FAQs

Have a question? Find the answers to many of our frequently asked questions.


How do I find out about land available in my area?

How do we recruit a farmer/ grower?

How do I find a community group?

How do we get set up funding?

How do we attract people from low income/ under represented groups?

How do we decide what arrangement to have for our CSA farm? 

How do we recruit members?

Is there a similar project we can visit? 

What shall we grow? How many people can we feed?

How do I work out how much to charge?

How do I stay in touch?

Is your CSA on the map?

 

How do I find out about land available in my area?

  • Be clear what sort of land you want
  • Contact a land agent and tell them what you are looking for
  • Tell everyone you know and ask them to do the same
  • Get into farming networks and  befriend a well-networked farmer
  • Ask organic farms directly
  • Ask farms who already sell direct eg. at farmers market
  • Ask non private land owners eg parish councils, other local authorities, National Trust, schools and hospitals, your local water board, Network Rail and housing associations
  • Contact the Community Land Advisory Service
  • Look on the Landshare website
  • If you live in an urban area, consider setting up a decentralized farm CSA – approach garden owners. In many towns, the local Transition Town group is operating a Garden Share scheme, making under-used gardens available for growing. Do you have a cityfarm or community garden in your area? Check the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens
  • See our Resources page for more information on land

How do we recruit a farmer/ grower?

How do I find a community group?

  • Approach existing groups eg. Transition Town groups, Friends of the Earth, Green Party, WI, city farms and community gardens, workplaces, schools (parents and staff) churches, play groups, reading clubs, sports club – any group which is already well-established and can communicate to a wide range of people.
  • You might need to create one. Start with a well publicised public meeting.
  • Find a core group of people who are willing to lead a process and with community development skills
  • See our Resources page for more information on building your membership.

How do we get set up funding?

  • Start small and plan to make a surplus to invest
  • Ask members to pay up front for food
  • Ask for donations
  • Find out about community investment
  • Seek a grant from local sources such as your local council and also grant giving bodies Big Lottery,  Funding Enlightened Agriculture, UnLtd

How do we attract people from low income/under- represented groups?

  • Understand their needs and seek to meet those
  • Work with members of those groups on your core group
  • Reduce barriers to access eg cost, transport, language
  • Reduce the cost of membership – this could be done through sponsored shares,‘share-a-share’ or work share approaches – see the Share in the Harvest Action Manual in our Resources for details
  • Invest time and build relationships
  • Think about your messages and atmosphere, make it comfortable and accessible to all
  • Apply to accept Healthy Start vouchers
  • Link up with Credit Unions
  • See our Resources page for more information on building your membership.

How do we decide what arrangement to have for our CSA farm?

  • Be clear what each party wants
  • Be clear what you are trying to achieve
  • Make sure each party is properly rewarded for their contribution
  • See our Resources page for more information on governance and legal structures
  • Read our case studies for idea on how to set up

How do we recruit members?

  • Understand what people want
  • Tell them how you meet their needs
  • Get feedback and respond to it
  • Expect to invest in promotion and publicity
  • Make full use of existing networks, through parish /council newsletters, community forums and development trusts city farms and community gardens, CVS/RCCs and other voluntary sector infrastructure organisations to get your message out.
  • See our Resources page for more information on building your membership.

Is there a similar project we can visit?

  • Look on the CSA Network UK website and ask directly if you can visit – but remember they are a working farm and may ask you to pay a fee if you want to spend time with them. You would probably more welcome on one of their work days or open days.
  • CSA farms are diverse, think about what sort of project you really want to see.
  • See our events page for news of networking and training events.

What shall we grow? How many people can we feed?

  • This depends a lot on your land, people and location, the Horticulture cropping tool gives a rough indication of quantities of veg you might produce from your land.
  • There are successful CSA farms producing cheese, meat, veg, fruit, bees/honey, eggs, bread and wood – see our map of CSA farms for more information.

How do I work out how much to charge?How do I work out how much to charge?

  • Compile a list of your estimated outgoings for the whole year – include all wages, equipment, consumables, insurance and depreciation on equipment – divide this by the number of shares you can supply to reach a figure for the cost of a share.
  • You may then want to consider sliding scales for differing income levels, but remember your basic costs must be covered.
  • Compare you costs with retail costs for produce, the Soil Association Price data is updated regularly

How do I stay in touch?

Sign up to:

CSA Facebook www.facebook.com/CSACommunityUK

Join the Google Group Join here

Is your CSA on the map?

Make sure your CSA is listed.

For more information, read the CSA Action Manual : A Share in the Harvest