Farms Don’t Just Feed Communities—They Build The

A CSA or farmers market does more than simply feed people.

December 27, 2014

Sarah McColl has written for Yahoo Food, Bon Appetit, and other publications. She’s based in Brooklyn.

Recall Mister Rogers: What does it mean to be good a neighbor? For answers, look no further than farms, CSA members, and the communities they call home.

Last winter, Portland, Ore., had been assaulted by days of bitter cold, wind, and intense ice storms. Caylor Roling, project coordinator at the Portland Area CSA Coalition, told me that 22 miles out of town at Pumpkin Ridge Gardens, the bad weather blew the hoop houses down. And then, in true barn-raising tradition, members of the farm’s CSA helped rebuild the structures over the course of a few weekends.

It wasn’t the first time members had shown up when things were tough for James Just and Polly Gottesman. In the farm’s early days, one spring saw both farmers out of commission after appendicitis and the arrival of twins. Members began the planting for them.

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