Thursday, August 26, 2010

Community Supported Agricultrue

I recently finished a book titled Seasons on Henry's Farm by Terra Brockman and it was lovely. Brockman lives on her brother, Henry's, farm where she and other family members work diligently to provide fresh, organically grown produce to a farmer's market and CSA in Illinois. The CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, program involves local residents purchasing a share of the farm: they make an investment up front and then receive weekly shares of the farm's harvest. By investing in the CSA, residents invest in a sustainable farm and express their commitment to local foods for the sake of our environment and our taste buds.

Reading about the difficult work Brockman and her tight-knit family do every day to keep up with the harvest and farm chores coupled with the long dawn til dusk (and sometimes much later) days gave me a new respect for local farms. The work sounds almost brutal at times, but Brockman and her family approach their chores with an enlightened sense of purpose. Her prose is elegant and graceful as she describes a full year, week-by-week, of life on the farm, while revealing a rich history of family farmers and an intense appreciation for and celebration of the natural world. Farming is truly a labor of love for Brokman and her family making it a beautiful thing to read about it.

There are a number of CSAs serving the Austin area that anyone can join - a few, in fact, are taking new members right now:

A farm in Seguin. This one delivers to Austin locations as well as surrounding towns like Round Rock and Georgetown.

Green Gate Farms
Located in East Austin and currently taking new CSA members for the Fall.

Johnson's Backyard Garden
Located in East Austin, this one is currently accepting new CSA members and has a very large number of pickup locations and days/times.

Scott Arbor
Located in Seguin.

Urban Patchwork Neighborhood Farms
A community organization of small farms in Austin providing a CSA that is currently accepting members for the fall.

If you're interested in CSAs and farming, you might be interested in these books:

Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty

Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat

Growing Good Things to Eat in Texas: Profiles of Organic Farmers and Ranchers Across the State

Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen's Guide to Community Supported Agriculture

The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have volunteered at Johnson's a couple of times and just finished Micheal Pollan's book In Defense of Food three days ago. I had never heard of these other books. Thanks!