Community Economic Development Initiatives: A Descriptive Exploratory Study of Community Shared Agriculture

By Ashiabi, Godwin S. | Journal of the Community Development Society, July 2000 | Go to article overview

Community Economic Development Initiatives: A Descriptive Exploratory Study of Community Shared Agriculture


Ashiabi, Godwin S., Journal of the Community Development Society


ABSTRACT

This study examines community economic development (CED) initiatives and focuses on community shared agriculture (CSA) as an alternative form of farming to industrialized agriculture. CSA connects the farmers directly with consumers, such that both farmers and consumers share the benefits and risks involved in agriculture. The purpose of this study was to understand what motivates individuals to become involved in a CSA and what involvement in CSA means for them. As a point of departure, the ecological and social psychological problems associated with industrialized agriculture are elucidated. Empowerment theory, social vitality, and sense of community were used as conceptual frameworks. Data were collected on a community farm in midwestern Ontario using a participant-observer mode of inquiry and open-ended interviews. The themes that emerged were categorized under empowerment, social vitality, and sense of community.

**********

INTRODUCTION

Community economic development initiatives (CED), specifically, community shared agriculture (CSA) as an alternative form of agriculture are examined here. CSA connects farmers directly to consumers, and enables participants to share the benefits and risks of good and poor growing seasons. Basic to all CSAs are the farmers and share members who purchase a "share" of the harvest through pre-season payments. Once a formal relationship is established, pick-up and delivery times and extent of consumer participation are arranged.

The purpose of this study was to examine what motivated individuals to become involved in CSA and what involvement in CSA means to them. Empowerment theory, social vitality, and sense of community are used as organizing frameworks. As a backdrop to the study some of the ecological and social psychological factors associated with industrialized agriculture are examined. It is argued, given these problems, that some individuals in rural communities are looking for alternatives that are counter-cultural.

Ecological and Social Psychological Consequences of Industrialized Agriculture

The ecological consequences of industrial agriculture include the destruction of rural environments through the use of agrochemicals in food production (Brown & Wolfe, 1984; Carson, 1963). Hamilton and Woolcock (1984) also express concern about the impacts on landscape when woodlands are removed, and Adams (1984) reports its negative impact on wildlife.

In terms of its social psychological consequences, Bowler (1992), Kneen (1993), and Sim (1988) observe that industrialized agriculture has led to a handful of transnational corporations gaining control over food production, which is achieved through the contractual obligations of farmers to agribusiness; through biotechnology and patenting; and through financial credits to farmers (Bowler, 1992; George, 1984; Kneen, 1993; Sim, 1988). Sim (1988) also comments on the powerlessness and marginalization of individuals and communities, and the breakdown of communities via the promotion of individualism and anonymity as farmers have been collectivized into an impersonal complex food chain.

Various writers (i.e., Bennett, 1987; Crowfoot & Chesler, 1974; Goldenberg, 1978; Wachtel, 1983) argue that we need alternatives that alter our consciousness, lifestyle, and interpersonal and community relations toward mutual exchange and control, and result in individuals mobilizing to achieve greater power and access to goods and services. Additionally, the alternatives should lead to a reduction or elimination of practices that are destructive to the natural ecology, and have the restoration of the sense of community and connectedness to others at their core (George, 1984; Kneen, 1993; McRobie, 1982; Oldenquist, 1991; Rowe, 1986; Sim, 1988; Wachtel, 1983).

McNeely (1999) reports on the successes of various community building efforts that seek to address the problems and opportunities of both poor inner-city neighborhoods and rural areas. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Community Economic Development Initiatives: A Descriptive Exploratory Study of Community Shared Agriculture
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.