Community Shared Agriculture
What is Community Shared/Supported Agriculture?
A CSA is pretty much what is sounds like, it is a community coming together to share the responsibility of growing food for the benefit of a community. At the end of the growing season, the harvested food is then distributed among the community.
How does it work?
They work in Several Ways. It depends on the community they are in as to how this happens. Some choose to sell the food to the community without regard to who put what amount of work, or resources, into the producing the food. The funds are then used towards the next gardening cycle. This model works for urban communities where fresh, naturally grown, and affordable food is often difficult to come by. These particular CSA's are also a great teaching source for the urban environment for youth centers that would not otherwise be able to teach children, hands on, about the life cycle of growing foods. Other communities that are suburban or semi-rural will us a point system for those who contribute to the garden, either financially or with sweat equity, that are then paid in produce at harvest time. The third option, allows for those who may not be able to assist with growing, are limited to contributing hard resources (collecting seeds or canning supplies), or have knowledge in preservation and can literally can, preserve, jam, or pickle the harvest so that is will last everyone til the end of the next growing season and earn their own points towards the final harvest bounty. The community collectively determines the point value for contributions and then divides the total harvest: fresh plus preserves equally among all who contribute.
What needs to be done to get our CSA started?
This year? More than we anticipated. As with the first year of anything, there is always more to do than hands to do it. We are opting for natural growing methods only. This means heirloom seeds, or naturally collected seeds from produce we have eaten at home. We currently have a sizeable cache of these. No chemicals for pest control or fertilizers (this is a conscious decision after discovering a majority of them contain capsicum or capsaicin in them which causes an anaphylactic reaction in one of our household members), along with a rising concern over GMO's and other harmful chemicals in growing children - which we currently have three of.
The major thing we need? More people to help. Right now it is just us, a community of a couple of families, with some land, So this is truly what we have so far in our plan...
We then need assistance with maintaining, building greenhouses for winter gardening, harvesting, preserving, and of course sharing nature's bounty! We are opting for the shared point system, where every type of contribution earns points towards the final harvest. This growing season will begin the first of September and go until the season of giving thanks... that would be Thanksgiving. The building of the greenhouses will earn points towards the winter harvest that will start planting December first. Any fruiting trees planted, or other long-term items planted will be a community decision on how the points will be redeemed. (Guilds of Requiem does honor the "barter system")
Wow! Where are you located because I would like to join in?
We are a short drive west of San Antonio, Texas, in a little township called Pipe Creek. If you would like more information, please email us at RequimeRanch@Gmail.com. This is our first year, so we are learning and we will be posting updates on our Facebook page, so be sure to like our page there. We also hope to start doing Youtube videos as well to blog about our experiences so others who want to start their owns CSA can learn from us, our trials and successes, before beginning their own CSA journey.
We have a stack of these!
And know where to find so many more of these for FREE!!! We just need a few more hands, maybe another truck or two, so there are fewer trips