Community supported agriculture

CSA: People, Planet, Producer

People: To connect people (our members) to where your food is grown and to the people who grow it. To create a community around the food and the land.

Planet: To grow food on a small scale in an environmentally conscious way so as to enhance our soils and ecology.

Producer: To recognise the huge efforts made by the growers to create a weekly flow of veg. With a membership model we aim to create long term engagement via financial commitments and community engagement. By committing to weekly veg from us for the rest of the year means we can plan our harvesting and growing better, we can have zero crop wastage as we know exactly how much we need to produce.

Community Supported Agriculture as the name spells out, is about community! The model was developed back in 2008 with an initiative from the Soil Association, the aim being to reconnect people with where their food comes from. The defining values and principles of CSA UK can be found here!

CSA is a direct partnership between the farmers (growers), and the consumers (members), where some of the risks and rewards of farming are shared. For example, when we have abundant harvests everyone is welcome to have more, and when nature throws us a curve ball and our veg doesn’t grow as well as we had planned, we all have a little less.

It is an empowering model that brings together people from all walks of life to be part of our own local food systems.

The beauty is you don’t need to have any skills in growing (to start with…).

We, ‘the paid growers’ are there to do all the planning, so you can come along and help out when we have big planting days, or harvest days. There are many jobs to get involved in aside from the actually hands in the dirt bits!

CSAs enable members to have a direct relationship with the growers of the food, the land in which it grows, and ultimately, the good food that ends up being eaten.

Typically a CSA asks you to become a member with a 3, 6, or 12 month up-front financial commitment to a weekly veg share. This is designed to support the grower, giving them a secure income, and money upfront to cover lots of the early season costs like compost and seeds. With committed members it also gives the growers a reasonable idea of how many veg shares they need to grow for – this helps enormously with the planning.

CSA members have an understanding that through regular monetary payments they have an equal share in the harvest, and whilst we, the growers, will do our very best to create abundance, as members you are prepared to accept less veg at times when harvests do not come to the hoped fruition.

Yearly AGMs where members get to have a say about improvements or the choice of veggies grown are a common feature of the community minded model.

As a CSA member we will encourage you to come to the farm and help out where you can. There will be a set ‘harvest day’ once a week, and many sowing/planting and weeding days etc. We will send emails out to all our members informing you about these work days, news, and any upcoming events.

Basically a CSA wants you to connect with your food, to get involved, giving your time as much or as little as you wish.

If you would like to become a member and receive weekly veg shares please email us at realveg@wakelyns.co.uk