And now to our occasional series, the Food and Farm Showcase in conjunction with Cornell.
Today we visit Shared Roots Farm in McGraw, Cortland County.
Husband and wife owners Bret Morris and Stephanie Roberts have been engaged in organic greenhouse agriculture since 2010 and have been in McGraw since 2015.
They currently operate out of 4 greenhouses, also known as high tunnels, as well as growing some vegetables in the open soil.
With the use of the tunnels, they can grow greens such as lettuce, spinach and kale year-round, plus extend the seasons of other vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers.
Shared Roots sells its products primarily at the Upper Front Street Farmers Market and through CSA’s.
Morris says buying local helps customers build a relationship with the food they eat. “You can come visit the farm and see how it’s grown. You can talk to us and know how it’s grown. There’s no unknowns whereas, if you get food from the grocery store, you don’t know where it’s coming from.”
Plus, Morris says his produce is much fresher, picked the day before market, has more nutrients and simply taste better.
Among the roughly 60 varieties of organic veggies are eggplants and potatoes, along with lesser known products like ginger, edamame and celeriac, or celery root.
Shared Roots has been an early purveyor of CSA’s or Community Supported Agriculture.
Customers pay up front for a diverse amount of vegetables that they receive in boxes or baskets throughout the growing season.
Roberts says their food is grown with love and intention. “The CSA helps us pay our bills and have consistency. But, it also helps us know that our vegetables are all going somewhere. So, if there’s a rainy day at market, and maybe less people come to market, we still know what we are harvesting is going to a good home.”
Roberts says Shared Roots offers lots of flexibility in its CSA’s.
There are large and small options and every week or every other week.
Or subscribers can come to the Farmers Market and hand pick the items they want in their box.
CSA’s also come with tips and recipe ideas.
For more information, go to SharedRootsFarm.com.