“Not so common sense” for the week of Nov 1, 2013

This week’s segment: A conversation with organic farmer and community-shared agriculture(CSA) producer, Maureen Giffen of Edencrest Farms.
Here is a direct audio link.

“Community-shared agriculture is a locally-based economic model of agriculture and food distribution where subscribers pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated annual harvest from a farm or group of farmers in the form of a weekly box of fresh farm produce.

The origins of the model in North American can be traced to Swiss and German farmers who brought biodynamic farming ideas to the US in the mid-80’s. Since then the model has spread to more than 13,000 CSA farms operating throughout North America bringing fresh, local, usually organic produce to thousands of families from the heart of New York City to Phoenix, Quebec City to Central Ontario.

The prepaid subscription to whatever the harvest year brings in season, offers a unique “shared risk and reward” agreement between farmers and consumers that reduces risks and costs for the producers while allowing them to focus on quality care of the soils, crops, animals and workers. The model also helps to level the playing food in what has otherwise become a massive, industrialized food market favouring large scale, industrialized agriculture ahead of local food and health for consumers and the environment.

My guest today worked for many years in business development for a national phone carrier before leaving the corporate world to found Edencrest Farms a certified organic, CSA partnership.”

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