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St eve Porter on his farm in upstate New York. (Credit: author)
get pesticides or fertilizers. So it was very easy to start transitioning ground
in. And then we transitioned more and more ground into vegetables. From
1990 to 1996 everything was sold mostly to large wholesalers and a few small
local stores in the Buffalo and Rochester area.” The main organic vegetables
they produce for wholesale are cucumbers, cabbage, winter squash, and
The next transition was from wholesaling vegetables to more local sales.
“We started the CSA in the 1996 growing season. And what happened is
for years we'd been hearing about CSAs and didn't figure they were for us.
Anyway, in the winter of 1995-96 we heard of another CSA more towards
the Buffalo area that just wasn't large enough to support the family that
was trying to run it. They got discouraged and went back to their real jobs
and we heard about it. It was something we had been thinking about, but
we were worried about trying to get one started from zero. We talked to
them and they gladly gave us their mailing list database. We put a letter
out introducing ourselves and saying that we would be willing to take over.
Met with some of the people, the core group type people, and that is how
we started.” Thus the Porters were able to accept risk in the transition to