Local Farming: Should It Be Supported By Food Retailers?
By Joan Tobin
This week, I spent a couple of hours working at my CSA farm. I harvested two rows of fingerling potatoes before the thunderstorms set in and I was shooed out of the field by the farmer, Mary LaFrance. I am a member of Lakeplain Prairie Organic Farm; the only certified organic CSA in Wayne County, Michigan. For those of you who aren?™t familiar with CSA farms, they offer a subscription based service for fresh, good tasting, local and organic food. Subscribers to this service pay a seasonal fee and agree to work a specified number of hours over the course of the growing season.
As a CSA member you develop a relationship with a local farmer, receive a weekly share of fresh-picked great tasting local food, and cultivate friendships in your local community. You also develop a strong sense of satisfaction that you know where your food was grown, when it was harvested and the distance it traveled to your plate.
At first glance, you may think food retailers are in direct conflict with CSA Farms. Admittedly, if I am getting all my fruits, vegetables and flowers from my CSA membership I am no longer buying them from my local grocer. If that?™s the case, why would my local grocer want to promote community supported agriculture? If you subscribe to the theory of economic abundance, there are enough resources for everyone. With a bit of cooperative support and some creative marketing, food retailers and CSA Farms can foster economic abundance in your local community.
Cross Marketing with your local CSA