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CORBIN HILL FOOD PROJECT

Connecting Upstate Farmers with Urban Shareholders

Story by PolicyLink, Lifting Up What Works® October 24th, 2014

A values-based food supply chain

Corbin Hills mission is to provide fresh, local produce to communities that need it most.
“Connecting dots and the webbing of tables are about connecting ideas. We at Corbin Hill, like many others, are seeking to develop a values-based food supply chain that is inclusive. Inclusive of people along the entire supply chain, with farm workers at one end and all consumers at the other end—and we do not mean just some consumers, we mean all.” — Dennis Derryk, founder Corbin Hills Food Project


Below a Corbin Hill employee and a CSA Shareholder (aka person who has signed on to the CSA program)

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The Farm on corbin hill road

Dennis Derryk, on his 95-acre farm in Schoharie Country. In addition to producing a limited amount of produce—mainly from 850 raspberry bushes—the farm also hosts onsite educational programming and community building for Corbin Hill’s Shareholders focused on sustainable agricultural practices and the role of farms in improving the state’s local food systems.

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Kate Miller, Weathertop Farm

Kate Miller’s family has owned 300 acres of farmland in Sharon Springs since the mid-1980s. Under Kate’s leadership, it currently grows herbs, vegetables, fruits, and animals to service retail outlets upstate and New York City. Corbin Hill is one key retail partner for the farm’s vegetables and herbs.

“We believe that what you eat is as important as how your food got to your plate. We grow healthy, naturally raised vegetables, fruit, and animals. That means no petroleum based fertilizers, no toxic chemical stew spread on the plants or soil, no genetically modified frankenfoods. We believe that animals need fresh air and sunshine and organic food as much as we do. We will never be a factory farm. We believe in bartering and work-share and helping future farmers by giving them a place to learn and laugh while they hone their skills.” — Kate Miller

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The Barber's, six generations of family farmers

The Barbers have been in the farming business since 1857. Situated on some of the richest topsoil in the state, the farm serves residents of Schoharie and neighboring counties from their farmstands and greenhouses, as well as being a source of fresh vegetables for New York City restaurants. But folks find their way to Barbers farm from as far away as Lake Placid, Connecticut and New Jersey. Their relationship with Corbin Hills has allowed them to grow their markets and cater to a downstate population. Conversely, the Corbin Hills Shareholders get to “know” the farmers, can identify the provenance of their food, and are able to make requests for particular produce.

Below, Kate Barber and son Elias, along with farm workers Miguel and Carlos.

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schoharie valley farms, home of the CARROT BARN

Richard Ball and his family has been growing top-quality produce for several generations. In addition to the wide selection of farm-fresh vegetables, their Carrot Barn store offers local beef and dairy products, fresh baked goods and full deli counter.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are aggregated, packaged, and transported to Corbin Hill’s various drop-off locations throughout New York City.

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DISTRIBUTION SITES: CENTRAL HARLEM HEADQUARTERS & BROTHER SISTER SOL

“We started started because community residents didn’t have a voice around food. Others were talking about what food should be in our community, but people themselves were not speaking…things that are going to be sustainable in our community have to be owned by the community.” — Dennis Derryk

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Footnote: Photos taken by Sydney Combs, summer intern @ PolicyLink; interviews taken by Mar Velez, summer intern @ PolicyLink
Harlem, NYC and Schoharie County, NY