Local farmers John Cahill and David Daily have put their organic greens, carrots and beets within reach of Belmont students, staff and neighbors with a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick up every Tuesday in the Beaman Student Life Center.
“We want to give people the opportunity to eat food from the neighborhood around them, instead of eating food that’s trucked in from across the country,” said Real Food Farms owner John Cahill. He and business partner David Daily plant, harvest and distribute all the produce to 10 locations across Nashville, including the University.
Real Food Farms chose Belmont as a distribution location when Megan Gibson, a Belmont graduate student, contacted the organization on behalf of Slow Foods, a student organization devoted to creating a space of mutual learning through a community garden and other initiatives. Cahill said he thought the partnership would be a good fit for the farm and the Belmont community.
Real Food Farms runs its CSA program on a membership-only base. A student share begins at $200 for a 20-week season and allows students to select four items each week from tables spread with onion, parsley, carrots, garlic, summer squash, tomatoes and melons, among other produce. There are also half bushels (16 items) and one-fourth bushels (eight items) options for faculty, staff and neighbors feeding larger families.
Members also receive a weekly newsletter about in-season crops, recipes and Real Food Farm news.
In addition to offering healthy food options to Nashville neighbors, Real Food Farm’s CSA makes food donations to The Eden Project (an opportunity for gardeners to share surplus), Emmaus Fellowship (a worship service – dinner initiative) and Food Not Bombs (an organization sharing free vegan and vegetarian meals to the hungry in over 1,000 cities around the world).