Manitoba harvest: rural livelihood contributions of community shared agriculture and farmers' markets

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Doucette, Kreesta
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University of Guelph

This thesis investigates the rural livelihood contributions of two consumer-direct marketing models, Community Shared Agriculture and farmers' markets in southern Manitoba. While the majority of existing CSA literature focuses on the theoretical benefits of CSAs few studies have critically examined the model and there is limited existing literature on farmers markets. The study critically examines the experiences of Manitoba producer and consumer households with these models through the lenses of sustainable livelihoods and social capital. Manitoba producers initiating CSAs are motivated primarily by ideological convictions, and in the case of farmers' markets, a desire to diversify and increase household financial assets, and the social aspects of the model. Findings indicate that the financial benefits of these models in Manitoba are marginal, and although they have the potential to provide opportunities for livelihood diversification and social capital development, producers should be cautious that these models do not increase household vulnerability.

rural livelihood, consumer-direct marketing models, Community Shared Agriculture, farmers' markets, southern Manitoba, sustainable livelihoods, social capital