At Native Offerings Farm, we farm with our three children and are deeply committed to ecological farming. We are USDA Certified Organic and have always grown our vegetables according to organic standards. We work very hard to produce vital food for you and your family. When you buy a share you are buying more than vegetables; you are supporting our family and strengthening our local community. By supporting us you not only get incredibly fresh and great tasting vegetables full of nutrients and vitality, but a food source you can trust.
Some of you have been with us since we started in 1997 — we were the first CSA in Erie County — others have been with us a year or more. You may be learning about us for the first time. We are Stewart (although most people call me Stew) and Deb Ritchie. We are a cooperative operating under the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, reconnecting the community with its food source, the local farmer. Providing an alternative to agribusiness, consumers (shareholders, etc.) know exactly where and how their food is grown.
We do not exist solely to sell vegetables. One of the greatest rewards of operating your own business is creativity. You can apply your ideas and your values to your business. Beyond the community that arises out of a CSA, we try to encourage and support other ecologically friendly businesses. From other ecological and low-spray farms we purchase fruit, seeds, hay, honey, grain, potting mix, and feeder calves. The advantage of this is that shareholders have access to other high quality local products and other local farms are supported. We can not produce everything we sell. We do not have the time, the knowledge, or the financial resources to do so. By cooperating with others we can specialize and focus on what we love to do, which is what we have a passion for and we do best. The end result of cooperation is a stronger farming community. We need each other. It is difficult to farm without the farm support system. This includes having parts, feed, equipment, and other agriculture suppliers close by. It includes being able to share, custom hire, and borrow equipment. There is also the priceless value of good advice and friendship.
Paintings by Paula Sweet