The lengthening spring days mark the start of the growing season here in the northeast- which is an exciting, hopeful time for local farms and the people who support them. The instability of the last few years has driven home the importance of our local food system. Many people were affected by shortages of one kind or another, and we all became keenly aware of how disruptions to our supply chains can cause a great deal of anxiety if not scarcity of resources. For many people, this has inspired them to source their food more locally and support their local farmers. Right here in Fairfield County, we have a number of farms that are producing food, providing jobs, and taking care of the land that provides all that nourishment. Our local farms market their produce in a number of ways- through farm stands, by selling them through local retail outlets, by setting up stands at the farmers’ markets, or by operating under the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model. Here we focus on CSA options in Fairfield County.
CSA or farm share programs are an ideal way for people to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. This is a win-win situation for the farmer and the consumer. Through the CSA model, a farmer markets their product and receives payment early in the season which helps with planning and cash flow for the farm. As a consumer, by investing in a CSA you invest in a season’s worth of food you can trust delivered to your neighborhood or picked up weekly at the farm.
A CSA operates on a shared risk model. As a CSA member, you will reap the rewards of a good harvest (and there are many!), and you will also take on the risk of a bad harvest (pests, weather events). This idea of shared risk is an important part of what creates a sense of community among CSA members and farmers.
Here are some CSA programs in and around Fairfield County:
The Southport/Fairfield CSA is partnered with Stoneledge Farm, a 200-acre certified organic farm located in the Catskills and operated by the Kavakos family. Throughout the growing season (June through November), members pick up 22 weekly shares between 4:30-6:30pm on Wednesdays at Trinity Episcopal Church in Southport. A base vegetable share is $640 and shares for the 2022 season are still on sale. To purchase a share, please visit the Stoneledge Farm website.
Gazy Brothers Farm in Oxford offers a number of different CSA options at different price points, which can be picked up directly from the farm or delivered for a fee. This fourth-generation, 80 acre farm also sells their produce at a farm stand on Route 67, to local grocery stores and farmers’ markets.
The Hickories farm in Ridgefield also offers a few different CSA options at different price points, available for weekly pickup at this 250-year old picturesque farm.
Laurel Glen Farm in Shelton offers a number of options for their vegetable subscription boxes, at different price points.
If you’re curious about CSAs but not sure if it will work for you, feel free to reach out with questions. One of our Sustainable Fairfield Task Force members is an organizer of the Southport/Fairfield CSA, and has been a dedicated member of the CSA for over 15 years. We are always happy to chat CSA and the pros and cons to help you decide: Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are we missing any local CSA programs on our list? Please reach out and let us know!