Feeding the Urban Hermit – and The Community

This morning I listened to a fascinating program on ABC radio about Joel Salatin, America’s most recognisable sustainable farmer.

“He’s also a proselytiser, calling for a radical change in the way food lands on our tables. A former journalist, he has written many books about his farming methods which integrates modern technology with what he calls a gentle, non-invasive strategic disturbance of nature.

Joel Salatin says we in the developed world have lost touch with our direct visceral relationship with food and is building what he describes as home-centric food industry, locally produced and sold direct to consumers. He says it can even work in the suburbs.”

His references to Community Supported Agriculture led to me explore further.
csa 1
“Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) links consumers with a local grower. It is not a home delivery service. CSAs spread the risks inherent to any farming enterprise over a larger group of supportive people. Rather than a difficult year being potentially disastrous to the business, Sharers help make small-scale, local farming a sustainable option. We do not guarantee amounts of produce for each week. You are going to get a wide variety of tasty, fresh produce delivered to designated drop off sites. Anticipating variety and change in each week’s harvest is the key to enjoying your Share: we recommend you do not expect a certain amount of produce. You will have to supplement your weekly Share with produce we don’t have available that week, particularly in June and early July: this is, after all, Alberta, and it takes at least eight weeks for the garden to really take off.”
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Alberta: http://www.csaalberta.com/
csa 2
“My purpose in starting On Borrowed Ground was to address these issues. As more people reduce their grass by installing edible landscaping and vegetable gardens, we will decrease the quantity of food imported, and the resources wasted on something that is only for show. You harvest when you are ready to eat, and garden refuse goes into an on-site compost bin for recycling back into the soil where it was grown.

We have a wealth of agricultural land right under our feet, and as you drive through the city, note the acres of arable land covered by Kentucky Blue Grass.

Food grown without the use of ‘cides contributes to a healthier population, and members will be educated about the importance of eating clean. By using intensive, soil-building strategies, we will address the upcoming “Peak Top Soil” problem. By educating members in proper growing techniques, they develop the confidence necessary to build their own gardens.
csa 3
Rather than sell my house, buy a farm, and set up a regular CSA, I have opted to stay in the city, where we can begin the process of reclaiming the agricultural lands that have been taken over by urban sprawl. Gardens are borrowed that would not otherwise be used. Yards are developed using Permaculture philosophies.”

See also http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/04/22/local-food-activists-encourage-eating-for-the-planet-and-its-people/


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