CSA Gardens...and Bikes: a Perfect Combo!
June 05, 2006
Our friends Marty and Michelle are longtime food-gardeners. They've been studying and managing large-scale, diverse, organic food gardening for years. Now they plan to set up their own CSA. (A CSA is a "community supported agriculture" project---usually providing fresh produce to local people on a subscription basis.)
To get a better feel for the wide range of CSA's in Michigan this summer they're hosting a farm-to-farm group bicycle tour as they ride and work from garden to garden around the state.
The bike is a perfect community-scale vehicle to match the community-scale of a CSA. Food for living, community for living, vehicle for living. They all fit together fine.
A big point of interest is that in 1999 there were only 8 CSA's in Michigan, now there are 70. Michelle and Marty really want to get a feel for the why's and wherefor's behind this big growth.
To raise awareness of CSA's they're inviting anyone to ride along with them and check out these garden-farms for themselves. The more the merrier! They're hooking up media to this connect-the-farms tour, too.
It's clear that there are a growing number of people who want to live in a non-big-box way. Bikes and CSA's are two big parts of building community and health.
They have a homebase website with a map and schedule. You can meet up with them anywhere along the way. They'll tend to stay a few days at a farm, helping out. Then ride to the next farm. Tour riders can show up in the morning for a tour of one farm then ride to the next and see an open-house setting there, too.
For June they're starting in the Ann Arbor area then riding west, with stops along the way, to farms in the Battle Creek region. Then north along the west side of the state to Muskegon in July and August. They'll be in the Traverse City region in September.
Marty and Michelle already spent last winter in Mexico visiting and volunteering at various CSA's.
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