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News stories tagged with "csa"

Ater readies the tractor and transplanter.
Ater readies the tractor and transplanter.

Grown up and growing food on their own

This week we begin a series of stories and conversations about the next generation of farmers in the North Country. We're calling it "Farmers under 40". They're young, energetic and willing to make sacrifices to be part of the farmer-foodie culture.

Community Supported Agriculture, or "CSA", is a growing trend across the region with people who like to know where their food is grown and that it's fresh. It's like subscription agriculture. Members join before the growing season begins, giving the grower the money to buy seeds and supplies. They also share in the farm's seasonal bounty.

One such CSA, Fledging Crow Vegetables, is run by Ian Ater and Lucas Christenson. Todd Moe recently visited their small farm just outside of Keeseville, south of Plattsburgh. Chances are you've seen the Fledging Crow booth at a farmers' market in the Adirondacks or Champlain Valley this summer. Ater and Christenson are both college educated, but growing and peddling spinach, lettuce, tomatoes and carrots wasn't in their early career plans. Now in their late-20's, the two friends are committed -- physically and financially -- to dirt, sweat and feeding the North Country.  Go to full article
Tender seedlings may need water.
Tender seedlings may need water.

TLC for the young garden

It's a challenging year, no doubt about it, for gardeners and commercial growers -- and the plants they're tending. There may be too much water in some places, but not enough in others, after a series of dry, sunny and windy days, and a couple of nights in the 30s. Cornell Cooperative extension horticulturist Amy Ivy has some reminders about garden TLC in her weekly chat with Martha Foley.
And they preview workshops on using local food, homegrown or not, starting next week in Sacket's Harbor, Canton and Plattsburgh.  Go to full article
Kristen Kimball walks through muddy fields at Essex Farms (Photos:  Brian Mann)
Kristen Kimball walks through muddy fields at Essex Farms (Photos: Brian Mann)

As floods recede, North Country farmers play catch-up

Lake Champlain is still more than two and a half feet above flood stage this morning and communities along the shore are struggling with wind and high water.

But in much of the North Country, historic floods are finally receding. Roads and buildings are being rebuilt. People are cleaning up water-damaged homes.

Among the hardest hit are the region's farmers, who lost weeks of precious time for planting and moving their livestock out to pasture.

Fruit trees typically in bloom are barely showing signs of budding.

"Just the saturated soils and the cool temperatures," said Jay Matteson, Jefferson County's agriculture coordinator.

"Our farms are anxious to get out there, and for the temperatures to come up. Our soil temperatures are down a little bit as well."

Brian Mann visited Essex Farm in the Champlain Valley and has our story.  Go to full article

Learning to love farming, dirt and all

There are urban folks who spend weekends and summers on upstate New York farms. They're taken by the part-time charm of rural life. Then there are those, like Kristin Kimball, who give up the big city completely and fall in love with life in the country. Kimball was a freelance writer in New York City. Then she met a young farmer, and on an impulse, traded city bustle for the chance to live closer to the earth. Since 2003, Kristin and her husband Mark have run Essex Farms, a CSA among the rolling hills above Essex, New York. Todd Moe toured their farm this summer, during the peak harvest season, and talked with Kristin about her new book, The Dirty Life - On Farming, Food and Love. It chronicles the Kimballs' challenges and joys during the first year on their Champlain Valley farm.  Go to full article

Growing community gardens in Plattsburgh

People in Plattsburgh are serious about growing their vegetables. Last year, 32 garden plots were tilled and tended as part of the Plattsburgh Commmunity Garden project. This year, organizers are hoping to get more gardeners involved. Manager Doug Butdorf told Todd Moe that city folks are passionate about growing their own.  Go to full article

Commentary: passing on a golden legacy in the Champlain Valley

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest farm census (2007) reports that New York State is fourth in the nation, behind California, Wisconsin and Washington, in the number of organic farms, with a total of 1137. Commentator Kristin Kimball and her family run the The Essex Farm, in the rolling landscape near lake Champlain, in Essex, NY. She describes the farm as a full-food, year round, horse-poered producer. She's proud to be counted in the growing number of organic growers.  Go to full article

Adirondack Harvest to expand beyond the blue line

A "buy local" food group will expand its reach, thanks to a 50-thousand dollar grant. Organizers of Adirondack Harvest will use the money to increase the size of the community-based local farms and foods program. Adirondack Harvest Coordinator Laurie Davis says the organization began seven years ago out of a concern for the loss of farmland. Today its mission is to revive and grow farms as sustainable and profitable. She say it's gaining momentum across a large part of the region.  Go to full article
Kassandra Barton of The 8 O'Clock Ranch is just as comfortable online as at the farmers' market.
Kassandra Barton of The 8 O'Clock Ranch is just as comfortable online as at the farmers' market.

Local Flavor: local meat in town and online

When it comes to healthy, environmentally-friendly eating, "local" has become the new "organic." More and more people want to know what's in their food, who produced it, and how far it traveled to get to the dinner table. Community Supported Agriculture, or CSAs, are a growing way to bring consumers and farmers closer. Think of a CSA as a subscription service for food. A farm in St. Lawrence County is just as comfortable marketing its CSA on the Internet as at the local farmers' market. As David Sommerstein reports, The 8 O'Clock Ranch is challenging what it means to "eat local."  Go to full article
SLU's Lou Zeppieri and Louise Gava along with farm manager Bob Washow prep a new bed for  raspberry canes.
SLU's Lou Zeppieri and Louise Gava along with farm manager Bob Washow prep a new bed for raspberry canes.

College students dig into gardening

College students are learning where their food comes from and how to garden at some of the North Country's CSA's this year. The farms become outdoor classrooms during the growing and harvest seasons. Food for Thought Farm, south of Canton, is helping a group of St. Lawrence University students with plans for, eventually, a sustainable campus garden. The weather last weekend lured some students outside and into the dirt for some early spring planting. Todd Moe has more.  Go to full article
Volunteers tend a community garden in Potsdam.
Volunteers tend a community garden in Potsdam.

Staying in touch as CSAs grow

The number of Community Supported Agriculture programs in New York is growing. But how do these farmers stay connected? As part of our series, "Local flavor: growing, cooking and eating locally," Todd Moe talks with the Northeast Organic Farming Association's Abby Youngblood. She's coordinating the new statewide CSA Network.  Go to full article

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