The 1-acre Common Roots Urban Farm in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood sells full and half shares of its fruits and vegetables during the growing season.
The 500-acre Porter Farm in Genesee County does, as well, only in a sales and distribution region that stretches from Rochester to Buffalo and toward the Southern Tier.
Farmers & Artisans Market in Snyder works with several farms in Niagara County to provide an array of produce in various shares, including a $20-a-week portion for 20 weeks.
The three are among at least 12 farms in the region that tout Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs.
Most will begin to make shares available in May or June, but now is the time to buy them. Those who choose to do can assure a steady supply of fresh, local, healthy foods to feed themselves and their families.
"The lack of knowledge about healthy eating spans from food deserts to corporate executives who come to our stand and say, 'Yeah, we know we shouldn't be going to McDonald's two or three times a week,' " said Terra Courtney, co-owner of Common Roots.
Some CSAs require members to arrange pickup at their farms, though Common Roots, Porter Farm and Farmers & Artisans are among local agricultural producers that also offer to drop off shares at workplaces where a sufficient number of employees are willing to participate.
Porter Farms, for instance, drops off shares weekly to Independent Health, BlueCross BlueShield of WNY and The Buffalo News.
Farms that offer CSAs generally provide recipes for the seasonal bounty they provide, either in the form of newsletters or online.
Farmers estimate costs are about 30 percent less than you would pay in a grocery store or farm market.
"A lot of feedback I receive from customers is that they're spending more time planning meals together as a family, more time preparing the meals, and their children are being exposed to vegetables they wouldn't necessarily have eaten otherwise," said Emily Porter, Swarner, who handles promotions and marketing for the second-generation family farm that supplies about 800 families with produce. "Someone is going to benefit from that food."
CSAs IN WNY
1821 Billington Road, East Aurora
3724 Quaker Road, Gasport
Common Roots Urban Farm**
309 Peckham St., Buffalo
Greg's U-Pick Farm**
9270 Lapp Road, Clarence Center
248 N. Adam St., Lockport
Native Offerings Farm*
8501 Maples Road, Little Valley
5020 Edgerton Road, Elba
Promised Land CSA at the Oles Family Farm**
2112 County Line Road, Alden
promisedlandcsa.com/csa; (585) 599-3462
Root Down Farm**
5850 Shimerville Road, Clarence Center
CSA is full; you can add name to waiting list
6959 Norton Road, Elba
Thorpe's Organic Family Farm*
12866 Route 78, East Aurora
Tioga Valley Farm**
7320 Davis Road, West Falls
tiogavalleyfarm.com ; 697-6442
* Certified organic family farm
** Uses organic methods
Learn more about organic farming at nofany.org
Learn more about CSAs localharvest.org/buffalo-ny/csa