Yesterday, I attended a wonderful workshop at the Accokeek Foundation titled “Successful CSAs: How to Start and Manage a Community Supported Agriculture Program”. The first thing I noticed at Accokeek was their dedication to sustainability. Below are pictures of their rain barrels and green roof (not so green in the winter).
Not only was the event fantastic and full of great discussion about different approaches for small and mid-size farms managing CSA, but there was a wonderful local lunch provided by Chef Elaine McVinney. Lunch included mesclun salad, butternut squash lasagna, whole wheat rolls and locally made butter, local goat cheeses, apple custard pie, and whole wheat chocolate chip skillet cookies.
What an amazing day! We covered topics as basic as “What is a CSA” to more specific details for farmers (and aspiring farmers) finding land, pricing food shares, and determining what products to grow. I gained some fantastic insight from farmers with 28 year old farms to 2 year old farm. I also learned that no matter how much you want to give people more food, it is important not to overwhelm costumers with too much produce that they will not know how to use.
?I will keep all these lessons in mind for my future farm (you can see me dreaming about it above), as well as for the new Public Health Garden I am working on at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Note: Thanks to Deb at Just Saying for the photos!