Sustainable Living

Healthful living implies sustainable living.  In order for us to be healthy and to sustain our health into the future, we need to cultivate foods in ways that are renewable for the earth, the plants and soil, the animals, and the community.  Community supported agriculture is a sustainable way to grow the healthiest food for humans and the planet, while reinforcing the growers to continue this way of life for the long term.  Farmers markets are another way to support the grower, community, and environment.

Sustainable agriculture is organic AND is sustainable for the long term.  Some of the attributes are:

  • Vine and tree-ripened fruits and vegetables that provide maximum nutrient content (and flavor) and the absence of any artificial “ripeners”
  • Grown with organic fertilizers added back to replenish the soil (for sustainability) and provide the highest nutrient content in the produce
  • Biodynamic farming that uses natural “pest control” by growing plant varieties that attract natural enemies like lady bugs eliminating the need for chemical pesticides
  • Farmers that raise (and partner with other farms to provide) pasture-raised chickens, eggs, raw milk, and other animal products for a broad selection to the customer, optimal nutrient content, and intelligent utilization of land and resources
  • Some (such as Live Power) are even petroleum-free on the farm, employing horses and solar power to run the facility.  Only one local trip is made by truck to drop off the produce to a central drop-off spot.  Minimizing the “10,000 mile salad” phenomenon of the long and multiple transportation trips needed to bring “cheap” produce to our table.

What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?

CSA farms are community-supported farms.  They provide a weekly delivery of organically grown produce directly to consumers during the growing season (often spring through fall, but some are year round).  Consumers pay a subscription or membership fee for the food.  Additionally, CSAs provide more than just food; they offer ways for consumers to become involved in the community (education, environmental, and human) that support the farm.

CSAs vs. “Box Deliveries”

CSAs are different than “box deliveries.” CSAs are typically single farms or a small group of farmers who offer the food grown on their farm. Other types of box deliveries often are a middleman, centralizing food from different farms and delivering it directly to consumers.  Box deliveries often deliver directly to your home and are flexible – you pay and cancel deliveries as needed; where as CSAs are memberships and you typically pay for the full growing season.  CSAs often have more community involvement. CSAs are more direct from the farmer, but boxes are an alternative for those that still want organic produce delivered to their door.

Why CSAs?

CSAs support farmers directly.  There is no middleman.  The price the farmer deserves goes straight to the farmer.  This supports the farmer to make a living through providing the highest quality foods available to the consumer at a cost that is fair to the farmer and consumer.  They also cut out extra time normally required with a middleman, so produce is vine and tree ripened and delivered at the peak of nutritional content. It also helps support the local economy.

For a list of San Francisco bay area CSAs, check out Wise Food Ways

For a list of farms nationwide, try NewFarm.org

Farmers’ Markets

Farmers’ markets are another way to shop locally, support farmers, and eat fresh organic food.  There are many farmers’ markets.  Get familiar with those in your area.  Not all farms at farmers markets are organic – so take notice.  Additionally some are more commercial (and expensive) than others.  Check out several markets and see which offer the selections you desire.

Bay area guide to farmers’ markets

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