Community Supported Agriculture

Buy your food from the people you know.

Community Supported Agriculture, CSA, is a subscription-based farm share. Farms ask their members to subscribe and pay upfront for a season of food from that farm. Often members pick up their shares weekly or maybe have them delivered. Read our free Tip Sheet for Using CSAs.

Common Styles of CSA

  • Traditional: Farmers only grow for the CSA members and share divided out.
  • Seasonal: CSAs may be open only during a certain season, often summer. Winter CSAs are becoming more common due to greenhouses and other farming methods to lengthen seasons.
  • Multiple Farms: More than one farm may partner to offer a wider variety of products.
  • Entire Meal: A farm may offer foods from multiple food groups, including proteins and grain, allowing CSA members to make a full meal.
  • Set Dollar: Pay a dollar amount at the beginning of the season. As you buy, the farm will deduct food costs from your original total. Shop your way down to $0 by the end of the season.
  • Non-Food: Subscriptions for non-food farm items, such as wildflowers, may be available.

Ways to Use CSA Foods

  • Add to typical recipes: Foods from a CSA share often include fruits and vegetables. Use them just like foods bought in a grocery store.
  • Use timely: Learn which foods are likely to spoil first – such as strawberries and tomatoes – and which foods will last a while – such as potatoes and onions.
  • Store well: Learn what foods store best at room temperature – such as potatoes and tomatoes – or in the refrigerator – such as strawberries.
  • Preserve extra: The National Center for Home Food Preservation is a research-based source for home preserving information and recipes. Can, freeze, or dry extras from a CSA share before they spoil.
  • Try new foods and recipes: Some CSAs grow unfamiliar foods. Your farmer may include recipes for uncommon ingredients with CSA shares or check for recipes from your local Extension offices.

Seasonal Availability 

Foods available in a CSA share will vary by the farm and the season. Participating in a CSA is a great learning experience about how foods grow, how weather impacts crop success, and other ups and downs of growing produce on a farm.  

Sautéed Kohlrabi with Bell Pepper 

(Serves 4)


  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 kohlrabies, peeled and diced 
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds*
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice


  1. Add oil to a skillet over medium heat. Tilt skillet to coat with oil.
  2. When skillet is warm, add kohlrabi, bell pepper, turmeric, mustard seeds, and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook, stirring continuously, for 3-5 minutes. Vegetables will be heated through, but still crisp.
  4. Add lemon juice and stir to combine. Serve hot.

*Black mustard seeds were used in this recipe. Yellow mustard seeds can be use too or left out.
Nutritional analysis per serving:  45 calories, 2.5g fat, 160mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 1g protein


    Watch our recent webinar on CSA Shopping