Would you rather participate in a nightmare or a vision? The nightmare is here and intensifying: climate chaos. Each person, each family, and each community has to reckon with it some way. Community farms (CSAs) are a clean, intelligent and strategic response.
As daily news reports awaken public awareness of profound changes in our climate, economics as well as in our environmental and social well-being, I’m sounding a call for the establishment of hundreds of thousands more sustainable farms on the model of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
Over the last three decades hundreds of thousands of people in the US and all parts of the world have come to recognize in CSA a vehicle for approaching land, food, labor, environment, and community in a healthier way.
CSA farms amplify food security, and involve diverse communities of people (from neighborhoods, churches and businesses) in sustainable farming activities that increase food security while building healthy soil to trap greenhouse gases.
According to the USDA, as many as 12,000 new CSA farms have been established in the USA since 1986, directly linking people with the farmers who grow their food. Many thousands more CSA farms have taken root internationally.
I’ve been writing about CSA farms since their inception in the USA in the late 1980s. With Trauger Groh, I’m co-author of the first two books on CSA farms (Farms of Tomorrow in 1990, and Farms of Tomorrow Revisited in 1998). I’m also the author of The Call of the Land: An Agrarian Primer, and Awakening Community Intelligence: CSA Farms as 21st Century Cornerstones.
In late 2015 I was honored to be the keynote speaker at the Midwest CSA Conference. Later this year I’ll present a workshop on CSA farms at the upcoming Tierra Viva (Farming the Living Earth) conference of the Biodynamic Association, to be held at the Santa Fe Convention Center, November 16-20, 2016). My intention is to keep sounding the call both near and far.
As I’ve reported, “In an era with increasing shadows of climate, environmental and social complications, it’s time to expand exponentially the CSA vision and reality. The opportunity is before us to establish hundreds of thousands of CSA farms in nations around the world, and to thereby employ a proven, egalitarian model to address the radically changing circumstances in our environment, climate, economics, and social relationships.”