The Long History of the CSA
CSA stands for "community supported agriculture" and it comes in many different forms. Many people are familiar with vegetable CSAs, where members pay for their "share" in the spring, when veggie farmers need money for seeds, soil, etc. but before their cash crops come
in. When the harvest comes in, farmers make good on their promises and members receive their veggies.
Meat CSA shares can be a little different, because meat isn't quite so seasonal. Our buffalo are raised for several years before harvest, so it is a long term and year-round commitment. We always have a steady supply of meat available because we are lucky that our product can be frozen! Not so with radishes and kale. Therefore, our CSA model is a little different, with shorter intervals between member payment and receival of goods. However, the concept is the same - the farmer receives steady, reliable income and know how to plan the harvest to supply their members, and the community receives local, fresh product that they can trust. Plus, beautiful working green space is preserved, and local jobs are created. Everybody wins!
While the idea of the community model is a common one worldwide, one of the earliest practitioners of the CSA is right here in NH. Temple Wilton Community Farm started their CSA is 1986. Read more about their history here.