Our CSA produce comes from a conglomerate of amazing small, family farms in NY state with the bulk of it (vegetables and fruit) coming from Hepworth Farms. Hepworth Farms is a seventh generation family owned farm in Milton, NY on the banks of the Hudson River. The farm is lovingly run and operated by Amy Hepworth, Gail Hepworth and Gerry Greco. Hepworth's vegetables and berries are Certified Organic and they practice Integrative Pest Management when farming the rest of their fruit.
What is a CSA? A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a partnership between a city group and regional farmers. During the winter and spring, the CSA farmers sell shares in their farm's upcoming harvest to individuals, families or institutions. The share price goes toward the cost of growing and distributing a season's worth of produce and paying the farmer a living wage. By supporting the farmers, our CSA members not only get freshly picked or processed delicious food once a week at a very affordable price, they are also helping to preserve local/sustainable agriculture and farmland, and get to enjoy being part of a community of food-conscious neighbors, participate in pot-lucks, trips to the farm and other fun events. Members are required to volunteer for a minimum of 3 2 hour 'shifts' to help out at the site over the course of the season.
How much does it cost? The price for a 24 week Large Veggie share is $662.40 (or $602.40 when member volunteers on/off site) Large shares typically include 10 to 14 different items each week, generally enough for a family of 4 or a vegetarian couple. We also offer a 24 week Small Veggie share for $438.00 (or $378.00 when member volunteers on/off site) which typically includes 8 to 11 different items and are more manageable for single person households or those who don't eat a lot of veggies. The weekly cost per share can be as low as $25.00 per week for a Large share and $15.75 per week for a Small share! This cost is much less than the cost of the same amount of food that you would purchase at your local organic grocer or farmer's market! For more information on how to get your $60.00 credit click here.
Where and when do we pick up our veggies each week? For the 2013 season we begin in early June (not sure exactly when yet. That depends on Mother Nature) and run for 24 weeks ending in November. Our freshly harvested produce is delivered from the farms to our distribution site in NYC, at the Church of St Paul & St Andrew, 263 W 86th St at West End Ave. Members collect their food at the site between 4:30 and 7:00 PM every Tuesday.
We also offer optional shares of; fruit, pastured eggs, pasteurized non-homogenized milk, non-homogenized/non-pasteurized raw milk, Greek yogurt, various pastured poultry products, 100% grass-fed beef and pork products, cow and goat cheeses, artisan pasta, mushrooms, KOSHER milk and chicken products, and local fish! Yummy! Pastured turkeys are available to order for Thanksgiving.
Once the season is underway, members can have the ability to purchase a variety of other local items not available as shares on a week to week basis like honey, maple syrup, butters, pates, lamb, duck, etc.
Our Philosophy At Cream of the Crop, we work constantly to ensure that we are offering the best local produce available. What does "the best” mean? Like other CSA’s, our produce is sourced locally, but here at Cream of the Crop, we choose to work with farmers who only use sustainable farming practices. After that criteria is met, we then look for farmers that go above and beyond what is simply acceptable. Because of this, it means that some of our optional shares may be a bit more expensive than other CSA shares but like the saying goes, you get what you pay for!
Here are a few examples of how COTC goes above and beyond to bring our members the best produce available:
Our veggies aren’t just local they are certified organic.
Our egg shares are a mix of brown and Araucanas (those blue and green eggs). The hens all live on pasture and when needed, are supplemented with only organic feed, not conventional GMO feed.
Our Artisan Pasta flavors are made with only local ingredients including the wheat, so no semolina flour is used. (semolina flour is much less expensive but it isn’t grown locally in the northeast.)
Our beef products are from 100% grass-fed cattle. They are never grain finished.
Our pastured chickens, turkeys, and hogs live outdoors and primarily eat grass and bugs. This a much higher standard than “free-range” animals who typically eat a "feed only" diet.
Year after year, COTC brings unique products to our members like gelato, butters, log grown mushrooms, maple syrups, raw milk etc. We also understand our community’s needs so we offer Kosher poultry and organic milk! Both have the highest level of Kosher certification.