Robyn Van En

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Biographical Information

"Robyn Van En had such a vision. As the foremost pioneer of the CSA movement in North America, Robyn’s life was dedicated to establishing and supporting Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in the United States. In 1985, Robyn Van En, together with a core group of like-minded producers and consumers initiated a project simply named Community- Supported Agriculture at her farm in S. Egremont, MA. The CSA concept, which reconnects producers with consumers and empowers members to "vote with their dollars" for ecologically sound, local agriculture, was brought to the United States by Jan Vander Tuin, a friend of Robyn’s from Switzerland. The CSA idea was not a new one in Europe; similar cooperatives existed there for decades as well as in Japan.

"The group’s initial venture began with a small apple orchard operation at Robyn’s Indian Line Farm and grew from there. Within four years, the farm’s original membership of 30 shares expanded to 150. As word spread about the success of this new concept, Robyn quickly went from being a market gardener to the widely recognized leader of the CSA movement. Across the country, Robyn directly helped to pioneer more than 200 CSA’s." [1] The initial CSA farms were inspired by Rudolf Steiner's work. [1]

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  1. Robyn Van En, organizational web page, accessed May 31, 2012.