Thursday, February 21, 2008

Putting My Money Where the Flowers Are

I love the idea of Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, where consumers can purchase shares in a farm -- usually a produce farm, although I've heard of the principle applied to dairy farms, apiaries and other agricultural enterprises as well -- and then share in the fortunes/misfortunes of that farm during the growing year. If things go well, the consumer shareholder gets a regular delivery of farm products. If the weather is bad or things otherwise don't go right, the consumer shares the farmer's financial burden.

Well, this concept has finally come close enough to Cold Comfort Cottage for me to sign on.

A few months ago Fellow Traveler and I were in our favorite restaurant, in a nearby university town, when I spied a homemade flier advertising a CSA flower farm; for an annual membership fee, you were entitled to fresh flowers each week of the growing season if there was something in bloom. Cool, I thought. Too bad it's too far away.

Fast forward to January, and I noticed another flier for the same CSA venture. Turns out that the grower lives not too far away from my satellite office, one county over. I'd been pondering some unique gift for FT for Valentine's Day, so I gave the grower a call. She and her husband are a young couple who want very much to transition from hobby farming to full-time specialty farming of flowers and organic vegetables; this is their initial toe-dip into that process. And so I bought in.

FT will now be getting a weekly bouquet or other flower-related product this summer and fall; the grower will deliver to my office, and I'll take our lovely surprise home. Moreover, the grower told me that one of her relatives will be selling the farm's vegetables at the relative's business just down the road from my office each Friday -- kind of a mini farm market in this little village.

This is so cool.

I wish that the impermeable bubble surrounding my own community, against which new ideas inevitably bounce off, would somehow let in the concept of CSA.


Tom in Ontario said...

You've grumbled about your present employment from time to time. Maybe a CSA's the opportunity for a career change.

zorra said...

Congratulations! I predict you're going to love this.

LutheranChik said...

Tom -- hee-hee! FT should tell you about her experiment growing potatoes in Maine one summer.;-)

I don't think I have what it takes to be a farmer myself (despite growing up on a farm), but I'd certainly like to promote alternative agriculture in our state, which needs all the help it can get thinking outside the economic box.

more cows than people said...

wow. this is VERY cool.