Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Community Supported Agriculture

In 1997 a remarkable book was published by the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association in the US, called Farms of Tomorrow Revisited, co-authored by Trauger Groh and Steven McFadden. Trauger Groh is an agricultural pioneer who spearheaded the extraordinarily successful CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) movement of the mid-1980's.

Here are a few quotes:

'The financial and agricultural practices of recent decades have made it increasingly difficult for existing models of agriculture to prosper. In America, the family farm has fallen victim to a relentless marketplace; meanwhile, corporate farms have tended to place short-term economic advantage over our relationship with each other and the earth.'

'What do we want to achieve with nutrition besides keeping up our bodily functions? How can our diet support not only our physical health but also the development of our spiritual faculties so that they function in the best way? The point that men and women live longer today than in the past is a poor argument for the quality of our food if we do not pose questions about the conditions of our lives.'

'Nearly all manipulations with food--additives, radiation, and conservation methods--serve not the purpose of quality, but rather the purpose of distribution over long distances, shelf-life, and a pleasing appearance. Contrary to what might be right for many industrial products, the production, processing, distribution, and consumption of food favors quality when it is done locally.'

'We cannot move back to a rural society. We have to create a new relationship between the citizens and 'their' farmland that will make the benefits of farm experience available for anyone who seeks education, recreation, or therapy.'

The book goes on to describe steps for beginning with the CSA model.

We are fortunate to have Trauger Groh visiting us here in Dingle this June.

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