What is a CSA?

A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production.  Barbee Farms participated as a supplier in a multi-farm CSA for several years before taking the leap of faith to start one of our own.  The way our CSA is developed, we have 3 sessions consisting of 12 weeks each.  Consumers can enroll in, or choose to drop out of, the program only at the session breaks.

During an enrollment period, members make a monetary commitment to support our farm.  This fee allows the farm working capital to get crops in the fields.  In exchange, our farm commits to provide you with a valued amount of produce each week for the full 12-week session.  The commitment is two-way.  If there is a crop loss beyond human control such as devastation by weather or pests, you will absorb some of the loss; however, if it is an abundant harvest you will share in the bounty!  A Barbee Farms CSA full share will include $20 worth of seasonal produce per week, for 12 weeks, where as a half share would include $10 worth of seasonal produce per week, for the same 12 week period.  Either will incur a $25 per season administrative cost to cover CSA boxes, packing materials, and labor.

Reasons for considering participation in Barbee Farms’ CSA:

1) A CSA provides a convenience.  Think about how long it takes you to go to the grocery store, park, choose your items for purchase, then pay.  With a CSA, each week your box is packed and ready for pick up when you arrive.  You are free to purchase additional items from the farm stand when you come for pick up or you can grab your CSA box and you are on your way.  No traffic or check-out lines!

2) A CSA expands the nutritional horizon.  When you participate in a CSA, the items included in each share are the same.  (No substitutions because you think you don’t like some particular item.)  Barbee Farms CSA tries to provide you with diversity each week.  Our personal goal is to include five to seven different items each week.  We like to say it forces you outside your comfort zone.

3) A CSA encourages a healthy lifestyle.  Think about it.  If you have already paid for something, aren’t you more likely to use it?  With the internet and all the cooking shows available, recipes are easy to find.  Cooking at home allows you to control what goes into your body and many customers say it brought the family back together at the dinner table.

4) In a CSA the food is more flavorful.  Fresh is better!  (Enough said!)

5) A CSA supports local.  A commitment to keep our local economy strong depends on spending locally.  When you shop at the large chain stores you can be assured your monies are not staying local.

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