A story in the Post & Courier last week provided an interesting article on the increase in demand for local foods. Community Supported Agriculture Programs (CSAs) offers members a “share” of their farm and usually equates to a box of mixed produce weekly for each season. In 2007, the first CSA was launched in Charleston, and less than four years later, there are 16 local farms offering CSAs. The economic forecast for local farmers and small farms across the U.S. are seeing an increase in demand for locally sourced produce.
According to the article and John Ikerd’s 2050 in America: Food and Farms of the Future, “local foods have been the fastest growing segment of the food system over the past two decades, roughly doubling in size every three to four years.” Plus, if South Carolina sees similar growth in agriculture as other surrounding states have, there could be an $335 million increase in agribusiness.
Trident Tech even created a sustainable farming program after the Intro to Sustainable Agriculture class gained tremendous interest last year. Classes like Tractors, Local Soils and Soil Amendments and Market Gardens are available for college credit and continuing education at Trident.
Mary Baldwin of Thornhill Farms and Catherine McGuinn of Trident Tech’s sustainable agriculture programs were featured in the article, as well as Lowcountry Local First (which oversees the Growing New Farmers Incubator). Click here for a list of the CSAs in Charleston.