Invest in Your food, invest in your farmer

  • Sat Mar 21st, 2009 12:53am
  • Life
Blake and one of the roosters on the farm.

Blake and one of the roosters on the farm.

Lopez Community Farm has begun registration for their 2009 CSA season! What is CSA? Community Supported Agriculture is a way in which community members become farm members. By “investing” at the beginning of the growing season, members provide the farm with the “seed” money (literally and figuratively) needed to keep the farm running for the rest of the year. At Lopez Community Farm, shares range from small, standard, and large ($400, $500, and $600 for the six month season from June through November). The intended return is a generally greater value of the freshest vegetables, herbs, and flowers cultivated and harvested specifically for you. Each week members drop by the farm on a designated day to pick up their produce. This year’s harvest will include upwards of 100 favorite, heirloom and new varieties of vegetables whose arrival will reflect the changing seasons. “What makes a CSA unique is that it allows the farm organism to live and breathe more naturally. We don’t force the soil to produce large amounts of particular crops that happen to make the most money in the market. Our work is to create balance on the farm,” said Julie Bottjen, one of the new managers of the farm.

The tenets of Community Supported Agriculture were first stated by Rudolf Steiner (the same founder of Bio-dynamics) back in the early 1900s. The purpose then is all the more important today. By purchasing a “share” of the farm’s season, CSA members take ownership of their health, directly support the local economy and help hold intact the land’s historically agricultural roots.

Centered on S&S Homestead Farm, the Lopez Community CSA is currently the only official CSA farm on the island. This year two new managers have come to the scene, Blake Johnston and Julie Bottjen. Coming from the Snoqualmie Valley where they farmed with Blake’s mother on an integrated organic direct to consumer farm, they are here now to manage the CSA in collaboration with Henning Sehmsdorf and Elizabeth Simpson of S&S Homestead and Center for Sustainable Agriculture. As apprentices, Blake and Julie are here to help the transition of the S&S farm organism as a whole toward its long-term vision as a Bio-dynamic resource for the Lopez community. “The CSA achieves two major goals toward this vision,” said Bottjen. “It is an enterprise that can sustain the two young people needed to steward the future farm’s transition; and it provides a way for the community to become familiar with the farm, its practices and principles.”

Julie and Blake brought to Lopez a flock of 400 laying hens and are introducing them into the rotation of animals that promote soil fertility on S&S Homestead. Fresh, pastured eggs with rich deep yolks are available as part of the CSA. You’ll also find these eggs at Blossom or for sale at the farm stand at the head of the driveway of S&S: 2143 Lopez Sound Rd. To sign up for the CSA, email Blake or Julie at or call (468-3067). Registration forms are also available at Blossom Natural Foods.