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Community supported agriculture; self-sufficiency/local farm
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Rod
Mueller Community

Posts: 654
Joined on January 31st, 2008
Community supported agriculture; self-sufficiency/local farm
by Rod on May 8th, 2008

We won't be moving in until about mid-August, so I am probably a bit behind on what is happening with community gardens. However, I wanted to supply some potentially useful information in terms of a few links.

A wonderful web site on community gardens and why they can strengthen community:

http://www.wordpress.peakmoment.tv/conversations/ (Community gardening in Oregon...and so on. Some very good discussions/presentations.)

Richard Heinberg's talk about "fifty million farmers" in the USA:

http://www.richardheinberg.com/museletter/175

In addition to being an advocate for our having a farmer's market at Mueller, the community might consider possibilities for buying organic produce (for example), in bulk:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/greenling-organ ... y-austin-2

(Not favoring any one vendor over another, I found this as my first hit on my web search.)

1 person might get a different price from 50 or hundreds of families buying together...should strengthen connections with local organic farmers, for example.
 
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langhugh
Mueller Community

Posts: 1149
Joined on August 18th, 2007
Re: Community supported agriculture; self-sufficiency/local farm
by langhugh on May 8th, 2008

Rod,

I am very interested in gathering a group of Mueller families who may be interested in Community Supported Agriculture, and inquiring into the local agricultural marketplace to see if we can interest either an existing CSA farmer or a farmer thinking about CSA to take on the Muellerhood. Here is my understanding of CSA:

1. The buyers (us) make a financial, contractual commitment to buy a share of produce (or maybe meat, dairy, and eggs as well) from a local farmer's yield. This gives you a basket of various seasonal Texas produce each week throughout the year that you would probably pick up at either someone's home, or at a stand at the eventual Mueller Farmer's Market. I have seen the CSA farmers get pretty creative and deliver 30-100 different varieties of produce throughout the year. The commitment is steep, roughly $20-50 a week during the season depending on quantity desired and additional meat/dairy/eggs shares purchased. The agricultural season around here is often 8-9 months from roughly March to October, so your looking at around a $1000 annual investment......in organic, locally grown produce that is prepacked for your convenience and available during your Saturday morning stroll. Not bad.

2. There are aprroximately 4-6 farms that advertise their CSA program around Austin currently. Many are over-subscribed with a waiting list. My feelings are that if we can go to the marketplace with a group of willing buyers in one neighborhood and simplify the delivery process for the farmer, we would have no problem convincing a family farm to make the jump to CSA.

3. Here is the best resource I'm aware of for the CSA marketplace: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ Search 78723 for local CSA farmers and their subscription programs. Pretty cool.

We have been holding off of subscribing while waiting for a critical mass at Mueller. We're just about there.

Does anybody have any CSA experience? or has an interest to learn more? If so, maybe we'll make it an agenda item at the Mueller Neighborhood Association Meeting and discuss it.

Dusty
 
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wilson
Mueller Community

Posts: 61
Joined on December 4th, 2007
Re: Community supported agriculture; self-sufficiency/local farm
by wilson on May 12th, 2008

Rod, Dusty, and all,

I am definitely interested in learning more about local CSA programs. I think it is an outstanding idea and practice, especially for those of us who purport to live "green." We may be able to shell out $20 a week, but $50 would effectively price us out. What exactly is the price to live according to principle? *sigh* I'll wait in suspense for the answer to that. :)

In order to romanticize the whole CSA-thing, I've scanned a few pages of my Cottage Living publication, which describes CSA outside Athens, Georgia. [attachment=2:3pdpeygw]page1.jpg[/attachment:3pdpeygw][attachment=1:3pdpeygw]page2.jpg[/attachment:3pdpeygw][attachment=0:3pdpeygw]page3.jpg[/attachment:3pdpeygw]
 
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wilson
Mueller Community

Posts: 61
Joined on December 4th, 2007
Re: Community supported agriculture; self-sufficiency/local farm
by wilson on May 12th, 2008

I just learned I can only upload three attachments per post. Here is the fourth and final page of the Farm to Cottage article.[attachment=0]page4.jpg[/attachment]
 
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Kevin Ludlow
Mueller Community

Posts: 582
Joined on August 19th, 2007
Re: Community supported agriculture; self-sufficiency/local farm
by Kevin Ludlow on May 13th, 2008

Thanks for uploading that - very interesting stuff.

I will look into the attachment issue and set that value a bit higher. Sorry for the inconvenience.
 
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Kevin Ludlow
Mueller Community

Posts: 582
Joined on August 19th, 2007
Re: Community supported agriculture; self-sufficiency/local farm
by Kevin Ludlow on May 13th, 2008

...just as a follow-up to that, you should now be able to upload as many attachments as you want of unlimited size.

Thanks for noticing that little error =]
 
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Rod
Mueller Community

Posts: 654
Joined on January 31st, 2008
Re: Community supported agriculture; self-sufficiency/local farm
by Rod on May 19th, 2008

Thanks Wilson and Dusty for your posts on this topic.

We look forward to meeting our neighbors once we move in and continuing to work towards CSA.

-Rod
 
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langhugh
Mueller Community

Posts: 1149
Joined on August 18th, 2007
Re: Community supported agriculture; self-sufficiency/local farm
by langhugh on May 24th, 2008

Here's a story about the tough water situation at the CSA Tecolate Farms:

http://www.statesman.com/services/conte ... 7&cxcat=52

I sure hope there is a positive outcome for them.
 
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Rod
Mueller Community

Posts: 654
Joined on January 31st, 2008
Re: Community supported agriculture; self-sufficiency/local farm
by Rod on October 19th, 2008

Wilson, Dusty, Karen and Joe (Zabreznik) are also interested. Shall we start?

Best, Rod
 
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lilyrose
Mueller Community

Posts: 44
Joined on July 9th, 2008
Re: Community supported agriculture; self-sufficiency/local farm
by lilyrose on October 19th, 2008

Information on another local CSA:

Hands of the Earth Farm in east Austin, Marysol Valle farmer, has been in operation for the past couple of years. We are current farm members, and were hands-on members of the previous version for several years before that as well (when the land was Oasis Gardens, last farmed by Mike Nolan).

They are currently not providing food every month, but do have a 10-week fall winter season beginning on Oct. 25, and food is available for pick-up at the downtown farmers market on Saturdays or alternately at the Triangle on Wednesdays.

contact info handsoftheearth@gmail.com
the main website appears to have expired at the moment...www.handsoftheearth.com, but http://www.myspace.com/oasisgardensfarm has some information on it.

I hope to be growing food in a Mueller community garden at some point in the future, but we love Hands of the Earth veggies! :)
 
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