Agriculture Supported Communities


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Explains the basic structure of the ASC program as a low-cost CSA and farmer incubator. Also covers “how-to” steps for straw bale gardening techniques. (All audiences)

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Agriculture Supported Communities

  1. 1. Agriculture Supported CommunitiesCynthia JamesFood Production SpecialistRodale Institutecynthia.james@rodaleinstitute.org610-683-1439 ©2012 Rodale Institute
  2. 2. What is Rodale Institute? ©2012 Rodale Institute
  3. 3. What is organic?Organic is a way of gardening and farming that mimics natural systems. ©2012 Rodale Institute
  4. 4. What is organic?Organic is:  Grown with “tried-and-true” biological methods that rely on beneficial microbes.  Growers use compost, crop rotations and cover crops instead of chemical additives.  Certified organic meat, eggs and dairy come from animals with 100% organic feeds and access to the great outdoors. ©2012 Rodale Institute
  5. 5. Conventional Ag = Thoroughbred ©2012 Rodale Institute
  6. 6. Organic Ag = Draft horse ©2012 Rodale Institute
  7. 7. Organic is the answer Organic farming has the strength to not only feed the world, but to feed the world well. ©2012 Rodale Institute
  8. 8. Agriculture Supported Communities A unique twist on CSA… Members receive a seasonal “share” of produce each week that can be picked up at a local community site. Pay-as-you-go from week to week instead of paying hundreds of dollars for the whole season up front. ©2012 Rodale Institute
  9. 9. Agriculture Supported Communities Fresh, locally-grown organic produce at affordable prices! ©2012 Rodale Institute
  10. 10. Agriculture Supported CommunitiesHow does it work?  Members can choose between $10, $15 or $25 share size.  A share consists of 1-2 bags of fresh organic produce each week containing a diverse rainbow of flavors that can include vegetables and herbs.  Additional items are available at pick-up sites for an extra fee, such as flowers, apple cider, eggs and more.  The typical season runs from June – November. ©2012 Rodale Institute
  11. 11. Agriculture Supported CommunitiesPay-as-you-go  Commitment statement  Pay at the site, minimum one week at a time  Cash, credit card, SNAP! ©2012 Rodale Institute
  12. 12. Agriculture Supported CommunitiesASC at Rodale Institute  Four community pick-up sites  155 members in pilot year  Growing on a total of four acres  55 different crops and more than 85 varieties ©2012 Rodale Institute
  13. 13. Agriculture Supported CommunitiesFeeding communities, growing new farmers…  Training grounds for future farmers.  Eight interns this season learning every aspect of starting up, maintaining and running a small organic grower’s business.  Everything from organic growing techniques to garden planning and soil health, greenhouse growing, straw bale gardening, using the right tools and machinery.  Setting up the business—writing a business plan, marketing the program, establishing community relationships, providing nutrition education and solidifying partnerships. ©2012 Rodale Institute
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  15. 15. Agriculture Supported CommunitiesTHE GOAL: Interns will go back to their communities to start their own ASC businesses increasing job opportunities and availability of fresh organic produce in communities with low- access. Shareholders not only get good food, but are also supporting organic agriculture, the web of local food systems, and community health. ©2012 Rodale Institute
  16. 16. Urban Growing TechniqueStraw Bale Gardens  A solution for poor soil and small spaces  Less expensive than raised beds  Plant earlier in the season  Two-season growing medium and no waste; use the straw for soil-building or mulch  Grow anything anywhere! ©2012 Rodale Institute
  17. 17. ©2012 Rodale Institute
  18. 18. ©2012 Rodale Institute
  19. 19. ©2012 Rodale Institute
  20. 20. Urban Growing TechniqueStraw Bale Gardens: How To  Pick a site with easy access to water and set up your bales.  Soak bales completely with water.  Let sit for 7-10 days, giving bales time to heat up and then cool down.  Cut a hole in the bale big enough for transplant root ball.  Fill hole with compost and insert plant.  Make sure bales get watered at least once a day. NOTE: Bales do dry out more quickly than planting in the ground. ©2012 Rodale Institute
  21. 21. Agriculture Supporting YOUR Communities Share your knowledge… Create an active food community Build a sustainable business Revitalize the local economy Get your hands dirty!Cynthia.james@rodaleinstitute.org610-683-1439 ©2012 Rodale Institute