Farm-Fresh Local Food: CSAs get flexible with new features like choose-your-own produce, special add-ons and sliding-scale prices.

 

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Education Manager Ellie Limpert in one of three high tunnels at Poughkeepsie Farm Project

When people join a CSA (community supported agriculture) program—paying a local farm up-front for a season-long supply of produce—everybody wins. The farm benefits from the early investment. Members benefit from the nutritious produce (typically fresh picked and chemical free). The local economy benefits, and so does the environment (no toxic pesticides or long-haul trucks).

Buying produce through a CSA can also be cost-effective, especially now that many farms offer flexible plans that allow customers to buy just what they need. Best of all, CSAs build relationships between farmers and the neighbors they feed. CSAs are about community above all else.

Planting season is here, which means CSA signups have begun. Here are a few local farms that offer CSA programs.

 

Fable: From Farm to Table
fableLocated in historic Ossining, Fable is a farm and food hub dedicated to sustainable agriculture. The farm grows produce using organic practices and has pasture-raised chickens its CSA members can meet and feed.

“We believe that through dedication, hard work and modern technological advancements in agriculture, we can provide the freshest produce all year round without the use of harmful pesticides,” says owner Tom Deacon.

Last year Fable introduced its new CSA Farm Card, “with great reviews,” Deacon says. CSA members purchase a Farm Card that they can spend like cash throughout the year in the farm’s market, choosing their own produce—as much or as little as they’d like—over the course of the growing season. Weekly selections are simply subtracted from their credit balance.

A CSA membership helps support the farm during the colder months, and allows us to prepare for an abundant spring and summer harvest,” Deacon says.

Cost: $250-$1,000 for a CSA Farm Card.

What’s included? With the Farm Card, CSA members can purchase any item in Fable’s Market, including produce, eggs, honey and milk. The market is open on weekends year-round, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fable: From Farm to Table, 1311 Kitchawan Rd., Ossining, NY. Info: FableFoods.com.

 

Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard
harvest20moonHarvest Moon Farm and Orchard, a family-owned and -operated apple orchard in North Salem, grows a variety of stone fruits and vegetables that it sells in its Farm Store and through its CSA. The owners, first-generation farmers, have expanded their harvest every year since opening for business in 2011.

“We are passionate about what we do,” says CSA Manager Todd Stevens. “Simply put, our goal is to supply our community with the freshest produce possible, directly from the farmer.” Harvest Moon grows its food using an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system, which means that organic fertilizers and pest controls are used whenever possible. All of Harvest Moon’s produce is planted and harvested by hand.

Cost: $325-$810. Customers can choose between 13-week and 18-week seasons, and half- or full-bushel shares.

What’s included? Produce typically available includes lettuce, chard, spinach, kale, peaches, nectarines, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, melons, peppers, beets, corn, onions, squashes, apples, eggplant and potatoes. Each box includes a dozen farm-fresh eggs, and fresh-pressed sweet cider as available. CSA add-ons include milk, cheese and/or beef shares. A flower add-on includes a fresh, farm-grown bouquet every week for 12 weeks.

Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard, 130 Hardscrabble Rd., North Salem, NY. Info: 914.485.1210, HarvestMoonFarmAndOrchard.com.

 

Poughkeepsie Farm Project
projectPoughkeepsie Farm Project—a 12-acre organic farm whose produce is Certified Naturally Grown—has been connecting food, farm and community for 20 years.

“Not only are we a CSA operating on an urban farm, but we also annually donate 20 percent of our harvest to emergency food providers in the Hudson Valley,” says Ray Armater, executive director. “So in addition to supporting local, small-scale farming, our CSA members are also supporting the organization’s greater mission in the region.”

The farm’s flexible CSA model allows members to select their share size and the items in their share. They can also work with the farm crew for a discounted share, and go out into the fields to pick their own flowers, berries, cherry tomatoes, herbs, hot peppers and other produce. “Pick-your-own allows members and their families to engage with the farm, and it’s a great way for kids to get hands-on with helping to harvest and taste,” Armater says.

The CSA is unique in the amount of flexibility and choice it offers while still staying true to a traditional CSA model, he adds. Members can select 5 or 10 items from a choice of 14 to 20 different items each week. Produce is arranged farmers market-style, and is always harvested fresh and at peak ripeness for maximum nutrition and flavor.

Cost: $445-$885 for a weekly whole or half share (generally 12 to 18 pounds) for a 23-week season. Discounts for work share option.

What’s included? Produce throughout the season, with fruit shares available July through November and the option to purchase locally raised, grass-fed beef from Back Paddock Farm.

Poughkeepsie Farm Project, 51 Vassar Farm Ln., Poughkeepsie, NY. Info: 845.516.1100, FarmProject.org.

 

Ryder Farm
ryderCSA members at Ryder Farm, in Brewster, are helping support one of the oldest organic farms on the East Coast, as well as the larger mission of SPACE on Ryder Farm, a residency program for artists and activists. SPACE, which now oversees farm operations, will host a special “happy hour” pickup party for the first pickup of each month at the farm, where CSA members can mingle with each other and SPACE’s resident artists. A new, sliding-scale CSA has been introduced to ensure memberships are accessible to everyone in the community.

“We recognize that not everyone has access to the monetary resources to receive good, fresh food, but together with our CSA members, we have the capacity to make this possible,” says Farm Manager Doug DeCandia. “So starting this year, with our sliding scale membership, folks who can pay more do, while folks who cannot, pay what they can.”

Cost: $320-$1,150 for weekly or every other week shares, which can be picked up at Ryder Farm or in New York City. Sliding-scale price options available.

What’s included? Organic herbs and vegetables “from A to Z,” plus art created by friends and alumni of SPACE’s artist residency programs.

Ryder Farm, 406 Starr Ridge Rd., Brewster, NY. Info: 646.833.8159, SpaceOnRyderFarm.org/farm.

 

 

 

Farm-Raised Heritage Turkeys Available at Harvest Moon

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Heritage turkeys at Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard

Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard, in North Salem, will soon be taking orders for fresh Thanksgiving turkeys. In addition to farm-raised heritage turkeys, the farm is also known for its fresh-picked apples, produce, eggs, grass-fed meat and cider donuts. It also serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week.

Raised on Harvest Moon’s “sister farm” in Hillsdale, the turkeys are antibiotic and hormone free and pasture raised, spending their entire lives outdoors, says Christine Covino, general manager of Harvest Moon. “Our turkeys are Broad Breasted Bronze, a well-known heritage breed raised for their superior quality and taste,” she says.

For the freshest meat possible, Covino recommends calling the store to reserve a turkey and arranging to pick it up a day or two before Thanksgiving. In addition, customers can reserve holiday pies, including apple, pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato and various fruit pies. Pumpkins, squashes, corn, beets, potatoes, eggplants, peppers and other produce are also available, all either grown onsite or sourced from neighboring farms.

Harvest Moon serves breakfast and lunch daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Some of our most popular items are the Farmer’s Breakfast, which is bacon, egg and cheese on a ciabatta, our grass-fed Farmer’s Burger and other assorted sandwiches and wraps,” Covino says. “Customers can take their food to go or enjoy their breakfast or lunch right on the farm.”

Location: 130 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem, NY. For more info, visit HMOrchard.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harvest Moon Offers Food with a View in North Salem, NY

Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard, in North Salem, is known for its farm-fresh apples, produce, eggs, grass-fed meat and locally famous cider donuts. This summer (2017), the farm and restaurant is adding brick-oven pizza, made in an outdoor oven, to their menu. Guests can enjoy their pizza in the outdoor cider garden from 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through September, with live music playing on Saturday nights.

Adjacent to the Hardscrabble Cider tasting room, the patio features views of the pristine, pastoral farmland and is flanked by a hanging basket-dressed pergola, herb gardens and carefully espaliered apple and pear trees. Guests can enjoy flights of hard cider, New York State craft beer and pizza in this casual outdoor space. General Manager Christine Covino says, “We wanted to create a beautiful, accessible space with a laid-back ambience for the community to enjoy both daily and on weekend nights. Guests can bring their whole family for a casual, fun evening on the farm.”

Open seven days a week, Harvest Moon serves a vibrant farm-based lunch menu from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests can choose all-time favorites, such as the Farmer’s Breakfast (bacon, egg and cheese on fresh-baked ciabatta) or new items, such as the Veggie Burger, Grass-Fed Beef Burger and assorted paninis. “The ingredients making up our menu are, as much as possible, sourced from the farm,” explains Covino. “All of the beef and turkey are raised here, the eggs are from our chickens and the vegetables are grown in our fields. It’s a terrific opportunity to offer our customers the best of what we do. Since what we offer depends upon what the farm has available, our menu is constantly evolving. Guests should be ready for some surprises along the way.”

Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard offers food to-go, on the patio or inside on the picnic tables in the newly expanded garden center, featuring pottery, garden tools, supplies and garden décor.

Location: 130 Hardscrabble Rd. North Salem, NY. For more information, visit hmOrchard.com

Hayfields Market Is “A New Take on an Old Store”

hayfields-customersHayfields Market, which opened last year in North Salem, is “a new take on an old store,” says co-owner Renea Dayton. It serves breakfast and lunch every day and sells provisions and other goodies, and its menu is a blend of traditional (classic sandwiches and fresh-baked goods) and and modern (world-class Illy coffee and espresso). Or as Dayton puts it, “We have free Wi-Fi, free dog treats and free carrots for your horse.”

The owners, who live locally, get their inspiration from the many hayfields all around town, Dayton says, and their goal is to keep prices reasonable and quality high. Hayfields serves hyper-local products from several bakers and farmers in the North Salem area, as well as local foods from a partnership with Hudson Valley Harvest. It offers a variety of gluten-free and some vegan options. “The gluten-free cheese roll has become a highlight for any sandwich on the menu,” Dayton says.

Although Hayfields is typically known for its summer business, the store will be open all winter long. In preparation for the holidays, the market is taking orders for fresh, locally raised turkeys. It also stocks a variety of seasonal candles and coffee table books for holiday gifts. Show them this news brief for a complimentary coffee or espresso.

Hayfields Market is located at the corner of Bloomer Road and Route 121, at 1 Bloomer Rd., North Salem. For more info, visit HayfieldsMarket.com or call 914.669.8275

Farm, Meet Table: CSAs Bring Crops into Our Kitchens

Farm, Meet Table

CSAs Bring Crops into Our Kitchens

by Allison Gorman
Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center

Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center

Here’s a prediction: This summer, hundreds of local families will eat enough fresh produce to topple the food pyramid. They’ll experiment with recipes for edamame or turnips or beets. And their kids will try their veggies without being prodded.

These are the members of CSAs—Community Supported Agriculture—small farms that presell shares of the season’s harvest to the public. The burgeoning CSA movement has done wonders for the lifestyle of members, who get weekly helpings of a wide variety of fresh, chemical-free produce; save money by cooking at home more frequently; and feel fully vested in the meals they prepare and eat.

But CSA members aren’t the only beneficiaries of this arrangement. Local economies benefit, as more small farms adopt the CSA model to stay economically viable while staying true to their mission of responsible, hands-on agriculture. And the earth benefits, too, as more people choose to eat seasonally and locally (less produce trucked in from far away) and sustainably (fewer pesticides and other pollutants in the soil and water).

 

Sustaining Tradition

Elizabeth Ryder, owner of Ryder Farm Cottage Industries in Brewster, NY, says its CSA members aren’t just sustaining the earth by buying shares of the farm’s certified organic produce—they’re sustaining centuries of tradition.

“Membership in our CSA provides direct support to local agriculture and helps in keeping the history of a family farm that dates back to 1795,” she says.

Though CSAs are a modern trend, many of them operate on farms with a similarly rich history. Fishkill Farms in Hopewell Junction, NY, is a historic apple orchard that has been in the Morgenthau family for nearly 100 years. Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center, now a working crop farm and environmental education facility in Yorktown Heights, NY, is a former dairy farm whose roots reach back to the 1600s.

 

Eco-Friendly Farming

With all CSAs, the emphasis is on the land and sustainable farming practices. Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard in North Salem, NY, reflects the high environmental standards typical of CSA farms, offering only GMO-free, organically grown produce.

“By becoming a member of our CSA, you are choosing healthy, high-quality, safe food for you and your family,” says manager Christine Tartaglia.

From its eco-friendly fruits to its pasture-raised laying hens, Fishkill Farms adheres to the practices of the Northeast Organic Farming Association Farmer’s Pledge, says CSA coordinator Michelle Siefermann.

“Our apples are organically grown or certified ‘Eco Apple’ by Red Tomato,” she says. “Our stone fruit is also grown following their low-spray, eco approach.”

 

Diverse Menu

A big part of sustainable farming is producing crops appropriate to the local weather and topography, so CSA members can expect to find seasonal produce in their weekly shares. But many CSA farms also carry specialty or hard-to-find foods from other local farms.

Honey, jellies, maple syrup (in season), pie, eggs and apples are among the locally sourced foods available for purchase at Hilltop Hanover’s farm store, says board member Thomas McLoughlin.

Harvest Moon Farm regularly uses other local farms as a resource to expand the weekly menu for its CSA customers, Targalia says. “Every week our farm manager visits other local farms—mainly root-crop farms, as our soil is too rocky to grow them,” she says. “We handpick from their freshest harvests to bring home and fill our CSA members’ boxes.”

 

The Weekly Harvest

HHF 1 tomatoeOnce the CSA season begins—a date that varies by farm, along with the length of season—CSAs designate a day or two a week for members to pick up their shares. Fishkill Farms, for example, has a pickup at its farm store in Hopewell Junction on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings, and a second Saturday-morning pickup at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn.

While some farms, like Harvest Moon, pre-pack members’ shares, others, like Hilltop Hanover Farm (HHF), have members select pre-arranged amounts, which vary by week according to availability.

“The organic crops are picked that morning, and the Hilltop Hanover Farm staff decides the allocation for each available crop,” McLoughlin says. “The weekly selections are then arranged farm-stand style, with signs designating the amount allowed per vegetable.” CSA members usually leave with two or three large bags of produce that will feed a family of four or more, he says.

Like many local farms, Hilltop Hanover operates a garden where the public can pick their own produce for purchase. Fishkill Farms operates a pick-your-own garden specifically for its CSA members, who can include some of what they harvest in their shares. Fishkill also has a separate milk, egg and cheese share.

 

Reconnecting 

Between the items grown on site and those sourced from neighboring farms, the variety of produce sold through CSAs and their affiliated farm stands (which are open to the public) is staggering. Among the four farms profiled here, for example, offerings range from edamame and nectarines to fresh flowers and numerous herbs.

People in our area are responding to that bounty in a big way. Perhaps CSAs have given back what Americans lost over the past several decades, somewhere between TV dinners and Lunchables: a connection to food and to the earth from which it comes.

 

CSAs at a Glance

Fishkill Farms

9 Fishkill Farm Rd., Hopewell Junction, NY. Second pickup site in Brooklyn

Pickups: Fridays 2-7pm; Saturdays 8-10 am; Saturdays (Brooklyn) 8 am-noon

CSA offerings: organically grown vegetables, herbs, apples, berries, fruits; separate milk, egg & cheese share

Info: 845.897.4377, csa@fishkillfarms.com, FishkillFarms.com

 

Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard 

130 Hardscrabble Rd. North Salem, NY

Pickups: Thursdays

CSA offerings: organically grown fruits and vegetables, separate milk share, plus selected produce from neighboring farms

Info: 914.485.1210, harvestmoonorchard@gmail.com

HarvestMoonFarmAndOrchard.com

 

Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center

1271 Hanover St. Yorktown Heights, NY

Pickups: Tuesdays & Thursdays 2-7pm

CSA offerings: organically grown vegetables, flowers, “U Pick ” available

Info: 914.962.2368, info@hilltophanoverfarm.org, HilltopHanoverFarm.org

 

Ryder Farm Cottage Industries 

400 Starr Ridge Rd. Brewster, NY

Pickups: Wednesdays after noon (farm) or Monday-Friday (cooler)

CSA offerings: certified organic vegetables, herbs, occasional flowers

Info: 845.279.4161, RyderFarmOrganic@aol.com, RyderFarmOrganic.com

 

Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard in North Salem, NY

Making it Easy to Eat Locally and Healthfully

Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard

130 Hardscrabble Rd. in North Salem, NY

Hours:  8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day;

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve;

Closed Christmas Day through March.

Harvest-Moon-eggsHarvest Moon Farm & Orchard is a family owned and operated farm, country store and orchard in North Salem, NY. Delicious and delightful offerings vary from season to season, with flowers and plants in the spring, fresh produce during the summer and fall, apple picking and festivals during autumn, and pre-cut Christmas trees and winter wreaths during November and December.

Harvest Moon carries its own in-season fresh fruits and vegetables, farm fresh eggs, grass-fed beef and turkeys, local dairy products, maple syrup, honey, jams and jellies, cider doughnuts, fresh baked pies and more. “Our animals live happy lives, free of antibiotics and added hormones, and free-ranging right here on the farm,” says store manager Christine Tartaglia. “A trip to visit our chickens, goats, donkeys, cows, pigs, turkeys and alpacas is the perfect sunny day outing. It’s not a petting zoo, however, so we ask people not to feed the animals.”

Multicolored, farm fresh eggs and grass-fed beef

Most of the chickens at Harvest Moon Farm are Araucanas and Rhode Island reds, producing eggs in shades ranging from blue and green to pink and brown. The chickens wander around the farm all day, grazing on bugs and greens that enhance the nutritional value of their eggs. Not too far away are grass-fed Scottish Highland cows that never eat grains but do enjoy apples as a treat each fall. “Highlands are very lean cows, making the majority of our 20-plus cuts lean as well,” says Tartaglia. “Our turkeys are a heritage breed, the Broad Breasted Bronze, and they’re fed a vegetable-based diet with occasional supplementation from GMO-free grain. Turkeys are available fresh for Thanksgiving and frozen through Christmas, and we begin taking orders in September.”

Milk, the old-fashioned way, and local cheeses

Harvest Moon features products from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy, including old-fashioned glass-bottled milk that’s unhomogenized and pasteurized at a low temperature. There are also drinkable yogurts, creamy butter and ice cream served in the parlor. The store carries a variety of Hudson Valley cheeses from such producers as Harpersfield Cheese Co., Old Chatham Sheepherding Farm, Nettle Meadow, Finger Lakes Farmstead Creamery, Cooperstown Creamery and Adirondack Cheddar Co.

Community supported agriculture and fun

For the second year in a row, Harvest Moon is operating a Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA), which runs through October. “The CSA provides customers with a week’s load of fresh produce from our farm and other local farms,” says Tartaglia. “We start sign-ups in March, and we post updates on our website.”

The farm and orchard is also available for birthday parties and private events year-round, along with school tours during September and October. “Our fall festival is also a big hit during those months,” Tartaglia notes. “Every weekend from Labor Day until Halloween we offer U-pick apples, hayrides, live music, food vendors, pony rides, face painting, a bounce house and pumpkin picking right off the vine.”

Tartaglia says that Harvest Moon encourage people to buy local for a few important reasons. “It supports the local economy, reduces our carbon footprint and allows people to meet the farmers who are growing their food,” she says. “While we use organic practices in raising our veggies and animals, we’re not yet certified organic. Visitors will find a variety of fresh, local products in our store from here on the farm and from local artisans. Our motto is ‘Support your local farmer.’”

Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard is located at 130 Hardscrabble Rd. in North Salem, NY. For more information visit HarvestMoonFarmandOrchard.com, call 914.485.1210 or email harvestmoonorchard@gmail.com.