WHY JOIN A CSA?
There are many reasons consumers join CSAs. One reason is that the consumer is able to get produce that has not been shipped. The produce is grown locally, reducing the price and damage of shipping. Since the produce is grown locally, the money paid for the produce is invested in locally owned and operated farms. Another reason to join a CSA is that a consumer is able to get items that are typically unavailable in the supermarket.
Consumers join CSAs like Friendship Farms & Fare support local farmers, have access to fresh, high quality produce, access to organic or pesticide-free produce, and/or increase participation in community and environmental awareness. Not only can a CSA decrease costs for its members, it also gives consumers an inside view as to what the process of growing food really involves.
Quoted from: Why do Consumers Join CSAs?
in “What is Community Supported Agriculture” by M.E. Swisher, Rose Koenig, Jennifer Gove and James Sterns
The Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association also offers a fine brief overview of CSAs, their values and virtues.
Friendship Farms & Fare (FFF), a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, was prompted by Dell's discovery of organic bell peppers from California, wrapped in plastic shrink-wrap, for sale at a local grocery chain store for $3.49 each. It occurred to him that the organic bell peppers in his garden could be made available to anyone who was interested for considerably less than $3.49.
Getting them locally would not only save money, it would also eliminate plastic shrink-wrapping, bulk packing materials, shipping boxes, bar coding, and transcontinental transportation.The project is a variation on the classical Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, first introduced in the USA in 1986. Like most CSAs, FFF is based on a share system, in which shares in an agricultural venture are offered to supporters for a set fee. The shareholders support the farmer(s) in the CSA, with each share entitling the supporter to an equal portion of the venture’s production, however small or large the production may be.
HELPING OUT IN THE GARDEN
FFF Gardens and Groves is located in a certified National Wildlife “backyard habitat,” and an officially recognized “Florida Friendly Yard” (as certified by the University of Florida Extension Service and Institute of Food and Agricultural Services). Developed from Fall 2010 though Summer 2011, and initiated in the Fall of 2011.
FFF is a no-waste, no-kill, project. Our produce is grown using organic, permaculture methods. We start our plants from our own seeds (saved from previous seasons) or certified organic seed from organizations committed to sustainable agriculture (and whenever possible heirloom seeds).
We use traditional methods of soil enrichment and plant empowerment (composting and vermiposting), and we use only rainwater or well water. We never use GMO products, pesticides, or synthetic additives, commercially manufactured fertilizer, or growth hormones.
All products are locally grown and crafted, unless unavailable locally (e.g. cowpots and solar head-lamps); all food items are produced using organic and humane husbandry methods.
FFF Gardens & Groves is home to bees, bats, birds, frogs, toads, and a vast array of insects – a teeming diversity of life that appears quite naturally when given a safe and supportive environment. We welcome these companions to this oasis of life where we are fortunate to produce food for members of our human family who have lately joined these older residents of the planet.
At present, the FFF Gardens and Groves space is about a quarter acre spread over two small gardens (about 3000 sq. feet for one and about 8,000 sq. feet for the other). Complementing the gardens is a developing “food forest” (the groves in our title). The larger plot is also a community garden, with growing space available for folks living in or near New Port Richey. This CSA is “Farmer-based,” meaning shareholders pay the farmer in advance of the planting; assuring shareholders an equal share of the harvest, and an equal share in the risks of the venture.
Shareholders have no other responsibilities to the farmer or the farm, although shareholders will receive invitations to participate in workdays on the farm – usually once or twice a season. There is no obligation to participate in the workdays.
If you would like to assist with planting, garden and grove preparation, and seeding, please contact us.