Supported Agriculture was introduced into the United States in 1985 by Robyn Van En, who farmed in South Egremont, Massachusetts. She learned of the concept from a Swiss friend, Jan Vander Tuin, and within 4 years her farm’s original membership of 30 shares grew to 150.
Wilson College in Chambersberg, Pennsylvania has established the Robyn Van En Center in honor of Ms. Van En who died in 1997.