A new map on the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s website offers a new tool to find 63 local Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms that deliver fresh food to over 150 drop-off locations in Portland. Some farms even deliver to private addresses.
Community Supported Agriculture is a relationship between a farmer and member of the community. In a CSA, the community (households that are “shareholders” or “subscribers”) provides the financial support for the season’s farming by purchasing a share of the harvest or becoming a member of the farm. Once harvesting begins, shareholders typically receive weekly shares of seasonal vegetables. Some farms can also include fruit, eggs, dairy, meat and poultry.
"The CSA map is a great new tool for Portland residents to find fresh and healthful food in their own neighborhood while supporting local farmers," said Mayor Charlie Hales.
What is the advantage of buying food from a CSA Farm?
CSA members get the convenience of fresh food delivered to their neighborhood and trying new produce varieties that are grown for our region. In addition, CSA participants directly support the local economy, help protect farmland, and get to know their local farmer.
By committing in advance, shareholders also provide a significant benefit to farms by assuming some of the risk and enabling the farmer to cover up-front operating costs. CSA farming is a less wasteful system, as farmers plant according to their customers’ demands. And farmers get a fair price for their labor by selling directly to consumers.
“It's great to see the City of Portland helping residents connect to local farms providing CSA shares. They are making it easier for Portlanders to connect to the amazing food we produce here in the region and to the farmers who are growing it. Now, folks can see which farms deliver to their neighborhood and learn how to contact those farms directly,” said Josh Volk, Slowhand Farm.
Past Bureau of Planning and Sustainability research shows that the CSA farm model has grown. From 2008 to 2014 the number of CSA farms serving Portland grew from 23 to more than 60. From 2008 to 2012, sales at CSA farms doubled from $1 to $2 million.
Almost 4,000 Portland households support CSA farms. Potential CSA customers should choose their CSA farmer carefully to determine that he/she has the appropriate experience to deliver a diverse array of quality produce throughout the growing season. This list includes farms that deliver produce in the Portland Metro Area. Not all farms serving this area may be included. Inclusion in this list does not imply City of Portland endorsement of any particular CSA farm.
For questions about adding a CSA farm to the map, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Food Resources
• Find CSA farms: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/csa
• Find Portland farmers markets: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/farmersmarkets