This growing season will mark the third year I’ve supported local agriculture through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). For those unfamiliar with this program, you get a share of a farm’s crops by either paying for it or working the land. As my family continued to grow and my free time continued to diminish, I opted for the farmer for two reasons 1) convenience and 2) healthy selection of food for my family.
The farmers package up your goods in a box and deliver it to a host house for you to pick up. The box of produce doesn’t meet all our needs, so a trip to the grocery store is still necessary, but it has definitely narrowed my grocery list and limited the amount of time I spend there.
However, having just signed up for this year’s CSA and participated in conversations about the need to feed a rapidly growing population, it got me thinking about the methods that exist and are needed to ensure people have access to the food they need. One being local fruits and veggies through CSA programs and farmers markets, but as mentioned, that’s only a part of it. Take Michael Fields Agricultural Institute for instance—they have a stellar mission committed to sustainable agriculture and educational programs and systems in place to encourage support and spread the word.
And in a recent Farm Industry News article about feeding the population, the author mentions innovation and research methods aimed at addressing global food insecurity. Which leads me back to wondering how the industry as a whole—small acreage family farmers, large acreage family farms, commercial farms, etc.—can work seamlessly together to develop new techniques, products or services to meet the needs of all individuals. To me it doesn’t seem to be about one way or the other, but more about a collective idea behind how everyone can have access to good food.
Obviously we all need to eat, so are there opportunities for us to be innovative and collaborate to make sure everyone does?