Iowa organic farmer plans cohousing community

You might argue that the “community” in community-supported agriculture (or CSA) can be a bit misleading. Sure, CSA arrangements, in which consumers buy shares in a local farm’s crops, cut down tremendously on food miles, give us more insight into the cultivation of the things we eat, and often give us the opportunity to get to know the farmers involved in growing what goes on our plate… but does that always result in community?

Maybe… maybe not. If Granger, Iowa farmer Angela Tedesco has her way, though, no one will doubt the community aspect of her organic farm and CSA… because it will be located at the farm itself. For several years, Tedesco has researched and planned for a cohousing development at her Turtle Farm, “a sustainable housing development, where each small, privately owned house is clustered in part of the property.”

Tedesco’s specific plans follow many of the elements found in other intentional communities and ecovillages: a combination of shared and private spaces, eco-friendly development, and, of course, organic farming. While many who establish or join these kinds of communities are concerned with their own lifestyles, Tedesco’s thinking about the long-term status of her land: her goal is “to preserve the land base so that it may continue to be farmed in the future, regardless of development around it or how long I actively farm it.”

Her plan has been slowed down by the economic bumps of the past few years, but is still on the front burner… and the Des Moines Register has named her a person to watch in ’11 for her plans. We agree… and will be watching to see what happens with Turtle Farms cohousing.


Photo: The Duwamish Cohousing Community in Seattle Credit: Joe Mabel at Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license