CSAs (community supported agriculture) are a form of direct farm marketing. In Central Iowa, CSAs are a great way for a family to get a weekly supply of fresh, local fruits and vegetables. Below is a list of BFBL member CSAs.
Interest in CSAs has spread rapidly duirng the last 25 years. Today, Americans can choose among nearly 15,000 CSAs that range in size from as few as ten members to several hundred members.
Most CSAs provide around 20 weekly deliveries during the growing season with share prices averaging about $500, or $25 per week.
CSAs are based on the idea of “community.” Participants are often considered members of the farm. They are not buying a particular volume of a particular crop, but rather a share of all of crops on the farm in a given season. This often means members receive the abundance of a particularly good growing season and share in some of the risk of a particularly poor growing season.
CSAs often include weekly newsletters and recipes with deliveries. Many farms will hold regular events at the farm to help connect members to “their” farm and farmer.
Some CSAs may allow members to work a certain number of hours during the year as part of their share price.
Nature Road Farm, Ames Owner: Randy Naeve 515-231-4495
Twin Girls Garden, Madrid Owner: Paula Olson 515-231-5900
Raccoon Forks Farm, Redfield Owner: Laura Glanert 515-883-2022
Garden Destination, Van Meter Owner: Donna Wilterdink 515-993-4100
Steak’n’Eggs Farm, Winterset Owners: Bruce and Sarah Lamb 515-447-9822
Blue Gate Farm, Chariton Owners: Jill Beebout and Sean Skeehan 641-203-0758
Reichert’s Dairy Air, Knoxville Owner: Lois Reichert 641-218-4296
Grade A Gardens, Johnston Owners: Jordan Clasen and Thomas Burkhead 515-554-4306
The Homestead, Altoona Owners: Eric Armbrecht and Jason Jones 515-689-4796
Wabi Sabi Farm, Granger Owner: Ben Saunders 515-745-9951
Crooked Pine Farm, Cambridge Greg & Christa Hartsook 515-460-5034 email@example.com
Surrounding Counties delivering to Des Moines Grinnell Heritage Farm, Grinnell Owners: Andrew and Melissa Dunham 641-236-4374
In partnership with Iowa Heartland Resource Conservation & Development, the Drake University Agricultural Law Center is establishing a new program to bring together CSAs and employers in the Greater Des Moines area. Click here to see a slideshow promoting CSAs to employees of participating organizations.