PERU - Rehoboth Homestead Farm is growing, and that brings a smile to Beth Spaugh's face.
Last year, Spaugh established her own community supported agriculture program, which is commonly referred to as a CSA, in the hopes people would take an interest in buying locally-grown produce from her Jabez Allen Road farm.
The CSA gained enough interest that 29 families and groups participated and that Spaugh is planting enough crops to accommodate 100 memberships.
"Having a good plan of how much of what to plant when for a 100-member CSA is really helping overall management," said Spaugh. "It gives me good boundaries, allowing me to allocate garden space and time so that we have what we need each week."
This year, Rehoboth Homestead will again offer fresh produce in weekly shares of eight to 14 items - enough vegetables for roughly four or five meals for two or three adults. The produce that will be grown includes lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, carrots, peas and various herbs such as dill, cilantro, and rosemary.
Spaugh said her seed list this year includes 228 varieties of vegetables, and she has additionally ordered 13 thirteen types of onion, potato and sweet potato.
"We try to provide the basics everyone wants, such as orange carrots and red tomatoes, but also keep things lively by either alternating items or by including yellow, red and purple carrots or heirloom tomatoes in addition to standard red tomatoes," said Spaugh. "We use organic methods, so folks don't have to worry about pesticide residues."
The cost to participate in this summer's CSA will be $400, with the program to run Friday, June 19, through Friday, Sept. 25. Members will come to Rehoboth Homestead Friday afternoons from 3-6:30 p.m. to pick up their produce.
If 20-30 people show interest in a receiving a Tuesday delivery in Plattsburgh, Spaugh said she'd be willing to accommodate that.
"They would miss seeing the farm and having the option to go pick something else they wanted, but would have the convenience of in-town delivery," she said.
This summer, the CSA will also offer free-range chicken and duck eggs and ready-to-cook free-range duck, goose and chicken, said Spaugh. Those items will be offered for a separate price.
"The poultry help our ecological balance, and provide customers with exceptionally good meat and eggs," said Spaugh. "Some of our members are vegan or vegetarian, so we offer the eggs and pastured meats separately for sale to those who do want them."
When the 15-week summer CSA ends in September, it won't be the end of offerings from Rehoboth Homestead for the year, said Spaugh. This year, the homestead will also offer a nine-week fall program from October to November that will include a host of fresh vegetables like winter squash, broccoli, lettuce and salad mix, frosted kales, sweet potatoes, potatoes and other root crops such as carrots and parsnips.
"Gardeners tend to get tired of their gardens by September, but in many ways the fall is the best time of the year for fresh garden vegetables," said Spaugh.
Next year, Spaugh said she also intends to plant crops to provide a spring program, she added.
Those interested in community supported agriculture farms or in joining the Rehoboth Homestead Farm CSA may visit www.rhomestead.com or call Spaugh at 643-7822.