Community-supported agriculture (CSA) seeks to create a direct relationship between farmers and those who eat their food—farm members or shareholders. Data from a five-year study of eight CSA farms are used to examine the perceptions and behavior of farm members in three different ways: their motivations for membership, the role of women in initiating and maintaining farm membership, and how the extent of membership participation relates to member perceptions about and commitment to their farms. We interpret the significance of our results using Gidden's concept of modernity and Etzioni's concept of communitarianism. Finally we raise questions about the long-term sustainability of CSA, given the lifestyle and needs of the farmers in tension with the constraints and competing values of shareholders.

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