Tuesday, June 27, 2017

the spirit of a CSA


If you ever practiced yoga, chess, dance, or any other discipline, you may have noticed that, no matter how advanced you may be in your practice, it's always good to go back to basics once in a while. In the same vein, we thought it was timely to reflect on what Community-Supported Agriculture really means.

When you join a CSA share, you are partnering with a trusted farmer so you can share the harvest. But also, and perhaps more importantly, you are sharing the inherent risks of farming. In a good season, it's all unicorns and rainbows, and you'll get a bounty of super fresh, local produce, picked at the height of ripeness and goodness. But sometimes, the weather does not cooperate and yields (sometimes entire crops) may fail.

To say that we had a very cold and damp spring is to state the obvious. Some brief warm spells followed by cold temperatures made things worse. The weather only began to warm up quite recently, which means this growing season got to a really late and unfavorable start. And this was felt even more upstate where the growing season is shorter. Of course that translates to a less abundant start than usual.

As we cope with a bumpy start, let's remember that the spirit of a CSA is that we are in this together, in good and bad times. Our commitment to a CSA makes it possible for good quality agriculture to happen close to our communities. When we join a CSA we are doing so much more than paying to buy produce! We are supporting local connections and livelihoods, we can establish a personal relationship with the people growing our food, understand what goes on behind the scenes, and have our voices heard. The industrial food supply chain may look more steady on the surface, but is driven by pure economic profit at any cost, with little or no regard for the health and livelihood of farmers, the nutrition or safety of consumers, or the health of the environment. The CSA model is in line with Roots & Wings inspiration in the permaculture ethics of "earth care, people care, and fair share". 

Here's to hoping for more favorable weather for the rest of the season! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, insights, or anything you'd like to share. 

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