I feel like I should describe community supported agriculture a little bit more since I’ve not in previous posts. The entire point of community-supported agriculture (CSA) is to get to know your farmer, while getting to truly know your food – where it grows and how it grows. While we shop the supermarkets, up and down the aisles, we don’t have any clue where we are getting our food unless we make a conscious effort. Despite FDA regulations and how they now require an origin for all produce, it doesn’t quite help much because “Grown in Mexico” is a pretty diverse phrase, given Mexico has 31 states.
At Rise-Up, we are countering the norm of buying produce in a conventional supermarket by offering our community an option to support an incredibly local farm – literally in their backyard. We offer full shares and half shares (respectively at $500 and $350), and for those who simply can’t afford we offer work shares. As a work share, if you spend four hours on our farm every week you’re provided with a bountiful harvest of fresh produce, much of which you’ve harvested and learned to grow yourself.
The sustainability system conditions outlined by The Natural Step describe condition two as being “reducing and eventually eliminating concentrations of substances produced by society.” If you truly think about it, it’s hard to live in our current society as not directly contributing to system condition number two. We are constantly in search of new stuff that it’s generally produced by society – from bug sprays to lotions. At the farm, we’re committed to not growing using any sort of man-made chemicals. When I first began my internship I was given a backpack sprayer filled with emulsified fish. Instead of spraying with Monsanto products and other chemicals, we use what the Earth provides naturally. In this case it is emulsified fish concentrate diluted with water. This provides all for the necessary nutrients without the harm on the environment or the burn to the plant.
This picture is of a barrel of what we call “fish” at the farm. Indeed, some stinky, fun stuff to get involved in at the farm.