fall fall spring summer

  Community Farming- then and now

Harvest links  


A recent survey showed up in our “inbox” asking about the future of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Not surprisingly this topic became fodder for discussion while picking cucumbers, zucchini and beans this morning.

First, a little history. Community Supported Agriculture is a concept that was brought to the United States from Europe in the mid-1980’s. Two farms, Indian Line Farm in Massachusetts, and Temple-Wilton Community Farm in New Hampshire had their beginnings simultaneously and independently in 1986. Trauger Groh, one of the founders of Temple-Wilton Farm came to the Twin Cities in the winter of 1991/1992 and, along with the folks at Philadelphia Community Farm and Common Harvest Farm, inspired the beginnings of Spring Hill. Groh spoke of the underlying philosophy of CSA highlighting cooperation between growers and consumers. He talked of an “associative economy” that would be guided by concerns around the stewardship of the land, the needs of those working the land as well as the community that relies on its production and pledges to support it. It was a vision that captured our imagination then and still does today.

Spring Hill had the good fortune of having a strong core group of community minded folks right from the beginning and this group worked hard to balance care of the land with financial stability and the needs of the community. Spring Hill still has a strong core group and those are the things we continue to try to balance. We believe there can be a strong future for CSA.

Steven McFaddden is a journalist who has followed and written about the CSA movement since its beginnings. He stated in his history of CSAs for the Rodale Institute, “As we know from its beginnings, CSA is not just a clever, new approach to marketing. Community farming is about the necessary renewal of agriculture through its healthy linkage with the human community that depends upon farming for survival.” It’s important, we believe, to remember that.

In the fields, the garlic crop is in and looks terrific! We’ve had a week of dry weather and thus been able to get some buckwheat planted as a cover crop, some cultivating done and a couple of things planted for the fall. The blueberries that were planted two and three years ago are now starting to produce. Members that have been here the past couple of harvest days have been able to take a few home and we enjoyed a blueberry pie the other day! For those of you coming over the next few weeks, raspberries are just beginning!

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Spring Hill Events - 2014
Sunday, September 21st - Fall Work Day
Saturday, November 1st - Harvest Dinner

To be a sustainable farm that provides for the land, the farmers, and a community committed to connecting to their source of food and eachother.

• share in the work to create a farm that is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable;
• share the risk and share the bounty;
• make decisions together;
• ensure that the size of the farm holds in balance considerations of land, community, and farm viability;
• work together to nurture a friendly and creative community.