Community Supported Agriculture
NOPL is a CSA Pickup Location.
Click here to learn more and sign up for a share.
The Northern Onondaga Public Library at Cicero, site of the LibraryFarm community garden, is an official pickup location for shares from Freedom Rains Farm (formerly Grindstone Farm), a certified organic farm in Pulaski. Sign up right on the farm’s website at www.freedomrainsfarm.com, and choose “Cicero Library” as a pickup location – then pick up your fresh produce with your books each week! There are several pricing structures and share sizes available, and you can choose to receive just produce, or add fresh eggs to your order. Discounts are available for those who agree to volunteer some work time at the farm!
The season starts June 1 and ends Nov 1. A share can generally feed a family of 4-5, and “Empty Nester” small shares are available for smaller families. We’re hoping this provides a food option we can all feel completely good about, for all kinds of reasons. In addition to the economic and environmental benefits, buying a CSA share means you commit up front to a steady diet of fresh healthy foods for an entire season–more than a third of the year!
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a fairly new model of food production, sales, and distribution that directly connects the people who grow our food (farmers) with the end user (us!), bypassing all the middlemen. CSA programs provide access to fresh, organic produce grown locally, eliminating the financial and environmental costs of packaging, shipping, and advertising, while boosting the CNY economy because the whole production and consumption cycle happens right here!
Farmers typically go into debt every year in order to pay for seeds, equipment and labor, all of which has to be paid for before the harvest. CSA is a way to put the control of our food production and distribution into the hands of actual farmers and real consumers like you and me, rather than in the hands of banks and big corporations headquartered in places that have no ties to Central New York. CSA shareholders pay for produce in advance of the growing season, providing the farm with the necessary capital to help cover the anticipated costs of farm operation and the farmer’s salary.
Prices for a CSA share are similar to prices at farmer’s markets. The nice thing about CSA is that as a system, it produces no waste. Everything picked gets sold and used. Farms going to market must pick much more than what they end up selling, and accept the rest as a loss. Farms would rather sell to a supermarket – if they can get a decent price – because then they sell everything and they don’t have to stand around all day at market instead of tending the farm. But there’s a problem with selling to supermarkets: If farmers get a fair price, then we have trouble affording the product after markup, and if farmers don’t get a fair price, then they have trouble keeping their farms in business, meaning more of our food industry gets consolidated into distant, exploitative, unsustainable operations too big and far away for us to have a voice in.