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New York Farmers Planting the Seeds for 2023 CSA Program
New York Ag Connection - 03/15/2023

Shannon Bessette of Randolph is originally from the Adirondacks and learned to cook at a young age from and with her grandmother.

"I grew up in a farming family where we grew a lot of our own food. Gathered some wild food like berries and things like that," she said.

Bessette is a professor at Jamestown Community College and teaches a local foods, local places class in the fall.

She's also part of the Jamestown Public Market's Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, a national farm membership system that allows millions of consumers to receive a season's worth of fresh products from local farmers.

‚Äč "I'm helping to support their livelihoods and strengthening our local food system," said Bessette.

Now in its third year, members like Bessette get their choice of three different boxes to buy over a 16-week period, getting locally grown food, with a small portion of the proceeds going to the mobile market which we took you to last summer.

"We call it the eat fresh, do good CSA. People like Shannon love to support our CSA because they already really understand the importance," said Linnea Haskin, director of the Jamestown Public Market.

The importance being participating farmers cultivate a guaranteed income, to offset their expenses, by growing a pre-determined amount.

Consumers like Bessette then pick up their box weekly at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Jamestown.

"Lettuce in the spring, root vegetables in the fall. It's amazing because It not only gives the community the opportunity to invest in a local farm, it gives the community a chance to really understand the importance of their growing season," said Haskin.


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