(Madison County, NY – April 2012) The sandwich board outside Nestico’s Restaurant says “MEAT HERE.” And the banner inside says “Meat your grandmother would recognize.”  Nestico’s Restaurant on Route 11 in North Syracuse is hosting the Side Hill Farmers’ meat CSA, and residents north of Syracuse are going there to pick up their delivered packages of locally-grown, pasture-based meat.

“Our banners make you laugh,” says Canastota farmer and CSA coordinator Kimber O’Mara, “but they also make you think.  It’s like we’re going back in time, providing simple meat from local farms.”

This spring, Side Hill Farmers, a cooperative of livestock farmers in Madison County, has started a local-meat-delivery service, where CNY residents can go on-line and order packages of the Cooperative’s own beef and pork.  Then, once a month, Side Hill Farmers delivers the orders to central pick-up locations in communities in the Syracuse region.  By hosting this local-meat CSA, Nestico’s has provided a location for residents north of Syracuse to pick up their meat orders.

Restaurant owner Peter Nestico explained that he likes to support local products, particularly food.  And, he says, like the farmers that are supplying this meat, “I’m a small businessman, and I want to support other small businesses.”

Many foodies are familiar with vegetable CSAs (which stand for “Community Supported Agriculture”) wherein consumers buy shares in a farm’s production.  The Side Hill Farmers’ meat CSA is similarly structured, so that consumers buy shares of the Cooperative’s meat production.  Kimber O’Mara explains that the meat shares are primarily beef, with pork as an option, and everything is pasture-raised and natural.  The meat CSA members will also be able to buy pasture-raised chicken starting in May, and as well as the usual Madison-County-produced eggs, butter and other local farm goodies.

“Getting our meat is really easy,” she says.  “On the Side Hill Farmers website, customers select a monthly meat delivery package, pay online via PayPal, select the community they’d like their order delivered to (and this now includes North Syracuse), and then once a month, on a set date, the order is delivered to the hosting pick-up site in the selected community.  It’s pretty simple.”

The Side Hill Farmers meat CSA officially launched in January; other delivery sites include Fayetteville, Downtown Syracuse, Hamilton, and Cazenovia.

For more information, call 677-9040 or visit contactus@sidehillfarmers.com.



By martha

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