community supported agriculture
Started more than a year ago by Cousins William and Nathaniel Trienens along with another cofounder, lead developer Gabriel Odess-Gillett, CitySprout is an online social marketplace that was developed to allow communities without easy access to locally grown food, or the population to support a CSA, to more easily connect with local farmers.
The company’s communications director Jesse Mayhew explained that the idea behind CitySprout originated in a discussion about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) between William and a Westport, New York, farmer friend in Lake Champlain where Trienens grew up.
When Marty and Kris Travis first founded Stewards of the Land, a cooperative of local family farmers in Illinois, they were fledgling farmers themselves.
“This was before any local food thing hit in this part of the state,” Marty Travis said. “Still, we felt like we wanted to do something to provide great, healthy food to the local community.”
At the time, Travis and his wife lived on Spence Farm, his family farmstead, with their son, Will. Though the 160-acre farm had been in his family for 175 years, his parents never worked the land. Tenant farmers managed the land throughout his childhood.
Scanning the beautiful array of certified organic crops that thrive at McGrath Family Farms in Camarillo, you know you’re in the presence of something truly special.
Phil McGrath is a fourth-generation Southern California farmer whose great-grandfather, an Irish sheep farmer, first acquired this land back in 1868. Phil grew up around the farm as a child and ultimately knew that a commitment to a lasting McGrath farming legacy was what he wanted to dedicate his life to. But, his infectious passion and appreciation for the land and the process he calls “organic farming in paradise” speak of much more than familial duty and responsibility.
Since 1978, Don Kretschmann has run Kretschmann Organic Farm, an 80-acre farm in Rochester, Pennsylvania that provides organically grown produce, fruits, and meats to Pittsburgh area customers. Kretschmann has embraced a number of different business models and through business savvy and opportunity recognition has achieved profitability on his farm.
I recently spoke with Kretschmann to learn more about the origin of his farm, his organic proclivities, and how his farm achieved profitability and more.
However, researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, along with faculty from New York University, soon will begin a study to examine the state of urban agriculture in the United States today.