What is community-supported agriculture (CSA)?
A CSA Farm Share is a subscription to a farm’s weekly harvest. You enter into an agreement with a farm to receive a weekly delivery of fresh, local, seasonal produce—mostly vegetables—for the duration of the summer growing season, which in KY is usually 20-22 weeks. Payment is required upfront for the entire season which provides the farms with guaranteed working capital for the growing season. As a CSA member you are buying into the farm and you become a shareholder. This means that you share the inherent risks of farming with the farmer including dealing with weather, pest pressure, and other unexpected circumstances but it also means that you benefit from being the farm’s number one priority when it comes to enjoying the bounty of their weekly harvest.
What are the benefits?
- Access to healthy, fresh produce every week
- Convenience—pick up at work or on the way home
- Get acquainted with who is growing your food & how it’s grown
- Ensure food dollars are kept in our community
- Opportunity to try new foods
- Test new recipes
Dr. Tim Woods, University of Kentucky Agricultural Economics Department has conducted research that demonstrates that people who participate in community supported agriculture (CSA):
- Go to the doctor less
- Spend less on prescription medications
- Eat more fruits and vegetables and
- Feel healthier
Furthermore, employees who participated in CSA who started the program in poor health or had high diet related medical expenditures experienced a reduction of diet related medical and pharmaceutical claims between $1,080 and $1,530 in the 12 months following the start of CSA.
City of Lexington CSA Program
In light of this innovative research around CSA participation and health outcomes, the City started to incentivize CSA participation among employees by offering a limited number of $200 vouchers toward the purchase of a CSA share from local farms. The goals of the CSA voucher program are to increase vegetable consumption among employees and to stimulate our local farm economy.
How to apply?
If you are a current LFUCG employee with a valid employee ID and are interested in participating in the voucher program, check back on Jan.12, 2022, for the application.
2022 Partner Farms