The Handbook of Diverse Economies
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The Handbook of Diverse Economies

Edited by J. K. Gibson-Graham and Kelly Dombroski

Economic diversity abounds in a more-than-capitalist world, from worker-recuperated cooperatives and anti-mafia social enterprises to caring labour and the work of Earth Others, from fair trade and social procurement to community land trusts, free universities and Islamic finance. The Handbook of Diverse Economies presents research that inventories economic difference as a prelude to building ethical ways of living on our dangerously degraded planet. With contributing authors from twenty countries, it presents new thinking around subjectivity and methodology as strategies for making other worlds possible.
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Chapter 23: Direct producer‚Ä"consumer transactions: Community Supported Agriculture and its offshoots

Ted White


Non-market sales, barter, trade, donations, gleaning, gathering and other creative transactions have been an integral part of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) since its inception. Since CSA is built upon a payment system requiring consumers to pay in advance for an unknown quantity and selection of a farmer’s harvest, participation inherently promotes creativity, flexibility and new thinking about economies. Rooted in qualitative field research (done mostly in the Northeastern United States), this chapter examines the wide range of innovative, imaginative transactions that have allowed CSA and other Community Supported Enterprises (CSE) such as Community Supported Fisheries and Community Supported Art programmes to grow, evolve and flourish. While acknowledging that the ‘Community Supported’ model has not solved the challenge of how to provide adequate incomes for producers, or attract more diverse participants, this chapter presents evidence of CSA as a vibrant, fertile system for more closely connecting producers and consumers via creative transactions.

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