Community Supported Agriculture programs have been running since the 1980’s, giving farmers and consumers the connection that they needed. Consumers invest money into a farm; in return they get a share of the farm’s products. It is a way for consumers to share in the risks and rewards of agriculture while also knowing exactly where, by who and how their food is being grown.
College and university students are often left out of CSA’s because of the school year timing. Schools on semester programs are often home for summer break from May to August, making them miss most of the prime growing season.
Introducing the SSA: Student Supported Agriculture.
SSA’s bring students closer to their food by allowing them to participate in mini-CSA programs. Students can invest their money (amount will very per farm and per product) and gain access to fresh, local, low impact food during the months that they are in school. They can rest assured knowing their food is being grown conscientiously while they are away on break.
Students can invest monthly or semi-seasonally and get a proportionate amount of share in the farm. CSA’s usually feed 3-4 people while SSA’s will serve 1-2 people.
Students in a quarter system can participate as well. Although the times they are in town very, the same principles apply. They will get some food at the end of a school year (May-June), and some more at the beginning (September-October).
SSA is a new concept with just a few places just starting to introduce the topic. Look for the program to pop up at Washington State University later this season.
Student Supported Agriculture programs have the potential to bring another large group of consumers into the farm to table group. Connecting well educated people with the high quality food they seek will strengthen all who are involved.
Interested in starting or participating in a SSA? Contact us for more information!
Photos: Elizabeth Adan
Jake Frazier is an outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Residential Ecology, a sustainable ecological resource management company. He uses existing natural systems to improve the quality of life for both humans and the Earth. Jake is interested in permaculture, living systems and exploring. Connect with him on LinkedIn.