CSAct! Farmer to Farmer Training
CSAct! Farmer to Farmer Training is a five day programme for CSA farmers. Nearly thirty farmers from across Europe will come together at Cascina Santa Brera near Milan, Italy to share their hands-on experience of producing healthy sustainable food for local communities and learn new skills to better equip them for the job of being a CSA farmer.
Over five days we will explore a range of topics including:
1/ Production challenges and farming techniques
2/ Balancing income and expenses: what’s a fair share?
3/ Diversified marketing, logistics and collaboration
4/ Building a community of members
The programme includes farm visits, practical sessions on improving soil fertility, group discussions and experience sharing, exploring economic sustainability, sharing tools and case studies to help with planning and logistics. We will consider how to reach new members, methods of communication, collaboration and conflict resolution as well as discussing the opportunity to shape future farmer to farmer training and mentoring across Europe.
Participants will come from Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and UK. This training event is part of “A Community Supported Agriculture collaborative training” programme- CSAct! with the support of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, that aims to extend existing CSA training programme to new European countries and improve existing resources based on the needs of CSA farmers and consumers.
Cascina Santa Brera is a certified organic farm within the legally protected agricultural hinterland of Milan. The farm operates according to permaculture principles, aiming for a productive balance between the environment and its inhabitants, while at the same time respecting agricultural traditions. It includes a vegetable garden with the project ”Adopt a veggie garden”, orchards, chicken and eggs, pigs, wheat and cows (the variety Varsese is listed in the Italian Slow Food Presidia), an agritourism business and variety of educational projects. Together these diverse enterprises have enabled Cascina Santa Brera to demonstrate how organic farming and permaculture can create lively and sustainable rural livelihoods.
|Sunday 21 January||17.00 Welcome drink in Milan (venue to be confirmed).
Travel together to Cascina Santa Brera
|Monday 22 January||Introductions and getting to know each other
Introduction to Cascina Santa Brera
CSA Experience sharing
|Building community 1 – knowing and reaching your members|
|Tuesday 23 January||Economic sustainability 1 – tools and budgets||Marketing, logistics & collaboration|
|Wednesday 24 January||Soil fertility and regenerative practices in agriculture||Building community 2 – solving conflicts|
|Thursday 25 January||Farm visit: Azienda Agricola Iside:
Agrobiodiversity and low-tech tools
|Friday 26 January||Economic sustainability 2 – solidarity and fairness
Setting up a Mentoring programme
Insights and learnings
Future CSA farmer to farmer training and support
|Saturday 27 January||Breakfast and goodbyes|
Overview of sessions
- Building community 1 – knowing and reaching your members – how can CSA farmers build a committed and engaged community of members around their farm. We will review the profiles and motivations of the CSA consumer and explore the potential routes to connect to these people.
- Building community 2 – solving conflicts – how to share the tasks of community building and some principles on dealing with conflict. A chance to explore what has worked and what hasn’t!
- Economic sustainability 1 – tools and budgets – what are the main issues for economic sustainability on CSA farms. What does economic sustainability mean and how to make it fair for farmers. What tools are farmers using? What works and what doesn’t?
- Economic sustainability 2 – solidarity and fairness – What does a fair share really mean? How does being a CSA influence our approach to economic solidarity and fairness? How do farms engage with low income consumers and balance productive and reproductive labour.
- Marketing, logistics & collaboration – how can farms combine CSA with other forms of marketing such as farmers market or to restaurants. What are the logistical challenges of getting produce to consumers, and how can multi-producer CSAs create partnerships and synergies.
- Soil fertility and regenerative practices in agriculture – a chance for farmers to share ideas and learn about fermenting manure (aerobic bokashi), increasing microorganisms with teku kana, and using mineral solutions.
Please complete fill the registration form and send it back to your organisation before the 15 December 2017.
The programme will be conducted in English. Translation will not be provided by the event organisers.
We will meet in Milan on the Sunday evening and travel to venue together. More information on the meeting point will be sent out nearer the date.
Please note the farm is outside Milan and is quite difficult to reach by public transport. We suggest you to organise your travel in order to be at the meeting point at 18.00 at the latest, so we can travel all together.
Travel costs Each partner organisation to add information here about how their participants are reimbursed for their travel.