[Market-farming] potato seed, source & disease

Pat Meadows pat at meadows.pair.com
Thu Feb 19 12:50:18 EST 2009

On Sun, 15 Feb 2009 07:52:34 +0200, you wrote:

>We use True Potato Seed (TPS) grown in trays just like tomatoes and then planted out, the progeny of which is then our seed for the ware crop. There are limited varieties available however, and it is a two stage process, but if your process is sterile it produces very clean seed. We us Hygrotech "Mari"....
>By the way, could someone tell us what a CSA is......I guess its some kind of consumer group...we would like to try something like this in our local city ....sorry, we're new!

CSA stands for Community-Supported Agriculture.  

I suppose every CSA is different, it can work however the farmer and
subscribers desire.  But here's a typical setup:

The subscribers buy 'shares' in the farmer's crops for a season or for a
year.  They pay in advance.  I've seen figures such as $400 USD for a share
these days - that would be for a spring/summer/fall growing season.  Then
the farmer distributes his crops to the members each week or every other

The members get whatever is in season, as determined by the farmer - they
don't get to pick and choose usually.  

If there's a crop failure, well - then there's a crop failure.  The farmer
is not obliged to make up the difference or to pay back the money.  The
subscribers are, therefore, assuming some of the risk of farming and
supporting the farm.  

I've been a member only once, because I wanted to try it.  It wasn't much
use to me because I garden, as it happens - too much duplication.  If I did
not garden, I'd have loved it. 

My daughter, who doesn't garden, is a member of an excellent CSA in her
area:  she *loves* it.  She drives out to the farm each week and picks up
her box of greens, tomatoes, corn - whatever.  

The members need to be a little adventuresome; they often receive
vegetables that they haven't eaten before and need to learn to cook.  This
broadens their horizons which is excellent.

It takes a brave farmer to contract with, say, 100 people to produce a box
of vegetables and/or fruit and/or herbs for each of them every week for six
months.  The farmer needs to schedule, plan, and plant carefully.  Some
CSAs are combined efforts from several farms.  

Often, CSA's have picnics on their farms, or other events, for the
subscribers to get to know the farmer and farm.  Some CSAs require that the
subscribers work a certain amount of hours.  CSA farmers often have email
newsletters to keep the subscribers advised of what veggies they will be
having and what's happening on 'their' farm.

Article on CSA:  


In Pennsylvania's Northern Tier, northeastern USA.
Website: www.meadows.pair.com/articleindex.html

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide
what kind of difference you want to make. - Jane Goodall

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