The third module of the Be part of CSA! training programme was focusing on community building and management. The interest was high again in Hungary and we were happy to see that many existing CSA producers joined also to the training and learned something new.
Their presence was also really helpful for the new CSA farmers and coordinators, who are just about to start their community. There was a lot of discussions going on during the breaks.
The program started with a motivating presentation of a CSA farmer and by a member of her community from the “Yearwheel organic farm”. We learned about how they started and maintain their lively and active community. We also discussed the tools which are needed and helpful to manage a community.
In the afternoon the participants learned about two interesting theories related to community building, which was followed by a session about fears and problems. During this session participants could learn how to overcome their fears by speaking about them, and in the same time how to listen and help someone with a problem. With the help of drama pedagogy, the participants could also experience the feeling, when a lot of task and responsibility are on their shoulders. Related to that, we discussed about volunteering and outsourcing tasks.
A really important result of the training event was that inspired by the best practices and tools, the present members of the informal Hungarian CSA network decided to organise a special meeting which will be dedicated for the community building within the network. According to the first plans, on the meeting the members will discuss how the community based decisions could be made for the network and also plan how newcomers could be integrated.
The main objective of this Module 3 meeting was to identify constructive ways to facilitate the consumers involvement in managing CSA partnerships. It was very interactive and practical, as we organised several working groups making it easier for each participant to effectively participate. Informal educational methods were used- for exemple: the world cafe method.
The meeting started with a discussion about the most important elements that characterizes the CSA community in Romania from the participants point of view and why is it important to build a community? Participants discussed about several communication tools, giving a special attention to the tools and activities which facilitate the involvement of consumers and producers in managing their CSA partnerships.
The main outcomes of the meeting were that we should be:
- developing a list of social indicators to measure the community impact of CSA;
- creating a list of possible activities to be carried out by consumers to self-manage their partnership;
- developing a common calendar with the main events and actions that can be attended by ASAT promoters;
- developing working groups with ASAT promoters interested in getting involved in the development of CSA in Romania;
- sharing experience between participants – some participants have been promoting CSA in Romania for 8 years now.
Participants really liked that the training be so useful: they were offered the opportunity of discussing practical examples of CSA management. The trainer facilitated also a participatory consultation process for two situations presented by participants, highlighting the importance of considering different points of view – the producers and consumers ones.
- CZECH REPUBLIC: the third “Be part of CSA” seminary or “How to make a CSA community blooming?”
The 3rd seminar of the project “Be part of CSA” in Prague on February 27th was carefully planned in the winter season and offered an attractive topic, not only for newly started farmers and potencial co-ordinators of CSA but also for community members who already face and live with tasks referring to “how to build and manage own food community”. Thanks to this situation we had 23 participants who were really enthusiasts for participating and cooperating to get as much as possible. There were 4 farmers and 5 co-ordinators who attended the 2nd seminar as well. The majority of participants have had experiences with being a community member.
The seminar was introduced by two presentations. The first one focused on communities in general, like a phenomenon (types and character of communities, their specificities) was presented by Jan Blažek who learns about communities at the university but also by living in all over the world. The second presentation by Tereza Kulhánková was more practical and showed the real-life process of building and developing one of the Czech CSA group: “KPZ Tišnov” that thanks to involved and creative members set up other initiatives in spite of problems. Tereza’s presentation focused on real problems and their workable solutions that the community members had found.
After the time of presentations and short discussions, participants were liven up by discussing in small groups of 4 about community-building tools, and how to prioritize them. The conclusion given after discussing the feedbacks in the plenary showed that each CSA group and its members are different, meaning that all tools have their impact but with different preferences.
This activity was followed by a “Devil’s Advocacy” game where in groups of 3, participants experienced alternately 3 different roles in problematic situations that may arise in their community. Most participants found out this activity useful offering them the opportunity to play different roles and to “stay in the role” even though it’s not natural for them. Especially, when you are the one just listening. They assessed it like a useful position for problematic situations and tasks.
After that, participants split in smallers groups with one farmer, so that other members could understand the value of sharing tasks like a efficient method in a community. As a first step, groups brainstormed on all the tasks a CSA farmer has and after, they went through them again to find all the ones that could be done by someone else. This activity focused on the problem that too much responsibility bear on one person in the community and how the community can sort it out.
The next part focused on the outsourcing and how to organize it. Participants worked in two groups: one farmers group thinking about the many tasks and the best way to have them done to someone else; the second group discussing about what kind of tasks they would like to get and how to best achieve them. It was important to compare the results of both groups to see the different points of view…
All participants evaluated this seminar well done and organized, with useful and interesting informations and activities for their existing or future CSA communities. One contact between farmer and CSA group was set up and new demands to set up CSA groups were put to the on-line CSA map.
So we now hope rain will come to help communities growing, blooming and never fading.
All materials from this workshop were published on the local project website: www.kpzinfo.cz/zapojte-se/zapoj-se-do-kpz/seminare