By Warren Johnston
December 5, 2008
Robyn Van En was the founder of the first CSA in the United States. Although she started the book, Van En died before the first edition of Sharing the Harvest was published in 2000. Elizabeth Henderson, who had signed on to help Van En with the book, ended up finishing the project after Van En's death.
For this revised and expanded edition, Henderson revisited the hundreds of people she had talked with eight years earlier. The result is a comprehensive guide that explains the many approaches to CSAs and lays out how they work and how to start one. The books makes a convincing case for saving farms and farmland.
If you're thinking about setting up a CSA or just interested in how they work, this well-written book is a good choice.
In addition to founding Indian Line Farm, the first CSA, Van En was the author of the “path-breaking” handbook Basic Formula to Create Community Supported Agriculture. She died in 1997 from asthma.
Henderson has been making a living as an organic farmer for more than 25 years and for 19 years has been with CSA. She was part of the National Organic Farmers Association team that produced the book The Real Dirt.