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Life Lessons: Community-supported agriculture

Published On: May 06 2013 05:00:00 AM EDT

Do you love the idea of fresh vegetables right from your own garden? You could reap the benefits without the work.


Do you love the idea of fresh vegetables right from your own garden?

Most of us do but not all of us like to do all the work it takes to grow a garden.

There is another way.


It's called Community Supported Agriculture and the idea is simple: You, and a few hundred others, team up with a farmer to share the risk and the reward.

You pay up front and get months of fresh and sometimes organic produce.

Farmer John Good of Quiet Creek Farm in Kutztown is busy this spring getting ready for the growing season. He says every day he does what the weather tells him to do.

He and his crew have been in the the greenhouse planting seeds for some of the 30 different crops Quiet Creek offers its CSA members.

People pay a set amount and once a week they come here to the eight acres John leases from the Rodale Institute to pick up their goods.

"We sell all of our produce before the season even begins. So I don't have to spend any time during the season worrying about marketing my produce or taking it to the auction. I know that every week all my customers are coming to me and that allows me to serve them better," says John.

John and his wife, Aimee, have been doing this for eight years.

Brian Moyer of Penn State says CSAs are good for the farmer and the consumer.

"The impressive thing to me about CSA farmers is it requires an awful lot of knowledge because we're not just talking about specializing in two or three crops; it can be a hundred different varieties," Moyer says.

Today's CSAs are evolving-- some will deliver right to your door.

Some offer fruit, breads, meats, and baked goods.

Click to find out more about how to get involved in a local CSA.