Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way for farmers and consumers to connect. The demand for fresh local food is growing steadily; there’s never been a better time to start market gardening. Learn how to start your own CSA and grow an income from your garden.

What is Community Supported Agriculture?

In the CSA model, customers support the farmer by buying a share of vegetables from her market garden. Customers often pay in advance for the season; this early cash flow provides start up capital for the farmer to buy seeds and supplies. In this model the CSA farmer can launch a market garden with little capital of her own.

What is the benefit to the consumer?

Customers of the CSA benefit by receiving a weekly share of fresh, natural food, often delivered right to their door. They also benefit from the knowledge they are supporting local food and local farmers, and reducing the ‘food miles’ that most produce travels before it reaches the consumer. Finally, the consumer is connecting back to the real source of all food, the soil. Many CSA customers feel a sense of ownership as they support their farm.

How to get started in Community Supported Agriculture

Step one is to set some goals for your CSA garden. How much money do you expect to make from your garden? Do you expect to make a part time income, or will your CSA be your main source of income for the season?

Once you have set an income target, you need to determine a price for your CSA shares, and the number of customers you will need to reach your target. For example, if you plan to make $10,000 from your garden, and you think that $500 per share is a fair price for your produce, then you will need to find 20 customers to meet your income goal. You can determine a price per share by surveying other CSA farms in your area, and comparing their offerings and prices. You can also estimate fair price by determining how much of each vegetable you plan to include in the share, and researching to find out an average price for each one.

Finding customers for your Community Supported Agriculture market garden

The first step in marketing your garden is to reach out to your warm market. Talk to your friends, family, co-workers, golf buddies, car poolers, in short everybody, and tell them you will be growing delicious, fresh vegetables in limited quantities, and if they hurry they can get on the list to get some. If they are interested, sign them up and accept a payment to help finance your garden.

If your warm market can’t fulfill your target for customers, then you have to find another source. Mail out flyers are a good way to target a specific area to find more customers. Find a neighborhood within your delivery distance, and send each home a flyer describing your garden and the benefits of your CSA program. If you write a good, compelling flyer, you can expect to receive about a 1% response rate. In other words, if you send out 1,000 flyers you will net about 10 customers. Repeat the mailing in other close neighborhoods until you reach your target.

Planning your Community Supported Agriculture market garden

Once you have confirmed how many customers you have, you now need to plan and schedule your garden to grow the vegetables for them. One of the big advantages of Community Supported Agriculture is that you know exactly how many customers you have, and therefore you can plan your market garden to be quite efficient. You will need to know your last spring frost date and your first fall frost date to plan your growing schedule. You also need to know how long each vegetable takes to mature, how much it yields, and how often you need to replant to keep a continuous harvest coming.

For example, if you have 20 customers, and each customer expects to receive one head of lettuce per week, then you know you need to harvest at least that many lettuces each week. If lettuce takes 50 days to grow to maturity, and needs one square foot of space to grow, you can figure out when to start the plants, and how much space in total you will need. You carry out this calculation for each crop you plan to grow.

Growing your Community Supported Agriculture market garden

A successful market garden requires regular attention to survive and thrive. You need to take all reasonable effort to grow and protect your crops; your customers are counting on you to bring them fresh vegetables each week. You should plant more than one variety of each vegetable, and make multiple plantings at short intervals to protect against crop failure. Grow disease resistant varieties whenever possible. Raised beds can protect against heavy rains and flooding, and drip irrigation will protect against drought. Floating row cover will provide a physical barrier against insects, and will protect young plants from cold and wind.

Starting a Community Supported Agriculture market garden is a great business you can start for very little cash. If you are successful you can grow from a part-time to a very good full time income with CSA.

The practice of agriculture product manufacturersagriculture is also known as “farming”, while scientists, inventors and others devoted to improving farming methods and implements are also said to be engaged in agriculture. Subsistence farming, who farms a small area with limited resource inputs, and produces only enough food to meet the needs of his/her family.
At the other end is commercial intensive agriculture, including industrial agriculture.
Such farming involves large fields and/or numbers of animals, large resource inputs (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.), and a high level of mechanization.
These operations generally attempt to maximize financial income from grain, produce, or livestock. Modern agriculture extends well beyond the traditional production of food for humans and animal feeds.
Other agricultural production goods include timber, fertilizers, animal hides, leather, industrial chemicals (starch, sugar, alcohols and resins), fibers (cotton, wool, hemp, silk and flax), fuels (methane from biomass, ethanol, biodiesel), cut flowers, ornamental and nursery plants, tropical fish and birds for the pet trade, and both legal and illegal drugs (biopharmaceuticals, tobacco, marijuana, opium, cocaine). The 20th Century saw massive changes in agricultural practice, particularly in agricultural chemistry.
Agricultural chemistry includes the application of chemical fertilizer, chemical insecticides, and chemical fungicides, soil makeup, analysis of agricultural products, and nutritional needs of farm animals.
Beginning in the Western world, the green revolution spread many of these changes to farms throughout the world, with varying success. Other recent changes in agriculture include hydroponics, plant breeding, hybridization, gene manipulation, better management of soil nutrients, and improved weed control.
Genetic engineering has yielded crops which have capabilities beyond those of naturally occuring plants, such as higher yields and disease resistance.
Modified seeds germinate faster, and thus can be grown in an extended growing area.agriculture product suppliers
Genetic engineering of plants has proven controversial, particularly in the case of herbicide-resistant plants. As of 2006, an estimated 36 percent of the world’s workers are employed in agriculture (down from 42% in 1996), making it by far the most common occupation.
However, the relative significance of farming has dropped steadily since the beginning of industrialization, and in 2006 for the first time in history the services sector overtook agriculture as the economic sector employing the most people worldwide.
Also, agricultural production accounts for less than five percent of the gross world product (an aggregate of all gross domestic products).

Stan G. Daberkow and Conrad F. Fritsch, American Journal of Agricultural Economics Vol. 61

Safety Education Institutions

Several organizations ostensibly give birth to improved the level of plow safety via their safety education programs. Such protection programs rely on voluntary compliance with suggested safety practices. Repetitive warnings and edifying safety remarks are designed to keep plow operators constantly aware of farmstead hazards, as a consequence lowering the peril of injury. The federal government’s role in the sphere of agricultural safety education has been primarily through the U.S. Branch of farming via the lean-to Service. The Land-Grant University method has besides contributed to this education effort. Lone notable nongovernment nonprofit agency associated with plow safety and safety in the sphere of broad-spectrum is the state Safety ruling body (NSC). This band develops edifying in a row and presents seminars in support of safety specialists employed with secretive industry and state lean-to Services.

Lone can scrutinize the edifying safety expenditures of the federal and state agencies having the status of a safety in a row accumulation, synthesis, and distribution method. In the sphere of this context, the agricultural industry’s facility to secu.A propos safety in a row subsidized by the in the public domain sector seems somewhat unique. A amount of economists give birth to suggested with the aim of the “proper” role of government in the sphere of the area of administrative center safety ought to be present restricted to safety seek (survey hazard analysis of risks) and in a row dispersal (Goldberg). Workers, employers and self-employed farmers as a consequence are able to benefit the obtainable in a row to determine their optimum level of safety consumption. Workers might respond by demanding peril premiums in the sphere of their wages seeking other employment, opting in support of greater self-protection through diligent composition behavior or else a combination of both. Employers and self-employed farmers are as well induced to amendment their administrative center ecosystem or else amendment their composition routine.

Safety Recommendations

“As a means of adjudicating matters of personal and property rights, the adversary process has major advantages. But it is a poor replacement for making highly complex economic policy. We should compare an imperfect market with an imperfect regulatory scheme, not with some ideal and omniscient abstraction” (Schultz, p. 61). In the sphere of all models (market, judicial, insurance and regulatory) the final consequence is supposedly with the aim of folks who demand goods and services from industries in the sphere of which employment is risky have to give in support of the expenditure of employee injuries and diseases which are by-products of the production process. Perceptibly, coal miners, policemen, farmers and firemen command persist to be present demanded despite the top than usual risks of injury and disease. The crucial question becomes whether the in the public domain certificate programs of Worker’s Compensation, and OSHA and, to various area the prudent method, can allocate safety wealth so having the status of to move us closer to the socially optimal level of administrative center safety.

Recommendation 1

A complete journal of obtainable agricultural administrative center safety statistics ought to be present undertaken. This journal ought to include an assessment of availability of data right in support of determining causal factors contributing to accident occurrences and succeed recommendations in support of a unified data center. The focus ought to be present partial to work-related accidents. Factors heartwarming the identification of composition accidents, such having the status of the dual ecosystem of farms having the status of seats of composition and seats of recreation, require detailed identification.

Recommendation 2

Persist to evaluate the effectiveness of the in the public domain provision of administrative center safety in a row. Farming is unique in the sphere of with the aim of the in the public domain sector financially ropes a amount of activities designed to enlighten plow workers and farmers roughly plow safety. The marketplace sort suggests with the aim of the well-informed employee command benefit awareness of appointment risks to assess the good looks of his capability composition ecosystem and to advance composition behavior with the aim of would lessen the probability of job-related accidents or else diseases. Questions to which this seek is directed include: Can the release of safety services in the sphere of farming be present improved? Does the provision of in the public domain safety in a row by the lean-to Service provide the the largest part cost efficient method of dipping plow accidents? How of great consequence and cost-effective is in a row from secretive sector sources such having the status of insurance companies or else the NSC?

Recommendation 3

A complete evaluation of the cost and effectiveness of the current bit by bit attitude to agricultural administrative center safety is a prerequisite in support of forming a basis in support of on the rise a supplementary integrative method of safety institutions. The current safety method has evolved somewhat chaotically in excess of clock. Data on benefit of the prudent method by plow workers or else employers is partial, and therefore its role having the status of a deterrent to administrative center accidents or else diseases is unknown. Coverage of the agricultural sector under Worker’s Compensation is still not complete in the sphere of precise states. Furthermore, the association concerning experience rating of agricultural employers and plow injury duty appears weak. Produce liability possibly will give birth to been a reason in the sphere of humanizing the safety design of plow equipment but the association concerning the two is nebulous. OSHA industry values in the sphere of farming organize not cover self-employed plow operators and now exempt employers with fewer than ten workers. As a consequence the values attitude to administrative center safety possibly will give birth to slight influence on the agricultural injury rate. The question becomes, to what area organize both of these institutions influence on the level of agricultural safety by acceptable social expenditure.

NAIROBI, KENYA – In Africa, demand for the cassava plant has grown significantly over the years. The continent produces 60 percent of the crop in the world. But the crop is drastically declining in East and Central Africa due to diseases that reduce production.

More than 160 million people in east, central and southern Africa depend on cassava as a stable food and a source of income.

Production of the crop has significantly dropped due to the cassava mosaic and cassava brown streak diseases.

According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO], the brown streak disease is worse since it affects the root of the crop. These two diseases are creating havoc in Africas agricultural lands.

Improvements necessary

The acting head of the FAO in eastern and central Africa, Luca Alinovi, said the agency has invested to improve the situation in the African fields, but it is not getting better.

Doing right or wrong on cassava has a huge impact on the food security of the people in this region, has such a relevance in our daily lives that we tend to forget it because it appeared in a kind of technical discussion. And I want to bring to your attention that, although it is a technical issue it requires knowledge and requires research, said Alinovi.

The head of the European Union Rural Development and Agriculture program in Kenya, Dominique Davoux, said that over the years the cassava diseases have evolved, and there is need to invest in research to fight the diseases.

We supported the cassava initially, there has been [a] stop in the support, the research slugged [lagged] behind, and the disease reinvented itself [and] propagated again. We have to re-address the issue, said Davoux.

The FAO says a minimum of $100 million is needed to support clean farm production, disease surveillance and research, and market and micro-finance development across the cassava production chain.

Experts warn failure to do so means the cassava disease likely will reach Nigeria, the biggest producer of cassava in Africa.

The average modern day vegetable producer has done a wonderful job of feeding massive amounts of people on a large scale. The trade off, however, seems to be at the expense of optimal taste and nutrition. During tough economic times, it can be a rather daunting task to find the best nutritional value for your family’s budget, when it comes to fresh vegetables, in super-sized grocery stores.

According to Donald R. Davis, a former research associate with the Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas, Austin claims, “there is definitely a correlation between the high and low yield varieties, and in the varying amount of nutrients they contain.”

What is commonly known, today, as the ‘genetic dilution effect’, was first discovered and published in a 1981 study conducted by W.M. Jarrell and R.B. Beverly in the “Advances In Agronomy”. What has been less studied, are the nutritional effects of selective genetic breeding of plant foods chosen specifically for higher yields.

In 1996 and ’97’, a study was performed in South Carolina using a variety of broccoli chosen for its high yields. It was shown that selective genetic breeding lead to a loss of protein, amino acids, and as many as six different minerals. Davis says, “jumbo sizing the end product is no assurance of increased nutrition and is, in effect, winding up with more dry matter that dilutes mineral concentrations, making for a nutritionally emptier food source.”

Loss of important nutrients can also be attributed to the industrialization of agriculture that relies, heavily, on chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and rushed harvesting techniques. When plant foods are harvested earlier, the plant has had less time to take up minerals from the soil it needs to go through its natural synthesis process.

Farming practices such as those mentioned above, along with lack of crop rotations, has led to over using soils to the point of mineral depletion. Not only do plants need a wide variety of nutrients to grow healthy, we need them to be in the plant food source, in abundance, so they are naturally healthy for us to eat.

It is estimated that there is somewhere between 5 to 40 percent less protein and minerals in commercially grown vegetables, when compared to organic or locally grown produce. Fifty years ago, this was less of a problem than it has become today, and it is uncertain how much fruits are effected when compared to vegetables.

As intimidating as this information like this may sound to you, don’t let it shake you up so much. This may be one reason why nutritional health experts have recently started recommending 7 to 9 servings a day (or more) of this important food group. The old recommended 5 a day guideline has suddenly become outdated.

Realistically, what can we do to increase our benefits of adding more fruit and vegetable nutrition to our daily diets? Well, you can try growing a small vegetable garden. If you don’t have the green thumb know how, then the simplest alternative is to shop as organically and locally as you possibly can.

Focus on getting more whole foods that are grown and raised as nature intended with sustainable growing practices. Most people will agree food raised this way not only tastes better, it is often of better quality and is much fresher.

When it comes to buying organic, buyer beware of the shady business tactics of big agri that has tainted the organic food label. Just because the label says it is organic, does not mean it actually is. Many smaller, local farmers raise organic quality food, but are unable to afford the expensive certification process required to legally label them as such.

If you frequently shop local farmers markets, and organic is important to you, just talk with the people who raise the food you are buying. Striking up a conversation is the easiest way to find out what you are wanting to know. Organically grown produce definitely bumps up your nutritional intake of this food group, so much so, that eating 5 a day may be a sufficient amount to keep you relatively healthy.

Depending on your regional climate and soil conditions, a lack of locally grown fruits and vegetables may leave you very few options other than to eat commercially grown produce. If this is the case, don’t worry so much about it. Certainly, it is far better to eat them, no matter how they are grown, than not at all.

It is possible to take advantage of what few nutrients may be available in them, making them work more effectively for you, by drinking more water. I am not kidding you on this, nothing more than pure water will do a better job of carrying nutrients to cell membranes, aids in nutrient absorption by keeping cells well hydrated, plus it washes away oxidative waste residues and toxins.

Water does not count as pure water if it is in the form of sodas, teas, and coffee, or juices. Water needs to be the dominate beverage that gets you through each and every day, saving those other drinks for occasional use, and in mindful moderation.

Brenda Skidmore has spent over the last six years actively researching natural health care alternatives. She can attest to the many positive results natural practical cures and preventive strategies bring to human health. Along with the many medical professionals whose public works she has studied, it is her sincere desire to empower others by sharing this important information. To improve your health today visit: mywater4life