Plattsburgh woman's CSA growing food, plants and interest

CHAZY - Kimberly LeClaire likes the idea of planting something and watching it grow.

LeClaire is in her second year of running her own community supported agriculture program, commonly referred to as a CSA. The program, which is a partnership between consumers and farmers, was something the Plattsburgh woman first started in 2004, but something that didn't really begin to take shape until last year.

"I'm an artist and I went to a residency program in Vermont where they have these really beautiful buildings and gardens there," said LeClaire. "I always liked the gardens so that's what made me want to do something like that here."

About five years ago, LeClaire started gardening with some friends from college on some land she owns in the town of Chazy. Each year, she and her friends have planted what fruits, vegetables and flowers they've wanted and harvested the bounty of their hard work. Last year, they decided to take it one step further.

"We really took it to the next level. Last year we had a mini-CSA where we gave vegetables to people and they paid up front," said LeClaire.

The program was so successful, LeClaire decided to continue it this year beginning in mid-June and ending sometime mid-August. As it's in its infancy, her CSA - which she's dubbed the Quarry Garden CSA - is very informal, she said. Those who buy into the CSA, whether it be a half-share for $300 a season or full-share for $380, receive shares of what's been harvested each week.

"Every week is really different. One week you could get say a pint of blueberries, a pound of potatoes, two pounds of green beans, garlic and squash, for example. That could be a week," she said.

Other weeks, depending what's in season, there could be produce to choose from like spinach, beans, eggplants, tomatoes, lettuce and squash, LeClaire said. Those could be paired with flowers and other plants like lavender, she added.

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