Monday, February 23, 2009

Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA

Community. Function: noun. 1: a unified body of individuals. Supported. Function: transitive verb : to promote the interests or cause. Agriculture. Function: noun 1: the science, art, or practices of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and in varying degrees the preparation and marketing of the resulting product.

Many Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are treated like fruit delivery services—a grocery store on wheels, if you will. In reality, a CSA is a manifestation of something much deeper in our cultures and civilizations. Yet it wasn’t not until the mid-1980s, long after the principle farming communities had moved to urban areas in hopes of better lives, that the first CSAs (as we know them) came into being. And they did so not out of a need to provide food—large multinational agribusinesses could do that well enough—but out of a desire by individuals to farm at a sane, sustainable level in order to nourish the Earth and provide food to like-minded people. During and prior to this period, many farmers went out of business and their lands developed—never to be used to grow food again. But some farmers fought back. And not with pitchforks and rakes, but by realizing they weren’t the only ones that cherished farms, farmers, and fresh organic food. So they farmed differently……

The Happy Child CSA—Frog Hollow Farm’s version—is one of the best ways we have to bring our legendary fruit to you. But, as I started out, our CSA is more, so much more, than a fruit delivery service. In addition to bringing you organic fruit year after year, we require a certain almost spiritual commitment beyond membership. That is, we may ask you to support us as farmers and as a farm in ways we can’t even imagine. Yet knowing that you’re there for us and we’re there for you is what a modern, CSA farm business is all about.

2009 promises to be a stellar season for us. The plums are in bloom, cherries + apricots not far behind, and so on. In a few months we’ll be harvesting our first fruit and reveling in the joys of what it means to be a farm in the 21st century. And with supporters like you, who can blame us.

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