Re: Serious Food Growing
From: Karen Schwalbe (
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 1996 12:53:37 -0500
>How many cohousing groups are either growing significant food or plan to?  I
>remember Winslow had edible landscape when I visited in '93 and Nyland has a
>big solar greenhouse.

Coming from Massachusetts where 90% of the food is imported, it matters alot
to our community (Alchemy Farm).  Of our almost 16 acre site, two acres are
currently in organic agricultural production.  We are under construction
now, so members are not currently doing any gardening on their own.
We are renting the land to a local organic farmer to keep it in production.

Our neighborhood association by-laws specify only NOFA* certified organic
techniques may be used on the property, and the deed of each lot specifies
the ability of each household to use up to one-third an acre of common land
for food production in addition to the lot.  If it ever came to having to grow
our own food to survive, we wanted to have that possibility.

We are lucky that our site has alot of existing mature fruit and nut trees,
and berry bushes.  We are planning our future landscape using
permaculture techniques.  We also have the benefit of one household
whose profession is landscape design and construction.

When food transport and packaging are a concern, don't forget about food buying
clubs or coops.  The savings in packaging materials alone makes it worth
the effort
besides cutting down on the trips to the supermarket.

>Another option:  if you don't have time/space to grow your own, how many have
>considered joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm where you pay
>in advance for a share of a year's produce?

We are lucky enough to rent our agricultural space to a farmer doing such a
He's a NOFA-certified organic farmer with a small CSA.  Members living on
the site
using it.

* NOFA is the Natural Organic Farmers Association.  It is the entity in
that determines what is certified organic.


Karen Schwalbe
kschwalbe [at]
Alchemy Farm Cohousing
237 Hatchville Road
East Falmouth, MA 02536-4009

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