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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Community Supported Agriculture

I have fond memories of growing up on a farm in Idaho. I loved playing and working outdoors. Even now, when I work in the garden and watch my seedlings sprout I can feel my blood pressure drop. I live in the city now, but my heart always turns back to my peaceful, childhood memories of the farm. Whether you grew up on a farm or not I think many people want to participate in the romantic lifestyle of farming. Community Supported Agriculture programs provide us "city folk" with a way to do this.

Community supported agriculture allows individuals of a community to pledge support or buy shares of a local farm. After becoming a shareholder you will have rights to receive a portion of the output from that farm. Most of the participating farms use organic, ecological or biodynamic farming methods. As a shareholder you participate in the benefits of a bumper crop or the disadvantages of a bad growing season. The output usually consists of produce, flowers fruits, milk, eggs and they are usually distributed on a weekly or monthly basis throughout the growing season.

These programs provide many benefits to the farmers. Their own personal risk from bad weather or crop disease is reduced because the risk is spread across all of the shareholders. The farmer also receives his working capital in the beginning which is rare for farmers. They also generally get better prices for their crops and there is less waste.

As shareholders, our benefits include: fresh, organic produce weekly, satisfaction from supporting your local farm, and the peace of mind that comes from helping our environment by buying locally and reducing our carbon footprint.

The following website will give you a good list of local CSA's that you can support http://www.localharvest.org/csa/. I would encourage you to look into it. Let's help our local farmers and turn our hearts to a simpler healthier way of living.

~Michael Johnson


Kristi said...

Thank you so much! What great information! There is even a farm here where you don't have to buy a share you can just go work on the farm for four hours in exchange for a "reasonable" amount of produce, that is SO awesome. I love this blog, thanks for all of your hard work guys!

Jennifer said...

I bought a share in a local farm and am interested to see how it all pans out. The book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," which Megan reviewed on this blog, opened my eyes to how far-reaching our eating habits can be. As the author quoted (I'm paraphrasing), the food we eat determines how the earth is used.

I look at my shareholder fee as a way to support one small farmer, good harvest or not. Or, as our neighbor summed up when we told him we'd joined a CSA, "Ah, so it's your garden that you don't have to weed!"

Molly said...

I had come across a local farm's website a while back, but it slipped my memory. Your post reminded me and I signed up for a CSA membership! I'll start getting produce in 2 weeks. So exciting!

I love checking your blog.