What does it mean to be a CSA member?

Our CSA members mean the world to our farm. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way for community members to partner with us by making a financial investment at the beginning of a season so they can be guaranteed a share of what we raise. As we move into the 2020 season, we’re really focused on sharing our farms intentions and visions with the world. We hope to share everything our CSA memberships mean to us and more to help inspire more members of our community to join us on our food journey. What does a CSA membership really mean to Rainshadow? Why do we devote so much time and energy into this program for our community?

Community Supported Agriculture is rooted in relationship. CSA members make a pledge to support our farm, and as farmers we make a pledge to provide you with the food we grow. Our farm and our CSA members become partners for a season, sharing and supporting one another in reciprocity, mutually benefiting from the power of local food. CSA programs are the best way to ensure a direct relationship between producer and consumer. Your food is delivered directly to the Farmers Market or you travel to the farm to pick it up. There are less miles associated with your food, less people involved in the movement of your food, and less hands processing your food. This direct relationship ensures the freshness and nutrient-density of the food our community eats. It also secures that everything we grow will be eaten by our community, and means food security for our CSA members. Each week members are guaranteed a share of what our farm is producing. We work hard as farmers to ensure that our food grows strong and healthy every day so the food through the season will be bountiful and nourishing.

Our CSA program is incredibly intentional. Our farm is working hard each and every day to combat the ideas of convenience in our everyday lives. The purpose of a CSA is to ensure that you have food you can trust, and a direct relationship with your farmer. This means members might need to access food in an unconventional way. Instead of the grocery store, members come to the Farmers Market or the farm. By going the extra mile to pickup food, doing the extra work to prepare the food, and devoting the time and energy it takes to commit to local food, our CSA members practice a deep intentionality with their food. We want our members to know where their food grows and how it grows. We know that it might take more time to access our food than conventional grocery shopping, but we believe local food has the power to strengthen personal health and create a positive food culture.

There is something truly magical about the first tomatoes in our CSA shares. Juicy fruit, right off the vine. The freshness and flavor long awaited through the winter and spring seasons. Being a CSA member means embracing seasonal eating. By integrating what the land can provide in weekly meals, our CSA members become more attuned to the process of plant growth and the deep seasonality of farm food. Seasonal eating means getting creative with the food provided in your share each week. Our CSA members practice the art of bricolage, cooking with what they have and what the land will provide. Seasonal eating means integrating new plants in our diets and finding excitement and inspiration in what the land has to offer. Each day we celebrate the abundance of the season, and honor the lack in foods that come with time and patience. 

Finally, our CSA members are engaging in a radical act when they make the promise to Rainshadow food for the season. As farmers, we are empowered to challenge the norms of the industrial food system and reconnect people to their food. We offer our members a change to become empowered with us. Our CSA members are voting with their dollar when they invest in a farm share with us. Their vote supports local farmers, strengthens the connection between their food and their kitchens, and supports the regeneration of our earth. The more we invest now, the more power local farms have to make a lasting impact on our industrial food system. Becoming a CSA member is more than just the food, it means action. It means we will work together to change the world.

Make the commitment to local food. Say yes to relationship, and intention. Say yes to eating what the land can provide. Say yes to making a difference. Your membership matters. It matters to our farm, the health of our planet earth, and most importantly, YOU.

Written by: Eleanor Babcock

Ready to join our 2020 summer CSA program? Follow the link below to secure your membership!

Every member who secures their share for the 2020 season before February 28th at MIDNIGHT will be sent a promo code for 50% off two brunch tickets! February 24th is National CSA day; statistically it is the day when the most CSA shares are purchased through the country. You can read more about National CSA Day HERE.