Join a CSA

By Shawn Dell Joyce
Many of us are looking wistfully at the snow-covered farm fields and remembering the fresh tomatoes and sweet corn of last season. Now is the time to join up with a local C.S.A. to ensure you get fresh local produce in the coming season. Community Supported Agriculture projects or C.S.A.’s are springing up all over the Wallkill Valley as a new form of farm. The way it works is that you pay the farmer up front for a share of the harvest. This ensures the farmers will have an income, come-what-may with the weather and the woodchucks. The farmer plants many different types of crops (instead of monoculture like corn). This ensures that if one crop fails, there will be others to make up for it. “Share members” are treated to a weekly bag or box of fresh, locally-grown vegetables for the duration of the growing season, usually May through November.


This is a win/win situation because the farmer knows how much money s/he will make, and the consumer gets the freshest, highest quality produce around. It’s also a rare opportunity for the consumer to visit the farm, give your kids a taste of farm life, and see how our food is grown. You get to meet the people growing your food face-to-face, and gain a new respect for farm workers when you stand out in a field picking green beans in mid-August!


I did an experiment where tallied the cost of enriching clay-bound soil with organic matter in raised beds on a small garden plot. I found that the cost of good organic seeds, organic composted manure, and the time and labor would be more than the yearly cost of $300 for a basic share. Unless you enjoy growing $64 tomatoes, farming is a skill best left to professionals!


Sycamore Farms, 1851 Rte. 211 East,  (closer to Montgomery) Middletown, 692-2684, Basic share $325, Family Share $550


Royal Acres Farm, 621 Scotchtown Collabar Rd. Middletown, NY 10941, 692-6719, Half share $200, full share $400


Phillies Bridge Farm Project, 45 Philles Bridge Rd, Gardiner, NY 256-9108, Basic share $350 , 


J and A Farms Indiana Road, Goshen , NY 10924, 360-5380 Call for current rates.


Second Wind CSA ,158 Marabac Rd. Gardiner, NY, 417-5624, full share $500.


Walnut Grove Farms, 235 Youngblood Road, Montgomery, NY, basic share $350, farmers are Ned Roebuck 313-4855,    
Shawn Dell Joyce is an award-winning newspaper columnist and director of the Wallkill River School in Montgomery.

One Response to “Join a CSA”

  1. Linda Rutzky Says:

    Hi Shawn,
    This sounds like a great idea.
    Would you know if any of the above farms are organic?

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