Agriculture, Business, Central New York, Food

Farm to Kitchen: The New York Farmers Selling Directly to Consumers

Some New York State farmers are trying to cut out the middle man, and sell directly to consumers. NCC's Stephen Armstrong has this story:

By Stephen Armstrong TRUMANSBURG, N.Y. (NCC News) – for many people meat, eggs and vegetables come in packs you pick up from the the grocery store.

For New York State’s farmers, it’s a much more complex relationship.

Tina MacCheyne has operated High Point Farms in Trumansburg for 18 years.

She raises grass-fed beef cattle and free-range chickens for eggs.

MacCheyne initially started the farm to provide nutritious food for her own family, and she says free range eggs have a much higher quality than those from caged hens.

“It’s a lot more dense.” MacCheyne said, “It’s holds up in the pan when you crack it, where a store-bought egg spreads out, and it’s a lot healthier for you.”

MacCheyne runs a farm store on her property, selling cuts of beef and fresh eggs.

She says the store helps her connect with customers, and gives consumers the opportunity to see how their food is produced.

“You really just have to know where your food comes from.” MacCheyne said.

A few miles away at Remembrance Farm, they’re taking part in Community Supported Agriculture.

C.S.A. operates like a membership, where local residents buy a share of the crops farmers plan to grow.

Farmers benefit from getting money up front to invest in  crops for the season, while members receive a weekly share of fresh vegetables.

Remembrance Farm partners with three other farms under the banner of the Full Plate Farm Collective.

Sarah Wordon coordinates Full Plate, and she said the C.S.A. builds a strong relationship between farmers and members.

“They’re really entering into a partnership,” MacCheyne said, “Not just with that farmer but with the land, and the soil.”

A season of their C.S.A. lasts 12 weeks, and costs between $315 and $360, depending on whether members choose to collect their vegetables or have them delivered.