The Ananda Community CSA
This year, with the encouragement of friends from Ananda Village, we have started a CSA at the Ananda Community in Lynnwood. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an increasingly popular method for people to support organic local farmers by paying a lump sum up front for a weekly box of vegetables throughout the growing season. Thus the farmer does not need to speculate or spend time seeking markets.
Our community does not have a farm or a farmer, exactly, but this system works well for us because we have many people who want to support the garden but cannot give much time. And we have a talented gardener, Rick Johnston, who is thus able to be reimbursed for putting in more time to tend the garden. We have doubled our community garden space, added a hoop house, a seed-starting room, and a drip irrigation system, all funded by CSA income.
The most exciting aspect of the CSA are harvest days, every Saturday morning. Most CSA members have agreed to be on a harvesting team about every 5 or 6 weeks. After starting with a prayer at 9 a.m., Rick gives an instructional tour to the team, who then begin the week’s harvest. The produce is gathered, cleaned, and distributed into 20 boxes (there are 20 subscribers this year).
By noon, people begin arriving to pick up their individual boxes, containing prana-filled vegetables that are about as fresh as you can get. The harvest crew has the satisfaction of working with the plants, gathering food, and playing the vital harvesting role that was often missing in earlier years, when produce stayed in the garden unpicked.
Among the many benefits to a community CSA is that people get very fresh, nutritious organic food, without packaging or transportation. They have a direct experience of where the food comes from. Most of all, everyone feels more connected to the source of their food, to the plants, to the land, and to the Cosmic Source of all life. It is truly a co-operative endeavor, in which everybody benefits.