Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Green Beings CSA Awarded SARE Grant to Put Dinner on the Table in St Louis

With food costs and energy costs rising it is becoming more and more important to find more economical ways to put dinner on the table through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). The folks at Green Beings CSA in St. Louis, MO are hoping to do just that.

Typically, a CSA consists of a group of individuals who pledge support to a local farm in order to share in the risks and benefits of food production. Members pay in advance (or work on the farm) and then receive shares of the farms bounty through the growing season.

Sabrina Hilton with Green Beings CSA applied for and received funding for a grant through the NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program.

NCR-SARE’s farmer rancher grant program provides funding for on-site research performed by farmers and ranchers in a 12 state region.

The project for which Hilton has received funding will focus on finding ways to economically grow healthy food using techniques that are good for the environment. Five interested low income families have been selected to work with the project, and become members of the CSA.

The five families will learn about food preparation, nutrition, canning/drying, seed saving, garden planning, garden maintenance, composting, and raising livestock (chickens) in the city during training sessions at the Culver Way Community Housing site.

With these tools the families will learn how to grow their own food as well as how to produce extra food which can be sold to generate income. The great thing about it all is that it can be done right in their backyard.

Notes and observations will be taken throughout the entire process making the pilot project easy to replicate. If all goes as planned Hilton hopes to create a model that other low income families can use to help them become self reliant and healthier even during tough economic times.
You can learn more about Green Beings CSA by visiting their website at http://www.greenbeings-stl.com/greenbeings.


self portrait by Sabrina Hilton

3 comments:

Michelle Ajamian said...

i was not able to get to the green beings website from the link. can you guide me?
i see that there is a component to have chickens. is it within the city of st louis? tell me more about the csa itself. where is the farm, how many other csa members do you have. will those members work with the five families?
michelle ajamian

NCR-SARE profile said...

Michelle - Here is the Green Beings web page. Thanks for letting us know the link wasn't working. It's been fixed. http://www.greenbeings-stl.com/greenbeings

Sabrina said...

Michelle- we are building a chicken tractor- chickens are great tillers and fertilizers. It is in the city, and the city only allows for 4 chickens without a permit, so we are going to start with that. The csa is very small we only have 4 paying members, and are still recruiting for low income families. The workshops will be offered to all members and are being organized with Operation Food Search in St. Louis. Thanks for your questions