In 1988 the Community Farm became the first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) organization in Michigan. In 1993 it moved to S. Fletcher Road in Chelsea where it has been growing a new sort of agriculture and a new socio-economic structure for 25 years.
CSAs have become commonplace in the meantime, but, the biodynamic agriculture the community farm has been practicing for 30 years is just beginning to catch on. A recent article in the Nutritional Healing Center of Ann Arbor newsletter claimed that “Biodynamic is the new organic”. The word Biodynamic means ‘life forces’, and as developed by Rudolf Steiner, it recognizes and respects all the life forces that surround and support the farm.
The farmers say that food grown in harmony with life feeds the body and the spirit. The Community Farm’s mission is to connect people to each other, to their food, and to the earth. By supporting the farm and dividing what it is able to produce the members aim to change food from a commodity to a gift of life to be shared.
Last year the farmers who have nurtured this farm and its community for the past 25 years retired. There were tearful, fond farewells at the Fall Festival. They left some pretty big and unusual boots to fill. But there are a lot of smiles this spring as three new young farmers take over the tradition and add new life and energy to it.
The new farmers, Aquillon, Marly, and Petar invite folks to come experience the farm at their Spring-Right-In day on Saturday, May 5 from 11-3. The Community Farm will be celebrating spring with an Open House. Come and see the farm—meet the farmers, animals, some of the plants some of the members, and experience the spirit of the place. Dress for being outside on the earth. Bring gloves. Come eat some delicious, farm-made pizza from the outdoor earth oven. The Community Farm is located at 1525 S. Fletcher Road in Chelsea. For more information call 734-433-0261, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit communityfarmofaa.org.
Members will be working on projects around the farm, but they will be glad to give tours. Pizza’s will begin coming out of the earth oven around noon. At 12:30 anyone who wants can dance the Maypole, winding colorful ribbons around it to music by Rob Crozier and friends.
About Community Supported Agriculture: members support a farm and the farm supplies food which the members share. Because members give their support at the beginning of the season, the farmers can concentrate on doing what is best for all instead of being distracted and worried by market conditions. If it’s a bad year for green beans, the farmers don’t lose the farm—everybody just has fewer green beans. It may, however, be a good year for tomatoes, so members get more tomatoes.
About Biodynamics: means “life forces”, and as developed by Rudolf Steiner, recognizes and respects all the life forces that surround and support the farm. The farm is seen as one living organism where everything is interconnected. When the plants are threatened by pests or fungal problems, for example, herbal ferments are used to restore balance. Animals also play a big role on the farm. One way is by providing manure, which is turned into compost to fertilize the fields—which means there is no need to import fertilizers or chemical sprays. It is a joy to see children running through the fields knowing that whatever they put in their mouths is safe and nutritious. This type of food feed the body and the spirit.
“Biodynamic is the new organic” says the Nutritional Healing Center of Ann Arbor. Dr. Oz made the same claim last year. If you want food that is healthy for humans, healthy for the earth, and healthy for the socio-economic development of our culture, then you want Biodynamic food.
The farm is governed by consensus. When deciding farm policy the farmers and members work together until they find a decision that everyone can feel good about. Each voice counts equally. Members have many opportunities to interact with their farm and each other—at food pick -up times, festivals, and special events. Chrysalis, the educational arm of the farm, coordinates field trips, talks, workshops, and student internships.Community Supported Farm