Just what is a CSA farm? Is there one near you?

from CSA

CSAs, like farmers markets, have been increasing in number dramatically in the last 10 years. Here’s some basic information about CSAs and why they’re a good source of fresh, local produce.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, each CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or “share-holders” of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer’s salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests.
By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing.

Find a CSA Farm Near You Search National farm databases by city, state, or zipcode

Local Harvest – http://www.localharvest.org/csa/
AgMap – http://agmap.psu.edu/
Search the Business category for the term Community Supported Agriculture or use the Advanced Search to find a local CSA.
Wilson College, Robyn Van En Center, CSA Farm Database – http://www2.wilson.edu/CsaSearch/
The Eat Well Guide – http://www.eatwellguide.org/

Local Food Directories. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service. Includes directories of farmers markets, on-farm markets, CSAs, and food hubs.
https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/local-regional/food-directories
Local Food Directories. ATTRA – The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/local_food/search.php

Jim Riddle on the new Organic Farmers Association – the certified organic farmers voice in Washington, D.C.

Although there are hundreds of environmental, agricultural and good-food nonprofits nationwide, Jim Riddle asserts that none represents the voice and influence of the 16,000 certified organic farmers in the US today. In this Deep Roots Radio interview, organic farming pioneer and policy analyst Jim Riddle describes how the Organic Farmers Association, a new member-driven organization, will represent certified organic farmers in the policy and regulation issues debated in Washington, D.C. Jim heads the 18-member steering committee developing the foundational documents and procedures for the Organic Farmers Association.
A certified organic grower, Jim is a former chair of the National Organic Standards Board, was the founding chair of the Organic Inspectors Association, and co-authored their manual. Jim was instrumental in the passage of Minnesota’s landmark organic certification cost-share program, which is now a Farm Bill program.
I hope you enjoy this interview.
Sylvia

Deep Roots Radio, 91.3FM and www.wpcaradio.org

Three Wisconsin women farmers battle to legalize sale of home-baked goods

In this Deep Roots Radio interview, Lisa Kivirist describes the multi-year battle to legalize the sale of home-baked goods in the state Wisconsin. The Badger state has been one of only two in the entire country that has not permitted the sale of home-baked muffins, cookies and breads.
Lisa is one of three women farmers who sued the state in this effort, and recently won a state Judge’s declaration that the ban against the sale of home-baked goods is unconstitutional.Her sister champions in this effort are Dela Ends (Scotch Hill Farm) and Kriss Marion (Circle M Farm and Bed & Breakfast).
Lisa is an assertive champion of women farmers and their ability to build their farm-based businesses. The author of several books on eco-entrepreneurship, she and her husband run the award-winning Inn Serendipity Farm and Bread and Breakfast in southern Wisconsin.
I hope you enjoy this lively interview.
Sylvia

French sourdough boules

Dr. Gail Hanson on antibiotics overuse in industrial ag and the rise of superbugs

The antibiotics given to livestock amount to tons every year. If these drugs were administered to help the animal recover from illness or injury, I could see it. But that’s not the case. In many confined animal feeding operations, antibiotics are mixed with the daily feed in order to prevent illness due to crowded conditions, and to boost animal growth.
What does that mean for us?

Dr. Gail Hansen, a senior officer for Pew’s campaign on human health and industrial farming

Dr. Gail Hansen, a senior officer for Pew’s campaign on human health and industrial farming

This Deep Roots Radio interview with Dr. Gail Hanson, of the PEW Charitable Trusts provides eye-opening information.

Sylvia

The good, the bad, the absolutely ugly, and hope. US Senate Ag Committee approves DARK Act

It was interesting. This morning’s US Senate Ag Committee hearing was carried live on the Internet, and watching it was an education in and of itself. I, along with thousands of others (I hope) looked on as 20 committee members (Senators all) considered a proposal to amend the “Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946” that would establish a national voluntary labeling standard for bioengineered foods.
Transparency – that’s good.
Why the amendment? Because some businesses and elected officials want to make it illegal for any state to require GMO labeling on our food. So much for truth-in-labeling. It’s why this legislation has been dubbed the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right-to-Know Act). That’s bad. Very bad.
Over the course of the hour-long hearing, I heard committee chair Sen. Pat Roberts say that about 625 organizations submitted letters supporting the amendment. No surprise. What he didn’t say is that over 4 million people have signed petitions demanding GMO labeling, and that poll after poll indicate 90% of those asked want GMO labeling.
That’s an absolutely ugly aspect of this issue: 625 organizations/corporations trump over 1.4 million individuals’ signatures. The amendment also seems to step all over state rights.
When Senator Roberts put the amendment to a voice vote, it was approved 14 to 6. Now titled Senate bill S-2609, will go to a vote by the full Senate as the companion to House bill HR-1599 which passed last year.
The fight’s not over. There’s another opportunity to demand transparency in food labeling. That’s hopeful.
Stay alert for next steps.
Sylvia

We have the right to know what's in our food.

We have the right to know what’s in our food.