New Leaf New York: From Pharma to Farm


CSAs growing in popularity
July 10, 2008, 11:37 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

The New York Times addresses the growing awareness of investing in community-supported agriculture (CSA) by opening with a spotlight on Erewhon Farm outside of Chicago. Customers can invest a chunk of money in a particular farm, and portions of seasonal produce, meat, or other farm products (honey, eggs, etc.) are divvied up and delivered to a pickup point in your neighborhood.

I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but I’ve never invested in a CSA — though it’s something I very much want to do. For some, it can be a large amount of money to invest at once (the average share price is anywhere from $200-900), but I think the ideal situation is to split a share with a neighbor or nearby friend; at times, the amount of produce you receive can be too much for one person or family to eat in a week or two before it spoils.

“From a ‘going green’ standpoint, it’s an appropriate thing to do,” said Gerard Brill, a musician who bought a share of Erehwon. “Like everything organic, it’s not a bargain, but what price do you put on being healthy? Considering all things, it’s actually a very good deal.”

The idea of going out to the farm you’ve invested in financially to invest actual time and manpower is an appealing one, too. Not only can you see exactly where your food comes from, but you can also have a hand in getting it to your own plate. Surely, it’s not plausible for everyone who joins a CSA to make a regular trip upstate, but it’s definitely worth speaking to someone from the farm about how your food is grown and harvested.

A particularly encouraging statistic from the article? The number of CSAs in NYC has nearly doubled since 2005.

Cutting Out the Middlemen, Shoppers Buy Slices of Farms [New York Times]
Erehwon Farm
Just Food: CSAs in NYC

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We have a CSA, and we love it. We find that with enough creative cooking and freezing, there’s very little that goes bad, even though there are just two of us and we have a full share (enough, supposedly, for a family of four). We also have a deep freeze, which isn’t particularly practical for a lot of New Yorkers. The season hasn’t been spectacular, so we’re definitely getting less food than we would otherwise, and that might be part of it as well. Nevertheless, I totally recommend it, and there’s nothing nicer than being surprised by what you’re going to eat that week. I especially like ours because we can go out to the farm and the eggs are still warm!

Comment by truculentandunreliable




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