Re: Information on subscription farming
I would agree with the recent response cautioning against a rigid
distinction between subscription farming and community supported agriculture
(CSA). Having been involved in the CSA movement for the past few years, I
see a continumm of farms that range from a very utilitarian, market-based
subsription approach to a very community-oriented, risk-sharing approach.
In between are all sorts of options and configurations that make sharp
distinctions difficult. I am involved in the Madison-Area CSA Coalition
(MACSAC), a group of CSA farms in southern Wisconsin that exists to promote
cooperation among farms as well as collective outreach ("marketing" and
education) to consumers. There are 17 farms involved in MACSAC and, while
they all call themselves community supported farms, there is great diversity
among them in terms of philospohy, goals, and organizational structure, etc.
In regard to numbers, the Bio-Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association
keeps a database of "CSA" farms accross the country. At last count there
were 435 farms in the database but I think this number is substantially
lower than what actually exists. Call the Bio-Dynamic Association at
Here in the midwest, where CSA/subscription farming has been growing in
leaps and bounds, the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute recently
published a Regional Directory of CSA farms. There are 60 farms listed.
Contact Michael Fields at (414) 642-3303. Address: W2493 County Road ES,
East Troy, Wisconsin, 53120.
And, to add to the conference announcements: The second annual Upper
Midwest CSA Conference will be held December 1-3, in Madison, Wisconsin.
Watch for a more detailed announcement coming soon!
Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1450 Linden Drive, Room 146
Madison, WI 53706