AREA NEWSThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Hilltop Hanover Farm Makes Eating Locally Easy

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Produce from Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown
Produce from Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown.

Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center is offering fresh vegetables to Westchester with a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program through the 187-acre farm in Yorktown Heights.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a form of direct marketing in which a community of individuals pledges to support a farm. At the beginning of the growing season, CSA members pay for a subscription to the CSA. In return, farmers provide the members with a weekly share of the harvest.

Both growers and consumers have found this relationship to be mutually beneficial. Members receive a variety of fresh, local produce and have the satisfaction of knowing where their food comes from and how it is produced. Farmers, in turn, benefit by receiving funds upfront to buy seeds and inputs. They also are relieved of most of the task of marketing by having a guaranteed market and price for what they will produce.

“Our first CSA shares were offered 2011, all shares were fully subscribed and the program was a remarkable success for both members and the farm,” said Lucille Munz, farm director of Hilltop Hanover Farm, which is owned by Westchester County. “In operating a primarily seasonal enterprise, the unique CSA funding model affords us the flexibility to purchase seeds, soils and supplies in advance. In addition to weekly vegetable pick-ups, our 2012 program will feature more member events, allowing participants to become part of the our farming community and make stronger connections with farm staff.”

CSA shares come fresh-picked, for $630 for 20 weeks of produce and can be purchased through the farm’s website

Every Tuesday, from June through October, CSA members will choose, farm stand style, fresh organically vegetables grown exclusively at Hilltop Hanover Farm, which is run through the Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Every share includes generous portions of the season’s bounty, each in its due time, including summer favorites such as tomatoes, cooking staples like onions, and carrots, as well as chefs’ picks like chard, beets, and other novelties to experiment with throughout the season.

In addition, Hilltop Hanover Farm donates all unclaimed shares to local food pantries.  Almost 5,000 tons of fresh vegetables, from all operations at the Farm, have been donated in the last two years.

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