Ant Wilson

AN organic pome and stone fruit orchard in Harcourt has opened sales for its Community Supported Agriculture program.

Commonly referred to as CSA, the emerging model of sales and distribution is indicative of a movement of consumers who want to be more connected with the source of their food.

Tellurian Fruit Gardens is an established orchard that’s been rebranded and given a fresh look under new owner Ant Wilson, as part of an exciting organic farming co-op in Harcourt.

“What’s not changing is our priority to provide a really wide range of delicious and nutritious organic fruit for our customers.” Mr Wilson said.

“But I’m excited to be introducing a new way for people to connect directly with the farm and get great value at the same time.”

CSA customers sign up for a share before the start of the growing season, essentially sponsoring, which gives their local farmer the security of some pre-sales to produce their food.

The member then receives regular deliveries of fresh produce throughout the season.

What makes a CSA different to regular box schemes is not only direct interaction between farmer and member, but also commitment and risk sharing.

“Agriculture is at the whim of nature and CSA is a way to spread that risk across the community so farmers don’t bear the full brunt when things go pear-shaped,” Mr Wilson said.

The CSA model is mutually beneficial.

The farmer secures a market in advance, and the member knows exactly how and where their food is grown, gets first access to limited and heritage varieties at thethe best valueprice, and gets the “feel good” joy of knowing they’re supporting their local farmer.

The sign-up process on their website, tfgardens.com.au, is open until November 25.