Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Long Island City CSA Members at the Farm

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an innovative program that builds a relationship between local farmers who grow produce and individuals who want access to locally grown fresh produce. For city dwellers, it offers an opportunity to gain access to freshly grown food and to support the local economy.

On Friday, August 22, members of the Long Island City CSA were given a chance to see the fields, streams and soil that sustain the fruits and vegetables in their weekly produce delivery. Chris Cashen and Katie Smith, the owners of the 200-acre Farm at Millers Crossing, hosted the trip so that members could see first-hand where their food grows. Cashen emphasized the mutual benefit of CSAs and thanked members for their participation in the program. “Because members pay up front and are open to a wide array of seasonal produce, we are able to offer them a very affordable way to buy and eat organic produce,” said Cashen. The owners of the thirteen-year-old family farm in Hudson, NY, which has operated CSAs since its beginning, celebrated its inaugural season with the Long Island City CSA by inviting members to better understand how food goes from field to CSA box.

Visitors learned about hay production, helped bag onions for sale at a nearby farmers market, and spent much of the afternoon wading in the creek and picking apples from the farms trees while eyeing the farms cattle herd from afar. The trip included representatives of NYCCAH and Just Food, who sponsor the 50-member CSA, as well as a group of young CSA members from Hour Children, many of whom were visiting a farm for the first time.

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