Share
twitterlinkedinfacebook
Image 1 of 1
20101030__RioGozo__0337_1.jpg
Ojai, California, October 30, 2010 - Apples from the apple bob during one of the many seasonal parties at the Rio Gozo farm. The 4-acre farm is cultivated and managed by micro-farmer John Fonteyn and his wife Elizabeth. Fonteyn says that he likes to host the events to encourage members to visit the farm, to see where their food is produced and to build a relationship with them. While there are several farms in Ojai that operate CSAs, Fonteyn saw a need for nearby Ventura, where no such opportunity exists. Though farming is a fairly solitary profession, Fonteyn has made a point to include the community by selecting creative pickup destinations and by hosting seasonal parties at his farm so that his members can visit, meet one another and learn more about where their food comes from. Members can also volunteer to help harvest once a week in exchange for food and the knowledge of how to grow and harvest various vegetables. Fonteyn also reaches out into the community by donating his time and some of his harvest to organizations that help to promote shared ideas of sustainability, local sourcing, and organic farming and well as building a network of communities around these shared values. ..Community Supported Agriculture, CSA, is an idea began in the 1960's whereby a farmer offers 'shares' to the public in return for payment up front. Each week the farmer delivers what seasonal produce is harvested. There are many advantages to both the farmer and the consumer. Benefits to the farmer include: 1) He has time to market early in the season to build subscriptions, allowing for more time during farming seasons to focus on the long harvesting days; 2) He receives payment early in the season which helps with the cash flow for seeds, planting and other up front costs; and 3) It allows the farmer to grow a more varied crop, minimizing the economic effects of trends in produce.  Benefits to the consumer include: 1) Ultra-fresh, locally grown, often organic produce; 2) Exposure to