CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
This model of farming is designed to provide a close connection between the farmers, the land and a community of shareholders. The farmers feed the shareholders by providing weekly produce. The shareholders financially support the farm and become an integral part of small scale, local agriculture. CSA is a life-affirming movement that redeems our interaction with the earth by providing a structure within which we can personally determine the way we want our food to be grown and distributed. The community farm is a place to rekindle our vital connection to our food and the land on which it is grown.
Sweet Land Farm is located in Trumansburg, NY, an area rich in farming history and now enjoying an agricultural revival. The native soil here is deep, dark, and luscious. Sweet Land Farm shares property boundaries, a spirit of cooperation, and pleasant neighborliness with a certified organic grain farm.
A third of Sweet Land’s acreage is in annual vegetables, with an acre or so in perennial and bi-annual fruit, and the balance is in cover crops. We believe that the backbone of a healthy, thriving farm is healthy, thriving soil. To accomplish this, we rotate annual crops with cover crops. The cover crops are grown, chopped, and tilled back into the soil to add organic matter back to our soil and capture and recycle nutrients for the crops we harvest and eat.
At the beginning of the season, shareholders pay a predetermined rate, and receive fresh locally grown vegetables and fruit weekly. As CSA members, you will know exactly where your food comes from, who grows it and how it is grown. Members can come out any time and pick flowers and tomatoes with their children, or show them carrot tops sticking out of the ground. The shareholder has the satisfaction of taking an active role in preserving farmland and supporting the rare breed of family farmers. By supporting organic agriculture, your are supporting a farm that does not use chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.
A CSA is a farmer-friendly model. The farmer develops a stable, long-term relationship with reliable customers. This economic model benefits both the consumer and producer in its’ stability. This makes it easier for the farmers to plan yearly crops because they know what, and how much product their customers want. Additionally it allows the consumer to plan their food budget. The CSA model also enables farmers to do most of their marketing in the slow winter months, so that when the growing season rolls around they can spend more time producing excellent produce. It provides the farmers with a viable business, an essential element in sustainability.
Don’t forget the soil that’s growing all this bounty! Healthy soil grows healthy plants, and healthy plants grow healthy people. Just as plants grown on rich soil have fewer diseases, pest and growth problems, people who eat this nutritious food experience radiant health. At Sweet Land Farm we rotate our crops into land that has been cover cropped, allowing pest and disease cycles to be interrupted and to allow roots, earthworms and soil microbes to create a rich crumbling soil structure.