Valley residents are well-versed in the ways Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) offers support for local farmers and ensuring the freshest fruits, vegetables, and meats find their way onto our plates. Rock Steady Farm & Flowers, a women- and LGBTQ-owned cooperative farm in Millerton, however, goes the extra mile.
“We’re cutting out the middleman,” says D. Rooney, co-founder of Rock Steady. She, along with partners Angela DeFelice and Maggie Cheney, understands the confounding reality the farm-to-table model creates: though farms are situated in smaller communities, their goods are sometimes out of financial reach for folks.
To combat this, the three partners offer a sliding scale payment option and the potential to share payments in smaller installments. Some individuals even participate in CSA Work Share. This program offers limited shares at a deep discount in exchange for 40 hours of work throughout the season. This isn’t limited to tilling the soil, either: yes, you can get your hands dirty harvesting, washing, packing, and weeding, but you can also lend a hand with fundraising or graphic design.
The CSA’s mission is to get healthy food into more hands, incorporating nonprofit organizations that work with food-insecure communities. “They help connect us with individuals to provide food, and assist with subsidizing low-income CSA boxes at no price to those in need,” says Rooney. “We want to show how you can be a for-profit farm, make a secure living, and still be able to provide for those who are not able to afford sustainably grown food.