Even though the ground will soon be frozen solid in Tompkins County, area farmers are still offering a way to enjoy local produce, lower prices and show your support for local farmers through Winter CSA shares. Commonly associated with the summer season, CSA shares are a cooperative relationship formed between a consumer and a farmer that provides the buyer with a share of the farmer's crop in exchange for a set, up-front rate. Through this setup, local farmers get necessary capital and a known market for their produce and buyers get a direct supply of fresh, nutritious local produce for the duration of the season.
Local winter CSA options range include shares of meat, vegetables, or items like yogurt or maple syrup. Visit the CCE website for a list of farms that have offered winter CSAs in the past. Additionally, check out the full 2016 CSA Directory that describes the over 40 area farms that offer CSAs in either the summer or the winter. Whether in the summer or winter, CSAs are the best way to eat healthier, spending less, provide vital support to our local farms, and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by buying locally produced, sustainable produce.