Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Did you miss the CSA Fair? Find info here!

A couple weeks ago on a rainy Saturday afternoon, a steady stream of people filtered through Boynton Middle School to learn what local farmers have to offer this summer.

To buy into a CSA, you pay a set amount to a farmer and that entitles you to a "share" of the farmer's harvest for the season. Each farm was selling a CSA membership, but the exact terms of the CSA vary from farm to farm. Commonly CSA's feature veggies but others exist too  -- Ithaca's innovative business people are offering bread, pasta, prepared food, maple syrup, fruit, soup, lamb, wool, and more. Check out the full listing of the CSA Fair participants here.

For example, Ploughbreak Farm offers 23 weeks of Certified Naturally Grown veggies throughout the summer for just $495. That's meant to feed two adults each week, and their "free choice" system means that you choose what you want (with limitations on a few items). Their pickup is in Ithaca at the Westy on Thurdsays. 

In contrast, Tree Gate Farm offers a discount system (pay $100 into the CSA and get $110 of products, for example). Sharon says this is ideal for people who travel, or who are picky, or who are cooking for smaller households since it offers the most choice for consumers. They offer weekly pickup across from Felicia's Atomic Lounge at Ithaca Foreign Care Service (and passersby can buy too, you don't need to be a CSA member).

Here's what Sharon from Tree Gate Farm had to say about the fair:
Once again, the CSA Fair was a delight... We want people to have the chance to talk to farmers about CSA, learn about the increasing array of models and mechanisms for distribution, and have time for conversation... Honestly, the day is a bit of a blur, there were so many terrific conversations with engaged, interested, curious people. We feel lucky to be farming in this community! The other great thing about the fair for us was the opportunity to connect with some of our farmer friends to further schemes about collaborations, sales, even debate the various policies our communities are pursuing for land conservation and whether we believe they'll be effective at promoting farming.

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