Fair Share CSA Coalition is an nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting Community Supported Agriculture in southern Wisconsin. I recently learned about this group and when I visited their website I was blown away as I imagined the same kind of thing in our community. Imagine thousands of families belonging to CSAs and 50 or more farms offering shares. Imagine a community that loves it local farmers and farms and supports them by buying their food. Imagine a community that is healthier and happier as a result. Imagine health insurers providing rebates to insureds who are CSA members. All those things are a reality in Wisconsin, thanks in part to this Coalition. Check it out HERE.
That is a community that “gets it.”
I’ve had plenty of people tell me that can never happen here. People just don’t care about their food sources here, they say. People just want the cheapest food and won’t pay what safe locally-grown good costs, they insist. People here can’t afford organic food, they claim.
I choose to believe differently. Sure there is an educational component to it. People here will have to learn (and be taught) to make wiser food choices. They will have to come to know that supermarket food is unhealthy, less tasty and part of an unsustainable industry that profits other places and people while leaving our community with the long-term costs.
But I choose to believe that people here will reject the industrial food model and embrace community supported agriculture. I believe people here do care about their food sources. I think they will be willing to pay more for food that won’t poison them and their children. I think they do love our community and prefer to support local businesses and farms rather than send their money off to corporations in other parts of the country and world. Not everybody, of course, but enough to make this community as vibrantly supportive of good local food as southern Wisconsin seems to be.
The seed has been planted. There are a handful of farms like ours in the community and there are a few hundred people regularly supporting them. I choose to believe those numbers will grow, as people come to realize the goodness that’s available if they’d only claim it.
You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.