We took a drive out to sunny Arcade, NY in Wyoming County for our first visit to the Plato Dale Farm to talk with Kent Miller and to tour the farm.
We learned that originally, the Plato Dale Farm was solely a dairy operation, with 1,500 head of cattle fed through the tilling of 3,000 acres. However, changes in the dairy market about ten years back, caused them to switch to a meat and vegetable operation. Today, the farm is a strict organic farm, offering certified organic produce; organic-fed, pastured chickens and eggs; and grass-fed beef (Jersey cows).
The farm also started an interesting program — a market-style community supported agriculture program where members fill their own bags and pay with a debit-card-type “buy-down” account. Unlike CSAs where offerings are standardized, the Plato Dale Farm Market CSA subscribers get to choose the produce and meat they want, and the cost is deducted from their account.