Tuesday, March 17, 2009

CSA Roundtable

My personal life and my UAF office job seem to be converging in some ways. I've been working on arranging a CSA Roundtable that will be happening this Thursday on campus, where members of the School of Natural Resources & Agricultural Sciences (SNRAS for short) will be meeting with CSA operators to discuss what the U can do to help farmers better succeed. You know, research, better curriculum, demonstration/training/instructional CSA garden on campus, that sort of thing.

It's interesting to have this crossover in the interests I hold. I'm finding myself more and more interested in local agriculture, small-scale economies, community supported anything. As Grace Lee Boggs says on Yes! magazine:
Every day it becomes clearer that we are approaching the end of the short-lived (less than 300 years) industrial/capitalist epoch.

So people in communities, rather than the workplace, have begun to create another America.

One obvious sign is the mushrooming urban agricultural and local foods movement.
Yet, speaking with a person working here at the school, he said to me this morning, "I'm a fan of the industrial model of agriculture." CSA agriculture doesn't allow for the kind of market expansion, he says, that the industrial version does. But then I think of the kind of non-local expansion/invasion of local markets here in Alaska that Full Circle Farm is guilty of, and I wonder. Any model can be abused.

But Boggs is right, in a limited way. It's not just the US that's changing, it's the world's attitudes. Today I walked in to the office and found a copy of the 2008 Slow Food Almanac on my chair. It's a book that I will read. The Slow Food movement started in, I think, Italy. It has spread throughout the world. The Slow Food Movement, like many other aspects of the green/turning/community movement, is about humane living, not just living by quantity.

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