Agriculture Supported Communities

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Aaron French explains:

“What we are all looking for with this stimulus plan, after all, is a plan that will quickly create jobs all across the country while at the same time protecting and improving the health of the people involved and the environment in which they live. The typical Shovel-Ready project that is being suggested might do one or two of those, like the repair and reconstruction of our failing transportation infrastructure.

The question is, can we create a project that does all of these things? Yes We Can. The solution is Agriculture Supported Communities.

We are all familiar with the CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture – farms that look to the urban and suburban districts to buy shares of their produce, a portion of which is often delivered each week directly to people’s homes or other central pickup location. This has been an amazingly successful model, to the point where many established CSA’s have a long waiting list of potential customers.

Agriculture Supported Communities (ASC’s) turns this model around. It places the agriculture (in potentially in the form of small backyard and community gardens) in the community, and creates a business model within which local people and businesses could benefit. One possibility would be that some people could be directly employed by the stimulus programs to run these gardens, while other people could buy shares of the produce with their labor and donation of land. The remaining vegetables could be sold to local businesses bringing money back into the program.

There are many forms that this could take, but the bottom line is that they wouldn’t be in direct competition with the current, large-scale agricultural system we currently have – they would serve communities and areas that are poorly served by our present model.

Secondary benefits of a project like this are many, including getting people outside and connected with the land and food they use to nourish their bodies. The health implications of such a program should not be underestimated, as well, as people would increasingly eat the whole foods they had a hand in growing.” (