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Farming alone? What’s up with the “C” in community supported agriculture

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  • Antoinette Pole

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  • Margaret Gray
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    Abstract

    This study reconsiders the purported benefits of community found in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Using an online survey of members who belong to CSAs in New York, between November and December 2010, we assess members’ reasons for joining a CSA, and their perceptions of community within their CSA and beyond. A total of 565 CSA members responded to the survey. Results show an overwhelming majority of members joined their CSA for fresh, local, organic produce, while few respondents joined their CSA to build community, meet like-minded individuals or share financial risk with farmers. Members reported that they do not derive a strong sense of community from either their CSA or other forms of community, yet they volunteered at their CSA and appear to be engaged in activities within their communities, though the frequency of the latter is unknown. These data suggest New York CSAs are oriented toward the instrumental and functional models, which emphasize the economic aspects of farming rather than collaborative models, which foster community (Feagan and Henderson 2009 ). Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10460-012-9391-9
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 85-100

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:30:y:2013:i:1:p:85-100

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    Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10460

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    Related research

    Keywords: Community supported agriculture (CSA); Community; New York; CSA members;

    References

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    1. Robert Feagan & Amanda Henderson, 2009. "Devon Acres CSA: local struggles in a global food system," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 203-217, September.
    2. Gail Feenstra, 2002. "Creating space for sustainable food systems: Lessons from the field," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 99-106, June.
    3. Conner, David S., 2003. "Community Supported Agriculture Pricing and Promotion Strategies: Lessons from Two Ithaca, NY, Area Farms," EB Series 122132, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    4. Tegtmeier, Erin & Duffy, Michael, 2005. "Community Supported Agriculture (Csa) in the Midwest United States: A Regional Characterization," Staff General Research Papers 12577, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    5. O'Hara, Sabine U. & Stagl, Sigrid, 2002. "Endogenous preferences and sustainable development," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 511-527.
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    Cited by:
    1. Brian Obach & Kathleen Tobin, 2014. "Civic agriculture and community engagement," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 307-322, June.
    2. Sarah Bowen & Tad Mutersbaugh, 2014. "Local or localized? Exploring the contributions of Franco-Mediterranean agrifood theory to alternative food research," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 201-213, June.

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