Monday, April 28, 2014

What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?

From NCSU, Raleigh NC, near where I live in the states:

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Resource Guide for Farmers

What is Community Supported Agriculture?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a production and marketing model whereby consumers buy shares of a farm’s harvest in advance. Consumers become CSA members by paying an agreed amount at the beginning of the growing season, either in one lump sum or in installments. The annual cost, generally ranging from $400-$700, depends on the length of the harvest season and the variety and quantity of products provided. This upfront payment helps buy the seed and other inputs needed for the season and provides the farmer an immediate income to begin the season. 
By paying at the beginning of the season, CSA members share in the risk of production and relieve the farmer of much of the time needed for marketing. 
This allows the farmer to concentrate on good land stewardship and growing high quality food.
In return for their membership fee, consumers receive a variety of freshly picked vegetables (usually organic) every week. Some CSAs also offer fruits, herbs, meats, eggs, dairy, cut flowers, and other products. Consumer-members eat healthy, sustainably produced food and have the satisfaction of knowing where it came from and how it was grown. Many CSAs offer on-farm social and educational activities for members, further strengthening their connection to the land and with the farmers who feed them.
The CSA concept originated in Japan in the 1960s by a group of women concerned with the use of pesticides, the increase in processed and imported food, and the loss of farmers and farmland. By the early 1970s, farmers and consumers in several European countries, concerned about the industrialization of their food system, created the CSA model that we know today. The first CSA in the U.S. was created in Massachusetts in 1984. Today there are over 2,500 CSAs in the United States.North Carolina has over 100 CSAs, and more are created every year as interest from both consumers and farmers grows.

List of Lake Atitlan Farmers Markets, 

Farms & Organic Growers:

Atitlan Organics in Jaibalito, Santa Cruz, San Marcos:

Hotel Toliman, San Lucas Toliman

Panajachel Organics, Panajachel


How to Get Started

  • Meet with Potential Members
  • Establish a Core Group
  • Develop a Business Plan
  • Create a Budget

Vegetables to Grow / Verduras para crecer

Organic Vegetables to grow:

kale, arugula, spinach, other dark leafy greens, mushrooms, butternut squash,
corn, carrots, lettuce, radishes, salad greens

= la col rizada, rúcula, espinaca, otras verduras de hojas verdes, champiñones, calabaza, 
maíz, zanahorias, lechugas, rábanos, vegetales de hojas verdes

vegetables for organic juice recipe = verduras de jugo orgánico

carrots, tomatoes, red chili pepper, beets, onion, celery sticks, garlic cloves, lemons, salt
zanahorias,  tomates, chile pimiento rojo, remolacha, cebolla, tallos de apio, diente de ajo, limón, sal

Juice Recipe:

8 carrots  / zanahorias
6 tomatoes  / tomates
1 red chili pepper  / chile pimiento rojo
2 beets  / remolacha
1 onion / cebolla
5 celery sticks / tallos de apio
2 garlic cloves / diente de ajo
1 pinch of salt / pellizcar de sal
1 to 2 large lemons / 1 o 2 limón grande

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lake Atitlan Organic Growers Association


Lake Atitlan Organic Growers Association

We invite all other growers around Lake Atitlan to participate in a weekly organic Farmers Market in Panajachel for vegetable produce, chickens, eggs, compost and more. We would like to organize a CSA for anyone that wants to participate, and we could share what crops we grow, how much we grow, best practices, intensive growing techniques, urban farming techniques, shared seeds, special requests, customer lists, web site, office, accounting and delivery services.

The Lake Atitlan Organic Growers Association could have a regular newsletter, meetings and more. This group would be a centralized location with a growers calendar, and list demonstrations, workshops, ecological building practices, products for sale, ecology classes and everything so many people are working on all around the lake. We have many people already doing just that, but we don't have a way to disseminate information in a group setting. The LAOGA could tie in with Friends of the Lake, AMSCLAE and many more worthy groups working to bring sustainable ecological practices to the Lake Atitlan basin, along with organic growing practices.

To find out more, contact Catherine Todd (English) or Cristian Alinan (Spanish):

Contact English: Catherine Todd,, office tel (502) 7762-1004
Espanol: Technico Permacultor: Cristian Alinan, cel (502) 5739-4157
Residentiales Jucanya, Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, Central America