I heard an interesting programme on the BBC World Service last night about how middle class Chicagoans are buying shares in nearby farms. The farmers get money up front from them, rather than from banks who wouldn’t give them anyway, and the urbanites can hang out in a rustic setting and have fresh produce from a trusted source delivered weekly. Unfortunately, I can’t find the piece on the BBC website. However, there’s a NY Times article from a couple of weeks back that will do just as well.1 The article says that this
… concept was imported from Europe and Asia in the 1980s as an alternative marketing and financing arrangement to help combat the often prohibitive costs of small-scale farming.
Here’s one of the shareholders, retired computer consultant Steve Trisko, who likes weeding beets and tending tomatoes:
We decided that it’s in our interest to have a small farm succeed and have them be able to have a sustainable farm producing good food.
Is this part of the back-to-the-future, small-is-beautiful vibe Jeremy was talking up a few posts back?
- It’s also in the International Herald Tribune if you don’t like registering at the Times. [↩]