Farm to Fork 101
Community Supported Agriculture
While walking around the Cny Regional market and chatting with the different farmers, there has been a lot of talk about CSA's starting up soon. Some of you may be listening to these farmers and wondering what the heck they are talking about. Here are some basics for those that don't know.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.
What does this entail?
Consumers purchase a farm share from a farmer they know and trust to receive delicious product throughout the growing season. Depending on what the farmer grows will indicate what your share will look like. Throughout the year, the food will change with the season. One thing for sure though, is that these will be the freshest products available at that time.
How do I get my vegetables?
Although each farm is different, the basic principle is the same. There is usually a drop off store that will be near your house or place of work. In some cases, if you have enough people at your work or neighborhood buying shares, you can talk with the farmer to have a drop off space there. Each farmer has their own drop off spots. Check with them to find out what is closest to you.
How do I decide what farmer I want to work with?
For me, it was going to the farmers market and talking with the farmer in order to find out who was closest to me. Really, it is ok to do your own research and find out what works for you. These farmers are hard workers but they also want to bring people the best products available. They will work with you in most cases and figure out how and who will get you the best product to your doorstep.
What do you get?
Each farm is different but there is enough vegetables to feed a family of four with two adults for a week. Depending on the size of the share and what farm, it varies but it is roughly 6-12 vegetables per week. I found that I had product left over and was willing to share with my neighbor or compost and put back into the earth. There are also some other perks that vary from farm to farm. They offer farm tours, U-pick dates, newsletters, farm activities such as BBQ's or burger nights for examples. Like I said, they all differ so look into the farms and figure out for yourself which one sounds best.
How do I get started on my very own box?
Really, you can just go to the farmers market and find your own farmer that does CSA's. There are plenty off farmers there that work with this model. They also have an online presence that will help you to get in contact with them too.
Feel Free to check out some of the different farms that I have worked with and see what they have to offer. Listed below are three farms, to help you get started, that offer CSA Shares and are also at the CNY Regional Farmers Market.
Main Street Farms https://mainstreetfarms.com/
Old Fly Farms http://oldflyfarm.com/
Freedom Rains Farms https://www.freedomrainsfarm.com/index.html