It’s the relational part of what we are doing that is our point of difference. This was where Sylvia and I got to on Friday when we, once again, discussed the vision for the Waikato Community Supported Agriculture initiative.
The thing that stuck me most in our conversation, was that Sylvia has been doing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for a very long time. She is the kind of person that you know…not the kind of person that you make a transaction with in a shop-like sense and walk away. Yes, she does sell the most amazing, creamy, organic avocados and the juiciest, sweet, organic oranges, but she is always slipping extras in because she knows you, she knows your family, and she genuinely cares about your wellbeing.
Sylvia is one of those people, along with her son Oscar, who take the time to know who you are. Together, they have a special way of noticing your inner being, or that part of you that has kind of always been there since day dot. It’s a good thing, and you are appreciated. They know we are in this together, so one of the best things we can do is connect.
The relationship that they form with you is the basis of Community Supported Agriculture. The initiative recognises that the growers and producers of food are intricately important to the consumers of food and vice versa. But not in a transactional kind of way, in a real life kind of way. Wellbeing needs to be a collective endeavour and a shared goal.
Sylvia and Oscar know stories about the growers and about the consumers. They know things like the struggles they are facing, the recent bereavements, the financial stresses and the lived realities of their community. They know their values, their hopes and dreams. That’s unique, and it’s special, because it is where trust builds and where resilience grows.
When we know each other and each other’s stories, a different kind of principle takes hold. We perhaps care less for the bottom line and more about the line we share, that we dance along in the tricky mix of what life can throw at us.
So if you want community, if you want to feel relationship with people who grow your food, people who you share values with, in a way that surpasses transaction and builds community, then there is a really good chance that the Waikato Food Connect CSA is for you. And at a time of year, where we reflect on relationship, not always so easy, but part of the richness of life, it might be worth considering just what we crave most. Yes good food, no question, but perhaps more so, good relationship. From my observation and from my experience so far, Community Supported Agriculture seems to have the promise of both.
For more information on the Waikato Food Connect CSA contact Sylvia on 022 083 5842 or firstname.lastname@example.org