Sunday, April 19, 2009

Community Farm Alliances

Mrs Sweeper and I attended a local chapter meeting of the Community Farm Alliance last Thursday evening. I was hoping that we could find out more about the farms of Fayette County who are participating in the farmers market movement that has burgeoned in Lexington lately. Hopefully, there would be farmers offering their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs for this year. I wanted to hear about how more farmers were growing more organic foods locally.

I was disappointed.

I met a small number of young people, mostly students, who have great intentions, massive amounts on enthusiasm, and farm experience. These were the "local organizers" of the programs of the CFA.

I heard about their "fresh stop" efforts, their Community kitchen efforts and a "stone soup" program centered in the downtown area. There was mention of a report which identified a "food desert" in Lexington. A food desert is an area which lacks grocery stores and restaurants serving healthier items than "junk food". I did learn about their teaching opportunities such as "farm to school" and the community gardens being set up on the BCTC campus off Leestown Rd.

There are many other places to create "community gardens" and I've heard of one town where an activist has, on her own, arranged for those who wished to garden, to meet those who had backyard space for a garden and where each party benefited.

I was just hoping for more than what I found. I would like to find that some of the many ten acre lots that were created in the past 25 years could be moved from large residential lots to small farms and used to feed the local residents as they once were.

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