Press-Republican

Columns

March 25, 2013

Worksite CSAs catching on

Northern New York is embracing the concept of community supported agriculture (CSA); it’s a business model that’s taking off. 

Farmers markets and farm stands still enjoy a prominent and well-deserved status in the local-food arena, but CSA offers an interesting option. I’ve written about the model before, but in this column I would like to encourage folks to think about “worksite CSAs.”

First, a quick review of community supported agriculture. 

In simplest terms, you purchase a seasonal subscription, or “share,” of the farmers’ products. Typically, you pay the farmer for your share in the late winter. This business model is particularly well-suited to direct-market farmers who are cash-strapped in the late winter/early spring, and it’s critical for the farm’s cash flow to sell shares at this time. The farmer needs to purchase seeds and many other supplies for the growing season. In our region, most of the farm income has tailed off in the winter months. 

In return for advance payment, you are given weeks of freshly harvested vegetables (your share) during the remaining three seasons. Many farms don’t stop at vegetables, offering shares of eggs, meats, flowers, maple syrup, honey, dairy products and more. Some are seasonal, some are year-round, some are conventional, some are organic — the options are yours to explore.

Adirondack Harvest recently teamed up with Cornell Cooperative Extension Capital District Vegetable and Small Fruit Program and the Cornell Small Farms Program to explore the opportunities for worksite CSAs in our region. A worksite CSA is a convenient form of the CSA model, in that all the members are in one location: their place of business.

Why would a business want to participate in a worksite CSA? Employers can support local farms and be a great community sponsor without any expense. The employees get added benefits of belonging to a CSA without the extra step of tracking down their share at the farm. Eating the fresh fruits and vegetables may boost employee energy levels and increase overall productivity. The good nutrition gained in the CSA share reduces the risk of chronic disease. Healthy employees will miss fewer work days and lower health-care costs.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time