Greyrock Farm CSA founder Matt Volz uses draft horses to plow his fields. He said it is a personal preference as well as an environmental ethic not to use fossil fuels on the farm.
continued Gianforte is not only a customer, however, she also sells whole grain from her Gianforte Farm to Volz, which he uses to feed his pigs and chickens.
“As a farmer, I also see that the CSA model is a great way for non-farmers to better understand the practice of growing food with all its challenges, pitfalls and delights. Greyrock does an excellent job of this education piece, communicating with their members so that they feel somewhat a part of the food-growing team,” Gianforte said.
This is part of the reason Greyrock Farm has its own farmstand building on the farm. “We wanted people to come here … see the farm, talk with us, see the animals,” Volz said. Also, it allows them to sell fresh, raw milk, which, under state law, can only be sold on a farm’s premises.
So why does Volz use draft horses to plow the Greyrock fields? Personal preference and an environmental ethic not to use fossil fuels on the farm.
“Horses force you to work at a slower pace, and you have to lay out the fields a bit differently,” Volz said. “You can only do one row at a time. It’s intensive. But it’s great, and I think it does have an effect on quality.”
Volz is proud of the quality of his farm, which is one reason his animals are raised, slaughtered and processed on-site by Greyrock’s butcher Sam Ehrenfeld. One of Greyrock’s most popular offerings is the breakfast sausage made with their own meat and farm-grown herbs and spices, Volz said. People also like some of their “experimental” crops that are “fun to grow,” such as last year’s pan di zucchero — a bitter green Italian chickory plant that can be stored throughout the winter, he said.
In its three years of existence, Greyrock Farm has increased in production and tripled in membership, and recently began accepting members for its 2014-15 season. People can sign up from January through March; pick-ups begin on June 5 and occur every Thursday at the farm. Potential members must submit a check for 40 percent of their total share price to reserve a share, and the total cost is generally split over four payments. There are various share options from which to choose.
The cost for the vegetable portion of the Greyrock Farm CSA is $1,300 per adult individual (so a family with two adults would cost $2,600), but every week members may take home with them as much food as they can eat, Volz said. Milk, eggs and meat are offered through a purchased point system.
For more information about Greyrock Farm and its CSA program and public Friday Farmstand, visit greyrockfarmcsa.com or contact Matt Volz at 484-888-6254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at email@example.com.