Fledging Crow Vegetables is raising $40,000 to purchase a refrigerated van to transport produce from our farm in Keeseville N.Y. to markets in Rochester, the Hudson Valley, New York City and across the North Country. In 10 years our farm has evolved from a small two farmer operation with a hand full of CSA members, to a vibrant business employing 15 workers and serving hundreds of customers. We need a reliable refrigerated van to expand the reach of our farm and maintain the quality of our freshly harvested organic vegetables during overland deliveries. Watch our short video, and share it with family, friends, and neighbors. Please help us reach our goal! We are committed to serving our customers delicious fresh vegetables for years to come. Thank you for your generosity and support!
Growing Fledging Crow Farm has meant so much more than just growing good food – It’s been about learning, maturing and reimagining year after year, month after month, day after day. It’s about nurturing our community and being fortified in return. It’s about expanding this community, while keeping true to our roots. It’s learning from our mistakes, sore backs, long days, graceful work, collaboration, keeping good records, taking risks, thinking on our feet, falling down, getting back up again, and holding to the faith that our efforts really do matter.
Co-Owners Ian Ater & Lucas Christenson
We are proud, humbled and deeply honored to be entering this, our 10th growing season under the banner of Fledging Crow. It’s been a wild ride, to say the least! From the days of Ian and Lucas living in a tent, fueled by coffee and a dream, to the pure joy of reaching a 400-person strong CSA membership and the thrill of our farm being featured in Adirondack Life Magazine and Small Farms Rising; to devastating lows that pushed us to our limits -- through it all we have grown.
The veggies have grown, the farm has grown, and we have grown. We’ve started families, raised children, added fields, expanded our markets, employed dozens of people, built community, hosted festivals, educated students, lost loved ones, suffered losses, learned a whole heck of a lot about farming, and even more about ourselves.
Jess & Amaya 2010
Brittany Christenson washing greens, 2014
Farm fun, 2016
To keep our farm thriving, we have to take the show on the road!
We are located in the gorgeous albeit extremely rural hamlet of Keeseville, NY in the northern corner of the Adirondack Park. For the past decade, we have been intricately linked into this North Country community. Our produce is on the menu for hundreds of dedicated CSA members, featured in restaurants and schools throughout the region, and is a mainstay at 5 Farmers Markets. We now have around 40 acres of farmland in production, and are dedicated to organic farming practices that encourage both the health of the land, as well as the health of the people.
Walt, Alec & Cameron, 2017
Ian at the Keene Valley Farmer's MarketAs more and more farms emerge in our small area, federal regulations proliferate, and pressure from large-scale agribusiness increases, we have needed to explore new and innovative possibilities to keep our farm thriving while still keeping the spirit of community collaboration. Further exacerbating this strain, we encountered a devistating financial loss when one of our main wholesale accounts fell apart, along with enduring several seasons of late freezes, heavy rains and blights.
Thus, we came to a crossroad, pinned between our moral initiative to hold our land, our food, and our community sacred, and the increasing pressure closing in from every direction. We needed a solution that would allow us to both keep our roots, while expanding our branches out to new markets.
The genesis for this desperately needed resolution came from an unlikely place. Farm-founder Ian Ater grew up in Rochester, NY. As his burgeoning interest in farming took him to north to Keeseville, he aspired to someday serve both his adopted community, and his native one back in Rochester.
In 2015, Ian's dream was realized when he connected with The Good Food Collective, a subset of The Headwater Food Hub. The Good Food Collective acts as the bridge between the urban population of Rochester, who struggle to access fresh food from local farms; and small farms throughout NY seeking to establish viable markets for their products.
This collaboration opened up the good red road out of the crossroad that the farm had encountered, and into an expanded community that share our devotion to fresh, honest local food. It has allowed Fledging Crow to remain solvent despite the challenges of our remote proximity to a major population center. We have been able to keep our food prices down, our employment rate steady, and endowed us the ability to distribute our nutrient dense Adirondack veggies to an expanded community of consumers.
Andy Deller cutting salad mix
Walter McGarry at The Lake Placid Farmer's Market
In this spirit we are asking you, our extended community, to help us out once again...
The future of Fledging Crow Vegetables hinges on this ability to deliver our food both locally, and into the urban areas of New York state. We are hoping to dovetail our successful collaboration with the Good Food Collective into more of its kind, filling a niche in urban food deserts with fresh, local, organic food. We have potential markets budding in New York City, Albany and Rochester, all of which will allow us to bring revenue back into the North Country economy.
Shauni, Ox & Peggy; 2013
To succeed in this goal however, we first need the tool to make the transit possible. We need a refrigerated delivery van to span the miles between our soil and these new markets, while keeping our produce viable.
Currently, we rely on our trusty delivery van, affectionately called Brawny; a repurposed bread van. And though Brawny is certainly beloved, she is neither refrigerated, nor reliable enough for non-local commutes.
To accommodate the burgeoning collaborations with urban food hubs, we presently have to outsource a driver with a refrigerated truck to accomplish the deliveries. This costs, on average, $700 just in delivery fees, not including gas. If we are going to evolve our vision into a reality, we cannot continue to hemorrhage money into these transit fees. We urgently need your help to purchase this refrigerated delivery van.
"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality." ~ Ono/Lennon
Farming, for us, has always been a community initiative. We are buoyed by you, the informed and passionate consumers, who are doing your part to help shift the food paradigm away from corporate agribusiness and back into the caring hands of small, diversified farms.
You are our friends, our family and our future. We are excited and encouraged about the potential of our food community expanding into new urban partnerships, and in turn add to the vitality of our beloved North Country community.
** Video animation done by Ben Stechshulte, with music recorded by Ben Stechshulte and Taylor Haskins.
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