Feature: City Commons CSA, a collaboration of Fields of Plenty, Food Field, Buffalo Street Farm, Vinewood Knoll, and Singing Tree Garden
Article Title and Link:
Banding Together to Build a Better CSA:
How a group of Detroit’s urban farms pooled their resources and started a communal produce subscription service.
Author: Chris Hardman
Media: Civil Eats
Date published : November 9, 2015
a group of farmers in Detroit started a cooperative CSA in 2012 called City Commons. The five urban farms—Fields of Plenty, Food Field, Buffalo Street Farm, Vinewood Knoll, and Singing Tree Garden—contribute to the weekly box and are paid based on how much produce they supply. By pooling their resources, they decrease their workload and risk and provide their customers with a more reliable, varied collection of produce every week.
City Commons boxes always have between eight and 10 items so customer don’t get overwhelmed with too much of one or two vegetables. And with careful planning in the winter, City Commons farmers make sure they have enough variety to fill their customer’s needs. “[That diversity] is part of why the cooperative model creates such a consistent product,” says Alice Bagley of Fields of Plenty. By the end of the season, members will have received about 50 different types of fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Link to City Commons CSA here
Additional Information on Farmers and Farms affiliated:
Fields of Plenty: click for link
Founder: Alice Bagley
Since March 2012, Fields of Plenty has grown produce and flowers for (City Commons) CSA and various farmers markets in Detroit including the Oakland Avenue Farmers Market and the Grown in Detroit cooperative at Eastern Market.
Food Field: click for link
Founders: Noah Link and Alex Bryan
Peck LLC (and Food Field) was created in February 2011 by Noah Link and . Both grew up in Laingsburg, Michigan and went on to work on various farms in Michigan, Colorado,
New Hampshire, and abroad after graduating from the University of Michigan. Their farm, Food Field, sits on the old site of Peck Elementary in Detroit (formerly a convent).
Buffalo Street Farm: Click for link and this too
Founders: Christopher McGrane and formerly partner Minehaha Forman
Chris grew up in Detroit, but left the city to travel. His travels took him far and wide, from Texas to the New England states, where he spent time working on various farms. He discovered his love for growing food and quickly realized that his home of Detroit had the available land to make his own dreams of urban farming a reality. Chris returned to Detroit and started Buffalo Street Farm in the Hamtramck area in 2009
Vinewood Knoll: link not found
Singing Tree Garden: click for link
Founders: Kevin Bingham, Emily Brent and Meg Marotte
Kevin, who has worked in the tree care industry since his eighteenth birthday, was disgusted by the wastefulness of tree services. When he started his own company, his goal was to limit tree waste by turning it into useable resources. The tree service supplies the garden with wood chips for compost and mulch, logs are split into firewood or plugged and turned into mushroom logs and large timbers are milled and turned into lumber for woodworking projects and construction. As the garden grew, Emily Brent and Meg Marotte took ownership of the project, creating Singing Tree Garden.
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