23 Hudson Valley Farms with CSA shares and 10 reasons to join

IMG_4947We love the farm. We are so lucky here in the Hudson Valley to be smack in the middle of such diverse areas. Only a few minute drive and you can be in either a city or a farm. My boys and I spend many summer days visiting the cows, riding horses and petting the goats at some of the nearby farms. Our favorite, Sprout Creek Farm has a super friendly staff, lots of animals and absolutely delicious ice cream in the summer! Another favorite farm activity is berry picking. We are excited to jump into the fields and pick our own fruits to turn into delicious treats  So many of our local farms offer animals for petting, fresh foods, classes and even activities such as playgrounds and jump pillows.

Since I have 3 (yes, daddy counts!) healthy, growing boys who consume their fair share of foods I often thought about joining a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture share). Though I have to admit I only knew it meant you got your foods directly from the farm. I started talking to friends who participate and read articles around the web. (Hint: HVParent have a good one here) and was really interested! Then I had to build a case for my dear, penny- pinching husband. I first had to prove that we would be in-fact saving money despite the hefty upfront costs and I had to back up the money facts with all the ways I felt a CSA share would be a good fit for our family.

So I am sharing with you today, not only 23 Hudson Valley Farms that offer CSA shares but also my Top 10 reasons to join a farm CSA!

[Top List: 23 Hudson Valley Farms offering CSA shares]

1. I would say probably the #1 reason why CSA’s are wonderful for families are because you are receiving great, local, farm fresh food at a great price. While paying upfront might seem a bit daunting to the budget, many have done the math and decided that savings of a CSA outweigh the costs of purchasing organic quality foods.

2. Many times you open your box to discover foods you haven’t tried before or maybe have never even heard of! As part of a farm CSA you may discover delicious new foods, try new recipes and get an opportunity to introduce the kids to many different things.

blueberries

3. You will most likely eat healthier. Often times that fresh bunch of arugula looks more appealing than a can of peas!

[See Also: Healthy Eating on a Budget]

4. Support local economy and farmers. Paying upfront for your share helps ensure the farmers will be getting a pay check regardless of weather conditions and other factors that often hurt the farmer and his family. According to localrootsnyc.org, “Three of the top 20 most threatened farming regions in the United States are in the New York State area:

#10: Syracuse – Buffalo Region
#11: Hudson Valley
# 19: Eastern Long Island – Suffolk County”

kids petting baby chick

5. Make it into a fun outing for the kids. Pick-ups are a lot of fun, especially at a farm with different animals to visit and feed and kids get a first hand look at where our food really comes from… more than just a supermarket!

6. When you are able to see the work that goes into each plant, you watch it grow, you touch, smell and taste it straight from the farm you have a better appreciation for the foods and are more likely to eat them. Both solving picky eater dilemmas and creating healthy meals!

picking berries

7. Many farms that offer CSA shares have dedicated sections specially for U-Pick options. Some put no limits on the amount you pick! (Though a general rule of thumb is to not over pick, the point is still a share here). If you are a family like us who love to pick our own fruits throughout the season you know how much that adds up!

8. Becoming a part of a CSA is truly a sharing community. Members will often swap recipes at the pick- up line, kids play in the fields and you overall feel good about helping and being a part of the community.

farm view

9. Many farms offer education, workshops and special events. Have you ever wondered how to pickle those cucumbers? Check out your local farms and see if they offer any workshops near you!

10. When you join a CSA, you are protecting the environment, supporting farmers, small businesses and all around creating a better planet for our children’s children. What better reason then that?

[See also: Top list of Hudson Valley Farm Markets]

11 Festivals and Fairs for Families this May!

food truck zeppolesMay 1-17th: Hudson Valley Fair. One of the biggest and best family fairs in the Hudson Valley returns! Shows, music, petting zoo, rides, food, games and SO MUCH MORE! 5pm. Dutchess Stadium, 1500 Route 9D, Wappingers Falls. 845-838-0094.

May 16th: Gardiner Cupcake Festival. Live music, local food, shopping, art and craft vendors, raffles, kids’ activities, cupcake contests, and, of course, lots of yummy cupcakes. 12-6pm. Wrights Farm, 699 State Route 208, Gardiner. 845-255-5300.

May 16th: Pine Bush UFO Fair. Live music all day, fun games and attractions, a huge assortment of food, a kids section, craft vendors, UFO novelties, live characters, street performances, and the Star Wars 501st Legion Storm Troopers will be in attendance. ‘Alien and UFO Themed Parade’. 10am- 4pm. Main Street, Pine Bush. 845-744-8230.

May 16th: Spring Fling and Plow Day. Learn how the fields are prepared for spring planting. Watch the antique plows disk the fields and otheractivities and equipment on display, demonstrations and tours through the barn collections. 10am- 2pm. Orange County Farmer’s Museum, 850 State Rt. 17K, Montgomery. 845-926-2727.


food truck festivalMay 21st: Hudson Valley Food Truck Festival.
Come on out to the Hudson Valley Food Truck Festival Spring Fling! Bands and performers, great food and lots of fun. Kiwani’s Ice arena, 6 Small World Ave., Saugerties.

Find a summer camp for your child. Click here to visit our extensive list of area summer camps.

May 22nd: Mysteryland Festival. Creative journey, combining music with theatre, movies, interactive installation art, street performers and shows. Times TBA. Bethel Woods Center for the arts, 200 Hurd Rd., Bethel. 866-781-2922.

May 23rd: Spring Festival. Annual Spring celebration featuring art, crafts, food, fun and music. Held rain or shine. 10am-6pm. Sugar Loaf Art and Craft Village, Sugar Loaf, Chester. 845-469-5931.

May 30th: Healthy Smiles Family Fun Day. Join us for a day of family fun! Games, raffles, fun activities, food, refreshments and a petting zoo!  12:00pm – 4:00pm. Valley Pediatric Dentistry, PC, 1557 Route 82, Hopewell Junction. 845-226-8577.

May 30th: Millbrook Literary Festival. Eighty timely, thought-provoking, and thoroughly entertaining authors and illustrators participating in panel discussions, readings, and signings throughout the day. 9:45am. Village of Millbrook, Franklin Ave., Millbrook.

fair face paintingMay 31st: Hudson Valley Family Festival. This fun family expo provides parents with up to date information and services available in a fun environment for the entire family. 11am-3pm. Dutchess Stadium, 1500 Route 9D, Wappingers Falls. 845-838-0094.

May 31st: Family Fun Day Fest. Enjoy Live Music, bounce house village, Art Bus, kids’ activities, raffles and food.  Fee. 12-6pm. Black Rock Fish and Game Club, 5 Pleasant Hill Rd., Mountainville.

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