Why a Sliding Scale?

SPACE is deeply committed to ensuring that Ryder Farm’s bounty is a source of inspiration and nourishment for everyone. We firmly believe that in all endeavors--in artistic creation, as in democracy--what we create is stronger when there are multiple perspectives at the table, and that access to both art and fresh food is a human right.

As we plan our harvest for the season, we’re keenly aware that even in our own backyard there are families that struggle to put food on their tables. In Brewster, 16.7% of residents live below the poverty line, and to the south of the farm in North Salem the number is 5.2%. SPACE is offering a sliding scale CSA membership that is accessible to the full spectrum of our community—artists, activists, neighbors, supporters and friends.

Where Do I Fit on the Sliding Scale?

SPACE is grateful to Soul Fire Farm and Underground Alchemy for their leadership and work on sliding scale guidelines, from which we have been inspired and are borrowing heavily.

The sliding scale is based roughly on personal or household income levels, though we recognize that many factors contribute to one’s personal financial status, earning power and economic position.

For a general baseline of what to pay please start with your annual income. If you don’t know your annual income, take your monthly income and multiply by 12. If you share finances with another adult, determine your combined household income. The considerations below are various ways in which you may evaluate your financial capacity and position on the sliding scale.

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Consider paying less on the scale if you...

  • are supporting children or have other dependents

  • have significant medical, education or other debt

  • have medical expenses not covered by insurance, or are uninsured

  • have tuition/educational expenses

  • receive public assistance

  • have immigration-related expenses

  • are a senior citizen

Consider paying more on the scale if you...

  • own the home you live in

  • have investments, retirement accounts, and/or inherited money

  • travel recreationally

  • have access to family money and resources in times of need

  • work part-time, by choice

  • have a relatively high degree of earning power due to your level of education and/or gender and racial privilege, class background, etc. (Even if you are not currently exercising your earning power, we invite you to consider whether this is a choice.)

The scale is offered on the honor system and on a first-come, first-served basis. Ideally, everyone participating in the sliding scale will pay a similar percentage of their income and/or resources to participate, creating a more just and sustainable economic model from which everyone benefits. The scale is intended as an invitation to take inventory of the various kinds of privilege one may have, but we recognize everyone’s situation is unique. Ultimately, you should pay what feels right.

Finally, as this is SPACE’s first season of farming and first endeavor as a sliding scale CSA, we expect to learn a great deal from this first offering and continue evolving to best serve the needs of our community members. If you have feedback for us, please let us know!