Common Thread Farm

10 Reasons to join Common Thread CSA in 2020!
10. You can select the vegetables and herbs you like on a schedule that works for you! 
Whether you come to our on-farm free-choice pick up in Madison or pick up a customized box at one of our pick up sites in Clinton, Dewitt, Fayetteville, Hamilton, Norwich, Oneida, Rome, Syracuse or Utica you can tailor your share to your needs and reduce food waste. We can set up vacation holds (rescheduling your pick up to another week) and biweekly pick up to ensure that you don't miss out on any of your veggies.  
9. Know where your food comes from
We grow all of the vegetables for the CSA on the farm right here in Madison.  We share stories about growing your food in our weekly CSA newsletters and on Facebook and Instagram.  We encourage CSA members to come to the farm for our Open House, Open Farm Day, Farm Potluck and Pumpkin Carving and to collect pick your own crops in season.  
8. It's good for you!
A variety of vegetables are key to a healthy diet.  We grow a wide variety of vegetables for as long a season as we can in our climate, including broccoli, carrots, onions, many different kinds of greens, several types of herbs, tomatoes, several kinds of roots, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, winter and summer squash, cucumbers and much more.  We use organic methods (signing the Northeast Organic Farming Association's Farmer Pledge, an alternative to certifying organic). We don't use GMOs; synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers; and we use of cover crops and compost to build soil health.  
7. It's affordable
CSA can seem expensive when looked at as a lump sum for 5 months but it's competitive with grocery store conventional prices and more affordable than purchasing organic vegetables at the grocery store.  CSA cuts out the middleman so both the member and the farmer get the best price.  It can be difficult for low income community members to afford fresh vegetables so we work to make our CSA accessible by running a sponsored share program, offering payment plans and accepting SNAP.  We also accept FNMP and SNAP at our farmer's market booths and donate unclaimed vegetables to local soup kitchens and pantries.  We are currently taking applications as well as donations for our sponsored share program.
6.  New food prep ideas 
We share old and new food preparation ideas in our weekly CSA newsletters, drawn from both the old standbys and new experiments of the farm crew and CSA members.  Learn from and contribute to our collective knowledge of healthy cooking!
5. It's good for the Earth!
Pledging your support to an organic vegetable farm helps reduce your environmental footprint by reducing fossil fuels and packaging used in long distance shipping and supporting practices that enhance rather than pollute soil, water and air.
4.  It's good for the community!
Buying from a local farm means supporting not only a local farm, but also supporting local mechanics, hardware stores, print shops and other businesses as well as employing local people. 
3. We're a real CSA
CSA is a special relationship between a farm and a community of supporters that is transparent, allowing members to know where their food comes from and who their farmers are and includes the concept of risk sharing. CSA farms have been having a harder time finding enough supporters in the last few years as there are more ways to access local and organic food.  One factor is an increasing number of non-farm businesses making CSA-like boxes, often with greater variety or flexibility than one farm can provide.  Unfortunately, it is not always clear where the produce comes from, it's often not all sourced locally, it doesn't usually support smaller farmers, and the farmers growing the food are being paid lower wholesale prices and taking on all the risks of farming themselves. We grow all of our produce on our farm in Madison. If we bring in any local items (such as the mushroom share that we are offering this year through Fruit of the Fungi) it would be from another local producer and we would make that known.
2.  Cultivate future farmers
The future of food depends on young people being inspired to farm and learning the skills of farming.  We train 3-6 farm apprentices and interns every year through intentional hands-on in the field training as well as weekly evening educational sessions.  Many of them have gone on to farm, be farm educators, or contribute to a local and sustainable food system in other ways.  
1.  It just tastes good!  
Vegetables are tastiest when they are very fresh and eaten in season.  The first fresh greens of the season, vine ripened tomatoes, new potatoes, stir-fries seasoned with fresh herbs, frost sweetened brussel sprouts, sweet field-ripened melons, fresh pesto, the list goes on...  When you join a local CSA you are eating the freshest, most delicious seasonal food. 
Our mission at Common Thread Farm is to produce healthy food for our local community using sustainable growing methods, provide opportunities for people to connect with the land and their community, and contribute to larger efforts towards a just and sustainable food system.

 Our Values:

  • We value the Earth and strive to work with and to the benefit of its ecosystems in growing food.
  • Food and farms provide a necessary connection for people to the land and to each other.  It is important for people to have opportunities to experience those connections--to know and love the land that helps to sustain them and to connect to the community that comes together, in work and in celebration, around food and land.
  • We value a local and regional food system for its many benefits.  These benefits include the health benefits of fresh, minimally processed food; conservation of farmland and open space; transparency, accountability and community connections; and contribution to the regional economy and self-sustainability. 
  • We care about food justice including fair wages for farm workers and access to healthy food for people of all income levels.
  • We value our relationships with family, co-workers, friends, and farm participants and seek honest, open communication; inclusiveness; and trust. 

NOFA Farmers Pledge

While we use organic methods on the farm, we have chosen not to become USDA Certified Organic and have instead chosen to take the Northeast Organic Farmers Association's Farmer's Pledge.  We encourage members to come and visit the farm to see where and how their food is grown.