Farm Fresh Food at Main Street Farms
Main Street Farms has been around for eight years, but they are still seen as beginning farmers. The USDA recognizes a beginning farmer as someone who has been in business less than 10 consecutive years. While Main Street Farms is still technically in its infancy as a farm, they have established a great presence and focus on building community through food.
It is through their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that Main Street Farms have made the commitment to providing families in Cortland County sustainably raised, organic food. In 2017, Main Street Farms’ CSA provided 95 families in the Cortland community. That number is quite impressive for the Cortland area, but Main Street Farms looks to expand that number. How? They are investing heavily into doing on-farm events for those families in the CSA program including a BBQ, a salad harvest party, and planting a u-pick pumpkin patch. Education will also play an important role as Main Street Farms expands their CSA. They are doing more work to educate people about how to eat vegetables. Begin a CSA member is a lifestyle choice. Many aspire to eat healthy but committing to it can be challenging and people need a guide. Main Street Farms aspires to be that guide.
Expanding and opening up the farm more to the general public as well as tourists is another focus for Main Street Farms as they establish themselves in the community and grow their CSA customer base. Owners, Allan Gandelman and Bob Cat were both teachers before they were farmers and education is just as much as a passion for them as farming. Educating the community about the benefits of sustainable farming not just for eating better, but for the land is very important.
Main Street Farms certainly has grand plans for the future of their farm and CSA. One of those goals is to convert the Reed’s Seeds barn into a farm store and community event space. Another goal is to transform the conventional corn fields that surround the farm into permaculture gardens. The idea is to have a one mile “foraging” loop through the fields. Families will be able to come and pick herbs and berries and learn about permaculture. Plans also include u-pick blueberries, flowers, and pumpkins. With these grand and ambitious goals, Main Street Farms will get creative with funding and implement these projects in phases over time. This entire project is a long-term 5-10 year dream that Main Street Farms have, but it is hopefully a legacy to leave for the Cortland community to enjoy forever.