Thursday, May 14, 2009

Organic Community Supported Agriculture Booming in Illinois

According to a recent article, the concept known as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) came to the U.S. in the mid-1980s. Customers of CSAs buy shares of a crop in January and February. In return, they receive "dividends" in the form of weekly or biweekly fresh produce dropped at sites in their neighborhoods or picked up at the farm throughout the growing season. The concept has been very successful for Matt Sheaffer who runs Sandhill Organics in Grayslake, Illinois and Steve Tiwald executive director of Green Earth Institute outside Naperville, Illinois. Sheaffer started in 2004 with 70 customers. This year, he has more than 300 and can no longer accommodate the frequent phone calls from people wanting to give him money for his product. Tiwald started harvesting in 2003 by supplying about 28 households with produce. This year, he's supplying 500 and cannot get enough water to expand the farm to keep up with demand.

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