Hope Community Farm will be starting its fifth harvest season in 2020. Farm Manager, Haileigh Arnold, is making a significant difference on the farm and with the growers. She has developed a good rapport with the farmers, has been learning Swahili, and has diversified the farm’s offerings.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares will be available for pick up again on Fridays during the upcoming harvest season. And in 2020, we will again offer the two East End CSA pick up locations for added convenience:
- Hope Community Farm (3-6PM)
- Southeast Christian Church (4-6PM)
- Grace Evangelical Free Church (4-6PM)
CSA shares cost $550, which can be divided into two payments of $275 each. The farm is located at: 1400 Bicknell Way, Louisville, KY 40215, less than two miles from Hope Place where Gate of Hope Ministries has an office.
CSAs have become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer:
Advantages for farmers:
– Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
– Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow
– Provides an opportunity for the farms to get to know the people who eat the food they produce
Advantages for consumers:
– Eat ultra-fresh food, sometimes picked the same day, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
– Exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
– Usually visit the farm one or more times per season
– Kids typically favor food from “their” farm and even try veggies they’ve never been known to eat
– Develop a relationship with the farmers who grow their food and learn about how the food is grown
It’s a simple enough idea, but its impact has been profound. Tens of thousands of families throughout the U.S. have joined CSAs, and in some areas of the country there is more demand than there are CSA farms to fill it. The government does not track CSAs, so there is no official count of how many CSAs there are in the U.S.
In addition, Gate of Hope provides trauma counseling to participants of Hope Community Farm in response to the specific needs of local refugee trauma surivors. Services are provided by two mental health counselors trained in trauma-informed mental health care and cross-cultural therapy dynamics. Both have experience facilitating nature-based interventions for mental health and wellness. Counseling sessions take place in the garden setting, integrating garden education and activity.
The property is owned by Louisville Metro Housing Authority and is leased by Louisville Grows. This project is equipping participants with technical, organizational and entrepreneurial skills. Through partnerships we are supporting communities in the development of a sustainable, local food system.