A Fresh and Local CSA

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Agricultural Sanity & Food Security

By: Nick Arturi    (Feb 15, 2011)

It is apparent from the few negative comments that not everyone who joins Fresh and Local actually has a clear understanding of the nature of Community Supported Agriculture. Buying a share in a CSA means more than sharing in the bounty. it also implies shared commitment, and shared risk.

Anyone who doubts that the last few growing seasons have represented an unusual challenge for farmers in the eastern USA just wasn't paying attention. From cold, wet springs to prolonged summer droughts, to the regional appearance of novel fungal diseases and peculiar insect infestations (i.e., stinkbugs), the farmers haven't caught many breaks.

(From Penn State: "The brown marmorated stink bug, an insect not previously seen on our continent, was apparently accidentally introduced into eastern Pennsylvania near Allentown in 1998.")

Perhaps in the past this combination of challenges would have been enough to finish-off many of the thousands of small, dedicated organic farmers who remain afloat because of the CSA model. Buying a share in a CSA does more than provide artisan-quality fresh organic food for your table; it is a vote for agricultural sanity, and food security.

Even when a local, organic CSA experiences a crop failure, it is certain that the national supermarket chain can still guarantee to provide what it always provides; stale, nutritionally-bankrupt, pesticide laden, flavorless produce, indifferently grown with chemical stimulants, picked and packed by exploited labor, and shipped-in from distant, anonymous, factory-farms.

I'll stick with Allan and Maura.

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