Your Agricultural Assets, More than Fields and Barns

By Devin Morgan | May 17th, 2013


Editor’s Note: In the latest installment of Devin Morgan’s series on small business law for farmers and food producers in Central New York and the Finger Lakes, Devin challenges farmers to broaden their understanding of the “agricultural assets” associated with their livelihood.

Your Agricultural Assets, More than Fields and Barns

Do you have any idea what your farm is really worth?  A farm is a business and its assets can be much more than just the land and buildings.  Maybe it is because I am a business and intellectual property attorney and have been raised on the notion of intangible assets making up the majority of a business’ value, but I find the myopic focus on the price of the dirt a bit annoying and degrading to farm entrepreneurs.  One of the lessons of modern business management is that value is all in the way that you use it.  Land alone is just dirt.  It is the creativity, know-how, stewardship, and hard work of the farmer that actually coaxes value from the land.  And like any business, the farmer’s team, relationships, and reputation among suppliers and buyers bring a lot of value.  When you starting talking about a landscape of value-added products, higher-value niches (organic, heirloom, specialty, etc.), and more direct business models like CSAs, co-ops, farm stands, and farmers’ markets, there is a whole lot more going on than just raising commodity products with decent yields.  There are a lot of overlooked assets when you are talking about farm value and it matters a lot when you are buying, selling, or even just keeping it in the family as part of an agricultural estate.

Land & Buildings

Of course, land and building still matter.  But chances are you already have a decent handle on those.  There are issues like development rights, agricultural or preservation easements, and mineral rights that might not be as obvious and deserve some thought.

Equipment, Supplies & Inventory

These can change a lot over time, particularly when you are talking about crops in the field, animals in various stages of development, and stores that are ready for use or sale.  But when it comes to transferring a business. It is important to have a clear sense of what you have and how the value may change depending on when the transfer occurs.  Even the change of a few months, from growing season to after harvest, can represent a big change in value.  Tracking this stuff also gives a good sense of cash flow and the present business value, at least as far as commodity products are concerned.

Ownership Interests

While some farms are sole proprietorships, not all are.  Make sure you know who owns what.  In farms that have been through multiple generations, it is entirely possible to have family members with ownership interests who haven’t had any direct dealings with the farm in some time (but will show up if money from a sale suddenly appears).  Similarly, farmers may participate in cooperatives or other joint ventures and have membership or ownership interests in those entities to be considered.  I actually encourage farmers to embody their value-added businesses in separate legal entities to help assist in their management, valuation, and transfer, so you can have a single farm property with a number of business entities operating on it.

Trademarks & Marketing Assets

In this day and age, many farms are building their own brands for direct sale to consumers and other business models.  They have unique farm names, logos, and websites that all embody intellectual property rights.  These are assets with their own value and rules for transfer.  If they are ignored, they can easily be lost or stolen.  Check out my prior post on protecting farm names with trademark.

Contracts & Relationships

Business is about relationships and farms are no different.  Having strong supplier, distributor, or retailer relationships can be critical to the ongoing business value of a farm.  And yet, people often don’t consider how much those relationships are personal to the existing owner.  It is possible for some aspects of these relationships to be embodied in contracts and made part of a sale.  But it takes foresight and diligence to make that happen.  More often those relationships are lost and the new owners are forced to rebuild the business network from the ground up.


This has started to receive more attention as the average American farmer has aged and many farms lack an interested next generation that has learned the ins and outs of a particular farm.  When the old farmer retires or dies, that knowledge is lost forever and many experts are panicked about what that means for the future of American farming.  This includes general knowledge of good farming practices, specific knowledge about that farm’s land and resources, and the management skills to make a complex farm operation actually work.  In many cases, there may be a farm manager or hired hand who has that know-how, but without a good plan for retaining that person’s assistance, that can be lost just as easily.  Some know-how can be documented if the farmer is willing to take the time to do so, but more often this comes down to people and having someone ready and able to learn (or stick around) as part of the transfer.

Cash, Equity & Insurance

Sometimes a frugal farmer will have cash or other investments that they have managed to save towards retirement or gained through real estate deals or speculation on other businesses.  Or they may carry life insurance.  It is also possible to use equity in the land and other business assets as collateral for loans or even the basis of equity financing (particularly for a value-added business related to the farm).  The availability of these resources increase the options and flexibility for structuring any transfer, whether it be sale to a young farmer (who lacks money for a straight purchase transaction), transfer within a family, or more ambitious plans for the farm’s future.

The bottom line is that you need to know what you have to know your options.  And once you start looking, it may turn out that you have a lot.

Do you have a legal question related to your farm, food, or beverage business that you would like to see answered in a future Farmshed CNY blog post?  Submit your question to Devin using the Eat. Drink. Law. Contact Us page.

About the Author

Devin Morgan is an author, speaker, and attorney with Knull Group (, a firm for food-obsessed business and intellectual property lawyers in Cooperstown, NY.  He is focused on the growth of the craft food and beverage industry in New York State and is the primary author of the Eat. Drink. Law. blog.  Click here to receive a free report from Devin on growing a distinctive food or beverage business.  Knull Group is a big supporter of Farmshed CNY’s quest to map the local food scene across Central New York.  This post is for general information only and is not legal advice.  Attorney Advertising.


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Farmshed CNY’s 1st Annual Locavore Pumpkin Carving Contest

By Neil B. Miller | October 14th, 2011

Fall is officially here, and despite the unsettling fact the some local growers still have heirloom tomatoes on the vine – seriously, what’s up with that? – I’ve accepted the fact that Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner.

Actually, I’ve only reluctantly come to grips with the arrival of autumn, a season I typically adore, because it arrived much too soon after an inexcusably short, difficult summer. My therapist dragged me kicking and screaming to this realization by suggesting that I surround myself with all the familiar symbols of Fall: pumpkins, mums, kitschy Halloween lawn ornaments. I suggested instead decorating the front porch with dead raccoons, of which, like apples, there seems to be a macabre bumper crop this season, but she didn’t get the joke. Not much of a sense of humor, that one.*

In truth, autumn this year has been glorious, with warm, sunny days, moderate rain, and the woods all ablaze with color. So, to embrace Fall to the fullest, and to officially welcome Matt and Tricia Casper Park of Creekside Meadows Farm as Farmshed CNY’s newest business sponsor, I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and show you all some serious love. Of course, since this is Week 2 of the Farmshed 2.0 “Show the Love, Taste the Love” promotional campaign, you’re going to have to show some serious love in return.

Farmshed CNY’s 1st Annual Locavore Pumpkin Carving Contest.
(Hint: not just any carved pumpkin will do, boyo.)

1. The Reward.
To get everyone into the spirit of the season, this week we’re giving away 2-15 pound, natural, pasture-raised turkeys (a $60.00 value, each), from Creekside Meadows Farm, a grass-based farm in New Woodstock, NY. Matt and Tricia Park employ rotational grazing and sustainable farming practices, process their poultry on the farm, and use no herbicides or pesticides. They are master meat producers, and their chickens, turkeys and pork are amazing.

If you’ve never enjoyed a pasture-raised turkey, well, let’s just say you’re in for a treat, assuming you like real food with genuine flavor and texture, because naturally-raised turkeys taste nothing whatsoever like the inbred, industrially farmed, turkey-like food product found in your local supermarket.

2. The Task.

This week’s promotion is a true contest, because we have only 2 turkeys to give away. To participate, you need to carve a “locavore pumpkin,” and post one or more photos of your creation to the Farmshed CNY Facebook page.

By “locavore,” I mean anything that can be broadly but reasonably associated with local farming or food production here in Central New York and the Finger Lakes. I’d love to see a pumpkin carved with “Farmshed CNY” or our logo (see below), but “Buy Local,” “Syracuse First,” “Pride of New York,” “No Farms, No Food,” “Slow Food,” or the name or logo of your favorite farm, farmers market or state, regional or local farming-oriented organization, would work, as would images of livestock or seasonal crops. I trust your imagination, and will err on the side of inclusivity. But I’m not the person you have to convince, because the Farmshed CNY Facebook community will vote on the submitted carvings, and they collectively will select the 1st and 2nd place winners.

So sharpen up your knifes, hone your carving skills, and get creative. You’ll have until 10:00 pm next Friday evening, October 21, to submit your photos, and until 8:00 pm Sunday evening, October 23 to vote for – i.e., “Like” – your favorite submissions.

3. The Details.
a. The Contest begins immediately and will run through 8:00 pm Sunday evening, October 23. Contestants will have until 10:00 pm Friday evening, October 21, to submit one or more photos of their carved locavore pumpkins.

b. Contestants may submit as many different pumpkins as they want, but the submissions must be of pumpkins that they or someone in their immediate household carved – no ringers, please – and individual contestants can win only one of the two available turkeys. In the spirit of fair play, contestants must provide proof on request that they carved and are in physical possession of any pumpkins submitted for the contest, or their submissions will be invalidated.

c. The turkeys will be available some time in early November. The two winning contestants must pick up their turkeys at Creekside Meadows Farm, and make arrangements with Tricia Park as to when the turkeys will be processed and picked up. Anyone living in Central New York or the Finger Lakes (or outside of the region) is welcome to participate, but you must be willing and able to pick up your turkey at the farm, which is in Madison County.

d. Individuals must be 18 years old or older to participate.

e. Viewers may vote for – “Like” – as many carvings as they wish, and may vote as many times as Facebook will allow. If you submit a pumpkin for consideration, vote for it as many times as you can, and get your friends to visit the Farmshed CNY Facebook page and vote for it too. This is a promotional giveaway, so go for it, share the page with your friends, bribe relatives with offers to clear the table and clean up after Thanksgiving dinner, etc., etc. As far as I’m concerned, the more people who visit the Farmshed CNY Facebook page, the better.

d. To be eligible, photos of pumpkins submitted for consideration must be posted to the Farmshed CNY Facebook Wall. If for some reason you post one or more photos and they do not appear on the Wall, attach the photos to an email and send them to me at In addition to posting the photos to the Wall, I will create a Facebook Photo Album titled “1st Annual Locavore Pumpkin Carving Contest,” and will periodically update and repost the album to our Wall.

e. In case I’ve forgotten something important, or my lawyer strokes out because I omitted some critical legal disclaimer, I reserve the right to revise the terms of this contest at any time, for any reason whatsoever, and without prior notice, or to cancel the contest altogether.

*I’m not actually seeing a therapist – “not that there’s anything wrong with that.” Nor am I a “food pornographer” (see last week’s  “Show the Love, Taste the Love” blog entry). I just can’t resist a bit of artistic license every now and then, especially when it comes to indulging my warped sense of humor.


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View from the Farmshed Kitchen Window

By Denise A. Szarek | June 29th, 2011

Savory Swiss Chard Bread Pudding.

It’s been a very interesting spring to say the least, too much rain, not enough sun, and unseasonably cool days.  For a farmer in CNY that means, late crops, low yields, but high quality – a true mixed bag.

One of my favorite greens is swiss chard.  We grow a lot of it each season.  So I’m always looking for new ways to use it and then share it with our CSA members..  This recipe comes by way of one of my favorite food blogs  My Celtic roots always come through in my cooking.  The recipe that caught my eye was for a savory bread pudding with swiss chard.  The original recipe comes from The Essential New York Time Cookbook.  But of course Margaret puts her own spin on it and I could do no less.

And of course it’s no fun if you’re not cooking with friends!  This time we are using cheese from Heamour Farm and dried Shiitake mushrooms from Fruit of the Fungi.

Savory Swiss Chard Bread Pudding

1 – Multi grain French baguette (cut in 1 inch cubes)

4 oz – Gruyere cheese

4oz – Heamour Farms Mediterranean Feta

2 oz – Pecorino Romano cheese shredded

3oz – Fruit of the Fungi Shiitake dried mushroom slices

2 cups chopped swiss chard & 1/3 cup chopped stems

½ Vidalia onion, rough chopped

3 T butter

1 large egg

¾ cup heavy cream

¾ cup milk

3 T fresh ground nutmeg

Salt & pepper to taste

Place a large pot on to boil. Salt the water with sea salt.  Take 3 oz. of the dried mushrooms, place in a small bowl and pour boiling water over them.  Let stand for 15 minutes. Combine the bread, Gruyere and Romano cheese in a bowl.  Cut the Feta cubes in ¼’s add to the bread & cheese mix.  Next melt 2 T of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  This is where my cast iron skillet does the job. Drain the mushrooms (but save the water, this can be the base for a very delicious veggie stock later), add mushrooms to the skillet and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  When the water is boiling in the large pot add the swiss chard leaves & stems as well as the onions, blanch for 1 minute.  Turn into a colander to drain.  Squeeze all the water you can out of the chard and onions.  I just used my two clean bare hands for this job.  Add the greens and onions to the skillet and sauté for 1-2 minutes.  Add the greens and onions to the bread & cheese mix.

In a small bowl, beat the egg, set aside.  In a small sauce pan heat the milk and heavy cream to just a boil.  Take the pan off the heat.  Slowly whisking vigorously, add about ½ cup of the milk to the egg.  Then still whisking, add the egg mix slowly into the milk until blended.  Add the milk to the bread mix and stir well.  Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a baking dish with the remaining butter, turn out the bread mixture into the baking dish.  Season with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.  Grate nutmeg and sprinkle remaining romano cheese over bread mix.  Pop in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

This is an excellent vegetarian meal for a meatless Monday.

For the meat lovers out there a nice Italian sausage crumbled in here would be wonderful.

Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamins  C, E & K, carotenes, chlorophyll and fiber, as well as a source of iron, potassium, magnesium and manganese. Also, Vitamin B6, protein, calcium, thiamine, selenium, zinc, niacin and folic acid.

As a diabetic, chard is one of my super foods, because of it unique benefit of blood sugar regulation and its ability to help pancreatic cells regenerate.


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A Declaration of Local Food Independence.

By Neil B. Miller | March 9th, 2011

The residents of a small town in rural Maine did something remarkable yesterday: they issued a declaration of local food independence:

Here’s the press release from Food for Maine’s Future:



March 7, 2011

Sedgwick becomes first town in Maine to adopt protections

SEDGWICK, MAINE – On Saturday, March 5, residents of a small coastal town in Maine voted unanimously to adopt the Local Food and Self-Governance Ordinance, setting a precedent for other towns looking to preserve small-scale farming and food processing. Sedgwick, located on the Blue Hill Peninsula in Western Hancock County, became the first town in Maine, and perhaps the nation, to exempt direct farm sales from state and federal licensing and inspection. The ordinance also exempts foods made in the home kitchen, similar to the Michigan Cottage Food Law passed last year, but without caps on gross sales or restrictions on types of exempt foods.

Local farmer Bob St.Peter noted the importance of this ordinance for beginning farmers and cottage producers. “This ordinance creates favorable conditions for beginning farmers and cottage-scale food processors to try out new products, and to make the most of each season’s bounty,” said St.Peter. “My family is already working on some ideas we can do from home to help pay the bills and get our farm going.”

Mia Strong, Sedgwick resident and local farm patron, was overwhelmed by the support of her town. “Tears of joy welled in my eyes as my town voted to adopt this ordinance,” said Strong. “I am so proud of my community. They made a stand for local food and our fundamental rights as citizens to choose that food.”

St.Peter, who serves on the board of the National Family Farm Coalition based in Washington, DC, sees this as a model ordinance for economic development in rural areas. “It’s tough making a go of it in rural America,” said St.Peter. “Rural working people have always had to do a little of this and a little of that to make ends meet. But up until the last couple generations, we didn’t need a special license or new facility each time we wanted to sell something to our neighbors. Small farmers and producers have been getting squeezed out in the name of food safety, yet it’s the industrial food that is causing food borne illness, not us.”

“And every food dollar that leaves our community is one more dollar we don’t have to pay for our rural schools or to provide decent care for our elders,” adds St.Peter. “We need the money more than corporate agribusiness.”

Three other towns in Western Hancock County will be voting on the ordinance at or ahead of their town meetings in the coming weeks. Penobscot, Brooksville, and Blue Hill all have the ordinance on their warrants.

Click here to view a copy of the Local Food and Self-Governance Ordinance of 2011.


Bob St.Peter
Saving Seeds Farm
Sedgwick, Maine

Mia Strong
Local Stock Food Cooperative
Sedgwick, Maine

Here are images of the ordinance:


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2011 CSA Programs in Central New York & the Finger Lakes, Part 4.

By Neil B. Miller | March 4th, 2011

This is the fourth in a series of articles Farmshed CNY is publishing on 2011 CSA programs in Central New York and the Finger Lakes. With this latest article, I have worked twice through the list of 100+ CSAs in Central New York and the Finger Lakes in the Farmshed directory (i.e., the iPhone app), and updated information for 64 CSA programs.

There are still 40 or so farms in the region that have not yet published information for their 2011 CSAs. In the next few weeks, I hope to communicate directly with these farms and obtain updated information on their 2011 CSA programs. At some point, however, probably in mid-to-late March, I need to move on to updating our Farmers Markets calendar for 2011, and begin adding farms and farming-related businesses in the Champlain Valley, Hudson Valley and Catskills to the Farmshed directory.

Once I have finished updating information on 2011 CSAs, Farmshed CNY will publish a complete listing of CSAs in the Central NY and the Finger Lakes, organized by county. Look for this final listing to be published sometime in mid-to-late March.

I hope you will review the 64 CSA programs listed in these four articles, and consider joining a CSA program in 2011. Everyone – you, your family, the farmer, and the community – benefit from supporting local farmers and keeping money in the local economy.  And please, if you have additional questions, contact the farmer! Most CSAs require a significant upfront commitment, and it’s good sense to find the right CSA for you and your family before signing up for the season. Any responsible farmer should be glad to hear from you and answer questions about his or her CSA program.

50. Porter Farms
4914 Edgerton Rd, Elba, NY 14058

Organic Fruits and Vegetables
NOFA-NY Certified Organic
Mike Porter
Tel: 585-757-6823

Porter Farms runs a large, certified organic CSA program that serves 1000 members in the Buffalo and Rochester areas. Their 2011 CSA Program  begins in late June and runs 22 weeks. They offer a single Full Share with two pricing options: A Pick up Option that costs $330.00 for the season for members who pick up their shares at the farm or at sites in the Buffalo area; and a Delivery Option that costs $360.00 for shares that are delivered to sites in the Rochester area. They also offer an Early Bird discount of $20.00 for members who sign up before April 15.

Visit their website to enroll in their CSA or for additional information.

51. Genesee Valley Organic CSA
25 Nelson St., Rochester, NY 14620

Organic Vegetables and Herbs
NOFA-NY Certified Organic
Dave Fergusson
Tel: 585-442-5658

Genesee Valley Organic CSA (GVOCSA) is one of the oldest CSAs in the United States. The products included in its 26-week seasonal CSA Program come from Peacework Farm, with additional special-order products such as baked goods, fruit, wine and maple syrup available during the Summer season, and locally raised meats available at the main distribution locations.

GVOCSA’s main 26-week seasonal CSA Program begins in mid-May and runs through mid-November. GVOCSA offers a Full Share with a sliding scale to accommodate people of different incomes costing from $440.00 to $680.00. They also offer a Shared Share that splits a Full Share among two or more households, and a Partial Share that costs $325.00.  All share members pay an additional annual membership fee of $15.00. Full and Shared shares include 6-10 items per week, and Partial shares include 4-6 items per week.

GVOCSA requires all members to work as part of their share. Full and Shared Share members work a total of 17 hours during the 26-week season, 3 farm shifts of 4 hours each and 2 distribution shifts of 2 ½ hours each. Partial Share members work a total of 10 ½ hours during the 26-week season, 2 farm shifts of 4 hours each, and 1 distribution shift of 2 ½ hours.

GVOCSA’s distribution site is the warehouse/parking lot area of Abundance Cooperative Market in Rochester. Share distribution times are Thursdays from 6:30-8:00 PM and Sundays 5:30-7:00 PM.

GVOCSA also offers a Winter CSA program with vegetables from Blue Heron Farm in Lodi, NY. For additional information about GVOCSA’s CSA programs, please visit their website.

52. Peacework Farm
2231 Welcher Rd., Newark, NY 14513

Organic Vegetables and Herbs
NOFA-NY Certified Organic Farm
Greg Palmer & Ammie Chickering
Tel: 315-398-4007

Peacework Farm operates a CSA separate from GVOCSA for residents of Wayne and Ontario Counties who live within a half-hour’s drive from the farm. Local CSA members pick up their weekly shares at the farm. The CSA runs for the same 26-week season as the GVOCSA main season.

The general terms of Peacework Farm’s 2011 CSA Program are the same as the GVOCSA Program. Their 2011 26-week seasonal CSA Program begins in mid-May and runs through mid-November. They offer a Full Share with a sliding scale to accommodate people of different incomes costing from $440.00 to $680.00. They also offer a Shared Share that splits a Full Share among two or more households, and a Partial Share that costs $325.00. There is a membership fee of $5 per share or per household sharing a share. Full and Shared shares include 6-10 items per week, and Partial shares include 4-6 per week.

Peacework Farm requires all CSA members to work as part of their share. Full and Shared Share members work three 4-hour shifts at the farm; Partial shares work two 4-hour shifts.

Pick ups are at the Farm on Thursdays and Sundays. Peacework Farm does not offer a Winter CSA. For additional information on pick ups or on joining Peacework Farm’s CSA, please visit their website.

53. Heamour Farm
3723 Center Rd, Madison, NY 13402

Free-Range Eggs
Shannon and David Nichols
Tel: 315-893-7616

Heamour Farms is offering a 27-week Farm Fresh Egg CSA in 2011, which runs from May 7th to November 5th. The CSA provides one dozen eggs per week, which can be picked up Saturdays at the Cazenovia Summer Farmers Market. Shares cost $94.50.

54. Sweetland Farm
9732 State Route 96, Trumansburg, NY 14886

Vegetables and Fruits
Paul Martin and Evangeline Sarat
Tel: 607-387-3702

Sweet Land Farm offers Summer, Winter and Egg CSAs. Their Summer CSA Program runs 26 weeks, from June to November, and costs $510.00 per share. Summer CSA shares include pre-selected and member-selected produce, for a total of 10-20 different items per week, as well as U-Pick/PYO options.

The Egg Shares CSA runs 26 weeks during the summer and costs $104.00 ($4.00 per week). It provides 1 dozen eggs per week.

Members in the Ithaca/Trumansburg area pick up their shares are the farm on Tuesdays or Fridays. The Piggery also offers their charcuterie for sale at Friday distributions.

55. Full Plate Collective
P.O. Box 6898, Ithaca, N.Y. 14851

Katie Church
Tel: 607-342-7632

The Full Plate Farm Collective is a multi-farm CSA in the Ithaca area that includes Remembrance Farm, Stick & Stone Farm, and Three Swallows Farm. The Full Plate Collective offers Summer and Winter CSAs, with numerous delivery and pick up options. Their 2011 Summer CSA program runs for 23 weeks and costs $509.91. A delivered weekly share is tailed for a 2-adult household and consists of a ½ bushel box containing 8-10 different vegetables per week. Members who pick up their shares at one of the farms can pack 1 grocery bag of produce per week, choosing from limited and unlimited items.

The Full Plate Collective offers two U-Pick gardens with unlimited picking amounts and access for all members, in addition their weekly shares. There are additional fuel charges for Ithaca-area and home deliveries. For additional information on delivery and pick up times and options please visit their website.

56. Lucky Moon Farm
4976 Lincklaen Rd, Cazenovia, NY 13035

Organic Vegetables
NOFA-NY Certified Organic
Claude & Sue Braun
Tel: 315-655-2283

Lucky Moon Farm is offering 50 shares in their 2011 CSA Program, which runs from June through September. A Full Share costs $525.00 delivered, and $445.00 if picked up. A Half Share costs $390.00 if delivered and $315.00 picked up. Pick ups are at the farm, or on Tuesdays in Manlius.

57. Muddy Fingers Farm
3859 Dugue Rd, Hector, NY 14841

Matthew Glenn
Tel: 607-546-4535

Muddy Fingers Farm is offering 90 CSA shares in 2011. Their CSA Program runs from June through October. A Basic Share costs $400.00 and feeds 1-2 people; a Larger Share costs $520.00. Basic Share members select 5-8 vegetables each week, and Larger Share members select 7-10 vegetables each week. Muddy Fingers Farm is also looking for Working Share members who will trade their labor for the cost of a share.

Pick ups and selections of seasonal product take place at the Corning, Elmira or Watkins Glen Farmers Markets, or at the farm by special arrangement.

58. Free Bird Farm
497 McKinley Road, Palatine Bridge NY 13428

Ken Fruehstorfer and Maryellen Driscoll
Tel: 518-673-8822

Free Bird Farm is offering 250 CSA shares in 2011. Their CSA Program runs from June through October. A Full Share for local members costs $435 ($500.00 for members in the metropolitan NY/NJ area). A CSA share provides for 2 adults with children. Eggs, pasture-raised chicken, and fruit shares are also available, depending on the distribution location.

Local members pick up on Tuesday afternoons in Cooperstown, Palatine Hill and Piseco. Egg and chicken shares are also available.

59. Fiacre Gardens Microfarm
364 Merchants Road, Rochester, NY 14609

Organic Fruits and Vegetables
NOFA-NY Certified Organic
Chris Phillips
Tel: 585-288-1073

Fiacre Gardens Microfarm offers a fresh fruit and vegetable Summer CSA. They are offering 25 CSA shares in 2011, for a suggested donation of $360.00 per share. Fiacre Garden Microfarm also offers a Winter CSA, which provides “eco-grown” vegetables from October to May, with bi-weekly pick ups.

For additional CSA share and pick up information, please contact Chris Phillips.

60. Fiddler’s Greens
3106 Taft Rd, Bloomfield, NY 14469

Kit Fallon
Tel: 315-521-9630

Fiddler’s Green’s is offering 30 CSA shares in 2011. Their CSA program runs 20 weeks, from June through October. A Full Share costs $500.00, and a Half Share costs $400.00. There are 6 hours of work required on the farm. Pick ups are at the farm on Saturdays or Thursdays in Geneva.

61. Stony Creek Farm
1738 Freer Hollow Road, Walton, NY 13856

Vegetables and Herbs
NOFA-NY Farmers Pledge Farm
Dan and Kate Marsiglio
Tel: 607-865-7966

Stony Creek Farm is offering a 20-week CSA program in 2011. A Standard Share costs $425.00, with a discounted rate of $400.00 for early payment by April 15th. There is also a Working Share of $350.00. Each CSA share will include 5-7 seasonal vegetables and herbs.

Pick ups are Thursdays at the farm or Sundays at the Franklin Farmers Market. There is also a possible Oneonta delivery. For additional information, please contact Kate Marsiglio.

62. UUCC-Canandaigua CSA/Fellenz Farm
3024 Cooley Rd, Canandaigua, NY 14424

Organic Fruit and Vegetables
NOFA-NY Certified Organic Farm
Andy Fellenz
Tel: 585-260-2477

The UUCC-Canandaigua CSA is run by Fellenz Farm. Shares include certified organic fruit and vegetables. Members enjoy flexibility in determining the contents of their weekly shares, choosing several items to supplement what is already included in their share.

The UUCC-Canandaigua CSA runs 24 weeks from May 23 to October 31. A Small Share costs $480.00, and a Large Share costs $600.00. Small Shares typically have 6-8 items, and Large Shares 8-12 items. Fellenz Farms partners with other farms to offer at extra cost: poultry, beef and pork at least once a month, honey at least twice each season, eggs on a regular basis, and cheese once or twice a season. CSA members are also offered discounted U-Pick opportunities and discounts on fruits and vegetables for canning.

There is also a Work Option, where members receive a $50.00 rebate after working 12 hours on the farm. Share pick up is Monday evening from 5:15-7:00 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 3024 Cooley Rd. in Canandaigua. Pick up at the farm can also be arranged.

63. Transfiguration CSA/Fellenz Farm
50 W Bloomfield Rd, Pittsford, NY 14534

Organic Fruit and Vegetables
NOFA-NY Certified Organic Farm
Andy Fellenz
Tel: 585-260-2477

The Transfiguration CSA is run by Fellenz Farm. Shares include certified organic fruit and vegetables. Members enjoy flexibility in determining the contents of their weekly shares, choosing several items to supplement what is already included in their share.

The Transfiguration CSA runs 26 weeks from June 3 to November 18. A Small Share feeds 2-3 people and costs $520.00; a Large Share feeds a family cooking most nights and costs $650.00. Small Shares typically have 6-8 items, and Large Shares 8-12 items. A Micro Share with 4 items per week costs $350.00. Members will receive a double distribution including storage vegetables on November 18. There is also a Work Option, where members receive a $50.00 rebate after working 12 hours on the farm.

Fellenz Farms partners with other farms to offer at extra cost: poultry, beef and pork at least once a month, honey at least twice each season, eggs on a regular basis, and cheese once or twice a season. CSA members are also offered discounted U-Pick opportunities and discounts on fruits and vegetables for canning.

Share distribution is Friday from 4:00-6:00 PM at the Transfiguration Church at 50 W. Bloomfield Road in Pittsford. Some work at the distribution is required. Pick up at the farm can also be arranged.

64. Free Soil Farm
17 Avon Rd, Geneseo, NY 14454

Corrin Strong and Amy Carpenter
Tel: 585-233-5338

Free Soil Farm is offering 20 CSA shares in 2011. Unlike a traditional CSA, which requires members to purchase and commit to a full season of produce in advance, the Free Soil Farm CSA consists of a one-month contract. Members purchase $50.00 worth of “Little Green Bucks,” which entitles them to select and purchase $75.00 worth of produce at the farm’s Little Green Market, which is located off Avon Road just north of the Livingston County Courthouse and is open 7 days a week. CSA members can renew their one-month contracts throughout the growing season.


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2011 CSA Programs in Central New York & the Finger Lakes, Part 3.

By Neil B. Miller | February 20th, 2011

This is the third in a series of articles Farmshed CNY is publishing on 2011 CSA programs in Central New York and the Finger Lakes. With this latest article, I have worked through the entire list of 100+ CSA programs in Central New York and the Finger Lakes in the Farmshed directory (i.e., the iPhone app), and provided information for all  the 2011 CSA programs for which updated information is currently available. In the coming weeks, I hope to publish listings for the remaining 50-odd farms in Central New York and the Finger Lakes, as information on their 2011 CSA programs is made available

Many of the CSAs listed in this article are in the western Finger Lakes region. And as with the CSAs listed in the previous two articles, the diversity of CSA programs available to folks living in-and-around Rochester and the western Finger Lakes is truly impressive, from seasonal fruit and vegetable CSAs and a year-round lamb CSA, to what is truly the wildest, most multifaceted CSA I have yet come across, which offers everything from fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy, to nuts, mushrooms, baked goods, sauerkraut and lacto-fermented foods

I hope you will take some time to review the CSA programs listed in this article, and, if you have not already selected a CSA program for 2011, that you will go back and review the CSA programs listed in the first two articles. And please, if you have additional questions, contact the farmer! They will be glad to hear from you and answer your questions.

32. Sommers’ Harvest Farm
7 University Ave., Hamilton, NY 13346

Organic Vegetables
NOFA-NY Farmers Pledge Farm
Amy, Joel and Halima Sommers
Tel: 315-527-3429

Sommers’ Harvest Farm is offering a limited number of CSA shares in 2011. Their 23-week CSA season starts the first week in June and ends the second week in November. They intend to have 6-10 items in each share and are planting over 40 types of vegetables and over 200 varieties. They grow all of the vegetables in their shares and hope to have berries in their shares this year as well as offering Pick-Your-Own crops on the farm. If you have specific dietary needs or allergies, they are willing to work with you to make applicable substitutions.

Full Shares cost $300.00 and are designed for 1-2 people who eat vegetables frequently during the week. Half Shares cost $160.00 and are designed for individuals. Sommers’ Harvest Farm also offers a compost pail option for $5.00. There is no work required on the farm, but they love to have visitors. Share pick-up will be at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market on the Village Green, Saturdays from 9am to 12pm.

33. Andy’s Specialty Garlic and Produce
2012 Parker Rd, Newark, NY 14513

Non-certified Organic Vegetables
Andy Papineau
Tel: 315-331-2737

Andy’s Special Garlic and Produce CSA is accepting new members for the 2011 season. Their CSA Program will begin in mid June and run 18 weeks. Shares cost $500.00. Members will receive 7-12 items in their share box each week. Andy’s Specialty grows 35 different kinds of vegetables, and their focus is growing a variety of healthy, nutrient-dense food sustainably and without chemicals. Pick up locations are in Mendon and Henrietta. Please visit their website for more information or to print out a sign up form.

34. Geneva CSA/Fellenz Farm
520 South Main Street, Geneva, NY 14456

Organic Fruit and Vegetables
Andy Fellenz
Tel: 315-548-6228

Geneva CSA is run by Fellenz Farm. Shares include certified organic fruit and vegetables. Members enjoy flexibility in determining the contents of their weekly shares, choosing several items to supplement what is already included in their share.

Geneva CSA offers several different CSA share season length options, with small and large shares available in each option:

Main Share: 24 weeks, May 18 through October 26; $480.00 (Small), $600.00 (Large)
Summer Semester: 15 weeks, May 18 through August 24; $300.00 (Small), $375.00 (Large)
Fall Semester: 15 weeks, August 31 through December 7; $300.00 (Small), $375.00 (Large)
Extended: 30 weeks, May 18 through December 7; $600.00 (Small), $750.00 (Large)

Fellenz Farms partners with other farms to offer at extra cost: poultry, beef and pork at least once a month, honey at least twice each season, eggs on a regular basis, and cheese once or twice a season. CSA members are also offered discounted U-Pick opportunities and discounts on fruits and vegetables for canning.

Share distribution is on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:30p in the Trinity Church Dining Hall on South Main St. south of the Hobart William Smith Campus in the historic row-house section of Geneva. On-farm pick-up can also be arranged.

35. Maxwell Creek Farm Share
7004 North Rd, Sodus, NY 14551

Fruits, Vegetables, Culinary Herbs & Free-Range Eggs
Kim & Marty Molisani
Tel: 315-483-4745

Maxwell Creek Farm Share is offering 75 CSA shares for 2011. Their 2011 CSA program begins the first week in June and runs for 13 consecutive weeks. A Standard Share costs $350.00 for on-farm pickup and consists of approximately a ½ bushel of fresh produce containing 6-12 different items. A Double Share costs $650.00 and consists of approximately a full bushel of fresh produce. They also offer a Full Egg Share, priced at $65.00, which provides one dozen eggs/week, Half Egg Share for $35.00, which provides one dozens eggs ever other week, and Fall Harvest Boxes, which cost from $45.00 to $120.00 for 1, 2 or 3 boxes. They also offer a limited number of Work Shares, which involve working at the farm.

Pickups are Fridays at the farm. For an additional cost, Maxwell Creek Farm Share also offers weekly drop-off locations in Fairport, Rochester, Webster and Walworth, as well as home or office deliveries in Wayne and Monroe Counties. Please visit their website for additional information on Work Shares or the cost of drop-offs or home/office deliveries or to sign up for their 2011 CSA Program.

36. Monarch Farm
7272 Vincent Hill Rd., Homer, NY 13077

“Uncertified Organic” Heirloom Vegetables
Brendan O’Keefe
Tel: 607-749-2144

Monarch Farm is offering 30 CSA shares in 2011. Their CSA program runs approximately 20 weeks, from June through October. They offer Full Shares only, which cost $450.00, and which provide enough produce to feed 3-5 people. Members pick up their weekly shares during market hours on Thursdays at the Skaneateles Farmers Market or on Saturdays at the Syracuse Regional Market.

37. Chicken Thistle Farm
2039 Barnes Road, Walworth, NY 14568

Heirloom Vegetables
Andy and Kelli Prior
Tel: 315-333-0009

Chicken Thistle Farm’s 2011 CSA Program runs approximately from late June to late September, depending on the growing season. Their vegetable CSA costs $275.00 per share for off-farm pickups, and $250.00 for on-farm pickups. A CSA share consists on average of a ½ bushel of fresh produce per week. On-farm pickups are Thursday evenings. Off-farm pickup locations are Tuesdays at the Penfield Community Center and Thursdays at Finger Lakes Community College. No work is required at the farm.

38. Good Food Collective
Somewhere in Rochester

Certified and Non-Certified Organic Fruits and Vegetables
Chris Hartman

The Good Food Collective is a multi-farm CSA in the Rochester area that runs a Summer CSA Program offering fresh organic fruits and vegetables from June to October, and a Winter CSA Program offering frozen, stored and fresh organic fruits and vegetables from December to March.

Their Spring CSA program runs 18 weeks, from mid-June to mid October, A Full Share costs $510.00 consists of 7-14 different fruits and vegetables per week, amounting to approximately 2-3 overfilled grocery bags. A Half Share costs $285.00 with 4-10 different fruits and vegetables per week. Fruits Shares, running from early July to late September are available for $125, A Bread Share, providing one loaf of freshly baked bread per week from Flour City Bread Company, is available for $95.00, and a Coffee Share providing 1 pound of Fair Trade/Organic Coffee Beans per week from Bona Fide Coffee is available for $216.00

Partner Farms include Clearview Farm, East Hill Organic Farm, Fraser’s Garlic Farm, Honeyhill Farm, Lighthouse Gardens, Organic Matters Farm, Mud Creek Farm, and Raindance Farm.

The Good Food Collective offers workplace pickup locations at the University of Rochester Medical Center, the Rochester Institute of Technology and the Woodcliff Office Partk. Community pickup locations are Thursdays at the South Wedge Farmers Market and Fridays at Breathe Yoga in Pittsford. For additional information please visit their website.

39. Mud Creek Farm
1154 McMahon Rd, Victor, NY 14564

Erin Bullock
Tel: 585-455-1260

Mud Creek Farm’s 2011 CSA Program runs for 22 weeks from June through October. A Full Share consists of 7-10 different items per week, enough to feed 2-4 people, with a sliding scale cost ranging from $575.00-$700.00. An “Every-Other-Week Share” consists of a Full Share picked up every other week, with the sliding scale cost ranging from $325.00-$400.00.

Pickups are Monday or Thursday evenings, from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at the farm in Victor. Share members also have access to seasonal Pick-Your-Own crops.

40. G and S Orchards
825 Atlantic Ave. (Route 286) , Walworth, NY 14568

Fruits and Vegetables
Gary and Stephanie Craft
Tel: 315-524-3823

G and S Farms is offering 4 Fruit Share options and 1 Vegetable Share in their 2011 CSA Program. A 22-week Full Fruit Share running from June through November costs $450.00, and a Half Fruit Share costs $250.00. A 15-Week Full Fruit Share costs $325.00 and a Half Share costs $200.00. A 15-week Vegetable Share costs $210.00.

Members pick up their shares at the farm office on Monday or Tuesday afternoons or Wednesday mornings.  No work is required at the farm.

41. GoldMar Farm
3414 Plank Rd, Livonia, NY 14487

Lisa Golden
Tel: 585-415-6248

GoldMar Farm is offering 40 CSA shares in 2011. Their CSA Program runs from June through October. They offer a variety of working and non-working membership options. A Full Working Share costs $350.00, and requires a commitment to work 20 hours on the farm. A Half Working Share costs $175.00 and also requires farm work. A Full Non-Working Share costs $450.00 and a Half Non-Working Share costs $225.00. GoldMar Farm also offers a 3-year Benefactor Share for $1,200.00 and a 2-year Premiere Share for $800.00.

There is a one-time, non-refundable $15.00 administrative fee for new members, and a range of available payment options. Weekly pickups are either at the Farm, or at a drop-off location at Monroe Community College. For more information, please visit their website.

42. Greens & Beans CSA
2539 Shanty Plains Rd., Penn Yan, NY 14527

Heirloom and Open-Pollinated Vegetables
Deborah Muntner
Tel: 315-595-6137

Greens & Beans 2011 CSA Program runs from June through early November. This year they are accepting 30 Full Shares. A Full Share with on farm pick-up costs $450.00, and Full Shares for drop-off locations in Canandaigua and Naples cost $475.00.

43. Keuka Lake CSA
3006 Bath Rd., Penn Yan, NY 14527

Fruits and Vegetables
Judson Reid
Tel: 585-473-8450

Keuka Lake CSA is a collective CSA composed of four family farms in Yates County. Their 2011 CSA Program runs for 20 weeks, from June 1st to October 12th. A Full Share costs $500.00, there are no half shares. Pickups are Wednesday evenings at The Shirks Farm in Penn Yann.

44. Kindred Ground Farm
2393 Pole Bridge Rd, Avon, NY 14414

Vegetables and Flowers
Tammy Anderson
Tel: 585-703-3800

Kindred Ground Farm is offering 50 CSA shares in 2011. Their 2011 CSA Program will run approximately 20 weeks, from late June into late October. A Full Share costs $450.0, will include 7-11 different items per week and should provide enough produce to feed four people. A Half Share costs $300.00, will include 4-7 items and should feed two adults. Weekly shares will include core items selected by the farmer, but members will be able to choose among remaining produce options to round out their weekly share. Full Share members may choose up to 7 different items, and Half Share members may choose up to 3 different items from whatever is available that week.

Pickups are at the farm on Monday and Thursday from 4:00 to 7:00 PM, or Wednesdays at the Avon Farm Market. No work is required at the farm.

45. Kyle Farms
3872 Hogmire Rd., Avon, NY 14414

Naturally Raised Lamb
Anne Dewar
Tel: 585-568-7817

Kyle Farms offers 100 shares in a year-round CSA Program. A Full Share provides a whole lamb and costs $300.00, and a Half Share provides a half lamb and costs $175.00. Shares are process to members’ specifications and are freezer ready and label on pick-up.
Lambs are available in mid-April and mid-November.

Members pick up their share on prearranged dates at Chase’s Greenhouse or the processing facility, or at prearranged locations in the Rochester area.

46. PeaceWeaver Organic Farm
8125 Crouse Rd., Bath, NY 14810

Organic Vegetables
NOFA-NY Certified Organic
Coby & Beth Miller
Tel: 607-776-4060

PeaceWeaver Organic Farm is offering 60 CSA shares in 2011. Their 2011 CSA Program runs 18 weeks, from the week of June 14th to the week of October 15th. A Working Share costs $280.00 and requires work on the farm for 2 hours per week during the growing season. A Non-Working Share costs $430.00. A weekly CSA share should provide enough fresh vegetables for two adults or a family of four.

Working Share members pickup their share at the Farm after work, either Monday evenings or Thursday mornings. Non-Working Share members pickup their share at the farm on Mondays or Thursdays, or in Corning on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons.

47. Sinemus Farms
959 Norton Rd, Elba, NY 14058

Organic Vegetables
NOFA-NY Farmers Pledge Farm
Herman Sinemus
Tel: 716-940-1386

Sinemus Farms is offering 30 CSA Shares in 2011. Their 2011 CSA Program begins in mid-to-late June and runs 20 weeks, or until the first killing frost. A CSA share costs $350.00 and typically provides enough fresh produce for two adults and 2 children.

Pick-ups are at the farm, or at pick-up locations in Tonawanda and Wheatfield.

48. Smoke Ridge Organics
3804 County Road 40, Bloomfield, NY 14469

Organic Fruits, Vegetables, Meats, Dairy, Eggs and More
Lindsay Kuhn
Tel: 585-229-7424

Smoke Ridge Organics is a full-serve, year-round CSA that offers an astonishing range of share options and product categories. Most of their CSAs offer Working and Non-Working share options. Their 52-week Farm CSA is available in Full, Half, Third and Quarter Farm Shares, which cost respectively $5,000.00, $2,500.00, $1,750.00 and $1,400.00, and includes everything they produce on the farm including fruits, vegetables, beef, pork, lamb and Thanksgiving turkeys.

Their 52-week Sweetheart Share costs $2,000.00 for a Working Share and $2,400.00 for a Non-Working share, and includes raw milk, eggs, fruits and vegetables, butter, cheese, yogurt, chicken, beef, pork, mushrooms, honey, potatoes or yams, and baked goods.

They also offer 26-Week Warm (Summer) and Cool (Winter) Vegetable CSA Shares, that provide ½ bushel per week with at least 8 different items. A Working Vegetable Share costs $300.00 and a Non-Working Vegetable Share costs $450.00.

Their year-round fruit CSA costs $300.00 for a Working Share and $450.00 for a Non Working Share.

As far as I can tell, Smoke Ridge Organics grows everything they sell on the farm, and everything is farmed organically. They offer too many other share options to list in detail, but here in brief are their other CSA categories:

Citrus (grown in greenhouses and orangeries)
Medicinal Herbs
Cow’s Milk (Raw)
Goat’s Milk (Raw)
Sheep’s Milk (Raw)
Potatoes and Yams
Beans and Peas
Maple Syrup
Baked Goods
Jams, Jellies and Preserves
Pickles, Sauerkraut and Lacto-Fermented Foods
Bar Soap
Utility Soap
Fiber, Wool, Silk, Flax, Cotton & Angora
Raw Dog Food
Raw Cat Food
Mix & Match
One Month Trial
One Week Basket

Share members can pick-up their shares at the farm, or at drop-off locations in Rochester, Rush or Victor. Please visit their website and/or contact Lindsay Kuhn directly for additional information about the farm and their CSA programs.

49. Windy Meadow Farms
900 Kuttruff Rd, Walworth, NY 14568

Tom and Brenda Welker
Tel: 315-986-0968

Windy Meadow Farms is offering a 22-week CSA Program in 2011 that runs from the first week of June through the last week of October. A CSA share costs $250.00 for pick-up at the farm,; $300.00 for pick-up off the farm at drop-off locations in Wayne and Monroe Counties; and $350.00 for home delivery.

Windy Meadow Farms also offers a Winter CSA program that runs from November to February. A Winter CSA share costs $200.00 and pickups are monthly at the farm.


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2011 CSA Programs in Central New York & the Finger Lakes, Part 2.

By Neil B. Miller | January 30th, 2011

This is the second in a series of articles Farmshed CNY is publishing over the next month that provide information on 2011 CSA programs in Central New York and the Finger Lakes. All of the CSA listings in the Farmshed directory (i.e., the iPhone app), will also be updated with this information.

In the first article, I mentioned that when it comes to selecting a CSA, the sooner you decide which program is right for you the better, and this is especially true for several of the farms listed in this article. While I greatly respect the hard work and love that all farmers put into their products, several of these farms, which I visited or I got to know in the last year, produce simply extraordinary vegetables and meats that set the standard for excellence in this region. And, as evidenced by the speed with which these farms sell out their CSAs year-after-year, I clearly am not the only consumer who feels this way.

So, I hope you will take some time and review the following 12 farms offering CSA programs in 2011, and then, if you have not already selected a CSA program, go back and review the 20 CSA programs listed in the first article. And remember, if you have additional questions, contact the farmer! They should be glad to hear from you and answer your questions.

I hope everyone will consider joining a CSA in 2011. The benefits to you, your family, local farmers and the local economy are well documented, and the risks are minimal. CSAs bring us closer to the people who grow our food, to the land itself, and to each other.

21. Three Goat Farm/Szarek Greenhouses
7443 South St., Clinton, NY 13323

Hydroponically Grown Vegetables
Bernie & Denise Szarek
Tel: 315-853-5901

Three Goat Farm CSA is offering 30 CSA shares in 2011. Their Full Share costs $300.00 and provides enough veggies for 2-4 people, approximately 8-15 lbs per week. Their Half Share costs $150.00 and provides enough veggies for 1-2 people, approximately 4-8 lbs per week.  Shares will be light at first and grow with the season. Full and Half Shares runs from June-Oct.

Three Goat Farm also offers a College Student/Vacation Share that costs $140.00 and is designed to give a college student or summer vacationer fresh veggies for about 10 weeks, from Aug-Oct.

Members mix & match their weekly share, and weekly pickups are at the farm, Saturday 9am-12noon and Tuesday evening 7-9pm. No work is required at the farm.

22. Schoolhouse Farms
1848 Rose Hill Rd. (Route 174), Skaneateles, NY 13152

“Eco-ganic” Vegetables
Rebecca Muir
Tel: 315-673-0744

Schoolhouse Farms is offering 20 CSA shares in 2011 that will run from June through September. Free home delivery is available in the 13152 zip code. A single share costs $550.00. Schoolhouse Farm specializes in pesticide-free heirloom tomatoes and other heirloom vegetables. No work is required at the farm.

23. Six Circles Farm
1491 Caywood Rd., Lodi, NY 14860

Organic Vegetables
Jacob, Lael, and Michael Eisman
Tel: 607-351-3921

Six Circles Farm is offering 12 CSA shares for 2011. Their CSA program runs from June through October. Full Share cost $500.00, Half Shares cost $320.00. Pickups at the farm and the Ithaca Farmers Market on Tuesday, Saturday, or Sunday, all day. No work is required at the farm.

24. Stones Throw Farm
540 Makyes Road, Nedrow, NY 13120

Organic Vegetables
NOFA-NY Farmers Pledge Farm
Brian & Megan Luton
Tel: 315-469-4225

Stones Throw Farm is offering a limited number of CSA shares in 2001. Their 2011 CSA program will run for 20 weeks running from June 18th through October 29th. A share costs $550.00. The CSA Program will provide a “diverse mix of crops throughout the season and provide bountiful and well-rounded shares.”

CSA shares are picked up weekly at the farm on Tuesday evenings or Saturday mornings.  At times throughout the season additional items will be available to CSA members on a “you-pick” basis at no additional charge.

25. The Piggery
5948 Sycamore Creek Dr, Trumansburg, NY 14886

Heirloom Breed Pork and Charcuterie
Heather Sandford and Brad Marshall
Tel: 607-342-2245

I have to be honest, I love The Piggery’s pork products and charcuterie so much that I’ve considered moving to the Ithaca-Trumansburg area just so I could join their CSA, or at least shop regularly at their new deli in Ithaca.

The Piggery still has a few shares available for their first-ever Spring 2011 CSA program. This all-pork-and-charcuterie CSA runs 12 weeks from March 10 through May 26. Shares cost $300.00, and $600.00 for a Double Share. Each weekly box contains a variety of cuts of fresh pork or sausage, bacon or sliced deli meats, pates, lard, and/or other “treats” or “bonuses.” A Summer CSA will be announced later in the year.

Pickup options include the farm, the Piggery Deli in Ithaca or home delivery in Ithaca via Garden Gate Delivery for $3.00/week.

26. West Haven Farm
114 Rachel Carson Way, Ithaca, NY 14850

Organic Vegetables
NOFA-NY Certified Organic Farm
John & Jennifer Bokaer-Smith
Tel: 607-279-9483

West Haven Farm offers a 24-week CSA program that runs from late May to early November. A Single Share costs $500.00, although there is a sliding scale from $375.00 to $575.00 (not sure what this entails), and small scholarship fund, composed of donations from other members. A Single Share feeds 1-3 people, larger families can purchase 2 shares at a discount. A large discount is also available in exchange for “substantial help in the garden.”

Pickup is on Tuesday, at the farm from 3:30-9pm or from 4:30-7:30pm in Fall Creek. Shareholders bags their own weekly portions from a farm-market-type display. Shareholders are also welcome to U-pick flowers, herbs and other crops at the farm.

27. Wild Acorn Farm
389 State Highway 12, Greene, NY 13778

Naturally-Raised Pork
Robert & Jacqui Rayne
Tel: 607-656-7132

Wild Acorn Farm offers a year round pork CSA program. Their pigs are raised without antibiotics or growth hormones, and are slaughtered on the farm. They offer 38 CSA shares. Each share is the equivalent to 1/2 a fully-grown pig (10 months). The meat is butchered by a small custom butcher and cut and wrapped to shareholder specifications.

A Full Share (1/2 pig) costs $275.00, payable in a $50.00 deposit and 9 monthly payments of $25.00. A Half Share (1/4 pig) costs $140.00, payable in a $50 deposit and 9 monthly payments of $10.00. Members can pick up their share at the farm or local delivery can be arranged.

28. Jus-Lin Farms
1461 Route 163, Canajoharie, NY 13317

Non-Certified Organic Vegetables
Fred Dykeman
Tel: 518-280-8904

Jus-Lin Farm is offering 40 CSA shares in 2011. Their CSA Program runs 18 weeks, from June through October. A Full Share costs $450.00 and provides enough freshly picked produce for 4 people. A Half Share costs $350.00 and will feed 2 people. Egg shares are also available for an additional $50.00 for one dozen eggs/week, and $25.00 for a bi-weekly egg share. There is also a $20.00 discount for referring new shareholders.

Pickups are at the farm, in Duanesburg, and at the Crossgate Commons in Albany. No work is required at the farm.

29. Nectar Hills Farm
393 Peeters Road, Schenevus, NY 12155

Grass-Fed Beef and Lamb, Pasture-Raised Pork and Chicken
Certified Organic Farm
Dave Dutton and Sonia Sola
Tel: 607-638-5758

Nectar Hills Farm is a certified organic meat producer. They offer three levels of membership in their 2011 CSA program. A Full Share receives about 120 pounds of meat, and costs $1,000.00, which is a 20% discount; a $600.00 Half Share that will receive 70 pounds of meat (a 15% discount); and a $300.00 Single Share that will receive 30 pounds of meat (a 10% discount). During the Spring shareholders may also receive honey, organic produce, apples, apple cider or vinegar, raw wool or other products.

There is no single pickup or delivery schedule. Shareholders can pick up and stock their freezers with their entire share, or they can arrange for weekly or monthly pickups. Members can pick up their shares at the farm, at the Nectar Hills farm store in Cherry Valley, or at the Cooperstown Farmers Market.

30. Crum Creek CSA
200 Crum Creek Rd., St. Johnsville, NY 13452

Pastured Elk, Beef, Pork, Chicken, Lamb & Eggs
Stacy Handy
Tel: 518-568-5476

Crum Creek CSA is the collaborative effort of Creek’s Edge Elk Farm and other local meat producers. They run a Winter CSA program that runs from November to April and offers 6-month shares that provide 5 lbs of meat per month.  A 6-month beef share costs $195.00, and a 6-month beef and pork share costs $199.50. They offer an Egg Share that provides 1 dozen eggs per week and costs $97.00. They also sell a variety of 20lbs. meat bundles, as well as bulk orders and individual cuts.

Shares are picked up the farm the first Wednesday of every month.

31. The Farm and B&B
1057 Elizabethtown Road, Ilion, NY 13357

Heirloom and Heritage Vegetables
NOFA-NY Farmers Pledge Farm
Laura Knight and Michael Kirkpatrick
Tel: 315-895-0060

The Farm is offering 50 CSA shares in 2011. They grow over 100 different vegetables, many of which are heirloom or heritage varietals. Their CSA program runs from mid-June through mid-October. A Full Share costs $425.00 and provides a weekly ½ bushel box of 7-9 items that should be sufficient for 2-4 people.

Weekly pickups are at The Farm on Friday or Saturday, Café Domenico in Utica on Monday, or at the Clinton Farmers Market (Thursday) or Cooperstown Farmers Market (Saturday).


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Farming Organically for Family and Community: Frosty Morning Farm, Truxton, NY

By Neil B. Miller | October 22nd, 2010

The view from Frosty Morning Farm.

Since launching Farmshed this past July, I figure that I’ve met more than 200 farmers, and visited two to three dozen different farmers markets.  It’s been a blast, even though the carbon footprint from all that travel probably hasn’t been offset entirely by buying local, or driving a 1995 Subaru Legacy with 257,000 miles on the speedometer.  It’s also been a terrific learning experience.  Just as I didn’t fully appreciate the sheer number of small, direct-market farmers and food producers in Central New York until I started developing Farmshed, so too I didn’t appreciate the diversity of these farmers – how and why they manage their operations as they do – until I began visiting their farms.

Nearly every farmer I’ve since spoken with has a unique story that belies any easy or overly simplistic generalizations.  Many farmers are deeply committed to organic, “post-organic” and/or sustainable farming, while many more employ conventional or Integrated Pest Management techniques, or a combination of these methods.  Some farmers sell only freshly harvested produce, or concentrate on a single area of agriculture – growing vegetables, raising livestock, etc. – while others are involved in numerous endeavors, from baking breads and pies or making jams and jellies, to marketing multiples lines of added-value products.

If I were to hazard a broad generalization, it is that family is of paramount importance to most farmers.  Whether it is a son or daughter returning to work land that’s been in the family for generations, or a young couple newly arrived and just getting started, the desire to maintain a vital connection with one’s forebears, or to bequeath the farming tradition and lifestyle to one’s children, turns up in nearly every conversation I have had with local farmers.

Alison Frost standing in front of the barn at Frosty Morning Farm.

Alison showing off her heirloom bean crop drying in the field.

This latter scenario, of passing along a farming lifestyle and farmstead to one’s children, is what led Alison and Karl Frost, owners of Frosty Morning Farm, to move with their two young sons, Josh and Jason, from southern New Jersey to Truxton, NY in 1993, and to obtain a long-term lease on 1½ acres (now 2 acres) of land belonging to the Common Place Land Cooperative. The CPLC, one of several Intentional Communities in Central New York, is a 432-acre rural land trust founded in 1976 with the goal of  “making land accessible for the development of a community committed to ecological land stewardship.”

Initially, Alison says she and Karl had no intention of becoming direct-market farmers. In New Jersey, Alison describes herself and Karl as “pretty serious gardeners” who raised chickens and goats, had a greenhouse and were interested in exploring the “homesteading idea” of living off the grid, homeschooling, home birthing, growing their own food and canning.  Direct market farming came about by accident, after the realization that 1½ acres of Central New York farmland was far more productive than the sandy soil of the Pine Barrens, and produced more crops than they needed for themselves.  As their understanding of the land grew, they started attending NOFA conferences, going to farmers markets, and learning about CSAs.  “We didn’t have a business plan,” Alison added, “and we still don’t.”

Solar panels provide electricity at the farm.

Field greens growing in a low tunnel.

That lack of planning explains, in part, why Frosty Morning Farm produces such a broad range of crops and products.  After moving to Truxton, Alison worked for a landscaper who occasionally gave her unsold plants or extra seeds to take home. Over time, that sideline led her to get more involved in planting seedbeds, which in turn led to construction of a greenhouse and an impressively large nursery, and finally to a thriving business in perennials and cut flowers that today accounts for roughly half their sales.

The story is similar with Frosty Morning Farm’s lines of medicinal herbs, handmade soaps, and lotions.  Her sons made soap in 4-H, which meant that Alison made soap, which led to her producing a line of organic, handmade soaps.  Alison’s personal interest in medicinal herbs in turn developed into several lines of herbal remedies, salves, lotions and tinctures.  While I was touring the farm, we stopped on several occasions so that Alison and Kimberly Murphy, a Woofer from Philadelphia working at the farm, could point out or discuss one or another of the many medicinal herbs growing in the garden (WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, an organization that connects young volunteers interested in studying organic farming with experienced teacher-farmers).

Woofer Kimberly Murray and Alison Frost.

The Woofer platform tent at Frosty Morning Farm.

I first met Alison when she was selling produce at the East End Farmers Market in Cortland.  Being interested neither in flowers nor medicinal herbs, what caught my attention then, and what keeps me a loyal customer now, is the high quality of the many organic vegetables Alison and Karl grow on the farm (they also raise rabbits, pigs, chickens and goats, keep bees, tend a small apple orchard, and make wine from homegrown elderberries, but that is another story).  After a summer of gorgeous greens, hardneck garlics, and root vegetables, they and I have transitioned, respectively, to selling and consuming celeriac, kohlrabi, kale, shiitake mushrooms and a wide variety of beautiful, delicious heirloom squashes and pumpkins.

Hardneck garlic drying under the rafters.

The nursery and the last squashes of the season.

Frosty Morning Farm currently sells their produce, perennials, soaps and herbal remedies at two farmers markets, the East End Farmers Market in Homer, which meets Wednesday afternoons from 4:30 to 7:00 PM on the Village Green; and the Cazenovia Farmers Market, which meets Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 5 PM in Memorial Park.  The East End Market in Homer runs until Wednesday, October 27, and the Cazenovia Farmers Market runs until Saturday, November 6.  Frosty Morning Farm also offers a limited number of CSA shares.  In 2010 a single share cost $325.00 and a family share cost $550.00, there were 10 shares, and the program ran for 26 weeks.

Alison’s soaps, lotions and herbal remedies are available at the following local businesses: The Red & White Café in DeRuyter; The Syracuse Real Food Co-op; Oh My Goodness in Homer, Crazy Ladies in Syracuse, and Beth’s Natural Ways in Truxton.

The complete set of photos from my visit are viewable on the Farmshed CNY Facebook page.


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Adams Acres, NY’s First Organic U-Pick Orchard

By Neil B. Miller | September 18th, 2010

Adams Acres, a new organic U-Pick apple orchard, opened last weekend in Jamesville, just south of Syracuse, and currently has organic Honeycrisps and Spartas, both sweet eating varieties, and Liberty, a tart cooking apple, for sale.

I stopped by Adams Acres last Sunday and toured the orchard with owner and farmer Bill Adams. Bill’s orchard is small, about 2 1/2 acres, and although the trees are only 3 years old they were heavy with large, beautiful organic apples.

Bill previously managed Emmi & Son’s in Baldwinsville before moving on to a different career. Adams Acres marks a return to his roots, and to farming in Central New York. Once Adams Acres receives NOFA-NY certification, which should occur sometime next year, it will be the first certified organic U-Pick farm in New York State.

As Bill and I toured the orchard, our conversation ranged from trellising and other management techniques to the use of Surround®, a relatively new pest control spray made from kaolin, a natural clay, that deters insects from damaging the fruit. Surround offers New York apple growers a powerful new tool for managing pests, and may persuade other farmers to switch from Integrated Pest Management to organic farming.

Adams Acres is located at 7047 Sevier Road between Route 91 and Sweet Road. They are open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 AM to 5 PM until early-to-mid October.


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A 21st-Century Success Story: Wake Robin Farm, Jordan, NY

By Neil B. Miller | August 19th, 2010

Megan Schader of Wake Robin Farm, with her herd of pasture-raised Jersey cows.

I travel a lot to local farms, farmers markets and related businesses, and I do my best when visiting these locations to arrive with as few preconceptions as possible.  Ideally, I want to view each farm or business on its own terms, rather than in terms of my expectations.  Philosophers call these expectations presuppositions, and on some level they are inescapable; the process of interpreting and making an experience meaningful begins well before the experience itself.  Still, armed with this insight, I try to keep my expectations in check.

I was reminded of how difficult putting ideals into practice can be on a recent visit to Wake Robin Farm, a dairy farm and cheesemaker in Jordan, NY.  Wake Robin Farm enjoys an enviable position among Syracuse-area farms.  Their premium, natural cow’s milk products, especially their yogurts, are highly regarded by consumers and widely available at local grocery stores, including eleven Wegmans locations, Green Hills Market, the Syracuse Real Food Coop and Natur-Tyme.  This widespread appreciation and distribution, along with Wake Robin’s distinctive branding, led me to assume that they were a relatively large-scale operation, if not on par with commercial dairy farms than at least recognizably similar to them.

The first sign that something was wrong was when I drove past the farm looking for an operation that matched my expectations.  I failed, however, to heed this warning.  When I finally pulled onto the property what I saw made little sense: there was an old barn edging slowly towards ruin; and a newer, smaller building that turned out to be the farm store and production facility.  But no mountains of silage, no heavy machinery, no modern milking facility – the milk is transported in 10 gallon jugs from the barn to the creamery – and no sight or smell of the big herd I presumed I would find.

The farm store at Wake Robin Farm.

While I was sorting this out, I was greeted by Megan Schader, who along with her husband Bruce owns and operates the farm.  Wake Robin Farm, that is, is a two-person, family-run operation (three persons if you count the Schader’s son, Hugh).  While much of the land has been in Bruce’s family for generations, Megan and Bruce first began farming in 1999 and only converted to dairy production in 2006.  At present, they tend a herd of 25 Jersey cows, a smaller breed than the ubiquitous Holsteins, that produce milk with a high butterfat content and more milk solids, which makes them ideal for crafting rich, delicious whole milk products.

The Schader’s cows are pasture raised and grass fed, with grain from Lakeview Organic Grain in Penn Yan supplementing their winter diet of locally grown organic hay.  During grazing season, the herd rotates twice daily onto fresh pasture, is milked twice a day, and produces about 450-500 gallons of milk per week.  Dairy production and cheese making occur four days a week, with the milk pasteurized but not homogenized.  While the farm’s milk and yogurts are distributed regionally, their cheeses and Cheddar cheese curds are sold exclusively at the farm store and the Central NY Regional Market.

Bruce Schader in the creamery at Wake Robin Farm.

I don’t mean to give these facts short shrift.  I was fascinated by the creamery, with its stainless steel tanks and arcane technology, and barely able to follow Bruce’s explanation of the cheese-making process; how different cultures and bacteria produce different cheeses and dairy products, how the various hard cheeses – the Schaders produce four varieties of hard cheese – require specific handling, humidity, aging, etc.  But I am still hung up on the modest size of the Schader’s operation relative to the success Wake Robin Farm enjoys in the marketplace, and what this says about small-scale farming – or, more specifically, about successful small-scale farming – in the 21st century.

Bruce and his artisanal cheeses, in Wake Robin Farm's aging room.

Here, in no particular order, are a couple of thoughts:

1. Wake Robin Farm does one thing, and only one thing, exceptionally well, which is produce natural, whole milk dairy products.  Megan and Bruce initially grew vegetables and even experimented with a CSA.  But when they decided in 2006 to shift to dairy farming, they gave up growing vegetables and concentrated exclusively on dairy production.  This single-mindedness goes against a certain contemporary school of thought, which says that small, independent farmers can and should try their hand at everything: raising livestock and poultry, planting fruits and vegetables, producing honey and maple syrup, baking breads and making jams and jellies, etc.

I’m not saying this approach can’t succeed; there are any number of paths to success and every farmer or food producer needs to figure out what works for him- or herself. But there is a certain undeniable wisdom in the adage that a jack of all trades is master of none.  Those artisan farmers who by popular consensus set the standard of excellence in Central New York for a specific crop or product: Alambria Springs Farm for their salad greens; The Piggery for their pork products; Lively Run Goat Farm for their goat’s milk cheeses; Wake Robin Farm for their cow’s milk yogurts – the list goes on – dedicate themselves to, and excel at producing one product, or group of products, and are content to leave the rest of the food universe to other producers and their respective passions.

Wake Robin Farm's "Alpine" cheeses - Floradell & Mona Lisa - in the aging room.

Wake Robin Farm's Cheddar cheeses, aging gracefully.

2. Wake Robin Farm, however, is more than a small, specialized farm.  It also is a successful brand in a crowded, competitive marketplace, with an enviable reputation and readily identifiable packaging that consumers can spot well before they reach the dairy case.  Which is to say, the Schaders also are savvy businesspeople who understand the importance of brand management, marketing, and value-added food production for the long term viability of their farm.

In the 21st century, business acuity seems essential to the survival of independent farming, and by extension to the continued well being of local food cultures and economies.  Thanks largely to the popularity of CSAs and farmers markets, many Central New York farmers have already become successful direct-market vendors.  Given the relative ease of starting up an Internet business, the ready availability of local resources like Nelson Farms and the Syracuse Community Test Kitchen, run by my friend Marty Butts, and the growth of direct-market distributors like CNY Bounty, Garden Gate, the Foodshed Buying Club, and Nom Nom, many more farmers, I suspect, will also become value-added producers.

Neither I nor anyone else should be surprised, accordingly, when we come across a small family farm that has successfully developed, branded, and marketed an exceptional product.  Success stories like Wake Robin Farm, in fact, may soon become commonplace.  The cream is once again rising to the top in Central New York, and nowhere, literally, is this more evident than at Wake Robin Farm.

Wake Robin Farm is located at 177 Brutus Road in Jordan, NY.  Their farm store is open everyday from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, April 1 to December 31.  They also can be found Saturdays at the Central NY Regional Market, in “C” shed from May through October, and “A” shed from November through April. Although their yogurts are available for sale in Syracuse-area Wegmans, the Green Hills Market, the Syracuse Real Food Coop, and Natur-Tyme, their artisanal cheeses and Cheddar cheese curds can only be purchased at the farm store and the Regional Market.  For more information, visit the Wake Robin Farm website.


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