Best New England Farm Shares For Healthy Employee Diets

September 26, 2018

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Due to the widespread availability and convenience of junk food in workplaces, office employees have notoriously unhealthy diets, an occurrence that threatens individual health and workplace productivity. This trend suggests that employers should intervene and encourage healthier eating in the workplace and at home.  Corporate farm-sharing, a newly emerging idea, seems like a viable solution to mitigate this problem. Corporate farm-sharing is derived from community-supported agriculture (CSA), a practice in which community members purchase a “share” of a local farm and in turn, receive a portion of the farm’s harvest, typically on a weekly basis. This agreement mutually benefits the farmer and the share-holder and provides employees with access to fresh and healthy food options 

Corporate farm-sharing allows for this offering to be integrated into the workplace, which presents a new dimension of convenience for healthy eating amongst office employees. Fresh vegetables and other nutrient dense foods are delivered directly to the office, allowing employees complete accessibility to nutritious foods and ultimately, a healthier diet.  Since the healthy foods can be consumed in the office or taken home, the program can deliver healthier diets outside of the workplace. 

A workplace farm-share program can be funded in multiple ways.  An employer can fund the locally-sourced, healthy foods for all employees, subsidize part of the program so employees can buy in a at discount, or negotiate a favorable rate (similar to a traditional corporate discount program) that employees pay for themselves.  All options are beneficial; they just vary in impact and cost. 

Because of the countless potential benefits of integrating farm-sharing into corporate wellness programs, below a list of farms in Massachusetts that provide this service to offices.  The list will continually be updated to include local farm-shares across the country, so it can be a resource for all employers in the United States. 

 

Connecticut

Gentle Giant Farm

Gentle Giant has been practicing organic farming techniques since 2012. Their primary goal is to provide accessible, local, fresh, quality produce that is grown with minimal impact. Beyond the confines of the farm, they also strive to foster meaningful connections between consumers, their food, and the hands that grow it. Their belief is that healthy eating, sustainable farming practices, and strong community bonds will result in positive changes to the food systems. 

Location: Middlefield, CT

Delivery: Hamden, New Haven, Rocky Hill, Weathersfield, CT

Offerings: Vegetables

Pricing: $17.50, $25.00, and $32.50 per week per small, medium, and large box, respectively. All share are 100% customizable and you can easily add on items or pause for vacations.

 

Upper Pond Farm

Upper Pond Farm believes that everybody should have access to healthy food grown without harmful chemicals. Their mission is to provide delicious, fresh produce to the local community. They produce food using ecologically and financially sustainable methods while paying a socially just wage to workers. They will introduce members to new varieties of high quality produce, while providing them with the support to cook and enjoy them.

Location: Old Lyme, CT

Delivers: Within half an hour radius of the farm. Minimum of 10 shares per drop-off site. $5 per week delivery fee.

Offerings: Vegetables

Pricing: Summer shares are $500 and $800 for 20-week medium and large shares, respectively. Fall shares are $275 and $400 9-week shares. 5% discount for corporate clients.

 

Massachussetts 

Drumlin Farm CSA

Drumlin Farm works to build healthy soil, and healthy soil depends on the vitality of surrounding ecosystems. They grow all produce using organic principles, build their soil health with green manures, rotate crops, and use only organic matter for fertilizer. They do not irrigate their crops, and they never use any chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. Purchasing a CSA share at Drumlin Farm not only supports their farming program, but also Mass Audubon’s overall mission to protect Massachusetts’ biodiversity and ecosystems.

Location: Lincoln, MA

Delivery: Pick up only

Offerings: Vegetables

Pricing: $400 and $230 for a 10-week full share and half share subscription, respectively

 

Long Hill Orchard And The West Newbury CSA

At Long Hill, they pride themselves on their environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices, providing access to healthy, affordable, freshly harvested, locally grown fruits and vegetables in their small-town community.  Their acres of orchards and fields offer Pick-Your-Own (PYO) apples as well as their growing CSA program. Although Long Hill is not organic certified, they do follow the Northeast Organic Farmers Associations guides to environmentally sustainable practices.

Location: West Newbury, MA

Delivery: North Shore

Offerings: Vegetables, flowers, and fruits

Pricing: $600, $375 and $225 for a 16-month full share, half share, and quarter share subscription, respectively (corporate discount rate available)

 

New Harmony Farm CSA

New Harmony Farm is one of the two Certified Organic CSAs on the North Shore.  They are committed to evolving organic by regenerating habitats for bees, butterflies, and other wildlife as well as a fertility program focusing on building vital soil life through increasing biodiversity, minimal tillage and mineral, and compost applications. Regular organic nutritional sprays work with the soil and plant microbiology to build robust immune systems and flavorful, vibrant crops. These mineral rich, biological growing practices make more bio-nutrients available in their produce.

Location: Newburyport, MA

Delivery: Pick up only

Offerings: Vegetables

Pricing: $480 for a 14-week full share

 

Red Fire Farm CSA

Delicious heirloom tomatoes, crisp salad greens, tender tasty carrots, hearty golden potatoes…these are just a few of the many exciting vegetables that members will find in the Red Fire Farm CSA this season.  They offer local organic vegetable farm shares, local fruit shares, pasture-raised egg shares, fresh mushroom shares, and local organic flower shares for pickup or delivery to various locations in Western Massachusetts and the Boston area.

Location: Granby and Montague, MA

Delivery: Pick up at multiple locations in throughout MA (Western/Central MA and Greater Boston)

Offerings: Vegetables, flowers, fruits, meats, eggs, mushrooms, and tea

Pricing: ~$155 produce share (every other week for a total of four distributions), $65 apple share, $535 large pastured meat share, $259 small pastured meat share, $32 egg share, $49 mushroom share, and $39 tea share

 

Shared Harvest CSA

Shared Harvest CSA is a multiple farm winter CSA that connects local, small-scale farmers with people who wish to eat well while supporting local family farms. Their primary vegetable growers are Picadilly Farm and Riverland Farm, both of which are certified organic. Cider Hill Farm grows their apples, and Charley Baer provides their dried beans.

Location: Winchester, NH and Sunderland and Amesbury, MA

Delivery: Pick up at multiple locations in throughout MA

Offerings: Vegetables and apples

Pricing: $95 per month (five months availability, month-by-month commitment)

 

Siena Farms CSA

Sienna Farms CSA is a family-farm in their 12th year of operation, cultivating 50 acres of protected farmland in Sudbury and Concord, MA. They grow more than 100 varieties of vegetables for their 500-member CSA community, their farm stores in the Boston Public Market and Boston’s South End, their stall at the Copley Square Farmers’ Market, and select restaurants and chefs.

Location: Concord, MA

Delivery: Greater Boston (free for minimum of 20 memberships/location) and pick up at multiple locations in throughout MA

Offerings: Vegetables, flowers,  and fruits

Pricing: $750 full share (12 weeks) and $375/FLEX share for 6 weeks (delivery fees are $10/week)

 

Silverbrook Farm CSA

The coastal farms of Dartmouth and Rochester take advantage of a beautiful and unique growing climate that give joy to all who work and live here.  They sell a wide range of products including vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, herbs, mushrooms, free-range eggs, and jams. They also participate in local farmers markets and offer a seasonal farm stand, local CSA program, corporate CSA program, and restaurant wholesale.

Location: Various farms in MA

Delivery: Pick up at multiple offices in Boston and Cambridge areas

Offerings: Vegetables

Pricing: $30 and $15 per week for a 6-week full share and half share, respectively

 

Still Life Farm CSA

Still Life Farm rests on the historical Hardwick Poor Farm.  They are reinvigorating tired pasture land into fruitful orchards and vegetable fields.  Still Life Farms specializes in winter vegetable crops and feature a five-month winter CSA. Their budding fruit business includes a huge array of specialty fruits ranging from heirloom apples and sweet cherries to currants and gooseberries.

Location: Hardwick, MA

Delivery: Pick up at multiple locations in throughout MA

Offerings: Vegetables

Pricing: $275 per share for five-month subscription

 

Waltham Fields Community Farm

Waltham Fields Community Farm (WFCF) is a 501C3 non-profit organization which promotes local agriculture and food access through their farming operations and educational programs, using practices that are socially, ecologically, and economically sustainable. They encourage healthy relationships between people, their food supply, and the land from which it grows. They offer a 20-week summer CSA share program.

Location: Waltham, MA

Delivery: Waltham, Belmont, and Cambridge, MA or pick up at farm

Offerings: Vegetables

Pricing: $725 per share for 20 weeks (additional delivery charges apply for office delivery, minimum 10 shares/site)

 

New York

9 Miles East Farm

9 Miles East Farm makes it easy for busy people to enjoy healthy local food. The farm delivers GO Bags of freshly harvested vegetables, as well as healthy prepared meals that make great lunches or dinners.  There's no subscription, commitment, or prepayment, making the service a great fit for today's busy professionals.

Location: Schuylerville, NY

Delivery: Greater Boston

Offerings: Vegetables and flowers

Pricing: $20 for a big bag of freshly harvested vegetables and herbs and $6.54 to $11.29 for pre-made meals

 

Eight Mile Creek Farm

Eight Mile Creek is a certified organic, award-winning family farm. Choose from traditional, vegan, vegetarian, or paleo food combination options! All food comes from their farm and is humanely and lovingly raised. They offer seasonal or year round CSA options delivered to areas around the capital region and Westchester County as well as home delivery to your doorstep. Pamela Schreiber, the owner, holds a nutrition degree and writes a weekly blog with recipes, nutrition information, and photos from the farm.

Location: Westerlo, NY

Delivery: Albany, Schenectady, Niskayuna, Guilderland, Delmar, East Greenbush, Saratoga, Slingerlands, Westerlo, Greenville, and Peekskill

Offerings: Vegetables, flowers, meat, and eggs

Pricing: $134 per week for year long, all-inclusive share and $39 per week for a vegetable share

 

Essex Farm

Essex Farm is a sustainable, diversified farm in the Champlain Valley of the Adirondack Park. They produce grass-fed beef, pastured pork, chicken, eggs, fifty different kinds of vegetables, milk, grains and flour, fruit, herbs, maple syrup, and soap. Their animals are fed certified organic food and they do not use any conventional pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. Their farm is horse and solar powered. They offer a full-diet, free-choice, year-round CSA membership. Each week they send members a list of the foods available on the farm and members pick what and how much they want Essex Farm to deliver straight to their door.

Location: Essex, NY

Delivery: Adirondack Park, New York Capital Region, and New York City

Offerings: Vegetables, grains, and meat

Pricing: Varies per region. Members join as households, not individuals, so prices are based on number of adults and children in each household. Please visit essexfarmcsa.com for a more detailed description. Members commit until the end of the calendar year and new members are welcomed at any point in the year as long as there’s availability. Payment plans are available. 

 

Laughing Earth

Laughing Earth’s FarmShare is centered around members feeling like this is their farm. All members come to the farm each week to pick up their vegetables and enjoy the Picking Garden, where they can wander and harvest herbs, flowers, and more. Members are encouraged to join the farm for a once-a-month potluck and frequent educational events, from cooking demonstrations to nature walks. 

Location: Cropseyville (Rensselaer County)

Delivery: Pick up only

Offerings: Vegetables, flowers, meat, eggs, honey, and seedlings (in the spring)

Pricing: $565 for 22-week share. They also offer a Community Food Program, where members who feel they can pay a little more for their share and members who feel the share is too expensive, request whatever amount they need from the Program, no questions asked.

 

Letter Box Farm Collective

Letterbox Farm is the combined effort of an invested team. They raise super special vegetables, greens, herbs, eggs, and meat in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley.

Location: Hudson, NY

Delivers: Hudson, Chappaqua, Bronxville and Rhinebeck

Offerings: Meat, flowers, and vegetables

Pricing: Total retail value of each box ranges from $60 to $70, and members save 10% to 25% off retail. 

 

The Pfeiffer Center

The Pfeiffer Center CSA offers 23 weekly pickups of freshly harvested, bio-dynamically raised vegetables, herbs, and flowers from June to November. Pickup is conveniently located on the Threefold Educational Center campus in Chestnut Ridge, NY, from 3:30 to 6:00pm. At the market-style CSA, shareholders pack their own boxes, choosing from a generous selection from the harvest of the day; a gardener is always on hand to assist and answer questions.

Location: Chestnut Ridge, NY (Rockland County)

Delivery: Pick up only

Offerings: Vegetables

Pricing: $730 to $970 per 23-week share (sliding scale)

 

Phillies Bridge Farm Project

Phillies Bridge Farm Project is a not-for-profit farm on six acres, using organic and sustainable growing methods. They have a Food Justice mission, subsidizing CSA share to families in need and donating harvest to organizations that help food-insecure families.The Farm Project also offers educational programs, apprenticeships, and research. In addition to the CSA, they have a U-pick field for their members.

Location: New Paltz, NY (Ulster County)

Delivery: Pick-up only

Offerings: Vegetables

Pricing: Winter shares are $475 and $750 for 24-week small and large shares, respectively. Fourteen-week summer shares are $290 (small) and $450 (large), and the 10-week fall shares are $210 (small) and $325 (large).

 

Rock Steady Farm & Flowers

Rock Steady Farm is a women- and queer-owned cooperative farm rooted in social justice and growing specialty cut flowers and sustainable vegetables in Millerton, NY. They believe in utilizing holistic and sustainable farming practices that allow them to grow high quality vegetables, flowers, and herbs for the community. As a for-profit farm business and worker-owned cooperative, they strive to provide living wages for themselves and their employees. Rock Steady Farm believes that all people have the right to healthy and nutritious food.

Location: Millerton, NY

Delivery: Millerton, Manhattan, Bronx, and Brooklyn

Offerings: Vegetables, flowers, and meat

Pricing: Sliding scale share - $450 for 18-week full vegetables shares, $126 for 7-week dahlia flower shares, $108 for 18-week full egg share, $54 for 9-week half egg share, $162 for 18-week full fruit share, and $81 for 9-week half fruit share. Installment plans are available. They also offer corporate discounts and creative partnerships with non-profit and community organizations whose missions align with their values!

 

Sang Lee Farms

Sang Lee Farms brings organic vegetables to parts of Long Island and Brooklyn where fresh organic produce is difficult to find. They grow more than 100 varieties of specialty vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, baby greens, and herbs. Their specialty are Asian produce, as they cultivate many varieties of Chinese cabbages, greens, and radishes.

Location: Peconic, NY

Delivery: Brooklyn (Crown Heights, Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights), Queens (Flushing, Far Rockaway), Long Island (Merrick, Sayville, Smithtown, Northport, Westhampton Beach, Easthampton). Pick up at farm also available.

Offerings: Vegetables

Pricing: $680 and $480 for 24-week full and half shares, respectively

 

Rhode Island

Little River Farm

Little River Farm is a Certified Organic, 3-acre farm in Exeter, RI.  They specialize in baby greens and microgreens, but also grow most vegetables that you would think of. Little River Farm grows year-round and offers a 10-month CSA. The farm is run by young farmers who believe in bringing the highest quality food to your table while also taking care of the land.

Location: Exeter, RI

Delivery: North Kingstown, Newport, Providence, Westerly, Wakefield, Narragansett, and East Greenwich, RI

Offerings: Vegetables

Pricing: $500 for the 20-week summer program, $350 for the 12-week fall/winter program

 

Moonrose Farm

Moonrose Farm offers chemical free, sustainably grown produce to 70 CSA members.  Vegetables in the share will vary depending on the season's bounty, but the goal is to include salad, cooking greens, and herbs each week in spring and fall plus a variety of other veggies like radishes, peas, onions, carrots, beets, and more. Summer will include zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, and other summer treats.  Members are allowed to customize their share to include weekly additions such as fresh flower bouquets, mushrooms, herbal tea, and more.   

Location: Cranston, RI

Delivery: Pick up only 

Offerings: Vegetables and flowers 

Pricing: $650 and $450 for a 25-week full share and half share subscription, respectively

Topics: Corporate Wellness


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