Mike Nolan is the farmer on the popular Oasis Gardens, a 9-acre certified organic farm in Austin, Texas. Oasis also serves as a Community Supported Agriculture farm that enlists participation from its members. The members participate in all aspects of farming, Mike explains,from pl anting to weeding to harvesting. It’s a hands-on CSA, which is different from a delivery CSA. Unlike a CSA farm where shares of local food are dropped off and picked up in boxes, Oasis’ hands-on CSA farm is dependent on the members actually working for their food. “It’s hard work” Mike says, “but people are really excited to be here.”
Part of the reason for the members’ dedication to the farm is the sense of ownership and community that comes from working the land with their own hands every week.
Another reason Oasis has a year-long waiting list for the hands-on CSA shares, is that being a member of Oasis is fun! Every week members bring in the harvest at the end of the day, then gather in a circle. The members hold hands and share community announcements to let each other know what’s going on in
Peter Fleury, a professional landscaper and yoga teacher, bought the farm in 1998, but the land has been in production off and on since the 1800s. "This part of
After a decade of corn growing, the land then lay fallow from the 1930s to the present, used only as pasture for dairy cows.
When he has time, Mike brings food from
Mike and Peter are hoping to buy surrounding land and expand