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What I learned about Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA: Feb 15, 2012 Event

February 23, 2012

As a co-coordinator for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) site for Lancaster Farm Fresh (LFF), I attended an event to help individuals decide if being a CSA site host.  The event was at Ultimo Coffee in South Philadelphia – a cute coffee shop that also sells delicious beers!

Three of the farmers, one the president of LFF, the other staff were present, along with myself and Jane, a site host in Germantown.  Here are some fun facts that I learned:

  • The CSA started with a meeting of 9 farmers in a barn and expanded to 20 by the end of the first season.  The current count is at 80 farmers!
  • Eli, from Elm Tree Organics grows his produce on 20 acres, has a green house, AND has a cold cellar.  The cold cellar is a HUGE thing for a farmer – it allows crops to be stored, and for Elm Tree Organics, October through May become their busiest months.  Right now in the greenhouse they have spinach, kale (!!!!) arugula, swiss chard, cucumbers and more!
  • Henry, the president of LFF, runs his family farm, noted that “soil is the life that nourishes the body”, meaning, without nutrient rich, healthy soil, you won’t have nutrient dense foods.   From what I understood, these organic farmers aren’t having the problems that conventional farmers in the area are having because their soil is so healthy.
  • Casey, from Lancaster Farmacy, grows medicinal herbs (yep, they are organic too!), asparagus, flowers and land kelp.   If you are interested in medicinal herbs, the Medicinal Herb Share is a great investment – not only do you get herbs, balms, tinctures and the like, you get beautifully crafted instructions on how to store and use all the items you receive.

Joining a CSA is beneficial in so many ways: the farmer can better plan for the year and make a higher investment in the crops if the produce is already “sold”, you eat with the season and stay connected to a more natural way of eating, your food is more nutrient dense, and you preserve precious farmland – and family farmland at that!

There are a variety of CSAs in the Philadelphia area.  For more information check out Lancaster Farm Fresh (Philadelphia) or Local Harvest (US).

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