Agriculturally-Rooted Lawyersville Couple Takes the Plunge into CSA

By Chris English

Naomi Pickett and her fiancé Tristan Peterson hold seedlings to be planted as part of their Community Supported Agriculture business in Lawyersville. Photo by Chris English.

Tristan Peterson and six-year-old Avery, the daughter of Peterson’s fiancé Naomi Pickett, work with seedlings to be planted as part of a Community Supported Agriculture business on their Lawyersville property.

Six-year-old Avery sells eggs and lemonade from the Lawyersville property of her mother Naomi Pickett and Pickett’s fiancé Tristan Peterson.

LAWYERSVILLE — A love of the land and for cultivating quality, naturally-grown produce has inspired a Lawyersville couple to start their own Community Supported Agriculture business.

Under terms of the articles of incorporation for the Rooted Acres LLC CSA filed on March 4, Naomi Pickett is the owner and sole manager, and her fiance Tristan Peterson is considered an employee though _ Pickett is quick to add _ an invaluable part of the venture. Also helping out is Pickett’s six-year-old daughter Avery.

How it works, Pickett explained, is that shares are sold of what the garden on the couple’s 6.5-acre Lawyersville property produces. For this first year, customers paid half of their share up front and will pay the other half in July.

“It’s kind of like hiring us to grow their produce,” Pickett said. “They pay the share price, and each week they get a box of what our garden produces.”

Share prices range from $270 to $650 for the year, though all six shares the couple wanted to offer for this growing season are in the lower to middle parts of that range. The larger the share price paid, the larger the weekly box of produce will be.

While Rooted Acres has already sold the number of shares Pickett and Peterson wanted to offer for this first growing season, Pickett said she would be happy to answer questions and provide information to anyone interested in shares for 2025, or who just wanted to know more about the business. Anyone interested can email Pickett at, or visit the business’ website at or Facebook page,

“We’re kind of using this year as a pilot, testing for how we want to get food to people,” said Pickett, who added she and Peterson are seriously considering expanding the business in future years. The decision to start a CSA was a long time in the making, she added.

“It’s something we had both wanted to do for a long time,” Pickett said. “Then, around September, we kind of took a step back and thought ‘Do we both need to be working full time (at regular 9 to 5 type jobs)? Aren’t there other things we want to have time for?’ We decided, why not now.”

While the CSA is now her full-time job and a lot of hard work, being her own boss gives Pickett the flexibility to structure her days to leave time for other things.

“It’s a work-life, family type of balance,” she pointed out. “I like being around for Avery’s stuff without worrying ‘Do I need to take a day off?’ It’s a time freedom thing”

Peterson will help out with the CSA while also maintaining his regular full-time job as claims representative for the Rain & Hail crop insurance company. Among his duties after recently receiving a promotion up to that position is supervising claims adjustors.

 “His knowledge base is extensive and he is my biggest motivator!” said Pickett of her fiance. “He, many times, is a subject matter expert or consultant of sorts when I’m having trouble making a business decision. He can also lift heavy things for me!”

Agricultural roots (subhead)

Forming the CSA with Pickett at the head of the woman-owned business seems like the next logical step for the couple, who both grew up around farms and have educational backgrounds related to agriculture and food. Pickett, who grew up in Richmondville and graduated from Cobleskill-Richmondville High School, has a bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Albany College of Pharmacy. Peterson is a native of Kennedy, near Jamestown, and has a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Business Management from the State University of New York at Morrisville.

“For me, it’s a deep-rooted passion, something I’ve always enjoyed doing,” Peterson said. “I came from an agricultural background _ family farms, I grew up on a dairy for a little bit and my grandparents both had dairy farms. I’ve just always enjoyed the farming aspect of life.

“When I got into the corporate world, it was my chance to still be involved in agriculture, in the dirt, not just in an office but being able to get my hands dirty.”

Forming the CSA was kind of the culmination of a steady series of events, Peterson added.

“It started with a couple of raised beds I enjoyed doing,” he said. “Now we’ve got a good piece of land we can do more on.

“With the recent pandemic, there were a lot of food scarcity scares and a lot of food insecurity concerns, and I think that’s why you might see a little bit of a revitalization of CSAs at this point. People want to get back to local and they realize the importance of that. We’re trying to fit into that model too, to make sure we can provide for people who don’t always have access.”

Pickett stressed that affordability will be an emphasis at Rooted Acres because in researching CSAs she found that many of them seemed too expensive.

“And keep it local too,” she added. “We want to keep it in our neighborhoods, and in Schoharie County. There’s a lot of agriculture that happens here and a lot of that agriculture heads down to the city or out to the capital region. It’s fine that those niches are filled, but we want to have something we can just offer to our community.”

Avery is helping out with the CSA after doing the same and also kind of being the face for an egg business also run from the property, named by the young girl Chickity-Chick Eggs. The profits from that business go into savings for Avery’s future.

Pickett said having her daughter be involved with both ventures is part of finding the right balance between teaching her responsibility and a sound work ethic while also just letting her be a six-year-old.

“I don’t want to put her to work too hard,” Pickett said. “If farming isn’t something she wants to do, I don’t want to force her involvement. (But) I think it’s important for her to know where her food comes from. There are a lot of people working hard behind the scenes to produce it. It doesn’t just magically appear in a box in the store.

“With the egg business, we’ve had the conversation of her saying I don’t want to do chicken chores and I don’t want to do this or that. And I say OK, if I’m going to do the work, then I’m going to get the egg money. You’re not going to do nothing and then collect the money for eggs.”

In addition to the six shares of growing space for regular weekly customers, Rooted Acres has set aside four shares of growing space to provide produce for people on an as-needed basis.

“They will just be for anybody,” Pickett said. “We’ll advertise and people can swing by and pick them up. We wanted to have some extra boxes for families who want to support local but may not want to totally commit to a share yet.”

Weekly deliveries of produce to the regular shareholders will start around mid-June and continue throughout the 18 to 20-week growing season. Deliveries will be made to a centrally located spot convenient to the shareholder, Pickett said.

“Next year we will bill the full amount up front,” she added. “But we can be flexible if needed. We are happy to work with people if they want to do business with us.”

Offerings vary throughout the growing season (subhead)

There will be early, peak and late season offerings. Included in the early season boxes will be lettuces, Kale, beets, snap peas, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Peak season boxes will feature tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, jalapenos, banana peppers, onions, carrots, and leaks. Among the late-season offerings will be pumpkins, winter squash, beets, cantaloupe, and watermelon.

Pickett and Peterson are hoping to expand future offerings to include more vegetables and possibly more fruits. Plans for beyond this year haven’t been finalized but could include increasing space within the 6.5-acre property devoted to the CSA, leasing land on other farms and possibly constructing one or more greenhouses.

Pickett describes the growing process for Rooted Acres as “natural and chemical free” but not technically organic.

“We are not certified (organic),” she explained. “That is a process/expense we’re just not equipped for yet.”

A passion for growing came through loud and clear in the interview with Pickett and Peterson. They are even growing the flowers for their late July wedding.

“A combination of both our backgrounds make up this vision,” Pickett said. “We want to grow local food sustainably and ethically, but also make sure that people can access food both from a location standpoint and from a money standpoint. We don’t want it to be that you have to be in a certain income bracket to be able to afford good local food.”

While the story of Rooted Acres LLC is in the first chapter, Pickett said she is already getting a lot of satisfaction from it on several levels.

“Of course there is a feeling of pride being the mother of a young daughter and showing her that you can really do anything you put your mind to,” she said. “By practicing our values in our everyday operations, we’re also teaching her to care for the earth and the people around her.

“I’ve also always worked administrative jobs _ spreadsheets and meetings and all of that. So, to start an endeavor with a foundation in manual labor and dirty hands was a bit out of my comfort zone, but it has been so rewarding to watch seeds turn to seedlings, put the seedlings in the ground or watch them drive away with customers, and eventually provide neighbors with fresh, local food. It’s the most connected I’ve felt in the work I’ve done.”