Dennis Derryck, Milano Professor of Professional Practice, takes the notion of fieldwork quite literally. Spurred by the economic and nutritional needs of the South Bronx’s Hunts Point community and informed by his academic work in nonprofit management, last year Derryck raised more than $800,000 dollars in donations and bank loans to purchase Corbin Hill Road Farm in Schoharie County, New York.
Corbin Hill Road Farm’s customers are residents of the South Bronx who support the venture through a Community Supported Agricultural organization, known as a CSA. Based on need and income, they pay between $3.75 and $20 in cash or food stamps for a week’s worth of fresh produce from Derryck’s farm and other nearby growers.
Derryck’s vision for the farm and the CSA extends beyond the kitchen table. Rather, he sees the project as an experiment in expanding the economic citizenship, of the residents of Hunt’s Point, one of the poorest communities east of the Mississippi. To that end, those who purchase food from the Schoharie CSA are offered an extra incentive: the opportunity to buy stock in the organization, which would empower them to be part of the CSA’s executive decision-making process. Still in its early stages, the CSA has already sold 228 shares in its first two weeks.
To read the New York Times’ coverage of Derryck’s work with the Corbin Hill Road Farm, and to view a video feature on the project, click here.