Jean-Paul Courtens and his partners operate Roxbury Farm, a vegetable farm in Columbia County, New York. They market much of their produce through a local CSA, providing the subscribers with weekly deliveries, and hosting potluck dinners, festivals, workshops, and sundry events for the children as well.
Jean-Paul joined with twenty other local farmers and food processors to create a marketing co-op called Community Agriculture of Columbia County. CACC markets pre-order to the members of the Roxbury Farm CSA. Jean-Paul only grows vegetables, but by linking CACC with his CSA he has greatly expanded the CSA members’ options with regard to fresh and local foods, since the farmers and businesses participating in CACC include producers of berries, bread, jams, sprouts, honey, meat, and many other products.
Jean-Paul and his associate Marcie Gardner, who coordinators the CACC pre-order system, obtained a SARE grant to compile a booklet profiling each of the 21 members. The booklet contains photos of the members, their farms and businesses, maps to locate them, and descriptions of their backgrounds and products. The idea is to promote a degree of intimacy and sense of community among the producers and their customers. Five hundred copies of the booklet were printed, and it has been distributed free of charge to all involved in CACC as either producers or consumers.