All about Community Supported Agriculture
Hosted by Community Supported Agriculture Network UK with CSA farmers.
Are you thinking about setting up or converting to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model? Then this session is for you!
This is a practical session run by the CSA Network UK to answer some commonly asked questions and get you started. After a brief introduction to CSA participants will be able to choose to go into a group focusing on a specific topic and then move to a second topic for the second half of the session. Groups will be led by experienced individuals and participants will be able to discuss and ask questions.
Topics will include: Crop planning and scaling up production; Marketing and promoting your CSA and recruiting members; creating a founding group, legal structures and finance; Community-led CSA and how to run a producer-led CSA.
Gareth Davies is a passionate advocate of local food production and helped to set up Canalside Community Food CSA. As well as being a member of the steering committee, he helped establish an orchard and do the book keeping, finances and business planning. Recently he helped to set up Five Acre Community Farm on land rented from Garden Organic. He has also worked as a researcher with Garden Organic/HDRA looking at weeds, pest and diseases and varieties among other topics.
Ben Raskin has worked in horticulture for more than 20 years and has a wide range of practical commercial growing experience. For the Soil Association, he provides growers at all levels of production with technical, marketing, policy, supply chain and networking support. He also leads on their Agroforestry work. Ben is an author of gardening books for children and grownups. He is also currently implementing a 200-acre agroforestry planting in Wiltshire. Ben also co-chairs the newly formed Defra Edibles Horticulture Roundtable and sits on the boards of the Organic Growers Alliance.
Charlotte Barry spends a lot of time on her hands and knees growing and harvesting vegetables, as well as cooking and eating them! She is a founder member of Camel CSA in Cornwall, set up on two acres of rented land near Wadebridge in 2008. So she has plenty of hands-on experience running a community veg box scheme and working with volunteers. She also kept and bred poultry for many years. Her specific skills are in media and digital communications, arising from her career as a journalist, renewable energy publicist, media trainer and university lecturer. Follow Camel CSA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Rosa Bevan and James Reid run Tap o’ Noth Farm; an 8 acre, permaculture designed smallholding in rural north east Scotland. They operate a CSA market garden and veg box scheme from a quarter of an acre with a 20 week season for 50 shares. The veg box has been running for 5 years as a producer led CSA scheme and is one of just a handful of CSAs in Scotland.
Roger Plumtree from Kirkstall Valley CSA. Roger’s father was a farmer and his involvement as one of the leading figures in Kirkstall Valley CSA has taken him back to his roots. He is a keen supporter of the community supported agriculture model – and is also quick to stress the value of producing organic food, using natural pest control. He’s inspired by the smallholding model of agriculture the Chinese have mastered as a way forward for this country.
Mick Marston from Gibside CSA. Mick has previously worked for the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens and for the Soil Association in Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. He is a founder member of Gibside Community Farm
Jo Cartwright is from Swillington Organic Farm, a CSA on a mixed family farm outside Leeds
Suzy Russell has worked in environmental and arts-based community development for over 20 years and has skills and experience in relationship building, strategic management, leadership and income generation. She started out organising an environmental arts festival and running a community environmental centre in the North East before living in Spain for six years where she worked with a community street theatre group and set up an environmental community development project. More recently she’s been CEO at participatory arts organisation in West Yorkshire, building skills and knowledge in health and training and alongside this learning to teach mindfulness. She’s always had a patch to grow on, albeit with a wide range of growing conditions. She’s passionate about local food, wellbeing, creativity, nature, community and the magic of everyday life.