Community Supported Agriculture (“CSA” for short) shortens the distance from farm to table, benefiting the health of our bodies, our wallets and the earth. CSA members receive a weekly abundance of fresh, local food throughout the growing season. With a secure market for their harvest, CSA farmers get to focus on growing great food and caring for the land.
I have struggled connecting with the Jewish community because I have not found myself in it. Joining a Jewish CSA was a great way for me to connect my Jewish identity with things I am passionate about, such as food politics and sustainable living. I am glad that the Jewish community recognizes that food issues are Jewish issues. Thank you for creating a space in which people like me who struggle with connecting to the Jewish community can feel welcome and invited.
Hazon CSA: Transforming the Jewish Community
Hazon’s CSA program is the first ongoing effort in the American Jewish community to support local, sustainable agriculture. Founded in 2004, our CSA program has supported, launched, and inspired over 60 CSAs in the US, Canada and Israel, helping the Jewish community to put nearly $5 million dollars behind sustainable agriculture. We also have empowered Jewish institutions such as synagogues and JCCs to create innovative educational programming around the intersections of Jewish tradition and contemporary food and environmental issues.
With our partner CSA sites, we are literally changing the face of the Jewish community in America and beyond. We invite you to join this dynamic network! For more information, email email@example.com.
- TASTE: Fresh is more delicious and selling locally allows farmers to choose varieties based on flavor rather than shipping durability.
- HEALTH: The colorful bounty of a CSA share represents a weekly dose of fresh vitamins and minerals.
- COMMUNITY: During pickups, at farm visit days and through our newsletter, members can share recipes, learn how their food is grown and spend time with fellow veggie-lovers.
- ADVENTURE: The weekly challenge of using up a CSA share presents an exciting cooking experience.
- LAND STEWARDSHIP: We use compost, crop rotation, cover crops and crop diversity rather than chemicals.
- SUSTAINABILITY: Vegetable oil fuels our trucks, part of our land is planted in permaculture and we keep earth in mind in all our decisions.
- ACCOUNTABILITY: We can answer to our members on quality, environmental and labor issues in ways that big industrial farms cannot.
- KEEPING IT LOCAL: Members support their local economy by keeping their food dollars nearby.
Hazon CSA is a perfect match for the Jewish community because it provides the opportunity to:
- Put Jewish purchasing power behind local family farms.
- Bring healthy, locally-grown food into Jewish homes.
- Create engaging, high-quality adult and family Jewish education around food and agriculture.
- Encourage Jewish participation in the sustainable agriculture movement while both broadening the Jewish commitment of those already Jewishly involved and creating an accessible gateway into Jewish life for those who have less or no involvement in the organized Jewish community.
- Build a cadre of volunteer leaders in the Jewish community.
- Spur Jewish people to re-examine what it means for food to be kosher – “fit” for us as well as for the community and the earth.
- Work towards a better understanding of just food systems, informed by the Jewish agricultural mitzvot of Pe’ah, Leket, Shekecha and increasing access to healthy food.
2013 Program Impact: At a Glance
- Supported the work of more than 54 local, sustainable farms across the country.
- Enabled more than 4,000 member households to connect Jewish values to their food choices.
- Over 4,500 members participated in over 100 educational events at Hazon CSA host site communities
- Increased access to sustainable food by hosting Sukkot gleaning trips at 10 different farms, and donating over 31,500 lbs of food to local emergency food providers.
2012 in Numbers
- 11 different CSA shares offered (Vegetable, Fruit, Flower, Egg, Meat, Cheese, Honey, Maple syrup, Grain, Dried Fruit/Nuts, Chicken)
- 19 States with Hazon CSA sites
- 54 partner farms
- 68 Hazon CSA sites (65 in the US, 2 in Canada, 1 in Israel)
- 85 percent of members who responded to the end-of -year survey who said they had never belonged to a CSA before Hazon CSA
- 95 percent of members said they ate local produce “frequently” or “very frequently” during the season (as compared to 45% prior to the season)
- 22,000 individuals enjoying Hazon CSA produce (estimated)
- 63,000 Tuv HaShavua newsletters read during the season (estimated)
- 500,000 pounds of food going to members across 68 sites (estimated)
- $2 million paid to farmers from Hazon CSA members (estimated)
There are two main reasons that we founded Hazon CSA:
First, we care deeply about supporting sustainable agriculture and local farmers.
CSA members have provided millions of dollars to local farmers over the last decade. In addition to providing people with the opportunity to purchase and eat local, organic produce, Hazon CSAs helps to protect land from development and urban sprawl by supporting the work of small farmers.
Second, we are interested in creating vibrant Jewish communities and educational opportunities.
Hazon CSA offers a powerful and unique way to foster pluralism and inter-generational connections in the Jewish community. It is an innovative educational platform, which allows members to explore contemporary food issues from a Jewish perspective. The Jewish tradition has a long history of thinking about what is kosher (literally, “fit”) for us to eat. Hazon CSA offers a chance to re-examine and potentially redefine what it means for food to be “fit” – not only for us, but for the community and the earth as well.
You can start your own Hazon CSA!
Hazon warmly welcomes you to join or start a Hazon CSA – whether your own passions lie with eating healthy, organic food, or supporting sustainable agriculture, or building and being part of a vibrant Jewish community.
Already have a CSA up and running? Join the Hazon CSA Network!
Join the Hazon CSA Network! We warmly invite existing CSAs who are interested in organizing innovative programming, engaging volunteers and building community to join the CSA Network.
For existing Jewish CSAs
CSAs are becoming more and more popular, as communities are realizing that they can provide not only fresh, organic produce, but a means for organizing innovative programming, engaging volunteers and building community. Hazon supports the Jewish CSA movement with resources and years of experience.
Hazon provides numerous types of support to our partnering synagogues and JCCs:
- The “Hazon CSA Bible” (a comprehensive instruction manual)
- Individual phone and email consulting for questions and trouble shooting
- Marketing and outreach support
- Access to the active Hazon CSA listserv community and communities across North America
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The CSA inspired us to cook much more often and to eat more healthfully on a regular basis. Knowing where our food comes from feels good and makes it all the more enjoyable. Knowing that we are supporting an organic farm also adds greatly to our enjoyment of the food.