Thursday, July 23, 2009
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Community supported agriculture (CSA) benefits producers and consumers.
* It allows small farmers to sell directly to families, eliminating the need for middle men.
* Farmers can "pre-sell" their goods, so they know how much of each item to plant.
* Families can receive a share of high-quality, locally grown, organic produce easily and affordably.
* Local produce is fresher. Fruits that ripen on the tree or vine taste better and are more nutritient-rich.
* Local produce purchased directly from the farm for immediate consumption does not contain preservatives found in foods that must be shipped great distances.
* Trucking foods to other parts of the country creates traffic and air pollution.
* Organic farming practices keep pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers out of our food, drinking water, and animal habitats.
While many of us belong to CSAs or are planning to join a CSA sometime in the near future, few of us realize that--and we quote from www.csacenter.org--"CSA is a relatively recent phenomenon in the United States and Canada. Teikei, the CSA equivalent, which literally translated means 'partnership' or 'cooperation', was first developed in Japan by a group of women concerned with the use of pesticides, the increase in processed and imported foods and the corresponding decrease in the farm population. The more philosophical translation for teikei is 'food with the farmer's face on it' (Van En 1992). In 1965 Japanese women initiated a direct, cooperative relationship in which local farmers were supported by consumers on an annual basis."
To hear the rest of the story or to find a CSA in your area, visit www.csacenter.org or www.localharvest.org.