Since its beginning, fifteen years ago, the Trading Post’s purpose has been to facilitate the mutual support between local farmers and local community.
Recognizing the treasure that is our farmers, farms and the highest-quality food they produce, our aim is to provide a place for people to enjoy, share and learn about them. We also believe that its lasting strength, the ability of this community to adapt and thrive is measured by the quality of the connections within it. At the Trading Post we forge these connections at our grocery counter, in the kitchen, over lunch in the dining room, in the classroom, and out on the farm.
We are interested in quality more than quantity, health and environment not toxins or genetic-modifications and instead of immediate gains, long-term sustainability. One of the most powerful tools we have toward these goals is our spending and patronage. If focused toward our farmers and local products we can create a cycle of support and trust that provides for both the needs of the farmers and of the community. We’d even like to take it a step farther to entirely blur the line between farmers and community. After all, they are not somewhere ‘over-there’ but here… right next door, we can visit them, work with them and enjoy the benefits together.
Our vision is that all people can afford really good food and feel good about it. Among the many opportunities to make this happen is to get involved as a member. Membership is a way for our patrons to commit their support and in return be supported by discounts and benefits. Whether a simple cash amount or a relationship formed on exchanging work or goods, the Trading Post wants to be sure that if you want to be involved, you can be.
We like to think of it as community supported agriculture supporting community. In fact, Community Supported Agriculture is a growing international movement. It is a facilitated way of exchanging needed resources between farmers and community for mutual support. CSAs function by selling percentage shares of the produce and products from participating farms, the farmer can be assured of keeping up the farm and the local community is assured of good food close to home.
It only makes sense that with our love of local farms, The Trading Post would run a CSA, but we have also put our heads together to take it a step or two further. Our CSA spans multiple farms, so the products are diverse and the growing season extended. Rather than distributing the shares in boxes of fruit and veggies, members receive their shares as paper cupons or “pledges” which can be exchanged directly at the Trading Post. These coupons also may be used for discounts on other non-CSA products like toilet paper or a chocolate bar. It is also possible to trade them for other goods and services in the community.
Because the CSA is a non-profit educational program (run by the Sustainable Agriculture Education program of the Lamborn Foundation.) our members have the extra benefit of priority both as teachers and students in the ongoing workshops, classes and seminars here at the Trading Post, and these benefits are just the beginning!
We hope you will join us and find a way to participate, contribute and benefit. Please explore the website and then come on out and meet us at the Trading Post!