The Joys of CSA and Urban Farming

Three of my roommates and I have signed up for a CSA  with the Lancaster Farm Fresh Collective.  Now I know what you’re thinking.  We’re a whole bunch of hippies.  Hear me out though.  Until this spring, I was pretty foreign to the idea, but having learned what it is, the concept of CSA is pretty awesome.

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a system that allows consumers to directly support local farmers.  For an initial investment, customers receive a variety of seasonal products that are most often organic and grown by sustainable methods.

Have you ever thought where the fruits and vegetables in the produce section of grocery stores come from??  Avocados from California.  Bananas from the Caribbean.  Grains and corn from the Midwest.  Tons and tons of these products have to be packaged and shipped by air, sea, and land to get to your grocery store.  Purchasing groceries from Farmers Markets and CSAs is environmentally beneficial in reducing the energy that is necessary to transport food to the consumer. 

You’re probably thinking that transporting food is a necessity. Farms are concentrated in certain areas, and climate requirements must be met for proper growth of certain products.  Trade is a fundamental part of the global economy.  True. I’m not saying everyone should just gnaw on grass clippings from your front lawn as a source of vegetation.  In light of climate change, I just wanted to say that we could improve on cutting down the necessity to transport food.


I think it is a common misunderstanding that farms require acres and acres of open space.  Not true!  Take The Farm at Walker Jones, for example, in Washington, D.C.   On a one acre lot, this plot of land produces flowers and vegetables yearround with the help of community members and volunteers.  They even began maintaining bee hives for honey! It is a prime example of urban farming.

Today, too much energy is wasted in the production of food that the amount going into production outweighs the amount of caloric energy that they provide.  Plus, with the idea of mass production we need to be more concerned with the quality of food that we eat.  No more pink slime or polluting chemicals!

I hope you consider joining a local CSA or supporting the local farmers.  If you’re in the city, find or begin an urban farm!!!  To help convince you in joining the movement for sustainable food production, I will give you a preview of what great food items you could end up receiving!

With the Lancaster Farm Fresh Collective, we get a box of vegetables to share every week for 25 weeks.  This week, the contents include…..   

1 Bunch Asparagus – Certified Organic – Lancaster Farmacy

1 Bunch Baby Hakurei Turnips – Certified Organic – Echo Valley Organics

1 Bunch Green Kale – Certified Organic – Eagle View Acres

1 Bunch French Breakfast Radishes – Certified Organic – Meadow Brook Organics

1 Bunch Red Scallions – Certified Organic – Sweetaire Farm

1 Bunch Curly Parsley – Certified Organic – Noble Herbs

1 Bag Lettuce Mix – Certified Organic – Plum Hill Farm

1 Head Green Leaf Lettuce – Certified Organic – Plum Hill Farm

Pretty awesome stuff.  We’re making dinner with all of the ingredients tomorrow! I’ll let you know what we cook!


Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline!!!

Oil has been a topic in the news for years.  With the nonrenewable resource being monopolized by corporate giants and the procurement dependent on unstable international relations, the pressure to find new and more local sources has been a focus to ensure the operations of our country as developments are made to convert the nation’s reliance to more sustainable and environmentally friendly sources of energy.

The Keystone Pipeline project was originally proposed by the TransCanada Corporation in 2005 with portions of the pipeline approved and constructed in Canada.  Since then, 4 phases of the project have been proposed.  Currently, phase 1 and 2 have already been completed with pipelines running from Alberta through Kansas and Nebraska.  The 3rd and 4th phases (the Keystone XL expansion project)   require 757 miles of  pipeline to be built connecting the portions already constructed from the first two phases – Alberta to Nebraska and Oklahoma to Texas.

Even though Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline on January 18th, groups of senators are trying to resurrect it – disregarding the environmental implications and focusing on supporting the existing oil monopoly. Regardless of your personal political party affiliation, sign the petition to prevent the oil giants from gaining even more power and wealth, encourage our country (and the world) to look beyond oil for energy, and to protect wildlife and the environment.

For more information on this and other environmental issues: