We had our first meeting of the Sackville Food Co-op last night, with about 25 people in attendance and several more stating their interest. A couple of local farmers were there too, and it seems that we will get the operation going within the next month. We’ll have a website up soon and I’ll post the link here.
My own interest in the co-op is to develop our local agricultural sector. Getting good food right now is a secondary issue. A term that I heard for the first time last night was community supported agriculture (CSA), what I believe is the essential component of this endeavour:
In basic terms, CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or “share-holders” of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer’s salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing.
I’m sure that the co-op will be an active member of our Commons, once it’s built.