Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Little CSA Primer For Ya

This is an email that my good friend Chris sent out a few weeks back. Chris is an amazing guy who truly works to make the world a better place and I really admire all he does (but have no idea how he does as much as he does). Of course it resonates a bit more specifically if you live near him in Minnesota but the concepts are universal.


Two thoughts on simple steps for saving the world this week:

If you are shareholder of a
community supported agriculture (CSA) farm, call them, see if they need help recruiting members, and throw a house party to build a member-base. (If you're not a member, find a good one and join!). 

An audacious goal if there aren't CSAs or co-ops in your area: Start them. It can be done. Anna and I were charter members of one of our two food co-ops for some time before the actual ground-breaking.

Last night we threw a party for Mike Noreen, owner of
Burning River CSA. We are a neighborhood drop-site for his farm, and have helped him build support for two (perhaps three) other drop-sites in town (and close to one another to help him reduce his travel expenses).

For those attending from our immediate neighborhood, the other purpose was to build more local support for our
neighborhood food coop.  Mike also has a drop-site there.

Anna cooked a variety of appetizers - all featuring greens (kale, chard, cabbage). So many of our friends indicated that they simply didn't know what to do with so many greens.

In any event, we're on the journey to support Mike as he builds up to 150 members (his goal for this year).  We think we will definitely help him hit 15 members this year, possibly 20+ from these drop-sites. (Seven folks actually broke out their checkbooks and signed up during the party. We have commitments from several more, many of whom couldn't attend last night, some of whom came but sans checkbook.)

All this by way of saying we had a great time, built community, geared folks up to take more control over their food lives, helped drive support for sustainable local agriculture, and will help everyone save money, as Mike's farm shares yielded an immense amount of food for the cost through the course of last summer.

Two great ways to learn more about CSAs: Read the fabulous book, "
This Common Ground - Seasons on an Organic Farm," by Scott Chaskey. Watch the documentary, "The Real Dirt on Farmer John."

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