Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE04-514.
The purpose of our project was to create literature detailing the philosophy and methods of cooperative, multifarm CSA for farmers, customers and others who might benefit from using the model developed by Local Harvest CSA.
Our methods were to research and chronicle through writing the evolution and benefits of multifarm CSA concept, the practices and polices of Local Harvest CSA, and overviews of other successful multifarm models in the United States. We carried out these methods through interviews and surveys with Local Harvest’s crop coordinator, bookkeeper, and farmers; interviews with growers and organizers of their multifarm CSA’s; and research into the history and philosophy of CSA and cooperative growing arrangements.
Our result is a thoughtfully written, professionally edited and designed handbook detailing the history, philosophy and benefits of the concept, the methods and policies of Local Harvest CSA, and a brief appendix of other multifarm CSA models. Over the past two years, as our research and writing has continued, Local Harvest CSA has continued to progress and prosper as a cooperative CSA with seven to nine participating growers serving 250 members and their families. Due in part to Local Harvest CSA’s success and in park to farmers’ over-arching interest in collaborating with other farmers, there is increasing demand for our handbook. We believe that our handbook, Cooperative Harvest: The Benefits and Methods of a Multifarm CSA, will continue to stimulate interest in, and provide a useful framework for multifarm CSA in the coming years.