Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture In New Zealand

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) In New Zealand

Community Supported Agriculture is where a local community supports local food producers. The concept of CSA seems to originate in the USA more than 25 years ago. The model is that the local consumers can buy fresh seasonal produce directly from the grower.

The advantages for consumers can include:

  • Healthy food -Eating fresh organic food with a full flavour, vitamins and minerals.
  • Educational – You can visit the farm with your family and learn about food production etc.
  • Social – You can meet and get to know a range of interesting people associated with the farm.
  • Improve cooking skills – Many CSA farms have resources such as websites and newsletters to help with recipes etc.
  • Kids eat more veggies – It can become cool to eat the vege’s that the children have help harvest and prepare so they get a better diet.

Advantages for the farmer:

  • They receive payment in advance to fund seed and other input costs.
  • Can promote and market their venture in the off season during winter, when there’s less demands on the farmers time.
  • Have social interaction with friendly appreciative customers.

 

CSA Farm Models –

There are four basic CSA models used throughout the world that can be categorised into at least one of the following:

1. Farmer managed.

The grower owns, organises and markets the programme, makes all final management decisions and recruits subscribers.

2. Shareholder/subscriber managed.

The members manage and organise the scheme. They contract a farmer to produce specified crops and/or products.

3. Farmer Co-operative.

Multiple growers organise the growing of produce and delivery as well as recruiting and managing members.

4. Co-operative.

Growers and consumers jointly own and manage all aspects.

An exisiting Auckland CSA farm.

In West Auckland at Seven Springs Farm you pay a membership fee for the season 2012-2013 of $990.00 approx. $36.00 per week) for a full share.
A half share is $495.00 (approx $18 per week).
The season is from November 2012 through to the 1st week of May 2013.
This membership fee is paid in advance at the beginning of the season.
For this you get a weekly pick up of organically grown seasonal vegetables. Part of the share will be harvested for you the remaining part, is a “pick your own.”
They also provide a weekly newsletter, with harvest details, recipes and farm updates.

Here’s an interview on New Zealand National Radio with two men who run the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) garden in West Auckland at 186 Wairere Road.

For more info go to their website Seven Springs Farm
Here’s another CSA, Wairarapa Eco Farms
54 Te Ore Ore Bideford Road, Masterton. PO Box 19, Greytown. Who have a similar model with different details. Including a wider range of produce options and pick up locations in Welllington, Masterton, and Palmerston North.
For their details go to
http://wefs.co.nz

Community Gardens

There are alternative models such as community gardens, where the land is generally publicly owned land that is managed by a group of locals. Typically they’re created on council land that is being under utilised.

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