July is the heart of the growing season in Wisconsin and as such we chose FairShare CSA Coalition as our Organization of the Month. FairShare is a coalition of 53 organic farms throughout the state that are committed to providing fresh, local food to as many people as possible.
Short Stack also had the privilege of sponsoring FairShare CSA at the first Madison Night Market earlier this year in May.
So what does CSA stand for and what does Fairshare CSA do?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and is dedicated to getting people food from local farms. Members buy shares for the growing season and each week they can pick up their box of fresh produce (usually at a pick-up location) from their chosen local farm.
FairShare CSA is committed to connecting growers and eaters while working towards all-inclusive access to locally grown, organic, quality foods in all communities. FairShare has been around for almost 25 years, and has inspired other individuals to start programs similar to theirs. Their mission is to connect eaters and growers by teaching where our food comes from and what the process looks like. This is their website where you can learn more!
How can I get involved?
There are many ways to get involved! Volunteering, joining a committee or even just attending some of the many activities that are held by Fairshare CSA are great ways to get involved! Bike The Barns is the biggest fundraiser for they hold each year, but there is also the CSA open house in spring, farmers markets, and many other events.
An easy and incredibly practical way to get involved is by buying a CSA share for the season. FairShare makes this process so easy by helping you through the process on their website.
What is Bike The Barns?
Bike The Barns is a recreational bike tour intended to raise money so more people can get fresh foods and local farmers can have more funds to keep going. All of the proceeds go directly to Fairshare CSA, and nowhere else. This year it will be held on Sunday September 17th and will include biking to different local farms in the area, trying many delicious foods from the farms and local area, and getting to know more about what the program is about.
New this year, they are adding Bus The Barns to reach out to those that don’t or can’t bike the 30+ miles for the tour. But those on the bus will still get to enjoy the amazing food and company. You can get more information here.
What are some other things they do?
FairShare works hard to sustain its Partner Shares program. This important program helps everyone acquire fresh foods by offering scholarships of up to 50% of a share for the CSA program if people cannot afford a full share. Bike The Barns is the primary source of funding for this program.
Through their ever-growing initiatives and expanding programming, FairShare continuously supports communities throughout Wisconsin. The work they do is important for maintaining healthier and more fair communities and livelihoods, and their encouragement of organic farm practices contributes to a better environment overall.