Ingredients of Transition: Community Supported Farms, Bakeries and Breweries

By Rob Hopkins
Transition Culture

Connections have largely broken down between farmers and the communities that, historically, they would have sustained.  This enables communities to feel that there is no apparent connection between themselves and the land around them.  Farmers are left feeling isolated, irrelevant, and end up increasingly producing for distant anonymous consumers, in a model that increases oil dependency, carbon emissions and lowers the quality of food. But community supported agriculture (and bakeries) lead the way toward wholesome, sustainable food sources, writes Rob Hopkins.

Getting LOCAL FOOD INITIATIVES (3.10) and some of the PRACTICAL MANIFESTATIONS (3.9) that your initiative wants to do off the ground can be tricky without financial support, and without a clear commitment of support on behalf of the community.  Innovative models for FINANCING YOUR WORK (3.3) and weaving in an element of SOCIAL ENTERPRISE/ ENTREPRENEURSHIP (5.2) can make a big difference to projects getting off the ground and being viable. (We are collecting and discussing these Transition ingredients on Transition Network’s website to keep all comments in one place. Please leave feedback and comments, suggestions for alternative pictures, anecdotes, stories and projects for this ingredient here).

The Challenge

Connections have largely broken down between farmers and the communities that, historically, they would have sustained.  This enables communities to feel that there is no apparent connection between themselves and the land around them.  Farmers are left feeling isolated, irrelevant, and end up increasingly producing for distant anonymous consumers, in a model that increases oil dependency, carbon emissions and lowers the quality of food.

Core Text

The concept of Community Supported Agriculture emerged in the US in the 1980s, and more recently has begun to be picked up in the UK, where there are now over 100 such schemes.  In essence, they are farms where members of the local community become involved in the running of the farm through buying shares or becoming members, making decisions and even helping out with the growing and harvesting of the food they eat.  For farmers it is a great model because it ensures a secure market for what they produce, and also allows them to feel a sense of being supported by those around them.  For the consumer it provides access to food, the opportunity to learn new growing skills, and the opportunity to have a say in where your food comes from.  It is also an excellent and key tool in building local food resilience.

According to Tamzin Pinkerton in ‘Local Food: how to make it happen in your community’, there are 4 key principles to community supported agriculture.

Read full post at Transition Culture

4 responses to “Ingredients of Transition: Community Supported Farms, Bakeries and Breweries

  1. Fabulous article. I’ve heard of the CSA concept extended to yarn and wool but not breweries and bakeries. Why not? Once again, I commend you for raising awareness. I’m deeply interested in this topic and think you’ve provided some great links. Thank you.

    • thx, Tammy ~ it seems with the Food Patriot Act, we’re going to have to emulate this economic model if we want freedom from government interference in our natural earth born right to eat of the earth those foods that are unadulterated, like what we find in the factory food system that Obama is promoting.

  2. My husband and I have started a Community Supported Bakery in Albany, NY! Our inaugural season runs from Nov to April, we’ve been going strong with 45 member families for 9 weeks now. We use locally-milled organic flours (and NY grown wheat when we can get it), and other primarily local, organic (or organic-practices) ingredients. Learn more about us at http://www.allgoodbakers.blogspot.com or http://www.allgoodbakers.weebly.com

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