"What is a CSA Community?" Metalogue
JODY: I can't go to the picnic. My pa and I are helping at Ten's farm with the CSA.
JACK: Sorry to here that. Can I help carry those tools while we walk?
JODY: Sure, thanks.
JACK: You keep telling me about this CSA but where is the "community" if it's just you, your pa, and Ten?
JODY: I know what you mean. I often wonder what "community" is myself. It is like air that is nowhere to be seen when suddenly it is the wind again.
JACK: You can't really touch community.
JODY: I suppose not.
JACK: It might not even be polite to touch community. I'll ask my ma.
JODY: Nevertheless, my pa and I are helping Ten in the field. I suppose it will be a community of three for then and there.
JACK: Do you get to bring home food? You'll be missing some scrumptious food at the picnic.
JODY: We pick up the food on the pickup days.
JACK: Sounds like the thing to do on that kind of a day.
JODY: Sure is.
JACK: What types of vegetables do you get?
JODY: It varies.
JACK: That's great. I love surprises.
JODY: Well, it is not a total surprise. Ten tells us what vegetables will probably be at the pickups each week.
JACK: Let me guess. That's why your ma and pa are always online when they are planning the meals at your house.
JODY: Ten puts all the CSA information on the website.
JACK: The World Wide Web blows my mind!
JODY: I suppose if we can't really touch community, like you were saying, then we surely can't touch an online community.
JACK: Do you even know how all that stuff works?
JODY: I know how Ten's CSA website works. Ten keeps track of the plants and answer questions from the sharemembers there. The CSA sharemembers keep track of their CSA shares. And, they trade recipes, of course.
JACK: But where is there?
JODY: Cyberspace, I suppose. You know, anyone can use Ten's Web site. You should try it.
JACK: So, it is private and public.
JODY: I suppose you could put it that way. But, the site has lots of information about farming and eating, mostly information about plants, that anyone can anonymously browse.
JACK: So, not only is the information on the site private and public but the people visiting are doing so privately and publicly.
JODY: I think you are making it sound more complicated than it really is. It is so simple, it is free. I mean, you can create an account free of charge.
JACK: Free! How does Ten build a Web site that keeps track of all the CSA information... if it is free?
JODY: The software of the Web site is free software.
NATHAN: Oh, I thought you meant it was free of charge.
JODY: Well, it is that, too. It is also free as in freedom. The software is licensed so that people can obtain the code and use it to their liking.
NATHAN: Sounds incredible. Who builds such things?
JODY: A community!
NATHAN: A community of programmers — we can't touch — program programs — we can't touch.
JODY: It is a beautiful thing.
NATHAN: Oh, my head is beginning to expand.
JODY: Here, I happen to have some lavender. Take some. And, have fun at the picnic. And, thanks for helping me carry the tools. [Smiles.]
NATHAN: You are wel— hey!
JODY: Well, I am off to Ten's farm. Thanks, Nathan!
The above is a metalogue,
Gregory Bateson wrote about.