July182009

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Support Your Local Organic Bean Picker

[Somebody’s fantasy of what a C.S.A. share looks like.]

I mentioned in the first post about the farm that they sold most of their produce through a C.S.A. Now I realize that not everyone knows what a C.S.A is. It stands for “Community Sponsored Agriculture” and is basically a system where small farmers sell directly to people in their community. For a lump sum, the farmer basically sells a subscription to his harvest season. Every week, each C.S.A. member gets a portion of what the farm produces: a pound of potatoes, a bunch of carrots, two heads of garlic, etc. In some places, subscribers from the community can just drive to the farm to pick up their share. In eastern Tennessee, “the community” that’s interested in (and willing and able to pay for) organic farming is Knoxville. So each week at the farm we box up the farm’s produce into C.S.A. shares, drive the boxes into Knoxville, and drop them at a church where members pick them up.

I asked the farmer where C.S.A.s started. “I think Japan,” he said. This will require a little more research.