I thought I still had a few months to find a CSA to join—one of my resolutions for 2008. But F&W superstar intern Nick Pandolfi recently told me I’d better stop procrastinating. Here, he shares why:
It’s January, and given that it’s about 15 degrees outside here in New York, most seasonally conscious home cooks probably aren’t thinking about picking up a bunch of fresh ramps or brussels sprouts straight from the farmers’ market for dinner.
Even though I might be hustling to the nearest heated Whole Foods now, I’m trying not to forget that local—and far more eco-conscious—foods are going to arrive in the spring. A lot of CSAs in the Northeast are already starting to accept people for the 2008 season. With the word “locavore” now part of the general foodie lexicon, as Emily Kaiser mentioned last week , CSAs are hotter then ever, and a lot of them will actually sell out of shares before the season starts.
For the layman (which included myself, before I started working at F&W), CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, you sign up, pay a fee for the entire season (anywhere from $300 to $500 per share), and each week from about June to October you’re supplied with a fresh bundle of lovingly grown vegetables, usually from small, independently owned farms. In addition to providing you with tasty food, your CSA membership is also doing a service to the environment—the tomatoes aren’t being trucked in from across the country on gas-guzzling 18-wheelers, and most of the smaller farms have much less of an ecological impact than the factory farms that supply most of our country’s food.
While trying to figure out which one made the most sense for me to join, I came up with a list of farms that deliver to the area surrounding me, and localharvest.org has a pretty thorough (although tricky to navigate) listing for the rest of the country.
Farms that have pickup locations in the New York City area:
Hearty Roots Community Farm; Tivoli, NY (delivers to Williamsburg and Greenwood Heights in Brooklyn)
Golden Earthworm Organic Farm; Jamesport, NY (delivers to various locations in Queens)
Garden of Eve Farm; Riverhead, NY (delivers to various locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn)
Norwich Meadows Farm; Norwich, NY (delivers to various locations in Manhattan and the Bronx)
Stoneledge Farm; South Cairo, NY (delivers to various locations in Manhattan and the Bronx)