Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Upstate meets Downstate

Surfing the web during my lunch break, I came across this super-neat article: "For a healthier Bronx, a Farm of Their Own."  It discusses a CSA that's been newly created in our region as a sort of public service.  A professor in the city noticed that the people of the poverty-stricken South Bronx also suffer from the kinds of diseases you get from eating unhealthy food, like heart disease and high cholesterol.  But it's hard to get healthy fresh food affordably in this area (apparently).  So his brilliant idea was to buy a farm upstate in-- here's the best part-- Schoharie County, and ship the food downstate.  I was mostly really excited about this because I was IN Schoharie County when I read this!! (I rarely know any of the places mentioned in the NY Times on a personal level).  Anyway, I think this is a really cool idea, besides that it's happening right in my backyard (OK, I don't LIVE in Schoharie, I just work there, but still--- REPRESENT).

A CSA is when the farmer sells shares of his farm to holders, who pay him/her upfront at the beginning of the season on the promise that they'll get shipments of food throughout the season.  Farmers that are part of a CSA pretty much only give their crop to the share-holders (although I think surplus can go to the Farmer's Market... this is why I can no longer buy my favorite lettuce in Troy- it now goes to the shareholders).  Usually, you're stuck with whatever the farmer is selling, but the farmer in the article is specifically growing crops that will feed a family, like veggies and potatoes.

Anyway, I really like how Upstate and Downstate are working together here, to produce such a positive result.  Politically, there tends to be a lot of tension between these two parts of New York, so this is a step in the right direction!  Schoharie County can definitely use the business, and New York can eat it's delicious fresh food.  I say it's a win-win.  

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