Community Supported Agriculture & Community Supported Fishery

What is Community Supported Agriculture and How Does It Work?


Used with the permission of Community Supported Agriculture of North America at University of Massachusetts Extension:


CSA reflects an innovative and resourceful strategy to connect local farmers with local consumers; develop a regional food supply and strong local economy; maintain a sense of community; encourage land stewardship, and honor the knowledge and experience of growers and producers working with small to medium farms. CSA is a unique model of local agriculture whose roots reach back 30 years to Japan where a group of women concerned about the increase in food imports and the corresponding decrease in the farming population initiated a direct growing and purchasing

relationship between their group and local farms. This arrangement, called "teikei" in Japanese, translates to "putting the farmers' face on food." This concept traveled to Europe and was adapted to the U.S. and given the name "Community Supported Agriculture" at Indian Line Farm, Massachusetts, in 1985. As of January 2005, there are over 1500 CSA farms across the US and Canada.


CSA is a partnership of mutual commitment between a farm and a community of supporters which provides a direct link between the production and consumption of food. Supporters cover a farm's yearly operating budget by purchasing a share of the season's harvest. CSA members make a commitment to support the farm throughout the season and assume the costs, risks, and bounty of growing food along with the farmer

or grower. Members help pay for seeds, fertilizer, water, equipment maintenance, labor, etc. In return, the farm provides, to the best of its ability, a healthy supply of seasonal fresh produce throughout the growing season. Becoming a member creates a responsible relationship between people and the food they eat, the land on which it is grown and those who grow it.


How Does CSA Work?

Money, Members and Management

A farmer or grower, often with the assistance of a core group, draws up a budget reflecting the production costs for the year. This includes all salaries, distribution costs, investments for seeds and tools, land payments, machinery maintenance, etc. The budget is then divided by the number of people for which the farm will provide and this determines the cost of each share of the

harvest. One share is usually designed to

Community Supported Fishery

Walking Fish is a CSF linking local fishing families with consumers here in Carteret County and to consumers in the Triangle. Started by Duke students in 2009, local fishermen and women formed a cooperative in 2011 and began supplying consumers with the freshest product available. In 2014, Walking Fish opened its business to Carteret county consumers too and have a range of options to satisfy all families.  

Email manager Debra Callaway at or check their website at for more information. Walking Fish also delivers to Durham and Raleigh.


A second local CSF, Core Sound Seafood run by Eddie and Alison Willis of Harkers Island, delivers to Carrboro, Durham, Boone, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, and Durham. Visit their website at or email for more information.

Tell your friends out west to look for fresh seafood from our friends at the Crystal Coast and support your neighboring fishing families here!

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