Hello and welcome to Farming Matters. I am Connie Adams, one of the farmers along with my husband John at Yellow Stonehouse Farm on Root Rd in Westfield, near the Southampton town line. John and I have been growing vegetables, herbs and flowers for shareholders of the farm CSA for five years.
CSA’s – aka Community Supported Agriculture – are a way for farms to sell vegetables directly to local consumers, a model developed in Great Barrington, MA in the 1980’s. The CSA model is now popular throughout the USA as a way for people to connect with farms, know where their food comes from and how it is grown.
CSA’s involve a farmer who grows enough vegetables to amply meet the needs of the number of shares sold prior to the season, usually limited to a fixed number of members who pick-up their allotment of local produce throughout the growing season from June 8th till October 22nd. The farmer/shareholder arrangement provides the farmer with a predictable number of customers for planning purposes, plus a dependable revenue stream, in exchange for the farm’s commitment to provide fresh, varied, abundant and delicious produce.
We decided to start the CSA as way to continue the farm as an agricultural enterprise! It’s been a farm since the early 1800’s, operated as a dairy until the 1990’s, and is a beautiful property designated as a Natural Heritage Agricultural and Endangered Species Landscape.
We think farms are important to maintain open space, protect native plants, animals and insects and most importantly to provide a local source of food. Our goal is to develop the farm as a successful enterprise that continues into the future.
The purpose of this column is to talk about Farming Matters – because farming and where our food comes from, matters to all of us. I’ll write about what’s going on at the farm, vegetables & recipes, health benefits of organic herbs & vegetables, wildlife, organic pest & weed control, flowers & herbs – you get the idea.
At this time of the year we are organizing planting plans and starting seeds. One of the reasons we sell CSA memberships prior to the season, is to allow us to plan and organize how much to plant. We then order seeds to provide shareholders with a variety of organic vegetables from June through October. We start most crops as seedlings rather than sowing directly into the fields to ensure reliable seed germination and so we can plant the seedlings when they are larger to better compete with weeds. This is important as we are USDA certified organic and don’t use any herbicides or pesticides.
Spring is coming soon and we are looking forward to eating fresh vegetables from our fields. We can’t wait for the asparagus, lettuce, pea’s, & radishes! We still have a few CSA shares left, preferably for local residents. If you are interested, please go to our website www.yellowstonehousefarmcsa.com or call us at the farm 413-562-2164.