-Adam Zaharoni ’21
Food is a fundamental part of human life both biologically and socially. Yet, despite its importance, many people are unaware of where their food really comes from. Last week, Colgate’s Community Garden interns and I got the chance to experience the work that goes into sustainable food production first hand at the local Community Supported Agriculture Farm (CSA), Common Thread.
Located only a few miles from Colgate, Common Thread’s mission “is to produce healthy food for our local community using sustainable growing methods, provide opportunities for people to connect with the land and their community, and contribute to larger efforts towards a just and sustainable food system”. So what exactly is a CSA? A CSA creates a direct and strong bond between consumers and farmers, with members of the community becoming shareholders of the farm, thus funding it in exchange for weekly shares of the fresh produce. This unique relationship is designed to help build a stronger community and allows citizens to take direct responsibility for their local agriculture.
But what is it like to actually work on a farm? What goes into using these sustainable growing practices? While I only worked there for a brief five hours last Friday, I can tell you confidently that it is a lot more than expected. Along with three other workers, I spent my time at Common Thread weeding a patch of cauliflower, kale, and cabbage. It took us five hours to finish weeding just these three plants, a mere fraction of the much larger fields of produce in Common Thread’s two plots. I can only imagine how much time and effort go into weeding the entirety of their land, not to mention the planting, harvesting, upkeep, and watering of the plants as well. Not to mention that the work is not easy, but intensive and strenuous.
At the end of the morning as we were leaving, we stopped by the strawberry plants, and picked some straight from the plant to eat. Tasting those strawberries showed me that everything we had been doing and that Common Thread and farmers around the world do on a daily basis is worth it. Fresh produce grown in sustainable ways tastes delicious and is worth all of the hard work that goes into growing it. Next time you are eating, try to remember that the food you have came from somewhere, maybe a farm like Common Thread, and the amount of effort that went into that food ending up on your plate. And if you ever want to see the process for yourself go check out your local farm or visit Colgate’s very own Community Garden!