Grow Canton NY


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This is a presentation by the owners of littleGrasse Foodworks in Canton, NY. It discusses the merits of re-thinking the residential zoning allowances in the town.

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Grow Canton NY

  1. 1. Letter from December 2012 to the local papers To the Editor: Have you heard the conversation taking place around the town of Canton regarding small-scale agriculture within the residential zones? (For reference see The St. Lawrence County Plaindealer or Watertown Daily Times, Dec 11th 2012.) We thought this would be a good time to share our story with the community. The link below leads to a slideshow we presented at the most recent Town Planning Board meeting, during which we shared details of our Community Supported Agriculture project. Also in attendance were the Canton Town Board and Supervisor, as well as over 40 fellow citizens. In the coming weeks a discussion document will be offered to the Planning Board from the Small Scale Farming Advisory Group (A local group with a broad base of knowledge in this field). This draft will take into account safeguards for neighbors, while allowing new freedoms for all landowners in the current residential zone. Please take a few minutes to watch the presentation to see one of the ways our community can grow together. Whether or not you are able to view the presentation, you are welcome to contact us directly with questions. then type “Grow Canton NY” Thank You, Bob Washo & Maria Filippi (Flip) littleGrasse Foodworks Miner Street Road, Canton 1
  2. 2. Rethinking Residential Zones in the Town of Canton How thoughtful small-scale agriculture can beautify our neighborhoods and give us all more economic stability through self-sufficiency 2
  3. 3. littleGrasseFoodworksMiner Street Rd Canton A community supported agriculture (CSA) farm feeding local families 3
  4. 4. What is CSA exactly? 4
  5. 5.  Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a locally-based socio-economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A network of individuals pledge support a local farm, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSAs eliminate distributors, forging direct connections between farmers and consumers. 5
  6. 6. CSA members pay at Once the season the onset of the begins, we harvest the growing season for a food and shareholders share of the pick up vegetables anticipated harvest. weekly at the share barn. 6
  7. 7. The members join in the garden to socialize with eachother, have a connection with the land and be in touch with the growing season. 7
  8. 8. Integrated, humanely managed systems Pigs for clearing/opening new ground Lambs for pasture management Chickens for soil fertility 8
  9. 9. Growing Practices Extensive crop rotation ZERO use of Pesticides or Herbicides Planned animal rotation 9
  10. 10. With just a couple acres inproduction, littleGrasse isfeeding over 120 Canton- area residents this season. 10
  11. 11. Contributors to the local community: Re-circulating monies back into local economy, ex. Wight and Patterson Sharing decades of food production experience Reclaiming underutilized land and enhancing open space Attracting interested college students off campus and into the town Bringing national attention to Canton through radio, magazine and newsprint 11
  12. 12. In the past two growing seasons we’ve had 200+ high school and college students in the gardens. 12
  13. 13. Why on the outskirts of the village? Can’t this farm just move out of town into the vast rural area?? 13
  14. 14.  accessibility 14People can easily bike, walk, run, canoe and drive to the gardens.
  15. 15. Why on the outskirts of Canton?  visibilitySeeing the source of your food is educational and requires higher accountability for the farmer. 15
  16. 16.  neighborlyDynamic, small-scale food projects lend diversity to the landscape. 16
  17. 17. National Trends Data collected in 2007 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that12,549 farms in the United States reportedmarketing products through a communitysupported agriculture (CSA) arrangement. 17
  18. 18. Civic Agriculture "Together with farmers markets, farm stands, U-picks andagritourism, CSAs constitute a ‘civic agriculture that is re-embedding agricultural production in more sustainable social and ecological relationships, maintaining economic viability for small- andmedium-scale farmers and fulfilling the non-farm-based populationsincreasing desire to reconnect with their food.“Ryan Galt, UC Davis assistant professor in the Department ofHuman and Community Development, and co-authors wrote in California Agriculture journal. 18
  19. 19. 19
  20. 20. We’re not alone.Revising the residential zoning for the town would allow land owners the right to produce their own food and maybe start a small agricultural project of their own. 20
  21. 21. Agricultural Code, a nuanced issue requiring: ForesightExpert advisingSafeguards for neighborsCommunity input 21
  22. 22. There are multiple community organizationswith a vested interest in this issue including:  Canton Farmer’s Market North Country Grown Cooperative (NCGC)  Garden Share Cornell Cooperative Extension  Local Living Venture  USDA 22
  23. 23. Additional Resources Our blog to keep in touch with shareholders National Sustainable Ag Information Service Urban Ag resource Guide from USDA Sample language from other populated areas 11/Urban_Agriculture/Urban%20Ag%20Studies/urbanagpaper.pdf Paper on the practical & economic benefits of food security 23
  24. 24. Join in the conversationIf you have input on this issue, let your thoughts be known.The town and planning boards meet once per month.Planning Board: researches options and writes languageTown Board: votes on languageThe next Planning Board meeting is January 22nd and a draft ofthe proposed language will be submitted at that time bycommunity members.Chairman of Planning Board:Mike Morganmorgan.mikek@gmail.comTown of Canton SupervisorDavid or 386-2962 24
  25. 25. Thank you.If you have any questions, comments or concernscontact us at: or 386-3513 25