Girl power

Lynda Brown - 21 February 2014

One of the Soil Association events that left a lasting impression on me was the launch of the national CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) network. It's getting near Spring - that means sorting out where you're going to get your organic veggies from this year. Local box schemes offer brilliant value and tick all the boxes - they leave supermarkets standing when it comes to freshness, variety and feel good customer service (and are cheaper) - but CSAs offer the most visionary and joined up approach yet.

School Farm CSA near Totnes - organic to the core, certified by the Soil Association, and no-dig to boot - is a prime example. It's run by four women, determined to create a better, more nourishing world. This You Tube video they made to support their crowd funding appeal, gives you a flavour of who they are and what they do.

I could get into a whole debate about what a female perspective brings to growing and farming - one I suspect many male growers and farmers would readily endorse but that might only polarise things; and if there's one thing I take home from the CSA network is that male or female, there is an immense energy and collaborative spirit which is both heart warming and addictive. It seems to me, they're a perfect solution for local communities, especially for families, so check them out to see if there's one near you. But I can’t resist a plug for my own sex; icing on the cake or what?

Lynda is an award-winning food writer and broadcaster, keen advocate for organic living and Soil Association trustee. She is author of several food books over the last twenty years including Planet Organic: Organic Living, The Cook's Garden, and The Modern Cook's Handbook, as well as writing The Preserving Book that was published in 2010 in association with the Soil Association. Lynda is an expert on food and nutrition and a seasoned broadcaster, regularly speaking on food and farming both on the radio and television.

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Charlotte Barry
24 February 2014 14:42

Absolutely right, Lynda. They're a great bunch and I love the girl power! School Farm has support and admiration from all of us at Camel CSA (

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