Episode-372- CSAs and Modern Survival Philosophy — 14 Comments

  1. I am very glad you had this podcast, and have to give you an example. I come from the perspective of the radical right-wing libertarians, and I was ahead of the curve in my movement in defending CSA. I defended it against well known libertarian Dr. Robert Murphy back in 2006.

    He attacked an article by Amanda Taylor ( because she argued that importing frozen vegetables from China was inefficient.

    Murphy argued, more or less, that Ms. Taylor was wrong because the final price of frozen veggies from China proves it was still efficient. He attacks Ms. Taylor for being concerned with the energy consumed.

    I attack Dr. Murphy’s unstated assumption that the current state of affairs that make energy and related international transportation costs cheap should are static and natural.

    In effect, Dr. Murphy was attacking survivalist concerns, and when I wrote 3.5 years ago, the libertarian movement was not too interested in survivalism. They were influenced by Ayn Rand’s praise of “skyscraper capitalism”, which to me is a symbol of centralism, and I oppose the jinga nature of centralism, not only state centralism, but market centralism too.

    After the market collapse in 2008, libertarians became much more concerned with survivalism, you see it on regularly now. I was pleasantly shocked the first time I saw them be positive about things like Permaculture, Linux, and the Opens Source software movement, off-grid back to the land lifestyles, etc. They finally acknowledge that American society has passed the high point and will collapse before (assuming ever) reaching a higher peak than 2007.

    Maybe even Dr. Murphy has come around by now.

    I’d encourage people to read my article as I expand beyond this blog post.

    Dr. Murphy’s article:
    My response article:

  2. Great show Jack, There seems to be a lot of CSA farmers in my area. Prices seem a little high for a single guy but I’m going to ask some friends if they want to split a share with me. Hopefully I will find someone, as that seems like it will make the experience even better.

  3. Jim3, sometimes CSA’s have “work shares” which let you do some work in exchange for food. I’m going to split a share this year to make it work! Good luck.

  4. Great show (but when isnt it?), it gave me some ideas. Last year I was on jury duty and they turned us loose for a 3 hour lunch. I didnt see the point of going home so I walked to our cities farmers market instead. I met a butcher who raises and sells grass graised beef and got some great deals on vegetables. I think a farmers market would be a great place to spread this idea and make new friends.

  5. Great show, as always.

    My only caution with a CSA is to check it out thoroughly before signing up. Not based on the fear that the grower is dishonest but to ensure it will meet your needs and expectations. Our family joined a CSA for 2009 and it was not what we expected as far as what we got each week and how much of it. Plus we were really not prepared as far as storing any surplus (canning, dehydrating, etc.).

    Now, this was before we started listening to TSP so our mindset has changed a lot since then. Joining the CSA was one of our first moves in a preparedness direction and our motives were right but our execution was half-assed.

    This year, we will be growing our first garden for food (already have MANY ornamentals and many of them are coming out) and have decided to allocate the funds that we spent on the CSA last year to hitting a farmers market at least once a month and snapping up whatever good deals we can find on surpluses as vendors are closing up. We will explore getting back into a CSA a little further down the road but will definitely shop around more thoroughly before signing up.

    One other thing we will plan on doing toward the end of the season: We have a connection via a friend to an opportunity to purchase a half a cow directly from the farm where it is raised. We passed on that last year because we didn’t have the freezer space. This year we will be much better prepared to seize the opportunity and can, jerk and biltong a decent portion of it and freeze the rest.

  6. Great work. I have extra eggs about a dozen and a half a day and have no truoble selling them. I plan to raise hogs this tear using the csa framework and have eager buyers. I have 25 ac. and am beginning to see my property in a different light.

  7. Jack,
    My prayers go to the Mrs. May she have a speedy recovery. This show and others influenced me to my DNA, and I have joined a local CSA being the last share purchased. I feel empowered and am so proud to be able to help a local farmer, and in doing so I get organic vegetables AND get to practice my dehydrating skills.
    I cannot wait to get my first box of veges, which will be immediately sliced and diced and be put directly into my propane wok!
    Jack, THANK YOU for your unwavering positive message. Your knowledge is being spread out there, for instance my 78 year old mom who is SO proud that while being in a blizzard today in NJ, she is prepared to the point that she can be in her home for 3 weeks and have food, water, heat and shelter. My mom rocks!
    But not for you Jack, I would not have joined ther CSA, trashed my tin-foil hat, put my house up for sale, looked for a proper home in a small town, and rid myself of my paranoia.
    There is NO way I can ever thank you enough Jack. So please accept my humble thank you.

    Kind regards.

    Brian Bradshaw

    Living a better life. Period.

  8. loved the show, Loved the concept, have found one that delivers near here and have contacted them and began the process of getting a share Thanks!!

  9. I have found 2 CSA’s in my area that look great. I will see and investigate which I want to sign up with, but this sounds fantastic!!!! Very inspiring and well thought out show as always.


  10. Great show, Jack.
    You’re right about opportunities. There seem to only be a few CSA’s in our area, and all have a waiting list. We’ll have to wait for farmers markets to open to find others.