Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair, Ithaca NY, Saturday, 3/5

Michael Burns michael at
Fri Mar 4 08:52:04 EST 2011

From:    "Elizabeth Viviana Karabinakis" <evk4 at>

Greetings local farm and food lovers!

It's that exciting time of year when the snow blanketing our fields is
starting to melt and seeds are soon to find the soil, water and warmth they
need to sprout!

Farmers are gearing up for another bountiful season of local foods and so
should you. Come join us for the Annual Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Fair next Saturday, March 5th to meet local farms offering CSA shares and find
the right one for you!

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair
Date: Saturday, March 5th
Time: 12:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: Boynton Middle School Cafeteria, 1601 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca
Cost:  FREE
What: 17 farms serving the Tompkins County and the surrounding area will be
available to speak with community members at this year’s CSA Fair. Fruits,
vegetables, granola, backed goods, meats, eggs, herbs and herbal products, and
even fiber – many local producers are finding the CSA marketing model
well-suited to their products.

CSA provides members with a weekly, or periodic, selection of products and
farmers with an established market prior to the growing season. There are
differences between CSA programs such as share size, products offered, pick-up
locations, u-pick options and on-farm work opportunities. Attend the CSA Fair
to learn about the many benefits of CSA, meet and talk with farmers, and find
out which CSA program might be perfect for you. There will be quiet activities
to occupy children while parents circulate and table space to sit and review
material you gather. CSA programs fill up quickly so don’t miss out this

The CSA Fair is hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and
is free and open to the public. For more information, call Debbie Teeter or
Liz Karabinakis at CCE-Tompkins, 607-272-2292.

<<<<< Ten Reasons to Join a CSA Farm >>>>>
1. Know Where Your Food Comes From
In a CSA share your produce comes directly from your farmer so you know who is
growing your food and how. If you have questions about their farming practices
or values just ask! With this level of transparency, you can rest assured
knowing your farmer cares about what matters to you.
2. Support the Economic Democracy of Small Farming
By supporting small family farms you are fostering the broad-based independent
decision making of economic democracy. You are helping to break up the
concentration of power from a select few profit-driven corporations and making
room for values beyond the bottom line. You are supporting an economic system
where more people are empowered to meet their basic needs with dignity and can
have meaningful control of their resources.
3. Save Money
CSA shares offer more value for your food dollar! 100% of your money goes
directly to the farmer to grow and harvest high quality food for you. By
working directly together, farmers and consumers can cut out the middlemen and
extraneous costs (trucking companies, retailers, lobbyists, etc.).
4. More Selection
Most CSA farms strive for ecological diversity and a wide variety in crop
production, so over the course of the season CSA farmers usually grow more
types of vegetables than found at a grocery store. You’ll discover varieties
that you might not otherwise find or buy, so get ready to enjoy your share of
the season’s bounty including leeks, celeriac, edamame, garlic scapes, daikon,
and many other diverse goodies!
5. Better Flavor
CSA farmers select for more flavorful varieties of produce and the time
between harvest and consumption is reduced so you get fresher food that tastes
better. Unlike industrial farmers that harvest for shipping and shelf-life,
CSA farmers harvest for ripeness and flavor. Eating seasonally means every
week you receive what the conditions were most fit to produce so you’re
guaranteed to eat your veggies at their peak. Get ready for a culinary delight
and adventure!
6. Have fun!
There are lots of exciting ways to enjoy your CSA share- including visits to
the farm, u-picking, potluck dinners and community events. During the growing
season there is always something fun to do with you and your family to
celebrate local agriculture, enjoy good food and mingle with other CSA
members. To find out more about opportunities to have fun with your CSA share
ask your farmer or check out the event calendar on Tompkins County Cooperative
Extension’s website
7. Grow Your Local Economy
By being a CSA member you are keeping your food dollar circulating locally to
support a healthy community and environment. In an era when 120 acres of
farmland are permanently lost every year in the US and the average person has
or will face job insecurity, becoming a CSA member helps ensure your farmer
has what they need to invest in land and labor. CSA members who pay upfront of
the growing season help provide the capitol when the farmers need it most to
avoid high interest loans for equipment, seeds, fertilizers or other inputs
required for a successful growing season. If everyone in Tompkins County spent
just 10% of their grocery dollars on local foods we would generate 16 million
dollars of economic value for our region.
8. Put the Culture Back into Food
Community Supported Agriculture allows people to reconnect to the land, the
farmer, the food, their community and themselves. Indulge and reestablish your
roots. Experience a tomato fresh off the vine and still warm from the sun.
Meet and socialize with others that share a common desire for fresh food.
Exchange recipes, stories, experiences and grow together with the season.
9. Ecological Stewardship
Did you know that the average conventional bite of food travels 1,500 miles?
Or that only 10% of the amount of fossil fuel energy used in the world’s food
system is for producing food; the other 90% goes into packaging, transporting
and marketing? Or that 97% of fruit and vegetable varieties have become
unavailable commercially and replaced by only a few uniform varieties since
the turn of the 20th century? Industrial agriculture was designed to produce
mass quantities of limited types of food cheaply, but now we are learning the
real costs and unsustainability of this system. Community Supported
Agriculture offers an environmentally friendly option by reducing food miles,
maintaining biodiversity and practicing farming techniques that will keep the
land fertile for generations. Thankfully our local CSA farms grow lots of
great things right here, so look no further! Decrease your carbon footprint-
become a CSA member!
10. CSAs are healthy for you, your community and your environment!
For all of the reasons above and many more, become a CSA member and experience
for yourself why over 1,500 of your fellow community members have chosen to
invest in themselves and partner with our local family farms.

Elizabeth Viviana Karabinakis
Community Food Educator
Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County
607.272.2292 x190<>

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