There’s no more satisfying way of enjoying what you eat than growing it yourself, but if you simply don’t have the time or know-how than the next best thing is to get to know the person who grows it for you.
That’s the idea behind Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a small but growing movement of farms who deliver direct to their customers. Although most of Israel’s organic produce is exported overseas, some farmers have imported the CSA concept, (for example, the Tuv Ha’aretz program from Jewish eco-NGO Hazon) to help close the widening gap between farm and fork.
Many farms adopting the CSA model are also organic, so you not only get to know who grows your food, but also how they grow it. One such enterprise is Or-Gani, a small vegetable farm near Netanya which started business the than a year ago and now delivers to around 100 customers.
“The idea of a community supported farmer really spoke to me from a political, social, health and culinary perspective,” says Yaniv Gelnik, co-owner of Or-Gani (reported in Haaretz). “With CSA, there is a direct connection between the eater and the farmer.
“This isn’t just about organic, because you can buy in an organic supermarket,” explains Gelnik, who was born and raised in Caesarea to American immigrant parents. “You need to love the idea of knowing the farmer.” And more and more people do. My native Britain is an excellent example of how shoppers are increasingly bypassing supermarkets and opting to buy their organic food direct from the farmer instead (direct sales rose by over 50% last year). Closer to home, Green Prophet has compiled a list of organic delivery schemes in Israel here.
(Cross-posted at the Jew and the Carrot.)