community supported agriculture
The seventeen immigrant women involved in the New Roots for Refugees farmer training program don’t understand why their small urban garden plots draw so much attention. Farming is a natural part of their lives.
The training program is run by the Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, an organization that helps to resettle refugees in the Kansas City area and provide case management, English as a Second Language and job development. The idea for the program emerged in 2004 while Sherissa McDonald, an employee of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, was running a group to help refugee women acclimate to their new surroundings. When the topic of gardening arose, the group expressed a desire to have an area of land to cultivate. So that year the women planted small community gardens outside of the Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas offices.
To continue to grow and expand the local food marketplace will require innovative web-based solutions that provide consumers with greater access to producers and vice versa. One company at the forefront in this area is Santa Cruz, CA-based LocalHarvest, which since its formation in 1998 has focused on the development of a range of online products to strengthen consumers’ personal relationships not only with the food that they consume, but also with the sustainable farmers who produce it.
We’re out in the field today interviewing sustainable producers, agvocates and ag startup CEOs, but in case you missed our story about sustainable mushroom growing in recyclable boxes filled with used coffee grounds or the other one about the open ocean sustainable fish farmer, we have provided links and summaries below to get you caught up.
“In order for a sustainable farm to exist you need to have a sustainable business.” – Benzi Ronen, CEO and Founder of Farmigo.
About three years ago Benzi Ronen launched Farmigo, a technology startup that develops software that allows organic farmers to more efficiently manage their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and Farm Direct sales operations. Ronen has a technology background and prior to Farmigo, he spent 14 years building internet systems for large multi-national companies around the world.