TreeHugger has covered community supported agriculture many times; one contracts with a farmer for delivery of a season's worth of food. It is great for the farmer, who gets a secure income; it is great for the customer, who gets fresh, seasonal produce. Susan Saulny writes in the International Herald Tribune about a CSA with a twist: shareholders can come out and work the farm.
Shareholder Steve Trisko helps out at Erehwon Farms near Chicago, and says that without his volunteer labor and agreement to share in the financial risk of raising crops, the small organic farm might not survive. "It's very hard for them to make ends meet," he said, "so I decided to go out and help. We harvest, water, pull weeds, whatever they need doing."
The article concludes:
"From a 'going green' standpoint, it's an appropriate thing to do," said Gerard Brill, a musician who bought a share of Erehwon. "Like everything organic, it's not a bargain, but what price do you put on being healthy? Considering all things, it's actually a very good deal."
The downside for people who are used to grocery shopping comes when they want fresh blueberries in January or, as was the case at Erehwon last week, the tomato plants needed more time in the ground because of a cold spring.
"We eat with the seasons, and there's no guarantee that Mother Nature will cooperate," [farm operator] Propst said. "That's all part of the deal." ::International Herald Tribune
TreeHugger Posts on Community Supported Agriculture
CSA /Organic Guide
Be Wise and Join a CSA
Support from city folk takes root on the farm
Community Supported Agriculture in Downtown Manhattan
The Real Dirt on Farmer John