Robyn's Resources

Downloadable CSA resources.

Robyn Van En Brochure

This tri-fold brochure defines the Robyn Van En Center and what it offers. Includes a brief biography of Robyn Van En and defines the concept of CSA.




CSA Concept, Philosopy, and General Operations

This tri-fold brochure explains the CSA concept, philosophy and general operations. Developed to provide interested parties with a first-look description of CSA. Good handout for prospective members.

Guide to Legal Issues in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): The road to the membership agreement.

Developed by Penn State in coordination with PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.)

Publications, Resources and Recommended Readings

Robyn Van En Brochure


This tri-fold brochure defines the Robyn Van En Center and what it offers. Includes a brief biography of Robyn Van En and defines the concept of CSA.


CSA Brochures


This tri-fold brochure explains the CSA concept, philosophy and general operations. Developed to provide interested parties with a first-look description of CSA. Good handout for prospective members.


Guide to Legal Issues in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA):
The road to the membership agreement.

Guide to Legal Issues in CSA

Developed by Penn State in coordination with PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.)

Formula to Create Community Supported Agriculture

By Robyn Van En
CSANA, 1996

A remembrance of Robyn, the late founder of the CSA movement in North America.  This 80-page handbook/ start-up manual includes sample budgets, job descriptions, community outreach tactics, bibliography, and more.  Information is dated, but extremely valuable from a historical standpoint. Contact us to obtain a copy.


Building a Sustainable Business

By The Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, with The Sustainable Action Network
SAN Publishing, 2003

This 280-page manual is a business planning guide for alternative and sustainable agriculture entrepreneurs that follows one farming family through the planning, implementation, and evaluation process.


The New American Farmer

By Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program
SARE, 2003

This 160-page publication profiles 50 farmers and ranchers, who have embraced new approaches to agriculture because of economics, concern for the environment, or a yearning for a more traditional, satisfying lifestyle.  Limited number of copies available.

The New American Farmer, 2nd Edition, 2005, 200 pages, is available in hard copy and as a free PDF download from SARE at


The New Farmer's Market

By Vance Corum, Marcie Rozenweig, & Eric Gibson
New World Publishing, 2001

This 250-page publication offers farm-fresh ideas for producers, managers, communities, and CSA's interested in expanding their marketing possibilities.


Biodiesel Homebrew Guide

By Maria "Mark" Alovert

Everything you need to know to make your own biodiesel fuel from waste vegetable oil.


The Community Supported Agriculture Handbook

By Center for Sustainable Living, Wilson College

Back by popular demand...this 80+ page guide gives valuable information on starting, operating or joining a successful CSA.  It includes many resources such as crop calendars and budgets, sample brochures, newsletters and much more!


Maximizing Shareholder Retention in Southeastern CSAs: A Step
Toward Long Term Stability

MACSAC, 2004

This 35-page publication is a great resource for any CSA, regardless of location, the information within can be generally applied to the CSA in any area.  This publication offers priceless information on shareholder expectations of CSA, the CSA reality for shareholder and farmer, differences in structure and what CSAs offer, and ways to help the CSA farmer in keeping his/her shareholder happy and coming back to support the farm season after season.   Also included are tips and specific recipes as well as essays that address how our food choices fit into our economy, the natural environment, community, quality of life, and agricultural and social systems.  Excellent resource for providing CSA members with recipes for their seasonal produce. University of Georgia, 1996.


The E.F. Schumacher Society: A Trio of Essays

This 35-page packet contains three essays, replicated and compiled by the Robyn Van En Center, titled "A New Lease on Farmland" (Susan Witt and Jay Rossier, 1990/2001), "Local Currencies: Catalysts for Sustainable Regional Economies" (Robert Swann and Susan Witt, 1995/2001), and "Land: Challenge and Opportunity" (Robert Swann and Susan Witt, 1995/2001).  The essays include such information as ways to earn a living from the land and how to do so successfully and sustainable in ways that preserve the land for future use in agriculture.  Also included are avenues to create diverse and stable regional economies consisting of many interrelated small, sustainable businesses, and extremely useful information on affordable access to land for farmers, ecologically sound land-use planning, and preservation of traditionally used lands by and for indigenous peoples.


Community Supported Agriculture on the Urban Fringe: Case Study and Survey

By Rochelle Kelvin Metro-Farmer Networks and Rodale Institute Research Center, 1994

This 40-page publication includes a definition and history of CSA as well as case studies on finances and risk, crop production, and membership surveys.  It also offers a survey of 11 CSA Farms on the urban fringe, a hypothetical payment model for a cooperative CSA, and extensive discussions on long-term viability of CSA, CSA networks, and understanding CSA shareholders.


Community Supported Agriculture in the Mid-Atlantic Region:
Results of a Shareholder Survey

By Lydia Oberholzer
Small Farm Success Project and Future Harvest CASA, 2004.

This valuable 43-page publication offers a study approach to farmer interviews and a shareholder satisfaction and retention surveys, with results and discussions on the study.  It also includes a CSA Shareholder Survey Questionnaire, survey results by farm, and a correlation matrix of results on shareholder retention traits.  A great resource for those searching for up-to-date statistics and case study results of CSA farms and CSA shareholders!


Rebirth of the Small Family Farm

By Bob & Bonnie Gregson
IMF Associates; 65 pages

This handbook provides information on starting a successful organic farm based on the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) concept. This particular book was written for "non-farmers" to shed light on unfamiliar territory to those new to the realm of alternative agriculture.  It offers details on the use of specific tools, techniques, and how-to information, and includes models of diverse market farms/gardens.

A Farmer's Guide to the Bottom Line: A Handbook to Secure
Success & Profits on the Family-Scale Farm

By Charles Walters
Acres U.S.A. Publishers; 212 pages.

This book offers insight into the life experience of Acres U.S.A. founder, Charles Walters as a small farmer-entrepreneur.  Included are step-by-step guides to planning and implementing business practices for the small-scale, eco-friendly, family farm.  The book also provides examples of folks who are making a living and profiting from their sustainable farm business, while at the same time, demanding a fair price for their labor.  This book is an entertaining and educational read.


Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen's Guide to Community Supported Agriculture

Chelsea Green Publishing, 2nd edition: 2007.

A revised edition by Elizabeth Henderson with Robin Van En. This 300-page book provides valuable insight into making Community Supported Agriculture a viable economic model as well as an excellent guide for farmers and food lovers alike.  It provides CSA start-up information and how to strengthen existing CSA operations. We consider it to be the bible of community-supported agriculture.


Whole Measures: Transforming Our Vision of Success

Center for Whole Communities, 6th edition; 2007.

This 66-page guide book illustrates the creation of whole communities and the guiding principles behind this concept. It also includes useful info on value-based practices such as community building, land stewardship, relationships between people and land, ecosystem health, and much more. The concepts in this work can be applied across many disciplines; some outlined are community developers, farmers, conservationists, land-use planners, educators, and land trust agencies. "Think of Whole Measures as a living document, never static, that helps people and organizations working for land and community transformation to better understand the role of land in shaping a healthier, happier, more responsible American culture" (quote from book, pp. 59).


Micro Eco-Farming: Prospering from Backyard to Small Acreage in Partnership with the Earth

By Barbara Berst Adams

Micro Eco-Farming is a small but mighty book that weaves personal stories with a tremendous resource on small scale farming. In 170 pages, Barbara Berst Adams shares with the average home-owner or a seasoned farmer what methods and philosophies she has seen or experienced in her research. She also shares about how this method of farming helps the earth, the plants and the animals alike. You will learn what’s, how’s and whys of micro-farming in a “can’t put it down” format.


The Locavore Way: Discover and Enjoy the Pleasure of Locally Grown Food

By Amy Cotler
Storey Publications, 2009

This is a comprehensive, easy to read guide on how to find, buy, and cook locally grown food. Get recipes and tips for preparing many vegetables and fruits. Find out what questions to ask to know if the food you are buying is truly local.


Farmer John's Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables

By Farmer John Peterson and Angelic Organics
Gibbs-Smith Publisher, 2006

Written by the manager of one of the largest CSA's in the U.S. (Angelic Organics), this book provides vibrant and tasty recipes as well as insight from nutrition experts, CSA shareholders, farm laborers, and, of course, Farmer John himself.  This wonderful 360-page book hosts colorful photos, new thoughts and ideas on farming and food production, and info on vegetables as they make their way from seed, to field, to the table.


From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce, 3rd Edition

By the Madison Area CSA Coalition

This delightful cookbook offers 53 different vegetable and herb sections.  It includes nutritional, historical, and storage information, as well as recipes.


Recipes from America's Small Farms: Fresh Ideas for the Season's Bounty

By Joanne Lamb Hayes and Lori Stein with Maura Webber
Villard Books, 2003

This book contains favorite recipes from farmers from CSA members all across America and several high-profile chefs, including Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill), Peter Hoffman (Savoy), Roxanne Klein (Roxanne's), and Kevin von Klause (White Dog Cafe').  This book includes a chapter on meat, poultry, eggs, seafood and vegetarian and vegan recipes throughout.  Each chapter provides details about history, characteristics and nutritional qualities of specific fruits and vegetables.  Cooking techniques, useful sidebars and a glossary make this book an indispensable resource. 


The New Agritourism: Hosting Community and Tourists on Your Farm

By Barbara Berst Adams
New World Publishing, 2008

This book provides excellent guidelines for starting and growing an agritourism enterprise on your farm. As more and more people want to know where their food comes from, you can offer them an up close and personal experience. The New Agritourism can help you decide what the best option for you might be, and while each bioregion is unique, this book can offer you ideas and resources to get started on taking your farm beyond farming.


Sell What You Sow: The Grower's Guide to Successful Produce Marketing

By Eric Gibson
New World Publishing, 1994

A how-to look at marketing your farm’s crops to maximize profit without minimizing your ideals. Whatever the size of your operation and however you desire to market your produce, this book will give you the tools and knowledge you need to run a successful business.