This is an interesting post on Grist: It takes a community to sustain a small farm. It doesn't mention CSAs, community supported agriculture, where local residents purchase "shares" of a farm, which guarantees delivery of a set amount of food over a period of time, usually a year. But it does address the issues small, local farms face, considering that agribusiness has been putting the little guys--from farmers to butchers to truck drivers and grocers--out of business for a long time now.
local and organic grass-fed highlander beef (very lean), which we use for our Happy Hobo Grass-fed Beef Jerky, is from Nectar Hills Farm, which recently started an upstate New York CSA of their own, mostly for meat (they also have lamb, pork, poultry, eggs, and cheese), but also other things from the farm, like incredible organic produce during the season and organic red bamboo honey (which we also use in the beef jerky).
farm picture gallery, if you'd like to see some pictures of a small organic farm in upstate New York.
CSAs aren't new. You can find one near you on the Local Harvest's CSA finder. They're a great way to help your local farmer. It gets them money when they need it, and it gets you a discount on farm-fresh local and organic products on a regular basis. This food is better for you, better for the animals, and better for the environment. It is money you won't spend keeping big agri-business in business.
Our New Year's resolution is to stop eating corn-fed and factory farmed beef. You don't have to be that drastic about it, but once you research grass-fed beef in your area, you'll find an array of delicious meats that are essentially solar powered, instead of oil and corn powered, like the concentrated feed lots of industrial meat production.
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