by The Associated Press
Monday, May 24, 2010
FAIRBANKS, Alaska -- Fairbanks has become a hotbed for community-supported agriculture.
In a CSA program, consumers buy shares of a farm at a set price at the beginning of the season and receive weekly boxes of vegetables throughout the season.
The arrangement gives farmers financial security and spreads the risk of a bad harvest. In return, members get a stream of fresh, organic produce.
Michelle Hebert is an agriculture and horticulture agent at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. She says Fairbanks has more CSA farms than any other region of the state.
Farmer Pete Mayo has had firsthand look at the growth. He and his wife Lynn were the first Fairbanks farmers to take on shareholders. The Mayos had no waiting list back in 1997; now they're at maximum capacity.