Cultivating Community with CSAs
In a recent ESLC workshop on Carbon Sequestration on Delmarva, I was struck by how often food consumption and agricultural production were highlighted as areas where significant reductions in carbon could be achieved…and need to be. The climate threats facing food production systems charged with feeding a growing world population are real – from saltwater intrusion onto farm fields, to both droughts and excessive rainfall, to changing patterns of pests and diseases and more. And yet, the correlation between our diets and the environment make our individual food choices a place where seemingly small changes have the potential to make a big impact.
The first farmers market organization I ever worked for called it “a delicious revolution” which perfectly encapsulates how eating locally benefits both the eater, the farmer and the environment. Farmers Markets and farm stands are great ways to fill up your table with local foods. They are also excellent opportunities to establish a personal connection with the farmers that work long and hard to provide that food. For those that want to strengthen that connection, a subscription to a CSA might be the answer.
The model for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in the U.S. grew out of “Membership Clubs” advocated by Dr. Booker T. Whatley, an author, horticulturist, and professor of agriculture at Tuskegee University (a fascinating and influential man!). Members become stakeholders to a particular farm, growing a connection with their farmer as they share both the risks and the rewards of the season.
“This type of model is foundational to many small- to mid-sized farms, and are only becoming more popular as demand for fresh, local food continues to grow. It has universally prioritized financial security for farmers, robust and healthy soils, and safe, often chemical-free food for community members.”
For those interested in learning what is available in their area, the Local Harvest Directory is a good place to start. But we can make it even easier for you. Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is partnering with Fox Briar Farm as the site for their CSA food box distribution this year. Fox Briar is a small farm operating outside of Easton producing oversize results. Their use of intensive growing methods, specialized equipment and soil science reflects their belief in the power of community scale, regenerative agriculture to benefit the earth and our society. This is a power that we at ESLC also believe it and hope that you do, too.
In 2021 Fox Briar Farm will be partnering with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy in Easton, MD to provide a safe pick up site for CSA shares. Just stop by and Kathleen Moss will give you your bag! Pick ups will be Tuesday afternoons from 4-5:30, May 18 – September 7, with no pick up on August 3. Fox Briar Farm takes that week in August to get caught up on field work and make sure they have their plantings in for the fall.
About the Writer
Carol Bean, Agricultural Specialist
Carol joined ESLC after more than a decade working in the local food movement. She is passionate about how food creates community and believes that supporting working landscapes is one of the best – and most delicious – ways to preserve rural areas. As our agricultural specialist, she works to advance economic opportunities in food and farming-related industries.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org • (410) 690-4603 x162