Neighborhood Farming Since 1993
Community Supported Agriculture began as a gamble. In the 1970s, a handful of Japanese housewives began to suspect that their country’s industrial food system was making their families sick. For the sake of their children, they asked a few local farmers to abandon factory farming and sell their crops directly to people in the neighborhood. And to minimize the risks inherent in that kind of paradigm shift, they offered to pay in advance.
The new model was a big success — for producers as well as consumers. Its focus on cooperation for mutual benefit prompted those pioneering women to say that they were now feeding their families “food with the farmer’s face.”
Great Country Farms was an early adopter of that model — in fact, our first crops were planted with community support, and we’ve been raising food for our neighbors ever since.
Industrial agriculture forces farmers to prioritize rapid growth, uniformity, and durability, qualities that facilitate mass marketing but may diminish vitamin, mineral, and phytochemical content. The CSA model, on the other hand, allows us to select seeds and varietals with higher nutritional value and better flavor — and to grow them using methods that regenerate our soil rather than depleting it such as cover crop cocktails, rotational grazing, composting and compost tea fertilizer. While we are not a certified organic farm, we believe we are better than organic by avoiding genetically modified seed, and minimizing or eliminating chemical use.
The CSA model provides a reliable, predictable cash-flow, much of which is front-loaded so we have the money we need to cover expenses early in the season, when costs are highest. That allows us to avoid debt and send the money you invest in us back into the community, where it continues to grow among our neighbors. In that sense, food with the farmer’s face is good for everyone.