Motivations of Producers and Consumers Participating in Urban Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Groups in Denver, Colorado
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This research examines the motivations for participation held by consumers and producers of community supported agriculture (CSA) in Denver, Colorado. CSAs are local, small-scale networks of producers that grow seasonal food such as vegetables and fruit, and/or meat products, in which local consumers buy prepaid shares of inventory. The delivery of the boxes of produce to consumers occurs in a variety of ways: through home delivery, farm pick-ups, or at community drop-off points. The decision to participate in a CSA often requires all parties to make greater efforts and incur higher expenses to produce, distribute, and consume the products offered by the CSA. This research represents an effort to add to our understanding of involvement among CSA participants and to examine relative urban geographic relationships amid those motivations. Under a mixed-methods approach, the research included a structured survey instrument administered to a convenience sample of CSA producers and consumers, as well as unstructured interviews and participant-observations with CSA producers in the area. A spatial analysis of consumer survey responses, and the resulting motivations, geo-coded the closest street intersection of members’ home addresses to preserve anonymity. This portion of the analysis focused on the discovery of relative, urban geographic patterns among the motivational differences derived from the survey data.