What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Customer Supported Agriculture and is a system in which a community and a farmer form a partnership. The customer purchases a share of a farm's upcoming season and by doing so becomes a shareholder of the farm for that season. The customer pays for their desired portion early in the year and the farmer provides the customer with increments of the harvest as the season progresses. Usually, the increments are provided on a weekly basis however every farm develops their own system and arrangements with their community. The shares also vary by farm but generally provide 6 - 10 varied farm products from the current yield.
How does a CSA benefit the customer?
Being a CSA shareholder is exciting for several reasons and the importance of each reason varies greatly from customer to customer. The most common benefits customers cite are:
- Access to the freshest, locally grown products possible; items are generally harvested the day before delivery
- Priority; CSA shares are filled from each week's harvest before any other orders are filled
- Convenience; each share is pre-packaged for the customer with a variety of fresh produce
- Knowing their farmer; the customer knows exactly where their food came from, how it was grown, and how it was handled
- Building the local food system; supporting local farmers keeps the local food supply viable
- Reducing our carbon footprint; the entire process takes place locally and the product is not imported or transported thousands of miles before reaching their market
- Excitement; customers love the anticipation of what varieties will be in their share each time
How does a CSA benefit the farmer?
Having CSA shares sold, especially early in the season, is a tremendous boost for the farmer. The contracted sales provide the farmer with early season capital and an idea of the demand they must supply. This helps the farmer:
- Purchase seed, fertilizer, packaging, labor, equipment, and other expenses; these expenses are traditionally bought on credit placing the farmer at great risk
- Reduce waste; the farmer can calculate more accurately what they need to grow to meet customer demand
- Connects the farmer with their community; farming is so satisfying when the products are delivered directly to a customer and not sold wholesale. The customer satisfaction motivates the farmer to continue their passion which provides the opportunity to inspire a new generation of farmers
- Predictable and dependable income; for many small farms, that is the difference between success and bankruptcy
Does a CSA come with any risks?
Yes. The CSA is a share of a season that has yet to play out. Farming can be a challenging endeavor depending greatly on environmental impacts, economic influences, equipment failure, and personnel management to list a few. Becoming a shareholder in the season is just like being a shareholder in any other corporation with the risk and reward are entirely dependent on the success of the business. This is where the customer's relationship with the farmer really comes into play; if a farmer has earned the faith and trust of the customer then they can weather the storm and recover together.
What is included in a CSA share?
Bluegrass Blessings Farms & Apiary offers 2 share options: a full share which is 6 - 10 produce items and a partial share which is 3 - 5 items. Occasionally bonus items may be added such as our treatment-free honey, pasture-raised eggs, or some other value-added product. We are continuing to grow as a farm and will be increasing the variety of a share with each passing season. Some items are already planted, like asparagus for instance, but take multiple seasons to become established enough to harvest. With that being said, below are the planned varieties for the 2020 growing season:
How long is a CSA season?
The CSA season at Bluegrass Blessings runs for 22 weeks starting the 3rd week of May through the 2nd week of October
How much does a CSA share cost?
Full Share - $550 per season (equates to $25 per week)
Partial Share - $275 per season (equates to $12.50 per week)
We offer 2 payment options:
- Pay in full (do so by April 1st and receive a 5% Discount)
- Pay in 5 monthly installments ($110 per month for a Full Share & $55 per month for a Partial Share)
How do I receive my share?
***Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the Lebanon KY Farmers Market is the only confirmed pickup location at the moment. We will add as many more as possible when more information is released. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.***
We offer two options for delivery:
- Free pickup at a central location or a location we have a market setup (encouraged)
- Delivered to your door for an additional 20% of the CSA season price ($5 per week for the full share)
If you have a suggested pickup location, we'd love to hear about it. We could setup a pickup location at your local fitness center, church, or even place of employment. All we need is 5 or more customers to create a new pickup location so talk to your friends, family, and coworkers to see who else would be interested in a CSA share.
We know it can be a lot to take in, so here is a simple breakdown:
|Full Share|| 6 - 10 weekly items
||Pickup|| Paid in Full
||$110/mo (5 payments)|
||Paid in Full||$660/yr|
|Installments|| $132/mo (5 payments)
| Partial Share
||3 - 5 weekly items||Pickup||Paid in Full||$275/yr|
|Installments||$55/mo (5 payments)|
||Paid in Full||$330/yr|
|Installments||$66/mo (5 months)|