CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, allows members to have access to fresh produce grown by a regional farmer. CSA members purchase a “share” of produce from a local farm before the harvest season. Shares of produce are brought to the same site for members to pick up each week. By joining a CSA, members learn what foods are in season in the North East, support small, local farmers, discover new varieties of produce, try out new recipes, eat healthier, and reconnect with their food.
If you’re unfamiliar with CSA, here are the basics of how it works:
Just sign up on our website for the product shares you would like. One week prior to the beginning of the CSA season, we will send you a reminder email. Each week, you will go to your CSA location and pick up your share(s) of produce!
Once at your distribution location, you will check in with the CSA coordinator and they can assist you.
A sign will be posted that will notify you of what is in that week’s share; pick up what is on the share list. Don’t forget to bring your own bags though, we won’t have any to provide!
After you’ve picked up all the shares you have ordered, go home and enjoy all the wonderful, fresh food. For cooking tips, we’ve got recipes posted on our website and our blog features cooked meals that incorporate different produce from the CSA. Don’t forget to share your recipes with us and your food with your friends!
Still a little confused? Here’s a short video on the logistics of a CSA
Five Great Reasons to Join a CSA
1. Eating Healthier: By having high quality produce in your home each week, member are encouraged to eat healthier. Generally, supermarket purchased produce has been sitting in a truck traveling across the country to get to New York City; many nutrients and flavor are lost in this process. On the other hand, produce in a CSA is locally grown and is picked that morning or the day before, thus retaining necessary nutrients and is packed with flavor.
2. Supporting a Local Farm: In the United States, 1 million acres of farm land are lost each year to developments such as housing subdivisions. In just five years, the amount of farm land demolished will equate to the size of Vermont. Three of the top 20 most threatened farming regions in the United States are in the New York State area. They are as follows:
#10: Syracuse – Buffalo Region
#11: Hudson Valley
# 19: Eastern Long Island – Suffolk County
CSA is a great way to support our local farmers and preserve our farm land.
3. Know Your Farmer: Food is one of the building blocks of life and to know the story behind the food you eat is an important aspect of CSA: to know your farmer is to know your food. This relationship is fostered through newsletters, events, farm visits, etc.
4. Education: CSA is also an excellent way to learn more about the food you eat and where it comes from. Each week, we’ll send out a newsletter to members with information about various farm related events, nutritional information on the fruit, and fun facts about the produce. CSA members are invited to visit the farm and will have an opportunity to meet their farmers. Members also learn the seasonality of the produce and will have the opportunity to try unique varieties of produce. Recipes supplied in the newsletters can make unknown produce more of a commonality.
5. Community: Sometimes, it’s difficult to get to know your neighbors when living in New York City. CSA creates a community of like minded people in your neighborhood. Members are strongly encouraged to volunteer twice a season to help weekly distributions run smoothly. This also establishes an opportunity to foster a stronger relationship with your fellow members if this is of interest.
There are also all the other reasons to buy local: small farmers take care of their land by growing food in ways that take care of their soil, local reduces the number of miles your food travels from farm to plate, local food tastes better since it was just picked that day or the day before, and one of the most important reasons is that local farmers aren’t anonymous and they take their responsibility to the consumer seriously.
Every CSA member is highly recommended to help out for one shift per CSA season. We hope that your time helping can be used not only to assist at distribution, but to meet other members and strengthen the community aspect of our CSA.
- Checking in members and reminding them which shares they are to pick up
- Ensure that boxers/coolers of produce are full
- Helping members with scales
- Notifying members what is in each share that week
- Helping to clean up at the end of the distribution day
What are the shifts to help out?
Shifts take place on distribution days and are from 4:15pm – 5:45pm, 5:45pm – 7:15pm, 7:15pm – 8:30pm.
Where do I sign up for my shift?
CSA members can choose their top two dates and times to help on the membership application form.
Winter 2012 CSA Member Help Schedules:
Can’t make it to your scheduled shift? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reschedule
Below are the Winter 2012 volunteer schedules:
Boerum Hill – 61 Local
Carroll Gardens – Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain
E. Williamsburg – Harfield Road