With the help of EcoSense and AU faculty members, the Community Supported Agriculture program began selling farm shares on campus on Tuesday, Feb. 23.
Two shares have been sold at AU so far, with several more sales in process, according to Allan Balliett, who owns a farm in West Virginia.
Balliett runs the program, which allows students to receive a bag of fresh produce once a week after buying a share in his farm. He grows a variety of different produce in an environmentally-safe manner and then delivers that produce to the shareholders.
Balliett was surprised that so few shares have been paid for so far. Sales will continue until the shares are sold out, he said.
Money raised by shares fund the CSA so that he doesn’t have to take out loans for the farm, Balliett said.
Amy Farr, the health promotion manager in Human Resources, helped advertise for the CSA on campus.
Farr used targeted e-mails, Today@AU newsletters, AUPedia, the electronic billboard in the tunnel and the plasma TVs in Mary Graydon Center to advertise for the program, she said. The CSA opportunity was also listed in a letter to faculty and staff about what programs are happening on campus.
Julie Munro, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, is in charge of promoting the CSA on campus through EcoSense. She and other EcoSense members have been promoting the program at environmentally-themed campus events.
“We figured this was the best audience to reach out to,” Munro said.
Students who buy shares in the CSA have several options regarding the size and price of the share. A full share is $600, a single-person full share is $425 and a single share for nine weeks starting in the fall is $225, according to Balliett.
Balliett’s CSA program is not the only one in the D.C. area. Kate Sparks-Auclair runs Green Fence Farm with her husband in Greenville, Va., which has a CSA program. The Green Fence Farm CSA delivers to Capitol Hill and Northwest D.C.
Sparks-Aclair said that last year she doubled the number of shares available from the year before and still sold out in 10 days.
“We’ve only been doing a CSA for two years now, but I definitely think interest is growing,” she said. “Overall, I think people are becoming much more aware of what’s in the food they eat,” Sparks-Auclair said.
Shares can be purchased at the CSA’s Web site, http://www.freshandlocalcsa.com.