Think of Community-Supported Agriculture, or CSAs, as a form of temporary investment, buying a share of a season’s produce ahead of time as a way of guaranteeing that it will be available come harvest. In the Hudson Valley, many CSAs are new endeavors on old farmland, serving as a bridge between past and present, as well as a form of protection for some of our most enduring traditions. In return for your investment, they guarantee a certain quantity of produce every single week, with a typical focus on vegetables and fruits.
The benefits of organic, local produce simply can’t be denied, and, as compared to products bred for color or size, the heterogeneous and strange-looking often hide a superior flavor.
Every farm produces its own particular yield, and so each CSA is unique. Some focus on the June to October growing season, while others offer additional shares for year-round crops, from root vegetables in the winter to corn in the summer and squash in the fall. Consequently, the means of actually joining a particular CSA is particular to that CSA, though most include instructions and contact information on their website.
Most CSAs operate on a pick-up schedule, with specific times that members can come to the farm, a market, or some other location (a local coffee shop, bar, or restaurant, for instance) and take home their share. It’s a good idea to pick a farm near you, or that allows for pick-up near to your location.
This guide provides options for all diets and seasons. Prices represent the 2020 season:
In operation for almost 25 years, this orchard provides plums, pears, peaches, and apples, and boasts that its land has never been treated with pesticides or artificial fertilizers. Approximately $200 a share.
This CSA prizes permaculture and other regenerative techniques, and grows varieties of lettuce, tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers. Three different share options, chosen from 100-plus varieties of vegetables and herbs.
Seasonal vegetables, fruits, and herbs, as well as a special pick-your-own flower share. Vegetable shares from $545.
A certified organic farm in operation for more than 20 years. Special shares for vegetables, mushrooms, beans, and coffee. Standard vegetable share around $555.
This organic vegetable CSA has been using a sustainable, no-till model for more than 20 years. Shares from $600.
Founded on family land, this farm is committed to zero waste by growing diverse crops, fertilizing with animal and plant manures, and including livestock as part of the growing process. $400 a share.
For three-quarters of a century this family farm has operated on the same land, and focuses on vegetables. Check their website for pricing.
This CSA is also a model farm, owned and operated on ancestral farmland by Rockland Farm Alliance. Seasonal produce as well as pick-your-own flower shares. Vegetable shares start at $800.