a few weeks ago, i was reading an article about a csa (community supported agriculture), and the writer described the term as a “subscription service for vegetables.”
while that is somewhat true, it’s inaccurate in many ways as well. a subscription service offers a guaranteed product, at an agreed upon time — a “jam of the month club,” for example, promises to send a new jar of jam, without fail, at a specified time.
but a csa is different in that it asks its members to assume the risks of a farm, and those can be quite formidable: weather, pests, water issues, soil problems, and the myriad other issues that keep farmers feeling anxious.
by signing up for a csa, you’re shouldering part of that worry, you’re providing support and emphasizing to farmers that they’re not alone when it comes to facing the hazards. and to do that, you’re taking a risk. most of the time, that risk turns into reward, but there are plenty of stories where that risk turns into loss.
if that happens, though, a farmer won’t get crushed beneath the financial weight of crop loss, because those supports will be there to help him or her bounce back. it can be chalked up as a tough year, and everyone can move on to the next.
because of the assumption of risk, csa members have a level of bravery that i find commendable. to be willing to share in the difficulties as well as the bounty — often for farmers you’ve only just met, or maybe haven’t yet — is the true definition of support.
then, too, there’s the community aspect of a csa. i doubt that you’d get to know any other members of that monthly jam delivery service, and maybe you wouldn’t want to if you had the chance. but a csa creates a community of people who can meet at farm events, work alongside each other in the fields if they choose, or chat at weekly dropsites or farmers markets.
we draw our members from the community, but we also create a deeper sense of community within that group.
at the bossy, we’re especially keen on boosting this aspect of our csa, because we think our members are all quite kickass, and that if they get a chance to talk with one another, they’ll find some compelling intersections.
for instance, one of our members is an amazing yoga teacher (shout out to jessie seehof carlson!), and another member has been interested in doing more yoga. why shouldn’t they tap into the bossy bond to find each other?
we’ll be hosting events — like an initial gathering slated for the end of march — that let us all enjoy the feeling that we’re in this together, that this is a shared adventure, not just two farmers and a few dozen of their customers.
our csa members aren’t subscribers, they’re our community.
and we think there’s a big difference. we want to blur the line between us and you, because we’re all bossy, and that’s the way it should be.