> Implementing the Module 1 in the three partner countries:
- in the Czech Republic:
The first session of the modular training of the Be part of CSA! project was carried out in Prague on October, 3rd, 2015. 15 participants attended the training, mostly active conscious consumers, but also young farmers seeking for an option to start farming; experienced CSA activists and farmers were here as well. Although the participants were eager to go straight into the CSA practice, the training made them first aware of the main principles of CSA and its three basic pillars: agroecology, solidarity economy and food sovereignty.
Participants appreciated the presence of experienced CSA farmers and CSA members who shared their experiences and knowledge on a peer-to-peer basis, especially in the Who is who in CSA session where an experienced CSA farmer presented his role in the scheme along with one group coordinator and an ordinary CSA member.
Except during the initial presentations of what are the main CSA basics, the participants were actively involved in the training by means of brainstorming, group-works, role-playing games etc. This first training ended with a brainstorming session on CSA-to-be projects by three participants. Other learners together with the trainers discussed and assisted them in defining the future project. Participants were really motivated to learn and get as much information as possible.
This first session of the Be part of CSA project! has been very positively evaluated by the participants who appraised the presence of CSA practitioners and their active involvement in the learning process. As the training was intended to test some educational means, there were also some negative feedbacks mainly in terms of poor time keeping and emphasis on theory at the beginning of the training. Nonetheless overall evaluation of the whole training was quite positive and the selection of active peer-to-peer learning techniques proved to be appropriate for learning about and beginning to Be part of CSA!
Jan Valeska, Pro-Bio Liga
The first training event of the Be part of CSA! educational programme was organised at the beginning of October in Hungary. From the more than 70 interested candidates, we finally chose about 20 farmers, consumers and NGO representatives. All of them were really motivated, so the atmosphere of the training was very positive. The day started with the introduction and we continued with the comparison of different food systems, which helped the participants recognising why CSA is a solution for many local communities. Focusing on the broader picture, we started to talk about the special aspects of CSA: what is the theoretical background, how could it be defined, what are the operational issues, who are the main actors and how the CSA movement works in Hungary. An important support was that a well-experienced Hungarian CSA farmer was with us and not only introduced his community, but also gave many useful advices for the newcomers.
The day was closed with a role playing game, which was a really funny way to work with the most common practical situations from the life of CSA communities (e.g. volunteering, delivery, payment). We will continue in November with the second module, which will focus on the operational aspects of starting a CSA.
Zsófi Perényi, Association of Conscious Consumers, Hungary
- in Romania
The first training session was organized in Timisoara, on November 14th, 2015. 15 persons attended the training: responsible consumers, producers, researchers and also students at the Agriculture University of Timisoara. The support team included 2 trainers and 3 resources persons (consumers and producers involved in ASAT – Romanian CSA). The participants first expressed their expectations for the training, some of them being interested in participating as volunteers for promoting the CSA model in Romania.
During the first part of the day, the discussion went on the main differences between conventional agricultural systems and alternative food systems. The participants split into two groups, in which were discussed the organization of these two types of systems (production methods, distribution systems, relationships between consumers and producers, decision-making processes). The main topics stressed on:
- the importance of communities in building alternative food systems, secure and equitable food – the role of citizens and public authorities;
- actors involved in CSA : producers, consumers and NGOs;
- the Romanian model of CSA and its evolution.
The evaluation of the training was a positive one, the main recommendations were to use infographics and to improve the time keeping. What the participants liked the most was being with experienced trainers and their capacity to select and explain relevant information about CSA. The participants had no time to give feedback about the training materials. This session was prepared with the support of 3 associations: CRIES association, ASAT association (CSA Romanian network) and ECOSENS (a social enterprise, which assured the products for coffee-break, mainly from small peasants, organic and fair trade products).