Low-Income Food Share from Rock Steady Farm

Thanks to everyone that contributes to Ancramdale Neighbors food deliveries.  Even though we both work, without their help, we would not be able to afford enough fresh vegetables to feed our family on our pay.

— A Neighbors Helping Neighbors Low-Income CSA Recipient

OUR GOAL

To raise $60,000 in tax deductible donations for our
2019 Low-Income CSA Fund.

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OUR REACH

In 2018, Rock Steady provided over 530 low-income people weekly organic produce through our non-profit partnerships and flexible partial and fully subsidized CSA memberships. These programs are:

  • Low Income CSA Fund – Dutchess County
  • Low Income CSA Fund – New York City
  • NECC Fresh Food Pantry Participants (funds secured by NECC)
  • Neighbors Helping Neighbors Families in Acramdale
  • HIV/AIDS patients at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center (NYC)

In 2019, we are trying to expand our free and low cost programs by 30% to reach over 680 community members in need!
Our program will expand in total to reach:

  • 10 Dutchess County families covered in local low-income CSA fund
  • 90 Fresh Food Pantry Participants through partnership with NECC in Pine Plains, Amenia, Dover, and holidays in Millerton (funds secured by NECC)
  • 10 NECC Summer Youth Employment Program
  • 16 Neighbors Helping Neighbors Families
  • 150 NYC Low Income CSA Members, and their families including Callen-Lorde HIV Patients at both their Manhattan and Bronx sites
  • 75 EBT/SNAP CSA members in NYC ($10 price discount)
  • 9 low-income farm staff of Rock Steady and their families

In order to achieve our goal our community and corporate partners need to donate $60,000.

We know this is achievable because of the incredible support individuals and grantmakers in our community have given us over the last four years.

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Reasons to support our farm!

  • We are creating a viable farm model that centers on farmers’ livelihoods and rights – through our cooperative structure and just, transparent, labor practices.
  • We partner with non-profits both up-state and in NYC whose communities are normally left out of the organic and local food movement. Their connection to our farm bridges the divide and stigma against “healthy food”. Many of these populations suffer from chronic illness, obesity, diabetes and other diet-related illness.
  • We are an openly “out” farm, providing a safe welcoming environment for other LGBTQ farmers, volunteers, CSA members and their families.
  • We are organizing a regional Queer Farmer Alliance to build more community, and support transgender rights within the rural political landscape.
  • We are trying to be a model for other farms! We are talking at conferences, training new farmers and expanding teaching opportunities so that our reach goes beyond our immediate community.
  • We partner with other People of Color (POC), Indigenous, Latino, LGBTQ and women led projects to use our privilege to lift up their voices, goals and missions.

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Rock Steady Farm believes that fresh food is not for just those who can afford it.  Fresh, good tasting, food is a right for all. Support our effort today!

Please make checks out to “The Watershed Center” and mail them to 41 Kaye Rd, Millerton, NY 12546. Or donate below through our website.

The weekly shares of fresh produce supplied by Rock Steady Farm ensure that each of the families on Neighbor’s food assistance program had equal access to the fresh, wholesome food many of us take for granted. Even with all of the other sources of food from local groceries and The Food Bank, Rock Steady Farm was our largest, most dependable, highest quality and best variety source of produce.

– Jack Lindsey, Food Program Coordinator from Ancramdale Neighbors Helping Neighbors Association

ROCK STEADY FARM’S MISSION

Rock Steady Farm is a women and queer-owned cooperative farm, rooted in social justice, growing speciality cut flowers and sustainable vegetables in Millerton, NY. We believe in utilizing holistic and sustainable farming practices that allow us to grow high quality vegetables, flowers and herbs for our community. As a for-profit farm business, and worker-owned cooperative, we strive to provide living wages for ourselves and our employees. We believe that all people have the right to healthy and nutritious food.

ROCK STEADY FARM’S VISION FOR THE FUTURE

Ecological Stewardship — To continue to develop improved stewardship practices, to lower our tillage, increase cover crop production, improve our IPM practices, find creative ways to increase soil fertility and attract more natural pollinators.

To increase equity in the food system — For farmers (who usually don’t have full control over their land and resources needed to run their farms), for workers, for women, for the LGBTQ community, for people of color, and to increase both land access and food access for diverse communities.

Worker owner coop — To develop a coop model that is approachable and manageable. To be a resource to other farms and small businesses. We are leveling the playing field as far as who can own a biz, having more control over our own employment. Agriculture is hard, engaging people at the ownership level allow will them to intellectually, financially, and relationally interact with farming differently — hopefully from a place of empowerment.

To provide living wages & high quality of life for all workers and worker owners — We want to create a unique work experience for our employees that speaks to the hard-work of farming while employing practices that humanizes and enriches their experience. We want healthy employee retention. We want to be individually fulfilled with our work. To provide work that enriches ourselves, our employees and the communities that we work with while maintaining a healthy life/work balance.

To be a thriving for-profit farm — Our vision is to earn an income from the products and services that we provide. To generate, from our bodies and minds and earth, the goods and services that provide us a living. We want the freedom to be nimble and adjust to the community and market needs, to be creative as new worker owners bring different skills and strengths, and not to be bound to the needs of funders for our core operations. We also want more efficient farm systems, improved infrastructure, and secure outlets so that we can be more profitable.

Healthy Partnerships —We believe that we can’t reach our vision alone. It will be a collective process, a movement that we are part of, and that includes partnering with people and organizations that can help us move the vision/movement forward while each partner contributes what they we do best for a mutually beneficial relationship.

Develop Diverse Enterprises — Not only continuing to grow a diversity of flowers & veg but we are also looking to floral design expansion, maybe a farm store and educational opportunities. Once we are financially stable we would like to develop creative programming either alone or in partnership with Watershed, Wildseed, Linkefligle, Soul Fire Farm ad other farms or orgs. Programming can look like many things. We have envisioned workshops discussing food access, equity, land access, coop development, financial literacy, gender and race issues in food system, floral design, carpentry, growing methods &  farm business development.