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In 2003, one Delmarva farmer who devoted 20 years of his life to sustainable farming practices, along with a few individuals inspired by their experience as members of his farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), came together to build a new – and “renewed” — vision for the Delmarva Peninsula.
These individuals wanted to share with others what they had learned about the value of sustainable agriculture, organic growing practices, supporting local small acreage family farms, and buying locally as they relate to the regions’ environment, economy, and the health of its population. They also wanted to share their sense of urgency about taking action that would bring this about, as they learned more about risks associated with continued loss of a major economic, social and environmental resource: small acreage agriculture based on the family farm.     Read More


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The essential elements of ‘sustainable agriculture’ include ecological stewardship, a socially responsible food system, and economic viability for farmers and the community.
Sustainability means that social, economic, and environmental practices are mutually reinforcing in a way that is enduring – for communities, for agriculture, for the environment. It means building into the ‘system’ mechanisms that support and allow for flexibility, communication, and parity in decision-making and outcomes. It means the system itself minimizes the likelihood of cyclical crises and maximizes its capacities for dealing with them. These elements of sustainable agriculture ensure the protection of ALL participants and ALL resources: human, animal, environmental, social, community, etc. as equitably as possible, and, at the same time, builds relationships that maintain and promote equitable outcomes for participants regardless of changes in ‘extra-systemic’ factors.

LESSON recognizes the need for a catalyst to change Delmarva’s current food system and sees opportunities to play an important role to create this change. Expansion of Delmarva’s Sustainable “food shed” may be most rapidly assisted through making direct connections between community members’ interest in alternative food delivery systems and the existence of a local food system.


LESSON's mission is to support a safe, just, and sustainable food system for the Delmarva Peninsula. As an education and charitable 501 (c)(3), our focus is sustainable agriculture. Our programs and projects seek to create socially responsible and durable relationships and practices that protect our environment as they ensure economic viability of local farms and Delmarva farmers.
Join us; work with us to achieve social equity and social justice for those who live, work, and eat on the Delmarva Peninsula. Welcome to our home.

MHF Committee

    The MHF Committee oversees the management of the MHF outreach, candidacy review, and MHF recipients. At a minimum, the committee includes a board member liaison and a MHF coordinator. The MHF recipient review committee members may or may not be members of the MHF Committee.

    Our Funders

    LESSON is grateful to these funding organizations for their shared commitment and their willingness to invest in our mission, and helping LESSON realize our program and project goals.

    • Town Creek Foundation: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007
    • The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore: 2007, 2008
    • Rise-Up Coffee: 2010, 2009
    Other Funders:
    • Maryland Coastal Bays Program, 2009
    • Northeast SARE: 2009, 2008
    • Rural Development Office, UMES: 2005

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