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What Is A CSA And How Do I Join

What is a CSA And How Do I Join?

Image Courtesy of One Straw Farm

What is a CSA?

From the USDA site:
As farming becomes more and more remote from the life of the average person, it becomes less and less able to provide us with clean, healthy, lifegiving food or a clean, healthy, lifegiving environment.  CSA  or Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes the community’s farm.  In return, members receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season.

How do I join?

From the MDA:
The Maryland Department of Agriculture is encouraging citizens to consider joining a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm to support local farmers while receiving delicious, nutritious, fresh produce all summer long. CSA members pay an upfront subscription fee to farmers in return for a share of the season’s harvest, which is usually provided weekly.  For convenience, many CSAs deliver to central locations for pick up closer to subscriber’s home or work on a certain day of the week.

It may seem early, but CSA memberships typically fill up quickly. Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance says,  “This is the time of year to join a CSA and enjoy the fruits of local farms all summer.”

Recommended Baltimore City CSAs
(Click on the farms to get more information)

One Straw Farm (Organic)
Spoutwood Farm

Calvert Farm
Real Food Farm

Don’t live in Baltimore? -For a list of CSAs in your area, CLICK HERE.

Author Of FARM CITY To Speak At Enoch Pratt Library

Author Of Farm City To Speak At Enoch Pratt Library

From Baltimore Green Works:

Novella Carpenter comes to Baltimore, June 9, 2010!

Enoch Pratt Free Library
Main Branch, 7 p.m.

In this utterly enchanting book, food writer Carpenter chronicles with grace and generosity her experiences as an urban farmer. With her boyfriend BillÖs help, her squatter’s vegetable garden in one of the worst parts of the Bay Area evolved into further adventures in bee and poultry keeping in the desire for such staples as home-harvested honey, eggs and home-raised meat. The built-in difficulties also required dealing with the expected noise and mess as well as interference both human and animal. When one turkey survived to see, so to speak, its way to the Thanksgiving table, the success spurred Carpenter to rabbitry and a monthlong plan to eat from her own garden. Consistently drawing on her Idaho ranch roots and determined even in the face of bodily danger, her ambitions led to ownership and care of a brace of pigs straight out of E.B. White. She chronicles the animals’ slaughter with grace and sensitivity, their cooking and consumption with a gastronome’s passion, and elegantly folds in riches like urban farming history. Her way with narrative and details, like the oddly poetic names of chicken and watermelon breeds, gives her memoir an Annie Dillard lyricism, but it’s the juxtaposition of the farming life with inner-city grit that elevates it to the realm of the magical. (June)

This event is presented in partnership by:

Enoch Pratt Free Library and Baltimore Green Works’ Sustainable Speaker Series

A Reason For Pride In Baltimore – Hamilton Crop Circle

Baltimore City Urban Agriculture – Hamilton Crop Circle

Much ado has been made about Hamilton Crop Circle lately and the attention is much deserved.  The Hamilton Crop Circle is a group of local volunteers who have come together to help their community discover the benefits of growing fresh local organic produce.  Play the video above, created by the group, to learn more.

New Food Policy Task Force Promises Healthier Options For Baltimore

Office Of The Mayor
For Immediate Release:

Baltimore City Food Policy Task Force Makes Citywide Recommendations for a Healthier Baltimore

BALTIMORE, MD. (May 11, 2010) – Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake today joined members of the Baltimore City Food Policy Task Force in announcing 10 key recommendations to increase demand for and access to healthy food options in the City. Food insecurity – defined as lack of access to enough food for an active and healthy lifestyle – afflicts nearly 14% of low-income Baltimore families.

Poor diet and obesity are associated with numerous chronic health problems, including cardiovascular disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of mortality in Baltimore City. The mortality rate of heart disease is 30% higher for Baltimore City than among all Maryland residents over the past seven years. The lack of neighborhood markets that sell fresh produce has created large “food deserts” in Baltimore City where residents must travel a mile or more to get fresh groceries.

“With this report, we have a strategy that government agencies, businesses, educators, healthcare providers, and non-profit organizations can use to give all City residents improved access to healthy fruits and vegetables,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “Implementing these recommendations will go a long way toward improving the health and quality of life of City residents.”

Recommendations include promoting and expanding farmers’ markets, community gardens and urban agriculture. The City will also seek to encourage street vending of healthy foods and expand the Health Department’s Virtual Supermarket Project, which helps residents living in food deserts order groceries online at their local library branch. Studies show that a healthy diet significantly reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

While the U.S. boasts one of the most abundant food supplies in the world, disparities in access, affordability and quality have garnered attention by a wide variety of stakeholders in the food system. The formation of the task force came about because of wide support across sectors and interest in creating new opportunities to improve the current food situation.

“Heart disease is Baltimore’s number one killer, and has been for a long time,” explained Interim Health Commissioner Olivia D. Farrow. “Making healthy food accessible in every low-income community is the first step toward lowering the number of deaths in Baltimore from diet-related health problems.”

The Department of Planning announced that Ms. Holly Freishtat will serve as Baltimore City’s new Food Policy Director. Freishtat will be responsible for implementing the recommendations of the Food Policy Task Force.  Her position is funded by the Sustainability Food Fund, which was created by the Baltimore Community Foundation through generous donations from the Abell Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

“Having someone with Holly’s experience in food policy is a unique and major asset for the City of Baltimore,” said Seema Iyer, Chief of Research and Strategic Planning for the Department of Planning.  “We don’t have a ‘Department of Food’, so she will help to institutionalize close collaboration between the Departments of Health and Planning and the Office of Sustainability and really all the stakeholders involved in ensuring access to healthy food for all Baltimoreans.”

The Food Policy Task Force convened in 2009, and is comprised of representatives from a cross-section of city agencies, organizations, businesses, and stakeholders in Baltimore’s food production, distribution, and consumption system.

The full list of Recommendations by the Food Policy Task Force:

  1. Promote and expand farmers’ markets
  2. Promote and expand Community Supported Agriculture
  3. Support continued research on food deserts and collaboration with policymakers
  4. Support a central kitchen model for the Baltimore City Public School System
  5. Support community gardens and urban agriculture
  6. Expand supermarket home delivery system
  7. Improve the food environment around schools and recreation centers
  8. Encourage street vending of healthy foods
  9. Create healthy food zoning requirements or incentives
  10. Develop a targeted marketing campaign to encourage healthy eating among all Baltimoreans

Portable Greenhouses In Baltimore Make News

Hoop Village in Baltimore

The Christian Science Monitor releases article about Hoop Village in Baltimore.

In October Real Food Farm teamed up with the Safe Healing Foundation to build Hoop Village in Clifton Park in Baltimore.  The organizations plan to sell fruits, herbs and vegetables grown in the hoop houses to local institutions and communities in the city.

For a link to the article, CLICK HERE.

Live TEDx Conference From Leading Mid-Atlantic Speakers Streaming Nov. 5th 8:30am

Attend Conference of Leading Thinkers, Online For Free -A True Green Concept.

TEDxTEDx MidAtlantic will bring together the world’s leading thinkers and doers for a series of talks, presentations and performances and present it online FREE November 5, 2009 at 8:30am. What can you expect to see? Speakers at TED events – some of the world’s most fascinating, innovative and influential individuals – are challenged to give “the talk of their life” in 18 minutes or less.

The conference will present a wide range of speakers such as holistic farmer Joel Salatin, featured in the film Food Inc. and Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Anthony Geraci, Director of Food and Nutrition for Baltimore City Public Schools, NPR’s Peabody-Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon, and Aneesh Chopra, the Federal Chief Technology Officer of the United States.

The actual conference will be taking place at Maryland Institute College of Art’s Falvey Hall from 8am – 6:30pm, but don’t plan on attenting the conference in person, it’s full.

For more information, CLICK HERE.


-BUT you can see the recorded presentations
by clicking on the  screen >