CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
You may have heard of CSAs, but do you know how they really work? This short film created by Lexicon of Sustainability, edited and animated by our very own Pier Giorgio Provenzano, aims to provide an understanding of the term.
WHAT IS CSA?
(taken from the Lexicon of Sustainability’s Food List)
“The idea behind the community supported agriculture model is simple: you get the best food directly from the hard-working people who are harvesting it. Subscribers commit to buy what producers are working hard to provide and, in turn, producers commit to sticking to their principles. What this model has meant to small producers, and what it has done to disrupt our broken food system, goes far beyond this simple agreement. For the producer, the money provided by subscribers at the beginning of the season allows them to focus on growing our food. It allows them to grow slowly, steadily, and with a solid plan. They don’t have to deal with some of the terrifying variables that could provoke reasons to bend their once rigid standards. Distributors, market price fluctuation, and logistics of transporting long distances can be avoided. For subscribers, they can enjoy access to wholesome and delicious food, which is grown and harvested locally. They learn how to eat seasonally, an education that reverberates through all of their other food choices. They learn how to prepare and enjoy food they might never encounter in a big grocery store. Together families are learning to appreciate what it takes to grow and harvest food.”
This all translates to a healthier you, and a healthier planet.
CSA IN THE UK
There are currently around 100 farms operating successfully using this subscription farming model throughout the UK today. We would like to introduce you to a few around the UK starting with Chagfood – a community supported market garden just outside Chagford on the north-east edge of Dartmoor in Devon. One of the first CSA schemes of its kind in Devon.
Chagfood was set up in 2010 to meet demand for local, affordable and ecologically-produced fruit and vegetables. Chagfood is a community supported market garden meaning simply that the community supports them, the growers, to produce their vegetables the way they would like them to be grown, on their doorstep. Their members make an annual subscription to the farm which is paid either annually, or by monthly direct debit and in return receive a weekly share of the harvest from their fields.
As of April 2013 Chagfood supplies 70 households in Chagford and neighbouring parishes with a weekly share what can be harvested from their fields throughout the growing season. All of the vegetables we supply are produced on five acres of organic certified ground at Rushford Mill farm just outside Chagford, they use working horses for the cultivation and tillage of their veg and they’re all about putting the culture back into farming.
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