Organic farming for self-reliance

by rickcolosimo on October 9, 2009

This article on a European CSA alternative struck me as a great idea to use as a framework for an adult living/training option for some autistic adults or teens. A farm environment would allow for a variety of sensory environments and different tasks to help accommodate individual needs, quirks, and talents. Organic farming would definitely limit the potential harmful exposure to pesticides. Certainly anything grown could be eaten by the folks at the farm and improve nutrition.

Most importantly, this model could legitimately be a sustainable social startup, one that would allow the members of the community to be self-sufficient. “Self-reliance is gold.”

Who would manage the farm, plan the crops, and supervise the overall running of the place? Think about all the work that Dept of Agriculture cooperative extension offices do around the country, and the expertise that places like Cornell University lend to family farms: is there any doubt that the model is at least plausible? Would college and graduate students compete for a chance to actually run the farm as part of their education? Would business school students evaluate the financing, while architecture students design durable energy-efficient year–round greenhouses? I sure hope so.

Our family enjoyed a CSA program when we lived near Stanford University; it’s something we’ve been unsuccessful in getting re-involved with back in New Jersey. I’ll commit right now to signing up for a CSA that is run by and for people with ASD.

What other self-sufficiency models have you encountered? What would you support?

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