Shortly after I moved into my home in Wissahickon six years ago, I was excited to discover the Henry Got Crops CSA Farm nearby. I was even more excited to learn I could spend time in the fields by becoming a working shareholder. I wasn’t even out of the wash station at my first shift when I declared, “I love it here!” That feeling has only grown stronger since.
The other thing that’s grown out of my time at Henry Got Crops is my business, the Kitchen Garden Series. When I became a CSA shareholder, I was a costume designer looking for more meaning in my work. I love the community-building aspect of urban farming and the environmental and health benefits of sustainable agriculture. I recognize that small urban farms aren’t subsidized the way large agri-businesses are, so there are financial needs that go unmet. I wanted to find a way to support it through textile design, so I developed the Kitchen Garden Series as a line of kitchen textiles made with reclaimed materials, and sold to support urban agriculture.
Currently, 25 percent of my proceeds are shared between Weavers Way Farms and the East Park Revitalization Alliance, which has garden plots on vacant lots in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.
Now, the Kitchen Garden Series is my primary work, and I’m offering a CSA of my own.
The CSArtisan initiative creates a relationship of mutual support involving you, the artisans and the growers we give to.
Just as in community-supported agriculture, shareholders pay at the beginning of the season, giving artisans the security of working capital. Shares are distributed on the solstices and equinoxes, and there are different sizes available for different price points. A limited offering of shares, featuring textiles, works in wood or clay, and a local food item, along with recipes and surprises, are available through mid-November.
This marks the second year of the CSArtisan initiative, and I am honored to be joined by Nick of Wissahickon Pottery (a fellow Weavers Way member and CSA shareholder), Gregg and Jackie of Heirloom Home & Studios, Margaux and Walter of Peg & Awl, Sheila of Small Batch Kitchen, Bethany of Sawdust Siren and woodworkers Alex Worcester and Brooke Wade. I hope you’ll join us.
Everyone involved supports urban growers through a 25-percent donation of the proceeds. If we sell every available share, we will be able to donate $5,000 to each of the organizations we’re supporting! Find out more and become a shareholder at www.thekitchengardenseries.com.