Community-Supported Agriculture: What is it?

By Dr. JJ Pursell

Nature Cures Clinic physician

Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.  Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or “share-holders” of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer’s salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, typically a big beautiful box of fresh seasonal harvest to take home and enjoy.

Some Advantages for consumers:

  • Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
  • Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown

CSA’s create a direct relationship between the production and consumption of food.  Please see the list below of local farms with CSA delivery.

47th Avenue Farm
6632 SE 47th Avenue, Portland, OR 97206 (map)
Tel: 503-777-4213
Grows: Vegetables and herbs
Delivery/Pickup: Tuesday pick-up at the farm (see address above), bus accessible
Thursday pick-up in Lake Oswego at Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont, West Linn, OR 97068
Season: Summer share: May – October, Winter share: November – April

Artisan Organics
23880 SE Davis Road, Hillsboro, OR 97123 (map)
Grows: Vegetables, tree fruit, eggs, lamb. Sustainable growing methods free of synthetic chemicals. We are actively working with the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District on a 10 year Conservation Plan.
Delivery/Pickup: Registration currently being accepted for on-farm pick-up. Additional Sites: Emanuel Hospital, Northwest Portland and Good Samaritan Hospital, North Portland
Season: Summer Season Mid-June thru Mid-October. Fall Season Mid- October thru mid-December

Little Frog Farm
16205 NW Gillihan, Portland, OR 97204 (map)
Tel: 503-280-8044
Grows: certified organic vegetables, herbs and flowers
Delivery/Pickup: Wednesday afternoons at Enterbeing (NE 16th & Alberta)
Season: June – November

Rainwater Farm
Cully Neighborhood, Portland, OR (map)
Tel: 503-284-6823
Grows: vegetables, berries, herbs, fruit, nuts, occasional eggs.
Growing Practices: Organic, Permaculture methods
Delivery/Pickup: Delivered to your door on Thursdays in Portland
Season: May to October

Sauvie Island Organics, LLC
20233 NW Sauvie Island Road, Portland, OR 97231 (map)
Tel: 503-621-6921
Grows: Vegetables and Herbs
Available at extra charge: Salad mix and flowers
Delivery/Pickup: Pick-up at Farm or in St Johns, SE, NE or NW Portland
Season: Mid-May through Thanksgiving

Wobbly Cart Farming Collective
13136-A 201 st Avenue SW, Rochester, WA 98579 (map)
Tel: 360-273-7597
Grows: Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit –
Growing Practices: Certified organic and protecting genetic biodiversity by growing only open-pollinated and heirloom seeds
Delivery/Pickup: Tuesdays in NE Portland near Alberta
Season: Mid-Late June to October, 18 week season