Community Supported Agriculture as a Change Agent

Tammy:

Think Community Supported Agriculture is just about getting healthy organic food on your dinner table? Think again. As this wonderfully informative post from GoodGreekStuff indicates, food is political. What we eat is reflective of our social, health and environmental choices. In the Gine Agrotis platform, CSAs are seen as one method of creating stability under austere conditions.

Originally posted on Good Greek Stuff:

As Greeks struggle to adapt to a protracted period of harsh austerity, new initiatives have emerged that break with existing economic and social practices and offer new models of organizing the way we provide for and take care of our selves. One of the most interesting of these initiatives comes from the tradition of community-shared agriculture (CSA), in which individuals pre-book a share of the weekly harvest of small farmers. Although CSA’s have existed in Japan, North America and Western Europe for decades, Gine Agrotis (Become a Farmer!), which began operating in Greece in March 2012,  is something  new for Greece.

Home page of the (Gine Agrotis) “Become a Farmer” website

The idea behind Gine Agrotis is relatively simple. Register with the platform and book a field on one of the certified organic farms that belong to the service’s network. You decide how much land to reserve; there are two-…

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33 Comments

  1. I don’t think most people understand that when it comes to the food supply, we really need to start thinking more like investors and less like shareholders.

    Next year, post-drought prices will really separate the talkers from the walkers… fortunately, I expect commodity food prices to be hit harder than small diversified farms.

    I sure hope I’m right : )

    Reply
  2. I fear that in Australia food prices (that are already ridiculously high and increasing by the day) will escalate dramatically because the Government is allowing foreigners to buy up our food belt and mine it. Once the land is mined it’s good for nothing and then where can food be grown? It’s quite a concern xx

    Reply
  3. Tammy ~

    I think you would be interested in this website:
    http://transitionsarasota.org/

    They are doing some wonderful things ~ gleaning fields for the food bank, promoting “Eat Local,” a Common Wealth Time Bank, etc.

    Reply
  4. I am amazed at how many people don’t know what CSA is. I was picking up my CSA box at our local farmer’s market last Saturday and was talking with a woman about my age who was admiring the varieties of tomatoes on display. The conversation turned to the contents of my box and she thought it was a cause could donate to. I set her straight. Thanks for bringing this subject to light on your wonderful blog.

    Reply
    • It really is a better way. At my son’s school, they now do it as a fund raiser. You can pick up at the school with a premium tacked on that goes to the school.

      Reply
  5. This is exciting, Tammy. I’m so thankful to have met you through blogging and to get a chance to learn about CSA. Go Greek farmers too!

    Reply
  6. That is a good article, Tammy. Not sure if there’s something similar to CSA over here, but will have to Google it now :)

    Reply
  7. Jane Ward

     /  September 27, 2012

    Thanks for always being on the lookout for interesting, thought-provoking ideas from all across the world. I agree with Jackie, above, that the post-drought market will bear watching, and I hope it may invite real change. Large scale agriculture may have once filled a great need, but perhaps things are too large now and our needs have changed. I like the idea of exploring the economic benefits of localized farming.

    Reply
    • Me too Jane. I saw this almost in line with a victory garden. A way to secure the food supply and feed people and bring economic change.

      Reply
  8. Very interesting; thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  9. Lisa H

     /  September 27, 2012

    CSA’s are wonderful, so we need to keep informing the public of this great way of eating well while also being extremely affordable. I know that my farmer accepts food stamps, so it is just another step to get those in need to eat healthier.
    Here in the US, our farm bill of 2008 is set to expire at the end of the month. Although it would help small farmers, it has further restrictions on food stamp eligibility. How sad that we are unable to balance helping smaller farms while also assisting those who could most benefit from a healthy food source.

    Reply
    • Yes, I’ve always loved that the farmers’ markets here take food stamps. It is so empowering to be able to offer good local food to those in need. I didn’t remember that the new bill was written with restrictions in this area.

      Reply
  10. Such a great read… I always wanted to be a farmer. or a farm girl atleast… this city living and mall-vegetables are doing no one any good. Plus I always see a major difference in pricing between veggies sold on streets and veggies on shopping malls, needless mentioning that the ones sold on streets are way fresh than those in malls.
    To add, In India, prices have soared lately to an unimaginable high. I mean one broccoli for 80 rupees??? Farming is probably the only way.

    Reply
  11. harsh times can inspire creative solutions, the up side of adversity. it is compelling to read the comments from your readers around the world, Tammy, and take note of the soaring food prices they are experiencing. grow local, support local seems to be the way.

    Reply
  12. I always remember the American Cheese Society speaker who put up the slide that said (as I remember it), “It’s about values, stupid” That was an eye opener for me and I realized how values (making good food available to everyone, the environment, etc) play into decisions that I used to think were only economically or health based.

    Reply
  13. Heading over there now. Thank you for sharing, Tammy!

    Reply
  14. This looks really interesting, Tammy! I love what Inger says, too, about values playing into political decisions. The Greek scheme is a perfect example of this.

    Reply
    • I really like this Greek article and support what this blogger is trying to do – get the word out about the good things that are happening in Greece!

      Reply
  15. Modern agribusiness and food distribution is highly fossil-fuel dependent, water intensive, and highly polluting. This post reminded me of the Victory Garden movement around World War Two. A similar movement is called for again as we transition to post-growth economies, energy descent, and climate change, all of which are already beginning to negatively impact modern agribusiness. Organic food gardening at home instead of wasteful grass yards is an excellent example of being the change we wish to see in others.

    Reply
  16. Tammy ~ This will interest you . . . just in time for Food Day on October 24th:

    http://foodmyths.org/organizers/

    Reply
  17. Thanks for writing about this. While CSAs are growing in popularity, many still don’t know what CSA stands for, and I find myself regularly explaining this model to curious buyers. Also, while the CSA model works for the middle-upper class population, fresh vegetables and quality food is still largely unattainable for much of lower income population, the exact group that is routinely at risk for health related diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc. We have to continue to explore alternative models like this that once again make quality food affordable and available more widely. This does so much more than just nourish people. It reconnects people to where their food comes from, and creates a stronger local economy by giving local growers a market/venue for their products. All together, these elements will help rebuild our communities.

    Reply

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