CSA Network Ireland

Who are we?

Fergal and Manu, Leaf and Root Farm
Farm Day, Dublin CSA, spring 2017
Seamus Bradley, Dublin CSA
Heritage apple trees, Future Orchard Cork
Farm Day, Dublin CSA, 2013
Hop tasting, Dublin CSA
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CSA Network Ireland is the national network for CSA farms, and aims to support and promote the activities of CSAs in Ireland. The Network helps to organise an annual meeting for all CSAs in Ireland to come together to share knowledge, experiences and to get to know each other. This is hosted at a different CSA each year and all members of the CSAs around Ireland are encouraged to come along.

Our members care about good healthy food, sustainable practices, and having a community at our dinner table. We believe that the CSA model is truly powerful. It empowers both farmers and communities to be actively engaged in their local food system. Our dream is to see a CSA in every neighbourhood all over the island, having a significant impact on creating a more just and agroecological food system that would transform how people in Ireland engage with farming.

History

The Network was founded on 23 September 2015. A number of newly-formed CSA farms in Ireland recognised the benefits of sharing resources and supporting each other. The founding farms participated in the research behind the European Overview of Community Supported Agriculture. We are an all-island network.

The structure of our network

The network is maintained on a voluntary basis. Each member farm nominates a representative to liaise with the network coordinator. See the Farm Profiles page for more information on some of the members.

We meet every six months for a semi-formal discussion. We prefer to communicate in person, to visit each other's farms and to talk face-to-face rather than to rely too heavily on authoritative procedures. Information is disseminated orally, like folklore, and by learning through practice. Human relationships are key.

There is no fee to join the network, however member farms make a donation to cover our membership fee with the international network of CSAs, Urgenci. The farmers are personally known to each other and membership is based on friendship and trust. The members of the CSA Network of Ireland endorse the European CSA Declaration.

Our aims and objectives

  1. Use the network to support up-and-coming CSAs both producer- and consumer-driven
  2. Share ideas on a range of issues surrounding the set-up and running of a CSA from finding producers/land to distribution of shares / logistics
  3. Create a database of existing CSAs on the island for the purpose of those seeking to join a CSA
  4. Investigate ways in which to promote the growth of CSA in Ireland
  5. Link up with other groups/organisations working along the same lines (Urgenci, Land Workers Alliance...)
  6. Establish a platform for producers to share information, organise farm visits and group work-days, buy in bulk, share surplus produce etc
  7. Host events to raise awareness, provide a social melting pot for the members of different CSAs to meet, swap recipes, get ideas and provide mutual support

CSA Network Ireland meeting at Moy Hill Farm, Autumn 2016