Gloria and Stephen Decater moved to the sparsely inhabited but beautiful and fertile valley of Covelo, California in 1973. Years later they formed Live Power Community Farm, an association of involved consumers and dedicated farmers. This farm today is a 50 acre, solar electric and horse-powered, diversified, certified biodynamic CSA farm.
Live Power has an active volunteer core group of 10 to 20 members who help organize membership, distribution, communications, website development, member surveys, general meetings, and on-site work days. Members (shareholders who give financial support) give input as to varieties of veggies to be grown, so that the planting plan can be tuned to the needs of the community.
The farmers provide a weekly basket of fresh, high quality, organic fruits and vegetables that are in season, while the shareholders commit their financial (or volunteer) support. As one of the members of the Live Power CSA, my family pays $25 per week and meets a weekly delivery truck at a home of one of the members in our town for the food distribution. We then fill our basket with the just harvested, locally grown, delicious produce. Seeing and talking with the other members (and Gloria or Stephen) is a fun social occasion.
Learning how to use food that is local and seasonal can challenge new members because the preparation, preservation, and storage of food that comes straight from the land is much different than deciding on a menu and then shopping for it. To help with this challenge, Live Power Community Farm has a bi-weekly newsletter with recipes that we find helpful. My wife and I also go online and Google for recipes using any veggie you can imagine. For us, this has become a favorite way to learn to cook with new and sometimes unusual foods from the farm.
The CSA movement has been defined by its concern for the small family farmer. Keeping these farmers as part of our national heritage, both now and in the future, for our children and our grandchildren, is our concern. Eating the healthy bounty that they provide is our privilege.
To visit the Live Power Farm website go to www.livepower.org.