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Millis/Medway - Local Town Pages

Why do farms have CSA programs and where did CSAs start?

The dawn of Community Supported Agriculture in the United States is most commonly attributed to Indian Line CSA (South Egremont, MA) and Temple-Wilton Community Farm (Wilton, NH), both founded in 1986. While these two farms largely contributed to the popularization of CSA programs in the United States, they are not the first in our country to have thought of the economic model. The modern CSA originated in Japan in 1971.
Today, MCF uses the CSA model to help cover our operational costs. We sell the shares early in the year well before a seed hits the dirt. The CSA is an investment in the farm and your investment is returned to you during the season with farm fresh produce and local goods. Many farms that have grown past the need for a CSA to help cover operational costs now consider it advertising. They move crop overage into their CSA and hope to get CSA members into their brick and mortar location to buy more items that are not in the weekly CSA. This is a win for both large and small farmers, as well as the community. Investment in the farm keeps money in the local economy. In times like this, when we are still seeing shortages in the box stores and food prices increasing, local farms are filling a key role in the local food system and more and more are showing they are more stable than the box stores. 
A MCF CSA not only locks in pricing but also helps MCF grow out farm programs. Farm stand sales help the farm operations, our education department, and the free community programs we offer. As an educational, working farm, we are here for the long game to grow your minds and feed your soul with healthy, local produce.