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

 

Natural Awakenings Foodie Guide

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Find local, natural and organic food and drink options here in Natural Awakenings’ Foodie Guide for Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess NY.

BAKERY

Baked by Susan 

Scratch-made Cakes, Cupcakes & Cookies

163 Grand St, Croton on Hudson, NY

914.862.0874; BakedBySusan.com

CAFÉS

BREAD ALONE BAKERY

45 Market St., Rhinebeck NY

845.876.3108

BreadAlone.com/Rhinebeck-cafe


GET JUICED

Artisan Juice Bar/Cafe

8 East Market St. Red Hook,NY

845.835.8402

GetJuicedAmerica.com

 

Good Choice Kitchen

Seasonal.Organic.Vegan

147 Main St. Ossining, NY

914.930.1591

goodchoicekitchen.com

 

Hayfields, LLC

1 Bloomer Rd

North Salem, NY

HayfieldsMarket.com

914.669.8275

 

The Outpost

100% Organic & Non-GMO Food

1 Court St, Bedford, NY

914.205.3900; FB: The Outpost

 

The Freight House Cafe

Natural. Local. Good

609 Route 6, Mahopac, NY

Behind music store

845.628.1872

TheFreightHouseCafe.com

 

The Union Hall Market

Coffee. Pastries. Local Meats

2 Keeler Ln, North Salem, NY

914.485.1555

FB: The Market at Union Hall

 

COFFEE & TEA

BIG BANG COFFEE ROASTERS

1000 N. Division St. #9
@ The Hat Factory, Peekskill
914.402.5566
BigBangCoffeeRoasters.com

 

DAIRY

SHUNPIKE DAIRY

Farm Fresh Raw Milk

1348 Shunpike, Millbrook, NY

845.702.6224; ShunpikeDairy.com

 

 

FARMERS’ MARKETS

CONGREGATION SONS OF ISRAEL ORGANIC MARKET

1666 Pleasantville Rd

Briarcliff, NY  Sundays

914.762.2700; CSIBriarcliff.org

info@csibriarcliff.org

 

DOWN TO EARTH FARMERS MARKETS

From our Farms to Your Kitchen

914.923.4837

DowntoEarthMarkets.com

 

GOSSETT’S FARM MARKET

& GOSSETT BROTHERS NURSERY

1202 Rt.35, South Salem, NY

914.763.3001; Gossettnursery.com

 

HUDSON VALLEY FARMERS MARKET

Greig Farm, 223 Pitcher Lane, Red Hook, NY

914.474.2404

Facebook.com/HudsonValleyFarmersMarket

 

HUDSON VALLEY REGIONAL FARMERS MARKET

Sundays, 12am-2pm

15 Mount Ebo Road South

Brewster, NY

845.878.9078 x 4115

 

PEEKSKILL FARMERS MARKET

Outdoor June-November 21

Bank Street, Peekskill, NY

PeekskillFarmersMarket.com

 

FARMS

HARVEST MOON FARM & ORCHARD

130 Hardscrabble Rd

North Salem, NY

914.485.1210

HarvestMoonFarmAndOrchard.com

 

HILLTOP HANOVER FARM & ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER

1271 Hanover St,

Yorktown Heights, NY

914.962.2368

HilltopHanoverFarm.org

 

THREE FEATHERS FARM

Grass-fed beef & eggs
371 Smith Ridge Rd, S. Salem
914.533.6529; jhaberny@aol.com

 

New York Presbyterian

Hudson Valley Hospital

Farmers Market

1st/3rd Tues. May–November

In/Outside of Main Lobby

1980 Crompond Rd., NY

 

 

FARM STORE

 

BONI-BEL FARM &

COUNTRY STORE

301 Doansburg Road, Brewster

T-F 3:15 – 6pm/Sat 10am – 5pm
greenchimneys.org/countrystore

 

 

Fable: From Farm

to Table
1311 Kitchawan Rd, Ossining, NY

Sun &  Wed  9am-5pm

FableFoods.com

 

Rochambeau Farm

214 W. Patent Rd, Mt. Kisco, NY

Open: Thurs.-Sunday

914.241.8090

RochambeauFarmNY.com

JUICE

 

o2living

7(1/2) servings of organic

vegetables in one serving

of green juice to go.

914.763.6320; o2living.com

 

MARKETS

BEWIES HOLISTIC MARKET

Organic Juice & Smoothie Bar

430 Bedford Rd., Armonk NY

914.273.9437; Bewies.com

 

Green Organic Market

275 S. Central Park Ave.

Hartsdale, NY

914.437.5802

FB: GreenOrganicMarket

 

Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market
575 Boston Post Rd,
Port Chester, NY
914.708.1985

1 Ridge Hill Rd, Yonkers, NY
914.378.8090

110 Bloomingdale Rd,
White Plains, NY
914.288.1300
WholeFoodsMarket.com

 

RESTAURANTS

Clock Tower Grill

Local. Sustainable. Organic

512 Clock Tower Dr., Brewster

845.582.0574; ClockTowergrill.com

 

Jewel of Himalaya

Nepal, Tibet, Indian Cusine

34 Triangle Ctr., Yorktown Hts.

914.302.2886

 

SPECIALTY FOODS

KONTOULIS FAMILY GROVES

Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil

914.834.1525

KontoulisFamily.com

 

To join Natural Awakenings’ Foodie Guide in both PRINT and ONLINE, call 914-617-8750 or email Dana-NA@WakeUpNaturally.com.  Find additional Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess NY local food resources on our Eat Well page on WakeUpNaturally.com.

Perk Up With Great Local Coffee in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess NY

Coffee-cupby Rinku Bhattacharya

This time of year, nothing satisfies like a well-brewed cup of coffee. With its warm, nutty aroma, it’s both soothing and re-energizing, the perfect pick-me-up on a chilly winter day.

Coffee shops have mushroomed all around the area, so it’s easy to find a place to grab a fresh cup. But the best local spots are the ones that take pride in their product and opt for fair-trade beans. Chances are if coffee is grown and sourced right, it will taste right, too. After all, you want to warm your soul along with your body.

 

Big Bang Coffee Roasters: If you’re looking to start your morning with a unique selection of fresh coffee beans delivered right to your door, this company is for you. A family-owned business, Big Bang offers a custom selection of fair-trade and organic coffee beans to choose from, and they will deliver your order to your house—or you can purchase their coffee at John Boy’s Outpost in Bedford, NY, Skinny Buddha Organic Kitchen in Mt. Kisco, NY, or Plum Plums Cheese in Pound Ridge, NY. Owner Elina Dart says, “I like to find the sweet spot in every roast, where all the nuances of a coffee are highlighted. All of my coffees are intensely flavorful due to this diligence.”

Big Bang Coffee Roasters

914.433.7278

BBCRoasters.co

 

Coffee-Labs-signCoffee Labs, Tarrytown: Coffee Labs is owned and managed by Mike and Alicia Love. Mike is a retired chef who now focuses his culinary passion on bringing together a select collection of sustainable and exclusive coffees. Alicia is a humanitarian who is very committed to the green component of the business. Together this duo developed a business model that offers exclusive coffee with a conscience. Their Tarrytown shop sells a wide assortment of beans, and it’s also a great place to grab a cup of coffee or tea—just what you might want on a weekend morning. Don’t miss the blog on CoffeeLabs.com; it will give you further insight into their mission and their featured coffees. Coffee Labs’ products can be ordered from the website and found at Mrs. Greens and Whole Foods markets.

Coffee Labs

7 Main St., Tarrytown, NY

914.332.1479

CoffeeLabs.com

 

Crafted--KupThe Crafted Kup, Poughkeepsie: A true coffee house located near Vassar College in Poughkeepsie’s Arlington walking district, the Crafted Kup serves hand-crafted espresso beverages; locally roasted, certified fair-trade organic coffees and teas; and locally made baked goods and bagels. “I guarantee you won’t find a better cup of coffee around,” says co-owner Tanner Townsend. “We pride ourselves on making sure every guest’s experience is an unforgettable one.” Sounds like the perfect way to start (or finish) the day.

The Crafted Kup

44 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY

845.483.7070

TheCraftedKup.com

 

The Freight House Café, Mahopac: Located in the heart of downtown Mahopac, the Freight House Café uses Bear Mountain Roasters certified organic coffee beans exclusively for their entire coffee menu, including espressos, lattes and cappuccinos. Almost everything on the food menu is also natural, local or organic, says owner Donna Massaro. The breakfast menu includes organic egg omelets and a yummy Veggie Breakfast Wrap made with homemade pico di gallo, melted provolone, avocado, red onion, egg and sour cream. A gluten-free menu is also available. On Friday nights, the café is open until 10 p.m., serving beer, wine and cocktails with noshing foods. Check their website for the local live music calendar and other fun events, including a Single Dads Night on Feb. 12, and Stitch and Bitch (bring your own yarn) on Feb. 19. Look for light dinners to be added on Friday and Saturday nights soon.

The Freight House Café

609 Rte. 6, Mahopac, NY

845.628.1872

TheFreightHouseCafe.com

 

Rinku Bhattacharya is the voice behind the blog “Spice Chronicles” and the author of The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles and Spices and Seasons, Simple, Sustainable Indian Cooking. She also teaches Indian cooking classes out of her home and at other locations. Her interests include Indian cooking, spices and herbs, and sustainable living. She can be reached on Twitter @wchestermasala.