Ron Meyers and Ashley Dayer, co-owners of Marigold Farm.
They also are raising meat chickens 25 at a time on an eight week-cycle.
All the chickens are “pasture-raised,” meaning they have the ability to roam free and graze.
For the benefit of the vegetable gardens, they will be encouraged to graze in specific places through moveable fencing and lay eggs in a portable coop, called a “chicken tractor”. Living primarily outside they still will have more freedom than typical factory farm chickens that stay in cramped coops all day, Meyers said.
Though the farm is not officially organic certified, Dayer said that they follow organic guidelines and use practices that are both environmentally friendly and ethical.
“We want to get people to understand where their food comes from and be aware of environmental benefits possible from supporting local farming,” she said.
There are also health benefits to eating eggs from these pasture-raised chickens. Pastured eggs have been shown to have more beta carotene, vitamins E and A and Omega-3 fatty acids than factory farm eggs. They also have less cholesterol and saturated fat, according to eggsandcholesterol.org.
In addition to paying for a share of Marigold Farm’s production, customers are encouraged to visit the farm to take a tour, volunteer a few hours to help or bring their kids to learn more about farming and pet the hens.
They have even heard that kids who have visited the farm have become more interested in eating and growing vegetables.
Though CSAs have been around since the 1970s, the recent trend towards more locally-grown and organic foods has created renewed interest in them, they said.
Marigold and Schoolhouse Farms, another Borodino-based CSA, both started up within the past five years and have been well received by Skaneateles-area residents.
“The CSA movement is growing, as is pastured chicken raising, so we see this is a good opportunity for us and the community,” Dayer said.