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What is CSA?
CSA's were introduced to the United States and Canada in the 1980's. in the 1980's. Teikei, the Japanese equivalent to CSA was started by a group of women in Japan during the 1960's. These women were concerned with the use of pesticides, the increase in processed and imported foods, and the decrease in farm populations. They decided to initiate a direct and cooperative relationship between local farmers and their consumers. Today, there are more than 1,000 CSA farms in the United States—the largest one having over 1,200 members. The concept of CSA is for a farm to have a group of supporting members that purchase a "share" prior to the beginning of the growing season. Their early investment in the farm allows the CSA member a part of the future harvest. The members receive fresh, contamination-free vegetables, flowers and herbs on a weekly basis throughout the growing season. It is a partnership. Members can feel satisfied knowing how and where their food is grown and who produces it. They are supporting sustainable agriculture, helping to preserve farmland, and contributing to a healthy local economy. Becoming a supporter allows the members to learn about growing food, stewardship of the land, and awareness of their relationship to land and farm life. The farmer has the opportunity to know who their produce is going to, make a viable living and keep their product within the local community. Together the farmer and consumers can strengthen and boost the local economy and community by bringing together people who share the concerns of our health, families and farmland.

Freedom Farm's CSA
In 2007 we decided to restructure our CSA program to allow members more choice in how their investment is used. Instead of receiving a pre-bagged share each week members will be allowed to shop off their investment at any farmers' market location. We offer $100 shares that can be purchased in any quantity. A 10% return will automatically be added to each share (1 share = $110 worth of credit). The shares generally start in June and go through the end of October. We encourage shareholders to shop as they like but please let us know ahead of time if you have a bulk order or other special needs. (Unused farm credit is non-refundable at the end of the growing season.)

The starting date varies from year to year depending on mother nature but expect to see us in mid-May thru November at both the Wednesday and Saturday Farmers' Markets in Portland. The variety available to our shareholders varies from the beginning to the end of the growing season. Early vegetables may be limited to salad and cooking green, radishes, turnips, and other early crops. In July, August and September, the variety becomes larger with carrots, beets, summer squash, tomatoes, and finally vine ripened melons to help beat the heat. The Fall offerings will change as well and there will be opportunities to stock up on storage crops like winter squash, parsnips, and cabbage, and dry beans. By the end of the growing season, a shareholder will not only have helped our farm, but they will have reaped the benefits of their initial investment. We appreciate your strong support for what we do and encourage you all to be a part of Freedom Farm's CSA program.

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