Chelsea Green Publishing

Sharing the Harvest

Pages:320 pages
Book Art:Black and white photos and illustrations
Size: 8 x 10 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781933392103
Pub. Date November 01, 2007

Sharing the Harvest

A Citizen's Guide to Community Supported Agriculture, 2nd Edition

By Elizabeth Henderson and Robyn Van En
Foreword by Joan Dye Gussow

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
November 01, 2007

$35.00

To an increasing number of American families the CSA (community supported agriculture) is the answer to the globalization of our food supply. The premise is simple: create a partnership between local farmers and nearby consumers, who become members or subscribers in support of the farm. In exchange for paying in advance--at the beginning of the growing season, when the farm needs financing--CSA members receive the freshest, healthiest produce throughout the season and keep money, jobs, and farms in their own community.

In this thoroughly revised and expanded edition of a Chelsea Green classic, authors Henderson and Van En provide new insight into making CSA not only a viable economic model, but the right choice for food lovers and farmers alike. Thinking and buying local is quickly moving from a novel idea to a mainstream activity. The groundbreaking first edition helped spark a movement and, with this revised edition, Sharing the Harvest is poised to lead the way toward a revitalized agriculture.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

"If we want to keep farmers in business, it's time for all of us, ordinary citizens and policy makers alike, to begin learning how that might be done. Sharing the Harvest is a great place to start."--Joan Dye Gussow, from the Foreword

"Community Supported Agriculture has the possibility, even the likelihood, of transforming community, farming, eating, and economics in the U.S. Elizabeth Henderson's update of Sharing the Harvest offers timely tools for keeping this evolutionary movement on track."--John Peterson, Angelic Organics

"Sharing the Harvest is an essential book for anyone considering starting a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm and for recent CSA farmers--it is essentially the CSA 'bible'. Sharing the Harvest provides a comprehensive approach to this relatively new social approach to farming, and it may be useful to people who have recently discovered the importance and joy of eating locally-grown food, helping them participate in starting a CSA so they can have an even more direct connection to their food and the farmer who grows it."--Fred Magdoff, Emeritus Professor of Plant & Soil Science, University of Vermont


"We hunger for a true connection to what's on our plates. We want to know who grows our food and where, how it's grown and why. We want to participate in a food system that is ecological, just, nourishing, and connected to community. The CSA movement offers all this and more. This book is an essential guide to understanding what it's all about, and to making it happen!"--Jessica Prentice, author of Full Moon Feast

"Sharing the Harvest is an extraordinary book, an opening to a new world in which growing and eating food will be a sharing among humans, between farmers and surrounding communities, not a commercial venture for profit. It is both utopian and practical, inspiring and down-to-earth. It is a treasure, rich with suggestions, exciting for what possibilities it foresees for the human race."--Howard Zinn

Booklist-
Since the first edition of this title was released in 1997, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and the locally grown food movement have become much more mainstream. This heavily revised, excellent new edition will surely cement the title’s reputation as a bible for interested growers and consumers alike. Each chapter is extensively updated with new data, case studies, and quotes, but the general overview maintains the first edition’s mix of both the highly practical (“Money Matters for CSAs”) and the more philosophical, in sections that explore the connections between biodiversity and social diversity. Each chapter, illustrated with small black-and-white photos and graphs, closes with source notes, and a lengthy resource section, highlighting organizations and publications for further research, concludes the volume. Those interested in starting a new CSA will find useful ideas, but this is intended more as a comprehensive survey of the subject for all readers who are concerned about the food industry and the future of agriculture. Suggest to readers of Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food (2008).

Gillian Engberg

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elizabeth Henderson

Elizabeth Henderson co-authored The Real Dirt and Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen's Guide to Community Supported Agriculture. She farms in Newark, New York, and has been involved in CSA farming for more than 15 years.

Robyn Van En

Robyn Van En (1949-1997) was the founder of Indian Line Farm, the first CSA in the United States, and author of the path-breaking handbook Basic Formula to Create Community Supported Agriculture (1988, 1996).

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Joan Dye Gussow is an extraordinarily ordinary woman. She lives in a home not unlike the average home in a neighborhood that is, more or less, typically suburban. What sets her apart from the rest of us is that she thinks more deeply--and in more eloquent detail--about food. In sharing her ponderings, she sets a delightful example for those of us who seek the healthiest, most pleasurable lifestyle within an environment determined to propel us in the opposite direction. Joan is a suburbanite with a green thumb, with a feisty, defiant spirit and a relentlessly positive outlook.

At the heart of This Organic Life is the premise that locally grown food eaten in season makes sense economically, ecologically, and gastronomically. Transporting produce to New York from California--not to mention Central and South America, Australia, or Europe--consumes more energy in transit than it yields in calories. (It costs 435 fossil fuel calories to fly a 5-calorie strawberry from California to New York.) Add in the deleterious effects of agribusiness, such as the endless cycle of pesticide, herbicide, and chemical fertilizers; the loss of topsoil from erosion of over-tilled croplands; depleted aquifers and soil salinization from over-irrigation; and the arguments in favor of "this organic life" become overwhelmingly convincing.

Joan's story is funny and fiery as she points out the absurdities we have unthinkingly come to accept. You won't find an electric can opener in this woman's house. In fact, you probably won't find many cans, as Joan has discovered ways to nourish herself, literally and spiritually, from her own backyard. If you are looking for a tale of courage and independence in a setting that is entirely familiar, read her story.

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Gussow's memoir Growing, Older begins when she loses her husband of 40 years to cancer and, two weeks later, finds herself skipping down the street-much to her alarm. Why wasn't she grieving in all the normal ways? With humor and wit, she explains how she stopped worrying about why she was smiling and went on worrying, instead, and as she always has, about the possibility that the world around her was headed off a cliff. But hers is not a tale, or message, of gloom. Rather it is an affirmation of a life's work-and work in general.

Lacking a partner's assistance, Gussow continued the hard labor of growing her own year-round diet. She dealt single-handedly with a rising tidal river that regularly drowned her garden, with muskrat interlopers, broken appliances, bodily decay, and river trash-all the while bucking popular notions of how "an elderly widowed woman" ought to behave.

Scattered throughout are urgent suggestions about what growing older on a changing planet will call on all of us to do: learn self-reliance and self-restraint, yield graciously if not always happily to necessity, and-since there is no other choice-come to terms with the insistencies of the natural world. Gussow delivers another literary gem-one that women curious about aging, gardeners curious about contending with increasingly intense weather, or environmentalists curious about the future will embrace.

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