A crash course in changing the world.
Last spring I spent a couple of months working at the MSU Student Organic Farm (SOF). I met them first while I was volunteering for the Africa Sister Cities Conference in 2008- they are constantly working with cities around the world to develop sustainable solutions to the food crisis and global climate change.
The SOF has a program called CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). As a member of this community you purchase a share of SOF's harvest for one season. Every week you come by the farm to pick up your produce. Every week, tons of students would come by to hand pick produce from the greenhouses, collect eggs from the hen house, and clean it up and bunch it for sale. On average a CSA member could expect to pay about $30 for their share and get about $55 in high quality, organically and sustainably produced foods like Kale (of every color), bok choy, parsnips, Irish potatoes, heirloom tomatoes, garlic, chives, fresh eggs (of blue shells, yellow, white, brown, and everything in between), rutabagas, and a bunch of things you wouldn't find at your market (the list of items in the share per season). A large portion of the produce was taken to campus to sell once a week so that students could take advantage of the low priced veggies they offered.
As a volunteer, and a poor student at the time, I benefited from SOF and the CSA program in ways I never imagined that I would. Most volunteers expressed that they were reaping similar rewards:
I just can't thank SOF enough for their insight and community development efforts.