CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and did you know there is a place right here in our neck of the woods where you can participate? Found at 1525 S. Fletcher Rd. in Ann Arbor is The Community Farm of Ann Arbor. What is CSA?
“Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.” (Taken from localharvest.org)
In their 23rd year (find them at http://www.communityfarmofaa.org/) they remain committed to their mission statement:
"The purpose of the Community Farm of Ann Arbor shall be to support a farm that grows a variety of farm products to be shared by members, using biodynamic farming methods. Biodynamic agricluture was inspired by a series of lectures given by Rudolf Steiner in 1924. A further purpose shall be to demonstrate to the community at large the advantages of socially and environmentally responsible agriculture, and to serve as a living model of a community-supported enterprise."
We hear a lot these days about “environmentally responsible agriculture” and to think that for the past 23 years (way before it was trendy to be “green”) the Community Farm of Ann Arbor has been farming using biodynamic methods.
It may seem odd to purchase all of your fruits and vegetables in one lump sum, AND on a wish and a prayer – by participating in a CSA and purchasing a share of the farm’s yield up front you don’t know exactly what you are getting. However, the Community Farm of Ann Arbor details as best as they can what to expect on their website. In 2011 you were expected to take home as your “share” over 40 different types of produce from beets, carrots and cauliflower all of the way to wildflowers, garlic, leeks and rutabaga! You also may have the opportunity to pick your own crops including parsley, green beans, tomatoes and black raspberries.
In addition to the benefit of purchasing nutritiously rich produce from a sustainable farm – the Community Farm of Ann Arbor goes above and beyond to include its members and their families in all aspects of farming. They offer an annual Easter Egg Hunt, Weed & Sings and Plant Studies.
I have heard a lot of people say that they won’t use a FULL share of all this produce. Right on their website they encourage you to split a share with someone – that way you can also split pick-ups and share recipes developing a great give-and-take for what is in season.
Www.localharvest.org has an entire tab donated to CSA – check it out for all you need to know. At the end of the day this is a personal choice that is more about contributing to the greater good of not only your body, but your community and your family’s health. By purchasing your produce this way you are supporting something much greater and bigger than yourself. Isn’t that what life is all about? Let me know what you think – Allison@allisonmovesyou.com!
Allison Fishwick, Associate Broker
Edward Surovell Realtors