Photos (Lexi Van de Walle): Garden of Eve, Sept. 2008 --- Garlic Festival, Sign of the Times, Squashes in Wheelbarrow, Thanksgiving Turkeys
Tree-ripened peaches just picked, magically baked into a fruit cobbler with a mix of peaches, blueberries and raspberries, warm, juicy and delicious topped with homemade vanilla ice cream. For dinner, a crisp green salad snipped from the garden tossed with mixed herbs and heirloom tomatoes, fresh shucked corn on the cob, hot of the grill dripping with butter, and Montauk tuna steaks!
I'm not the only one dreaming about locally grown food. Today, the New York Times ran an article by Jan Elen Spiegel "In a Downturn, a Growth Opportunity? Bad Economy Aside, C.S.A. Farmers See Rising Demand for Local Produce".
The article focuses on the explosive growth (and quick sell out) of locally grown food distributed by the farmer directly to the consumer via community supported agriculture subscriptions despite the downturn in the economy in the NY, NJ and CT area. C.S.A. shareholders are required to pay the farmer typically $500-700 in advance of the season for six months worth of a weekly box of just picked vegetables. This upfront payment can be tough for some New Yorkers right now. While seemingly a lot of money, at only $20-28/week that averages to be $6 per person per week for a family of four. For an extra fee, C.S.A.s often sell additional shares such as fruit, eggs, raw milk and chicken. While the joys of a C.S.A. are far above price, a C.S.A. is actually a really good deal not only for farmers, who can use the subscription fees to buy seed and other supplies and plant according to customer demand, but also for eaters, big and small (kids love to visit the C.S.A. pick up location, and cook and eat their freshly picked vegetables.
ABOUT THE FARM
One of my favorite farms on the north fork of Long Island, Garden of Eve Farm, in Riverhead is featured in the article. Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht, resident farmer, still has C.S.A. shares left in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Nassau and Suffolk. Click here for locations and find an application on her website. Sign up now before it's too late.
COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE IN NEW YORK CITY
For a listing of all the C.S.A. in New York City's Five Boroughs check out JUST FOOD's website. Check around a few locations to find ones that are open for new members. Even though there's growing demand some long-standing members may have to give up their subscription due to their own belt tightening.
DELIVERY TO MANHATTAN -- 2009 C.S.A
If you find yourself closed out of your local C.S.A. due to "RISING DEMAND" and "EXPLODING SALES" (all great news for metro-NY farmers), there's a unique service mentioned in the article that delivers C.S.A. shares right to your door so long as you have a doorman (Manhattan or Westchester County). Gail Brussel's (don't you love her name?) delivery service FARM SHARE (URL: myfarmshare.com) had a wait list last year so be sure to sign up by March 1st (which is also the deadline to lock in the price at $600). Gail gets her produce from farms near where she lives and much of the produce is certified organic.