Monday, March 5, 2012

Community Supported Agriculture in the Adirondacks

It isn’t always easy to imagine farming in the Adirondacks with factors like a short growing season, or faraway markets – but you can find a thriving and vibrant community of farmers and producers here and maybe not as far away as you might think.

One way farmers are able to have a more predictable revenue stream is through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Before the growing season begins, customers are able to purchase a share in the season’s harvest – your up-front investment typically entitles you to a weekly box of vegetables or fruit produced by the farm over the course of 4 to 5 months — and often times you pick up the share at the farm.

While many people already purchase from farmers and producers at farm stands, farmers’ markets, and regional cooperatives, a new take on the CSA brings your weekly share to the workplace.

“It’s the next level of convenience for the consumer,” says Adam Hainer, “where we can increase our consumer base by going to them.”

Adam Hainer and his partner, Melody Horn of Juniper Hill Farm in Westport (Essex County) are helping to spearhead an effort to match farmers and producers with CSAs to those businesses with employees looking to eat healthfully and shop locally, but might not make it to the market each week.

Co-sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension Capital District Vegetable and Small Fruit Program, in collaboration with Adirondack Harvest, is a meeting of interested employers and farmers/producers taking place on Wednesday, March 21, at 9 am at the Family YMCA of Greater Glens Falls (600 Glen Street). Farmers, worksite representatives and interested individuals are welcome to attend in the geographic scope of Warren, Washington, and Saratoga counties. For further information, or to register for the event, call Laura McDermott, CCE CDVSFP Regional Agriculture Educator at 518.746.2562 or lgm4@cornell.edu or Teresa Whalen, Adirondack Harvest Southern Chapter Coordinator at 518.466.5497 or taawhalen@yahoo.com

Photos: Above, Adam Hainer and Melody Horn in front of a greenhouse; below, Melody at a farm market in Elizabethtown. Photos courtesy Richard Quirk.

Annette Nielsen is a food writer, editor, community organizer and activist on behalf of regional agriculture. She recently edited Northern Comfort and Northern Bounty, two seasonally-based cookbooks for Adirondack Life Magazine. A native of Northville, she lives in Salem, New York with her husband and son.

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Annette Nielsen is a noted local food writer, editor, community organizer and activist on behalf of regional agriculture. She recently edited Northern Comfort and Northern Bounty, two seasonally-based cookbooks for Adirondack Life. A native of Northville, (she now lives in Salem, Washington County with her husband and son), Nielsen writes about Adirondack foodie culture with an eye toward locally sourced foods from forest, orchard, and farm. Annette Nielsen can be reached on Twitter and Facebook.




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