Steven McFadden, co-author of "Farms of the Future" discusses CSA and "Native American Sacred Hoop" Economics

Allan Balliett igg at
Mon Sep 11 21:39:18 EDT 2000

Steven McFadden, director of The Wisdom Conservency and co-author of 
the classic studies of Community Supported Agriculture, "Farms of the 
Future" and "Farms of the Future - Revisited," as well as several 
titles on Native American wisdom, will give the keynote address at 
the Mid-Atlantic Biodynamic Food and Farming Festival on Friday, 
September 29th.

McFadden is optimistic about the future of the CSA movement, feeling 
that because CSA's roots are in local economies and because their 
support is drawn from local communities, they are destined to 
continue to grow in popularity and success in both turbulent and 
economically flat times. He ultimately finds that while CSA is "... 
"out of the box" of conventional agriculture, it is clearly "in the 
hoop" of the indigenous approach to food, land, and community. . . "

More information on Steve McFadden and Sacred Hoop economics can be 
found at

Former Native American 'Leader of All Tribes," John Trudell will also 
speak at the Mid-Atlantic Food and Farming Conference.

+++++ More Information on Steven McFadden's October 29 presentation ****

Sustaining Agriculture in the 21st Century: Thinking "Outside the Box
Theme 3 -- Farming Systems and Rural Communities

Community Farms in the 21st Century:
Outside the Box, But Inside the Hoop

With no government or outside support, and in the face of an ongoing tide of
decline for small farms, the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) movement
has been inaugurated over the last 14 years in North America, and grown at a
moderate rate to involve as many as 1,500 farms, and over 150,000 households.

CSA farms represent new economic, ecological, and social approaches to
agriculture.  Since the CSA form is inherently adaptable to local resources,
needs and choices, it has developed many variations.  More variation and
innovation is likely in the years ahead.

CSA is not just another new marketing approach.  Rather, it is about the
necessary renewal of agriculture through its healthy linkage with the human
communities that depend upon farming for survival.  CSA fosters coherent and
positive links between agriculture and communities, including urban, suburban
and rural neighborhoods, churches and schools.

In the years ahead many thousands more CSA farms will likely arise on North
America.  What will motivate them?  What will make them possible?  What
agricultural, environmental, social, and educational benefits might they

CSA implicitly embodies the original North American (Turtle Island) social
and environmental ethos -- the concept of the Sacred Hoop that embraces and
connects all facets of life. The leading edge of both physics and mathematics
apparently validates this worldview, especially through Superstrings Theory.
CSA farms employ different rhetoric than either physicists or Native American
elders, but take a practical approach in close correspondence with Native
philosophy and the supporting science.

Thus, while the CSA approach may be "out of the box" of conventional
agriculture, it is clearly "in the hoop" of the indigenous approach to food,
land, and community, and thus also in the hoop of contemporary scientific
understandings about the nature of our world.  Because of this, CSA appears
poised to continue growing in the immediate future, albeit gradually. But in
the century ahead, why not 150,000 CSA farms in North America, or more? Why
not millions of shareholder families? Why not at least one CSA farm in every
city, suburb and town?  The proven benefits could help renew and revitalize
the foundation of communities and farms from North to South. And then, by
extension, CSA can also help serve as a basis for renewal of the larger human
relationship with the earth.

Author: Steven McFadden, Director
The Wisdom Conservancy at Merriam Hill Education Center
148 Merriam Hill Road, Greenville, NH 03048
Ph: 603-878-1818   Fax: 603-878-0788
E-mail:  mchawk at

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