This is an opportunity to meet local farmers who are offering Community Supported Agriculture subscriptions (CSA). Subscriptions provide farmers with money to purchase the seed and other materials they need. Our program is scheduled to begin by mid-May. CSA customers will meet their farmer weekly at the University Club parking lot to receive their shares of fresh produce.
The CSA idea originated in Japan and made its way to the United States in the mid-1980s. Since then it has grown in popularity. CSAs are created when a subscriber invests in a farm, small or large, in return for a share of the farm’s produce. Subscribers share the risks and benefits of that year’s crop with the contents of weekly shares dependent on the quality and quantity of the harvest. For many reasons, farmers and subscribers are finding that CSAs are the way to go. The farmer is able to avoid debt with the financial assistance that comes from subscriptions. The subscriber has access to food that is much fresher than food that has been shipped across the country. The local economy benefits because revenue from the transaction stays in the community and is reinvested. Benefits also extend to the ecosystem. Local food saves on fossil fuels and emissions since the produce is never trucked long distances. Often, CSA farmers practice sustainable farming and use few, if any, harmful chemicals.
Louisville’s local food movement has made great strides in the last few years. Our city’s local food economy is strengthening as we see a growing number of farmers markets and local food programs. The CSA will be another opportunity for our campus community to take part in the movement, as well. As requested, many farmers will be offering full and half shares again this year. For your convenience, farmers will bring the baskets to Belknap Campus once a week. Everyone is encouraged to come out and meet the farmers at our 5th Annual CSA Fair on April 15th from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. in the Red Barn. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mitchell Payne, associate vice president for business affairs, 852-5155.