Part of Just Food’s mission is to work with communities and farmers to make farm-fresh food accessible to people of all income levels in NYC. Together, we have developed many ways to make fresh produce affordable and accessible especially to low-income members.
Part of being a CSA farmer is sharing the risk of farming with members. In a plentiful year, the members’ shares are bountiful, and during adverse farming conditions, members make do with less. While this is one of the great benefits of a CSA for farmers, figuring out how to implement this idea can be difficult. This concept is especially tricky for some CSA in NYC farmers considering they are growing for other markets and not simply dividing the harvest among their members. How does a farmer balance risk sharing with pleasing members?
Most CSA farms do not rely on CSA as their only marketing strategy. Farms might also sell through a farm stand, farmers markets, restaurants, or wholesale accounts. For some farmers, pairing their trip to the city with other marketing opportunities helps make the gas and time spent driving worthwhile. With these diverse markets, however, it can be difficult to figure out how to balance providing a good share to CSA members while also being able to support these other endeavors, particularly in difficult years.
A major difference between CSA in NYC and on-farm CSA’s is shared management between the farmer and the community. For CSAs in NYC, the joy of being a farmer is increased by allowing the farmer to focus on growing and delivering quality vegetables, while the members and staff in the city take care of distribution, finances, member recruitment, and other responsibilities. There are many possibilities of ways to work with members to share responsibilities. Part of Just Food’s role is helping farmers and CSA groups to figure this out.
Just Food. 1155 Avenue of the Americas, 3rd Floor. New York, NY 10036. Phone: 212-645-9880 x221
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