Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Find Organic \ Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

WHAT IS A “CSA”?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a system for consumers and farmers to connect through season-long commitments to each other with subscription plans or shares sold prior to the season, and regular distributions of the farm’s products throughout the season.

In a classic CSA model, the customer pays at the beginning of the season and receives a “share” of the harvest all season long. There are many variations on this system, including how you get your share (pick up at the farm, at a farmers market, at a drop-off site, etc), how your share is selected (custom chosen by you at the farm or market, or selected and put together for you by the farmer, or some add-on special items may be available, etc.), the size and type of the share (full shares for families, half-shares for couples or individuals, % savings off retail prices at market, or pre-paid credit to be used at market, etc.), how often you get your share (weekly, bi-weekly, available at several markets or just one market, etc.), the length or limit of the share (wintertime shares, summer shares, produce-only shares, produce and meat shares, flower shares, etc.), and the source of the shares (from a single host farm, or group of farms, or other products brought in from distant farms or other food producers or processors, etc.). Some CSA farms allow or encourage payment through work-trade, and many allow for scheduling payments over time, and many accept EBT/SNAP payment.

The CSA system allows for the farm budget to be partially or totally supported by the customer’s pre-season payments, helping the farmer cover early season expenses, and spreading and sharing the risks of the farm enterprise with the supporting community. Most CSA farms engage in a very active and dynamic online presence, with regularly updated product lists, information, news and photos, tips and recipes, and stories from the farm.


How to Find a MOFGA Certified Organic CSA Near You:

MOFGA Certification Services maintains a publicly accessible database of all of its certified organic farms, including ones that offer CSA models in their marketing plans.

To search this database and find a CSA farm near you, go to MOFGA's Certifications Find Organic Products Directory.

Select what county you live in, then type “CSA” into the Keyword box. Hit the “Search Database” button, and the page will re-set with the list of farms in your county that have CSA programs – scroll down the page to find their names, contacts, products, etc.


Maine Harvest Bucks logo
USDA SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program logo
 

The Maine Harvest Bucks Program
on Maine farms with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs

What is the Maine Harvest Bucks program?

This program helps SNAP/EBT shoppers stretch their food budgets by offering them “bonus” local fruits and vegetables. Shoppers receive $1 in Maine Harvest Bucks (to be spent on local fruits and vegetables) for every $1 they spend on local food using their SNAP/EBT card at participating farms, markets and stores. This allows these customers to access more healthy food while also supporting local farmers.

MOFGA manages this program on farms that offer CSAs, and partner organizations coordinate the Maine Harvest Bucks program at farmers’ markets, mobile markets and farm stands, as well as at local retail outlets, where the program is called Farm Fresh Rewards.

How does the Maine Harvest Bucks program work with CSAs?

Shoppers who sign up for a CSA share at a participating local farm and pay with SNAP/EBT receive a half-priced CSA share. The customer pays half the cost of the share in regular installments (monthly or weekly, depending on the arrangement with the farmer) and the other half of the share cost is paid to the farmer using grant funds.

Do you receive SNAP benefits and want to sign up for a CSA share? You can find a list of participating farms here.

• Are you a farmer who is interested in participating? Please contact Hillary Barter at [email protected]