Saratoga Living: Meet Aliza Pickering, Pitney Meadows Community Farm’s 27-Year-Old Vegetable Manager
It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that most young professionals in the region would be more interested in kicking off their career in the tech or healthcare industry than on a community farm. Then again, Aliza Pickering isn’t your typical 27 year old. Seven years ago, Pickering founded her first farm-based venture, launching her own Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program—from which paying members can get fresh produce directly from farmers—on her parents’ farm in Arlington, VT, eventually connecting with and selling her hand-tilled yield to local restaurants. As of this past January, Pickering’s brought her top tilling and veggie business chops to Saratoga Springs’ 166-acre Pitney Meadows Community Farm, where she’s taken on the role of vegetable manager. Her plans for the nonprofit organization are ambitious: Besides supporting Pitney Meadows’ already popular 18-week Pick-Your-Own CSA program, Pickering’s looking to expand the farm’s yield so it can supply fresh produce to all Saratoga City Schools, the Franklin Community Center’s food pantry and Shelters of Saratoga (all paid for through state-funded grants). Additionally, she’s got her sights set on establishing a fruit-and-vegetable wholesale service that local restaurants and businesses can take part in, and has already landed high-profile partners such as The Adelphi Hotel, 15 Church and Skidmore College, which she’ll be providing produce to as early as this summer. All sales from this and other endeavors go directly toward funding the farm’s children’s programs, trail development, community gardens and giving garden.