Investing in food, farmers and fertility -- through CSAs

By Teresa OpheimJulie_Cahoy.jpg

It is spring time—and thousands of Minnesotans are investing locally through their memberships in Community Supported Agriculture.

When you join a CSA, you are paying up front to provide your farmer working capital for the year. You are sharing in the plentiful –and sometimes not so—harvests that happen when the weather is too wet, too dry, too hot.

Julie Cahoy, of Minneapolis, invests in a CSA, and in doing so, follows the principles of Slow Money, including Number Four: “We must learn to invest as if food, farms, and fertility mattered. We must connect investors to the places where they live, creating healthy relationships and new sources of capital for small food enterprises.”

Julie has been a member of Common Harvest Farm for more than 20 years, “It is hard to put a monetary value on a long term relationship with a CSA,” she says. “I do believe that my weekly box of veggies is a good value for the quality and the quantity I receive when compared to what I could get at a co-op or farmers market. I love cooking and eating all summer and fall with veggies being the main part of each meal. I also love my little grocery bill all summer and fall!

“But the bigger values are changing my eating habits to coincide with the seasons, and living a life just a little more in tune to what’s happening with the natural world weather. It’s supporting your values of land stewardship by supporting a family that chooses to live close to the land to nurture it and share it with their members, and leave the land far better and richer then they found it.”

Check out the photo of Julie with a photo of the old barn at Common Harvest Farm, as well as the photo of the new barn, which she and others helped build at an old-fashioned barn raising.

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