Now's the Time to Invest in a Yarn CSA. Or.. do you know where you're fiber's from?

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Last October, not martha asked: "We have CSAs for produce directly from farms, so why not for farms that raise animals for fiber?" 

According to Wikipedia, a CSA is Community-supported agriculture

Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a relatively new socio-economic model of food production, sales, and distribution aimed at both increasing the quality of food and the quality of care given the land, plants and animals – while substantially reducing potential food losses and financial risks for the producers. It is also a method for small-scale commercial farmers and gardeners to have a successful, small-scale closed market. CSA’s focus is usually on a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables, sometimes also flowers, fruits, herbs and even milk or meat products in some cases.

If you live in a region with family farms, you might subscribe to a CSA and receive your "box of investment" on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.  Makes sense: the farmers knows their produce is already sold, so they can concentrate on growing great food; the consumer knows they are getting fresh, locally grown produce and helping to keep a small farm running. 

Last October, Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm opened their farm to a new kind of CSA:

If you knit, crochet or spin you have almost certainly dreamed of owning your very own flock of sheep or goats. Unfortunately, living in the City (or even the suburbs) makes it very hard to get in touch with your inner Little Bo Peep. What’s a would-be shepherdess to do?

Our Yarn CSA can make your dream a reality! You can purchase a share of our Spring 2008 clip and we’ll take care of all the tedious details (like trimming hoofs, feeding during snowstorms and cleaning all the poopy hay out of the barn.)

When you purchase a share in our CSA (stands for Community Supported Agriculture) you are investing in our Spring 2008 “yarn harvest”. You’ll receive an shareholders certificate, weekly email updates on what’s going on around the farm and an invitation to our Shearing Day Celebration.

The money we receive from the shareholders will be used to purchase hay and feed for the animals and to increase the size of our flock. We will be adding 10 more nanny goats and two additional cormo ewes this year, and we are taking a serious look at a couple of alpaca. Every animal we add will increase the size of the clip and amount of yarn shareholders will receive.

After shearing, we’ll let our friends at the mill work their magic and soon you’ll receive your share of the harvest. The number of skeins, yardage, etc., will depend on the size of the clip but we are limiting our shareholders this first year to ensure that everyone gets a bountiful supply. You can choose to take all of your share in one kind of yarn or receive a sampler with some of each of the yarns we produce, including mohair, kid mohair, Cormo and Cotswold. Just type "one yarn" or "sampler" in the "Buyers Message to Seller" box when you check out. We also have Spinner's shares available- both roving and raw fleece.

We’ve priced our CSA at $100 per share. Of course, you’re welcome to buy as many shares as you like (while they last!) and a Yarn CSA share makes a great gift for all the knitters and crocheters in your life.

They sold their final share in this spring's shearing on January 8th, 2008.  Fall shearing shares have just been listed.

What are bloggers saying about the idea of Yarn CSAs??

Alex Steffen at WorldChanging predicts: knowing the actual origin of the fiber you're wearing is the lifestyle eco-geek status symbol of 2008.

The Daily Knitter suggests that we trade our tomatoes for mohair.

And Samantha Roshak on Knit Quest bragged about her hubby's great gift acquiring skills:

What's truly amazing though is he always includes a surprise, and even more amazing I always like it. This years surprise..Sheep. And goats. Pretty good surprise huh.

I am the proud owner of one share of yarn CSA (community supported agriculture). It's the same idea as the farm shares you can buy and receive weekly veggies in the summer, but better. I get yarn!

Debra Roby blogs her creative life at A Stitch in Time and her mundane life at Deb's Daily Distractions .

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