6.08.2010

10 Minutes - Community Supported Agriculture or Community Shared Agriculture

Hi. It's Joe.

Today was my first day working on the community supported agriculture (CSA) farm near my house, called WHOLESOME HARVEST. Basically, for 2.5 hours of work on the farm per week, I get a free 1/2 share of produce from the farm weekly for FREE all summer. Well, it's not really free because I have to work for it. But it can hardly be called work. It is super fun. Also hard. But it's a satisfying kind of hard. Unlike working for THE MAN, you actually see some useful end product of your labors, and everything you do has a purpose. God, I really hate THE MAN. If THE MAN was a real man, I would kick his ass.

So anyway, I bought and paid for a 1/2 share in this CSA last year, but I joined too late to get in on a worker's share. My health insurance provider did, however, give me a no questions asked $100 rebate for joining the CSA. It's considered preventive medicine, because they assume you will be eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. And you will.

When I got the worker share this year, I wasn't sure if I would get the health insurance rebate because I would be working for my produce. But sure enough, they gave me $100 anyway. It's kind of like a health and wellness subsidy I guess. They should give me more than $100 for a worker's share, I think, because in addition to eating healthy I am also doing a lot of exercise on the farm. But I had better not push my luck.

I want to refer to myself as a "share cropper," because I bought a share of the crops being grown by the farm, but I think that term means something slightly different than buying a share in a CSA. But maybe it is not as different as I think.

Anyway, I will have no shortage of vegetables and produce this summer, for the cost of a long workout. I am surprised more people don't do this. I guess a lot of them are old, lazy, and fat. But one of the women working at the CSA this morning had arthritis and she was still cranking away. So there really can't be any good excuses for the generally non-handicapped.

Community Shared Agriculture, as I like to call it, brings people in touch with the origins of the food on their table. They can respect it more. And because it is locally grown, the ecological impact of our daily diet is reduced substantially.

I kind of think community supported agriculture could go a long way towards saving the world. I don't really see a down side. This morning it was rainy and the farm was really muddy, but even so it was thrilling to do work. The food doesn't have very far to travel to reach the CSA customers, unlike commercial food at the grocery store that comes from all over the world and uses a lot of fossil fuels to transport it. Plus, CSA food is literally "farm fresh" and lasts a lot longer than even organic grocery store food, because of the long time periods needed for transportation of the latter.

One could even say that NOT buying food locally contributes to Middle East terrorism, because it fuels (pun intended) our addiction for oil from overseas. If everyone joined a CSA, I wonder how much impact that would have on fossil fuel gluttony in America. I can only speculate, but my time is up.

Time.

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