Forget the Farmers Market: Buy the Farm

21st century-style 'sharecropping' takes root nationwide
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2008 3:45 AM CDT
Jason McKenney, right, and business partner Rachael Van Laanen weed strawberries on their organic farm in Half Moon Bay, California.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Consumers wanting food straight from the source are buying up shares of farms in growing numbers, the New York Times reports. For a set annual fee, shareholders buy access to the land and a guaranteed share of the harvest income. The number of community-supported farms in America has mushroomed from 100 in the early '90s to almost 1,500 today.

Farmers get a guaranteed income out of the deal, while the modern sharecroppers often earn green peace of mind, bucket-loads of seasonal fruits and veggies—and, if they choose to help work the land, plenty of exercise. "I think people are becoming more local-minded, and this fits right into that,” said a farmshare coordinator. "People are seeing ways to come together and work together to make this successful.”