Community Shared Agriculture
The term ‘community supported agriculture’ was coined
in the late 1980s when the first CSA farm was created in Massachusetts.
Farmers, Robyn Van En and Jan VanderTuin were inspired
by similar arrangements employed by farms in Europe and envisioned
this model as a way for eaters to participate directly in the
growing of their food by making a pre-season commitment to a
particular farm. In exchange for investing in the CSA, each eater
would receive a weekly share of the harvest. Since then, the
CSA idea has been extremely successful and has taken many forms
in North America and around the world.
Prior to the creaton of the first North American CSAs, a similar
model called 'teikei' (meaning food with a face) was initiated
in Japan. In the 1950s and 60s in Japan, agricultural policy
shifted from small-scale, self-reliant farms to increasing industrialization
and reliance on chemical inputs. In the early 1970s, as a reaction
to these trends, Japanese eaters, concerned about food safety
and deterioration of communities, began to organize consumer
co-operatives and sought out farmers to supply them directly
with organic food.
Root Radical CSA was initiated in fall 2006 with our first growing
season in 2007. We grow an assortment of organic vegetables
in our acre and a half garden. From June until October, we supply
produce to approximately 150 households in Kingston and a handful
on Howe Island.
For more information about membership follow this
photo credit: Sara Emery
Participatory food justice: Beyond simply
supporting a local farmer! We believe that farmers and eaters are partners
in building a local, healthy, sustainable food system. The CSA model
is about all of us getting involved in the production of – and
decision making about – our food. If there is a problem with the
way our food is being grown, then eaters and farmers alike must work
together to improve the situation. Through CSA we reclaim control of
the food system and together work towards actualizing our hopes and dreams.
Sane ecology: If we expect to eat well in
the future, we must act appropriately now and care for the land that
feeds us. That means not just eliminating the use of biocides but also
building the soil in the garden and providing sufficient wild spaces
for beneficial organisms.
Away from oil dependence: Energy costs will continue to rise as demand permanently outstrips supply in the future. Meanwhile we can see that fossil fuel use has terrible effects on air quality and climate change. We aim to use as little fossil fuel energy as possible and we invite our members to work with us to develop a long term plan for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Needs based and open accounting: Our share
price is calculated based on a budget that includes all costs of production.
While striving to maintain optimal share value for our members, we hope
to avoid profit maximizing approaches which have invisible
social and environmental costs. The budget and other financial
statements are shared with the members each winter.