When it comes to envisioning a just food system, production is an essential component, and in recent years, attention to regional or local production has increased significantly. While much discussion has focused on Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) as a possible solution, those methods alone cannot fully address the current issues that exist in our regional and national food systems. Central New York certainly has many issues when it comes to its food system, but there are just as many assets and passionate people dedicated to fixing those issues. There is much work to be done, but as can be seen from surveying the landscape of production, there is a great deal to be hopeful about as well.
Getting to know our farmers, where our food comes and thinking about production helps increase the transparency in an opaque food system. A better understanding of CNY production throughout its history lends itself to understanding the challenges that new/current farmers face today and the prospects they have for the future. Central New York is an agriculturally productive region that has a lot to offer in terms of local food, which can be shown below. Additionally, this following link is for those interested in responsibly raised meat products. The map portrays a map of regional producers, most of whom provide CSA’s. These producers are just a handful of the growers and gardeners in Central New York alone, producers who will have greater impacts on our food systems moving forward.