We are lucky to live in an area where a few farms and small rural agri-businesses are still surviving, despite tremendous development pressures. Just up the road from us is Malta Ridge Orchard and Gardens. This spring, I bought a CSA share from them, or more precisely, a half-share. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. When you become a member of a CSA, you are purchasing a “share” of the fruits and vegetables from a local farmer. (Malta Ridge also sells egg and chicken shares, but I just bought the produce option.)
In addition to being close and convenient for us, Malta Ridge offers lots of choices, which makes their CSA program work well for me. Because they also have a farm store, I can pop in on "my" day and choose from among the fruits and vegetables on offer. For my half-share, I can take home eight items per week. "One item" may be designated as three tomatoes, for example, or a bunch of carrots.
So what did I take home this week?
- A large head of lettuce.
- A bunch of carrots.
- A bunch of radishes.
- Two onions.
- Three tomatoes.
- A head of cauliflower.
- Two yellow summer squash.
- A pint of blueberries.
Plus, I still have a few potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions left from last week.
This is week four of my (half) share, which will run until the first week of November. It has taken me a couple of trips to the farm to work out a smooth routine, but I have it all down pat now.
I carry the produce home in my market baskets, wash and trim things like the carrots, then add the trimmings to my compost bin. The baskets get a quick wash and I am all set until next week.
Malta Ridge is in the process of selling its development rights, with the help of grants from New York State, Saratoga County, and the Town of Malta. This means the owners are ensuring that someone will always and forever be able to have a farm on those 132 acres. That is quite a blessing for those of us who live near by.
Fresh, local, healthy, delicious, and forever a farm. What's not to like?
Find the Malta Ridge Orchard and Gardens store at 107 Van Aernem Rd. in Malta. They are off Malta Avenue, near Route 9, not far from Northway Exit 13. Their telephone number is 518 229-1255. They also have a Facebook page.
Want a few other suggestions for Saratoga and Washington County farm-related business you should check out? These are a few of my favorites.
Smith Orchard Bake Shop (You will never bake another pie.)
4561 Jockey Street
Ballston Spa, NY 12020
Ballston Spa, NY 12020
Battenkill milk - sold in many places locally. Check their website. It's really good.
And did you know? ALL of Stewart's milk, ice cream, and eggs are produced locally, from local farms.
Please comment and share your favorites, too. Let's support our local farms and orchards!