In most communities in North America and beyond, you’ll find community supported farms and gardens. Also known as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
Growing in popularity, this concept took root in the 1960’s in Germany, Switzerland and Japan in response to concerns about urbanization and food safety but didn’t move into North America until 1984. In North America, there are about 13,000 such farms, 12,549 of them in the US alone (as of 2007). With our desire to become better connected to the earth, and to our food it is no surprise that getting involved with farming is on the rise. These types of farms are one method of accessing fresh food that offers an interesting alternative to simply shopping for it.
Fall in Love with Fresh Food
If movies like ‘Food Inc.‘ and the Jamie Oliver ‘Food Revolution‘ TV show, champions of the fresh food movement have stirred this is a great way for you to get better acquainted with food. By getting more involved with your local farms, farmers and locally grown produce, you become part of the solution for yourself and others. There is something so empowering, intriguing and romantic about getting this close to our food. Participating in community farming is especially great for so many reasons. Perhaps you live in an urban area and are unable to grow a garden yourself or just want to support the local food growers. Once you taste the incredible flavor of fresh garden food, it will awaken your taste buds like never before.
The Luxury of Great Food at Our Fingertips
Another great benefit is the pathway it provides to bring us closer to the earth and support fresh food growth and distribution in your area. There are farms that allow you to buy in for a year or a season and select a bin of produce weekly and your bounty is either picked up or delivered. Some of the community gardens allow you to select your garden spot and grow what you want and come and tend to it. Participating in community supported agriculture is a great way to be assured of eating what’s in season, actively support farmers and a super way to introduce kids (if you have any) to gardening and to get them to see exactly where food comes from. There are many different varieties indigenous to the area where you live and you get to see this all with your own eyes. There is a great sense if adventure in going to collect your fresh produce, meeting the farmer, smelling the earth and being in the presence of a farm. It is simply good for the soul.