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Q: The term CSA comes up a lot on Wisconsin Foodie and frequently we are asked, “What is a CSA”?


A: To start, “CSA” stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  The concept is simple.  A farmer will offer a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically, a share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included.  Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season (from www.localharvest.org/csa).

We have featured quite a few CSA farmers here on Wisconsin Foodie.  Most recently featured was Tim Huth from the LOTFOTL Farm (www.lotfotl.com).  He also happens to be my own personal food grower. In other Wisconsin Foodie episodes, we have also featured David Kozlowski and Sandra Raduenz of Pinehold Gardens  (www.wisconsinfoodie.com/2008/12/13/pig-roast).

To find a CSA farmer in your area you can visit www.localharvest.org/store/local-csa.jsp and type in your zip code.  Buying into one of these programs not only supports your local farmers but also supports our local economy and not to mention you get a box of fresh and delicious produce each week.

Now if you’d like to go one step further, there is also an “RSA”, which stands for Restaurant Supported Agriculture. It is basically the same concept but for restaurants instead of consumers. David Swanson of Braise On The Go (www.braiseculinaryschool.com) began this program in Milwaukee within the last couple of years.  Some of the restaurants that support RSA’s include La Merenda, Comet, Honey Pie Café, Le Reve, Meritage, and Café Manna, just to name a few.  For more information on the RSA program check out www.braiseculinaryschool.com.

Eat Fresh and Enjoy!

-Arthur Ircink

Executive Producer, Wisconsin Foodie

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