What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and how does it work? Since the life and vitality of our network of farms hinges on each farm’s individuality and unique farm operation, the answer to “how it works” is as many and varied as farms with Bluegrass Harvest. That being said, we can offer some basic background on the core concepts and provide answers our frequently asked questions to help you narrow down your search and find the right farm for you, your family or your workplace.

What is CSA?

CSA is much more than just a weekly delivery of food or food products. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a powerful investment in your health, community, and local economy. It’s a partnership between farms and consumers that keeps independent businesses thriving, helps families eat seasonal, local produce, and charges farmers and consumers with the responsibility of building a strong, equitable food system.

How does it work?

In general, CSA farms sign up members from December-April (or until a farm fills up…which can often happen as early as March!) for the coming growing season. New members pay for their share of vegetables up front and receive a weekly delivery of vegetables through the 20-25 week growing season from April or May to September or October depending on the farm you select. Once you’re enrolled in your farm, the real fun begins as the weekly box of freshly picked, seasonal goodies arrive at your pick-up location.

Most farms write newsletters or blogs for their membership to keep folks connected to life on the farm, introduce new veggies, and inspire new recipes and culinary adventures using all the contents of your weekly box. Opportunities abound to engage with YOUR FARM, to interact with YOUR FARMERS, and to truly become a part of the farm community through on-farm events and special activities. You’ve made the commitment to buy from a local farm and eat the freshest food available; we encourage you to engage in your greater farm community and bring your commitment full circle.

How can I tell if CSA is a good choice for me and my family?

Do you enjoy cooking at home, or want to learn? Do you like the flavors and challenges of seasonal eating and the idea of committing to your food producers? Then CSA could be great for you!

Do I get to choose the veggies that are included in a CSA share?

Your CSA Share reflects 3 things: the Kentucky Harvest calendar, the diversity of each of our farm offerings, and the always changing Kentucky weather. Most farms include recipes in their newsletters.

What types of shares are available?

A regular share may feed up to four healthy vegetable eaters every week. A small share could be a good option for one or two consumers.

Additional products may be available through your farm (meat, eggs, honey, cheese, etc.) Any additional products other than vegetables comes at an additional charge. The key to happiness with your CSA is your commitment to purchase and utilize fresh food. Pay attention to your cooking and eating habits and sign up for a share size that is right for your family. Some of our farms employ season extension practices such as hoop houses or root cellars to offer early and late season shares. The longevity, content and delivery schedule for early and late season shares often varies significantly from farm-to-farm, so be sure to check the details of your farm’s offerings to know what you’ve signed up for!

Why should I choose a Bluegrass Harvest farm?

Given the amazing quantity of high quality farms serving our communities, finding YOUR farm can be daunting. Bluegrass Harvest-endorsed produce farms must grow all of their products on farm, and be certified organic or in transition to organic certification. ALL farms must demonstrate an ability to provide a high level of customer service.

East End Residents

Click here to receive your share!

How do I select a farm?

If you are choosing a CSA for the first time, be sure to read our tips on choosing a CSA farm to determine which farm will best meet your needs and expectations.

Consider the following:

• Location of Pick-Up Site – With multiple delivery sites in the region, there are plenty of options. There is likely a Pickup site near you!

• Length of Delivery Season – The CSA season begins in April or May, and ends anywhere from September to October. Many farms offer additional early season or late season share options.

•Price of Share - A direct comparison of share prices can be misleading as farms have a different number of deliveries, crops, size, and delivery options. In general, a Regular vegetable share (feeding ~2 adults, 2 kids) for 20 weeks costs approximately $500-$650. Divide the total share cost by the number of weeks to get a per-week cost as you compare shares.

• Specialty Items – Farms offer a wide variety of seasonal produce, eggs, or meats. Additional specialty items may include fruit, flowers, honey, cheese, canned goods, large or bulk shares, u-picks and more at an additional charge!

• Produce Variety – Do you eat with a sense of adventure? Some CSAs offer a wide array of produce with many different varieties of vegetables. Others offer a more tried-and-true selection of popular produce. Ask the farmer what you can expect in your boxes throughout the season.

Once you’ve decided what’s important to you, it’s time to start searching for YOUR farm.

Visit the Bluegrass Harvest Farm List for profiles of all of our organic farms.

CSA seems kind of pricey. Why should I pay a farmer up front of instead of shopping at a grocery store?

CSA is so much more than a bag of groceries. When you think about the value of your CSA share, there’s a lot to consider. Buying directly from the farm means you are buying the very freshest, tastiest food. Vegetable varieties are grown for quality, flavor and diversity – not shelf life. CSA helps you learn where your food comes from, how it’s grown, and how to prepare it. When you join a CSA, you keep your food dollars local and support a small family farm. Becoming a CSA member means you’re joining a community of conscious eaters. Invest in good, clean food and the creation of a safe, community-based food system in the Bluegrass state!

Need help?

For more information on how to choose a farm, or for assistance in using the tools on this website, please contact Bluegrass Harvest at info@BluegrassHarvest.org or 859-231-0054 and ask for Sandy Noble Canon.

Terms and Conditions

All share purchases are non refundable.

CSA Farm share members get the first pick of the bounty ready for harvest each week, however, because of the inherent risks of farming, farms cannot guarantee what the season will bring and what vegetables will be harvested. You share the risk and reward with the farm as sometimes you will receive more or less than you expected of certain items. Items in your produce share will change weekly as reflected by seasonality and what can be successfully grown in Kentucky.

If you have questions please contact us.