Jessica A. Chittenden|
April 05, 2007
Commissioner Encourages NY’ers to Support CSA Farms
‘Community Supported Agriculture’ Offers Fresh Products, Greater Understanding
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today encouraged consumers to support New York farmers by becoming a member of a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. CSAs or "subscription farms" are farms where consumers are members and pay in advance for farm fresh products.
"Membership has its privileges at CSAs," the Commissioner said. "New York has more than 100 CSA programs that provide their members with direct access to a variety of healthy foods that are harvested at the peak of freshness, flavor and ripeness. I encourage New Yorkers to develop a personal connection with their local farmers by joining a local CSA. Your membership and support will not only give you a greater appreciation for the abundant bounty our great State provides, but some of the freshest farm products found anywhere."
CSAs have become extremely popular in recent years for both farmers and consumer members. While farmers seek more stable markets for their products, CSAs also reduce their financial risks because operating costs are covered in advance by their members. By selling directly to members, CSAs often receive better prices for their crops, gain financial security, and spend less on marketing.
Consumers enrolled in a CSA not only receive fresh produce, they also gain satisfaction from being more directly connected to their food source, knowing more about how it was produced. As members, they share in the risks of farming, including reduced harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests, but also reap the bounty during a good growing season.
The Pride of New York Program supports CSAs and the fresh products they produce. Pride of New York is the State’s marketing and promotion program that generates interest and demand for New York food and agricultural products.
Most CSAs harvest daily to ensure the freshest produce. CSAs typically deliver a week’s share to a set distribution site or members can pick up their share at the farm, a weekly farmers’ market or another pre-determined location. The Farm Share Ltd. CSA of Larchmont (Westchester County) delivers its harvest directly to homes by traditional milkmen. Peacework Organic Farm in Newark (Wayne County) and the Genesee Valley Organic CSA in Rochester (Monroe County) encourage their members to actively participate in the harvest and distribution process during the season.
New York State CSAs are not limited to fruits and vegetables. Some CSAs provide a full array of farm products including eggs, meat, milk, baked goods, honey, and maple syrup. Eight Mile Creek Farm in Westerlo (Albany County) offers its members cage-free eggs, grass-fed beef and goose, in addition to a large variety of organic produce. The W. Rogowski Farm, LLC in Pine Island (Orange County) is known for growing many heirloom varieties of produce that are not readily available in grocery stores.
These CSAs, along with numerous others, are members of the Pride of New York Program, which helps CSA farms market their products using the Program’s emblem. Pride of New York’s statewide membership includes nearly 2,000 growers and food processors, restaurants and retail outlets, wineries, wholesalers and distributors, agri-tourism initiatives and trade associations that support New York agriculture. For more information on the Pride of New York, please visit http://www.prideofny.com/ or call 1-800-554-4501.
For a list of CSAs in New York State, you can search on the Department’s website at http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/AP/FFGSearch.asp and select "Subscription/Sales CSA."
2007 Press Releases