Exploring the relationship of Ecology & Spirituality
Empowering individuals and faith communities
to live and work in touch with the Earth
EarthLight is a magazine published quarterly by the Unity with Nature Committee
of the Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends [Quakers]
Resources to go with the article CSA: Linking City and Farm
[EL #23, Fall 1996, p 17].
Information on the CSA Program of Marblehead Eco-Farm provided by
Sarah Lincoln-Harrison, Manager.
The Marblehead CSA is part of a larger vision, but it is the seed that has germinated more readily than others broadcast in our community. My husband, Richard and I enrolled in a semester-long course on regional sustainability at the Boston Architecture Center three years ago. We were introduced to the concept of the interrelationships between soil, water, air, energy, housing, transportation, solid waste and population on both a local and global level. Without going into the very interesting history and turn of events that has led us to this point, let me say that the CSA has been the vehicle for moving folks towards wholosome eating and restoration of a real relationship with regional farming. In addition, our CSA membership is becoming more aware of the need to live sustainably. We educate through community education courses and various lectures.
The main goal of the CSA is to provide fresh, orgnic, seasonal produce on a weekly basis to our 130 families. In addition, our members receive a weekly newsletter, often containing articles written by the farmers themselves. Last year we included recipes on a regular basis. This year we are producing an elegant "cooking resource"-- elegant in simplicity and ease of prparation, with background pages describing each vegetable and how to choose, use and store them. This resource is free to members and we plan to publish it in the fall.
We have monthly potlucks during the growing season which are open to the entire Marblehead community, a winter get together at which our three farmers participate in an informational panel, and an annual Harvestfest in November. Trips to the farms and opportunities for work have been built into the program.
The Marblehead Eco-Farm is a charitable corporation formed in 1995 with the goal of promoting "ecological sustainability". David Orr's four characteristics of ecological sustainability are:
First, people are finite and fallible. The human ability to comprehend and manage scal and complexity has limits...
Second, a sustainable world can only be redisigned and rebuilt from the bottom up. Locally self-reliant and self-organized communities are the building blocks for change.
Third, traditional knowledge that co-evolves out of culture and place is a critical asset. It needs to be preserved, restored and used.
Forth, the true nature of evolution is encoded is nature's design. Nature is more than a bank of resources to draw on: it is the best model we have for all design problems we face."
The Eco-Farm has chosen sustainable organic agriculture as the primary means to learn and teach in our community about ecological sustainability.
The Marblehead Eco-Farm community promotes and supports sustainable agriculture through the sponsorship of community supported agriculture (CSA), the development of community garden plots, workshops and lectures on organic gardening, an agriculatural-based enrichment program for students, as well as programs on sustainable living and related topics.
The group seeks to establish a farm stand and a farmer's market as a means of strengthening the relationship between farmer and consumer. The marble-head Eco-Farm will also advocate for sustainable agricultural practices on a regional, state and national level.