approach to obtaining food. Through their memberships, CSA members often eat
healthier, damage the environment less, and support the local economy at the
The basics of CSAs are simple; the consumer buys into a farm and receives
a weekly share of the food produced within that time. What goodies come each
week varies as seasons change, ensuring the freshest produce possible.
Access to the freshest produce means that your refrigerator will always
be filled with delicious fruits and veggies, forcing you to eat them before next
week when an all-new selection comes in. This makes grocery lists shorter and
trips to the store quicker because fresh food is always at hand. Having access
to this produce makes home cooked meals more common to try to use the latest
batch of produce.
While this supply of food makes an improved diet a reality, fresh, local
food also makes the environment healthier. Instead of strawberries from
California and potatoes from Idaho, you have both from right down the road. This
saves energy to get the food on your countertop. Many CSAs are also certified
organic, furthering their environmental
By working with local farmers, you are also investing money in the local
economy by working with your neighboring farm instead of a faceless corporation
thousands of miles away. Working directly with farmers also saves you the marked
up cost of working through a middleman. According to the Grindstone Farm
website, mark-ups can be upwards of 20%, giving you more money to spend in the
local coffee shop that smells so good.
Now that you’re fully persuaded to join a CSA, there are a couple of
options for Syracusans.
The first is Early Morning Farm based in Genoa, New York. With a
dozen locations near Syracuse, their organically grown produce is found widely
throughout the area for five months of the year (June through November).
Students who live at home in the summer also have the opportunity to participate
through the academic share program that runs for 12 weeks at the beginning of
the school season.
According to the Early Morning Farm website, consumers can
expect produce such as sunchokes, lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, brussels sprouts,
and much more. If you’re clueless about what to do with sunchokes, Early Morning
Farm has your back by providing recipes and helpful hints.
Grindstone Farm is also an option in the Syracuse area. Based in
Pulaski, New York, this farm provides similar services to Early Morning Farm
including an academic share and similar produce. What makes Grindstone truly
unique is its working share allowing you to work on the farm for a discount on
the produce. Grindstone Farm also offers specialty shares including both an egg
and a goat cheese share.
While this sounds great for those who can afford it, what about those who can’t? Early Morning
Farm, in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension, has formed the Healthy
Food for All program. According to their website, this program provides limited
income households with affordable CSA shares, as well as nutrition and cooking
If you’re looking for an environmentally, socially, and
economically sustainable choice in food, look no further than your nearest