A couple weeks ago I visited a farm outside the city of Freiburg with my classmates to learn about the community supported agriculture projects (CSA) happening in the area.  This farm supplies locally grown organic fruits and vegetables specifically for people who have chosen to subscribe to the service.  This project was built by a much smaller group of people who acquired the land, farming equipment, and hired workers to farm the land.  Nowadays, as many as 200 families are subscribed to this one CSA and receive fruits and vegetables weekly. 

            Since I am not as well versed in farming practices, I decided to learn about the logistics of these types of projects and how the distribution process works.  By signing on to this service, subscribers receive fruits and vegetables delivered to their door each week throughout the entire year.  And yes, this includes the winter months.  This is only made possible through the farming of species like potatoes that last for long periods of time when kept in cool dry places.  Each week a single truck leaves the farming site with different crates marked with the district of Freiburg the food is going to.  This truck drives to a single unloading spot in each district and hands off the designated crate to another delivery person.  Instead of continuing the journey by car, we learned that this CSA designed e-bikes with the capability of hauling large loads.  While this first design was only used by the CSA, they recently have caught the public’s attention and are now the main product of a local startup company.  I am not sure who employs these secondary delivery people but it is a far more sustainable way of transporting the fruits and vegetables to each household. 

            I find this method of obtaining fruits and vegetables to be extremely appealing.  While the means of starting a CSA may be a bit complicated at first, it begins to pay for itself over time as more members of the community subscribe to the service and the farm acquires more capital to help harvest more efficiently.  I know that the people who have joined the CSA we visited do not regret it because we were told that there is already a long waiting list to become a member of the program.  Once I join “the real world,” after completing my years of education, I will look for a CSA in the community I choose to live and work in and subscribe immediately. 

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