Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) would not be successful without the first ingredient - Community.
When our first CSA year started in 2014 we were just digging our roots into this aspect of making a profit from your farm in order to keep your farm alive. After years of giving our over abundance of vegetables away while we were sending buckets of tomatoes home with friends, neighbors, pretty much anyone who came to our farm, we learned there was a more economical and beneficial way for doing this. After all, no farm can survive without an income just like any other business thriving in 2017!
Community stands for multiple parts. First, our location in southeast Columbus, NE, on the lower half of Platte County, and we love this area and have named our business after the acreage we live and grow on. Our long driveway is the perfect lane connecting our gardens, farm, and Columbus' countryside.
Next we have many farming friends who add to our community of growers such as the farmers we buy feed from for our livestock to those we buy honey from for our shares. We, too, live by the statement "Know your Farmer, Know your Food" in order to get what we need for our farm when we aren't specialized in that area. (Don't get us wrong, we would love to add 1,000's of honey bees to CLG, but we already have really great friends who have devoted their lives and knowledge to raising honey bees already!)
The largest slice of community comes from all of YOU, the amazing friends and families in the Columbus area who financially support our CSA by purchasing 16 week memberships in return for "fresh from the country" shares of veggies, meats, eggs, honey, and much much more! We could not start our 4th CSA Season this spring without all of the awesome support coming from new and returning members. For 16 weeks, Tuesday nights become harvest celebrations as we get to build relationships with members at our farm and in town while they pick out their shares! Lastly, the community continues to grow through our members sharing their joy in CSA. We love hearing new members join our CSA after their great friend or family member told them about us. We could not thank you enough for referring new members our way!
Community means so many different things to us at CLG and it is our hope to continue to build on this first ingredient of CSA. Thank you to our 2017 members who have already signed up for this seasons CSA. You are building our community by investing in local farmers and keeping your family healthy by consuming naturally grown foods. Please help us continue to keep our community safe by knowing your farmers and trusting their products!
Here you will find awesome conversations going on this week from fellow CSA farmers in America. CSA Day is Friday, February 24th. Help us make this year one for the record books. Inform yourself, friends, neighbors, and your family on this healthy movement sweeping across America. Thank you & Enjoy!!
Why You Should Consider Joining a CSA Farm this Season:
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a personal relationship between a farmer and eater. You join the farm as a member and you get a box of food from the farm throughout the growing season. The CSA charter describes this relationship well.
As our culture and economy becomes more homogenized and centralized, CSA is the opposite. It is about a personal relationship between a farmer and the CSA members. It is an intimate connection between local farmland and your dinner table.
You get the freshest possible ingredients from a farmer that you know and the farm gets advance knowledge of demand so he or she can focus on growing healthy food and getting the food to you.
In world of intractable problems - take your pick: political and economic instability, nuclear weapons, global warming, and on and on - joining a CSA is a positive act that you can take today that has profound impacts on your health, your local economy, and the environment.
CSA farmers spend money with other local businesses which circulates money in our local economies. CSA farmers take care of their land. CSA farmers treat their employees well. You know all this because you can go visit your CSA farmer and see for yourself. CSA keeps small scale, local farms in business so they can continue producing food for you.
To be frank, joining a CSA is not the easiest path to eating healthy. You can continue to shop at the grocery store and maybe visit the farmers market a few times throughout the season. However, joining a CSA puts you in partnership with a local farmer. A CSA membership enriches your life with high quality food as you spend your food dollars in a way that you will feel good about.
The investment you make in your CSA farm is modest. The average CSA share costs $25/week during the season, so that is $100/month. That’s probably less than your cable bill and less than your cell phone bill -- for food grown with care in local soil and delivered directly to your neighborhood! There usually is some up-front investment, though most farms will offer payment plans (yes, we do at Country Lane Gardens).
Thank you for supporting local farms and making the commitment to a CSA share. Your support makes all the difference and keeps our farms running.
If there is something that is preventing you from joining your CSA farm, you should let your farmer know so they can improve their program in the future!
Find a CSA farm in our CSA Day Directory at http://csaday.info.
Founder, Small Farm Central
Andrea's letter from Providence Farm and CSA:
Love Note :) & Early Chance to Sign Up For Your 2017 CSA Share.
"Hope that this note finds you well, at peace and enjoying the warmer weather."
I like the sayings: "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" & "Friend a Farmer". Ryan and I feel your friendship. Even if you haven't made it out to the farm itself, but have participated in our CSA through deliveries, we are connected to you and your family in a highly creative and concrete way. I mean, cells in your body were nourished by food from our farm. How cool is that?!
Our relationship is unique to be sure. From our side, we plan, grow and harvest our best for you, write to you, extend invitations to on-farm events, share recipes, photos, concerns, thoughts and happenings... We want you to feel appreciated, included and connected to your food. Over many hours of deliberation a few years back, we distilled our mission statement to this simple sentence, "We are passionate about living soil, thriving plants and healthy people." Instead of focusing on our frustrations: Too many preventable food-related diseases, the plethora of junk food available at every turn, and the sad greed of the chemical food corporations in America... Ryan and I are doing what we can in our little place in the world, to resist this norm. No one would ever peg us as rebels, per say. But we most certainly are, and so are you!
Ryan and I hope that with each delivery, and most every meal... you feel more than the weight of your box and taste more than food. We intend to send you our very best and hope you can sense our intention, prayers and care... and are indeed healthier for it. And I can't tell you how many times we have felt "more than" from you, and from our other members. It's more than an economic transaction. We feel befriended and cared for, shared with and even loved. This is by far, the greatest job we ever hoped to have had. And we're blessed to have people like you appreciate who we are and what we're offering. Thank YOU.
Because of your 2016 membership to our farm, Ryan and I wanted you to be the first to know that we are now accepting registrations for our 2017 Growing Season CSA Shares. I haven't put it on Facebook or at my website just yet, but will be this Friday, on national CSA sign-up day. If you did not already save your spot, now you may simply sign-up by following this link to easily sign-up on line.
Please don't hesitate to ask any questions. We are waiting for enough seed money, literally, to place our many seed orders, so if any member pays in full by February 28th, we are going to give you a beautiful, all natural, spring-green market bag as a hearty thank you.
Providence Farm and CSA in Central Lake, Michigan
CLG Team News
Weekly news posts about our CSA and Greenhouse! Stay tuned for tips, deals, and upcoming events! Sign-up for our 2018 CSA will begin in January. We will have new information and contract forms available then, To view our current CSA information please see the documents below! Thank You -CLG Team