My first exposure to the Land Stewardship Project was about four years ago while searching for a way to become more connected to local farmers. I remember reading a sentence that went something like this, “Only 10 cents out of every dollar spent [on non-local produce] goes back to the actual farmer.” While I cannot remember if that was the exact sentence, it was enough to shock me into researching further. I found the rest of the dollar we spend as consumers went to transportation, packaging and storage. Really? Seemed like a big waste to me. There was no way I was going to let 90 cents out of every dollar I spend go to processing. I mean, we’re talking fresh produce here, the kind that grows out of the ground. I can wash the dirt off myself.
Although I was too late in the year to start my first action step, buying into a crop share, I knew I had to plan for the following year. That’s where the Land Stewardship Project came to my rescue. It is a grassroots organization that promotes sustainable agriculture and develops sustainable communities. LSP’s website had a comprehensive guide to local farms and crop shares (also known as Community Supported Agriculture or CSAs) and provided information on what I could do in the meantime while I waited out the winter.
A few years have gone by and I’ve run into LSP members at local events such as the Fresh movie screening and local fairs. I was thrilled when I received an invite to their 8th Annual Open House and Potluck, which Ryan and I attended last night.
It was a great event to raise awareness about LSP’s mission and to meet others in the community. We planted a tree (well, we watched a tree get planted):
We drank Equal Exchange coffee and local beers:
We participated in the largest potluck we’ve ever been to:
We shared. I brought a wild rice salad. You can kind of see it in this picture (wild rice, cherry tomatoes, artichokes, local peas):
And we ate a bunch of food:
Although the evening was very informal, they did put on a short presentation about recent work such as the Farm Beginnings Program, and various action alerts regarding farming policy.
Overall, it was a gorgeous evening. Consider supporting the Land Stewardship Project if you don’t already.
This is my contribution to Fight Back Fridays.