Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between farmers and the local community, in which the responsibilities, risks and rewards of farming are shared.
Benefits are enjoyed by all sides: farmers for instance can receive a more stable and secure income and closer connection with their community, and consumers can benefit by eating fresh healthy food, feeling more connected to the land where their food is grown and learning new skills.
How does CSA work?
There is no fixed way of organising CSA, it's a framework to inspire communities to work together with their local farmers. We intend to start our CSA with a simple vegetable box scheme, where a monthly subscription will pay for weekly vegetables/fruit.
We are also simultaneously developing a livestock co-operative, which will work in a different way altogether.
We will be involving community members in the overall development of the CSA.
Do I get a choice of what produce I receive?
Initially no. It is very challenging to set up a farm from scratch, so initially we will be looking for members that understand how challenging this can be and are happy to accept the seasonal produce that we can provide.
How do CSAs benefit local communities?
• consumers benefit from receiving fresh food from a known source
• the environmental benefits of fewer 'food miles', less packaging and ecologically sensitive farming with improved animal welfare
• a local economy enhanced by higher employment, more local processing, local consumption and a re-circulation of money through 'local spend'
• educating people about varieties of food, it's production methods and costs
• having an influence over the local landscape and encouraging more sustainable farming
How do CSAs benefit local farmers?
• a more secure income which improves business planning and time to concentrate on farming
• a higher and fairer return for their products by selling direct to the public
• increased involvement in the local community; the opportunity to respond directly to consumers' needs
• receive help with labour and planning initiatives for the future
How much does it cost to subscribe?
£!2.50 for a family.
£7.50 for a single person or couple.
How do I subscribe?
Please contact Tom on 01792 371280 / 07791 6996848
Can I get involved in growing fruit / vegetables and looking after animals?
Yes, Cae Tan CSA seeks to involve both members & non members. For all enquiries about the CSA other than livestock, please call Tom 01792 371280 / 07791 6996848. RE livestock, then contact Ant 0782 4860803.
Is the produce organic?
Cae Tan produce is biodynamic. See the produce section of our site to find out more. We are not "Organic Certified" as this is an expense we do not consider necessary. Our members will be closely involved with the project, so they can see for themselves how we are working with our crops & soils.
The livestock projects seek to work organically, but we are new to livestock, so we currently use some conventional treatment such as wormer's. We hope to find alternatives as we learn more.
We don't use pesticides, herbicides or artificial fertilizers anywhere on our projects.
What governs the quality of your produce?
You! If you aren’t happy with what you receive, you don’t have to continue buying it. We want provide high quality produce and we will be getting your feedback on what we are getting right and what needs improving
Where is your farm?
On Gower, near Ilston.
Where else are there CSAs?
There are over 100 CSAs across the UK, of which less than 10 in Wales. It is an expanding movement as these figures are twice what they were a few years ago. However, in France there are over 3000, and in the USA thousands more.
Many of the CSAs in the UK are listed at the Soil Association website:
How does this project benefit the local environment?
We will not be using any pesticides nor artificial fertilisers at our site. We will also be delivering various biodiversity projects at the same site.
Biodynamically worked soils are shown to have higher levels of biological activity which feed vitality into the rest of the surrounding ecosystem.
We're also keeping bee's naturally and exploring different hives, such as Warre & top bar hives. We allow the bee's to swarm increasing either our own hive numbers or increasing local bee populations. We plant bee friendly crops.
We're also working with local schools to help them improve their environments by growing crops & creating bee friendly gardens.