Behind the Scenes of Farm Share
Corbin Hill is a values-based organization committed to social justice, racial equity and food sovereignty. Our community-based model delivers fresh, local produce through a direct-to-consumer Farm Share Program and to institutions and community organizations through a Wholesale program.
During the first six years of operation, Corbin Hill worked directly with 42 farmers in upstate New York to aggregate and distribute produce to New York City. In 2016, Corbin Hill shifted its model to one that utilizes the infrastructure of other hubs and aggregators to increase access and achieve equitable outcomes for low-income communities and communities of color.
Corbin Hill now works with many supply partners who do the direct farmer aggregation. We still maintain some direct grower relationships for specific products such as your honey and maple syrup. Shifting to this model has enabled us to source from a network of nearly 200 growers throughout the Northeastern Region from Pennsylvania to Maine. This has helped us to develop a more flexible model that fits the needs of our community partners.
For example, some sites operate weekly, while others operate bi-weekly and even a few that operate monthly. We work with partners to start sites throughout the year and allow them to choose their start and end dates based on their schedule. Corbin Hill currently has Farm Share sites operating Tuesday through Saturday at more than 20 different locations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens.
Additionally, each of these sites offers various combinations of our produce Shares and add-on items so that each of our 20 sites looks slightly different.
We order from our network of growers and farmers one week in advance based on seasonality and what they have available. Additionally, we take into consideration what items you received over the past few weeks as well as the number of people participating that week. Because we order in bulk based on case weights, we have to keep an eye on the number of Shareholders at each site. For example, most bunched greens like kale and head lettuce come in cases of 12 so if a site only has 30 people, it makes it tough to order that item because there will be 6 bunches leftover.
Sometimes weather or an insect infestation can wipe out entire crops overnight. This means we sometimes have to make last-minute substitutions as no particular produce item is ever guaranteed. We hope that you enjoy the surprise of the Share each week and get a chance to stretch your cooking skills by playing with the items you receive. See something you don’t like? Don’t forget to utilize the Swap Box. Now, with each bite of your veggies, you know you are supporting a large community of farmers and growers who are working to achieve a better food system for all.