CBCSA Registration for the 2015 CSA Season Begins Now!

image001The Central Brooklyn CSA 2015 season is nearly here!  Please purchase your shares and become a CBCSA member today!  Here ares a few words from Ted:

Greetings from all of us at Windflower Farm. We are happy to be kicking off our Central Brooklyn CSA membership, and hope to have you join us. Our greenhouses are filling quickly with little plants and soon our tractors will be working the fields. Spring is coming, and our farm team will be working hard to produce some of the most delicious organic vegetables and most attractive cut flowers around! We have paid close attention to our end-of-year survey results and believe that we have put together a crop plan that you’ll be very pleased with. We’ve purchased a new salad harvester and, from time to time, intend to include baby greens in your shares. We’re growing more tomatoes than ever, with more than 30 varieties in this year’s lineup. To keep it interesting, we’ve have added some oddballs to the roster, including celeriac, fennel, Chinese leeks, Thai basil, and purple carrots. And we are increasing quantities of some favorites, including sweet potatoes, garlic, seedless cucumbers and cauliflower.

Once again, we are pleased to provide you with 2 convenient ways of purchasing your shares online. If you would like to purchase your share in full using a credit card go here. Please note that if you choose to pay with a credit card, the share prices reflect additional credit card fees.

If you prefer to pay by check or money order or are purchasing a share with your Food Stamp/SNAP benefits, go here.

We like to offer our members as many options as we can, so if you prefer downloading, completing and then mailing in your membership agreement with your payment, please download the 2015 membership agreement CBCSA Membership Agreement Form 2015.

Please note that your share is not reserved until we receive your full payment or deposit as is applicable.

Meet our Member, Molly

tomatoes&onions

To say our CSA member Molly puts a lot on her plate might be the under-statement of this season.

Molly’s to-do list this autumn included, among others, celebrating her Vermont barn wedding with husband River; training for and completing the New York City Marathon; and registering for the Law School Admission Test.  That’s in addition to her full-time work for a civil rights non-profit, where she learned about CBCSA from her colleague and fellow CBCSA member Elizabeth.

“I thought it was such a cool concept,” says Molly, citing the appeal of becoming a member of an organization that enables access to organic, local vegetables for Brooklynites, no matter their income. “We should all eat our veggies.”The collective “we” hints at Molly’s social justice sensibility from which her CSA commitment stems. She later refers to the Martin Luther King, Jr. thesis that injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere.

Molly has expanded her CSA enthusiasm beyond that basic of eating veggies. At the beginning of the season, Molly shared her and her mother’s scrumptious recipe for Summer Squash with Montreal Seasoning, published in the newsletter. In September, she arranged a pick-up swap so as not to risk spoiling veggies while she was away for the  wedding, and shortly afterwards she carved out time for the conversation that informs this piece. Last week, Molly contributed her cheerfulness and solid work ethic during her distribution shift.

Once at home, in Crown Heights where Molly and River have lived for two and a half years, Molly appreciates the challenge of cooking with an abundance of seasonal vegetables. “It’s been an adventure for sure,” says Molly with a smile, identifying her go-to as tomato-onion-garlic. “I had never cooked chard before, for example. The CSA has caused me to branch out a lot.”

Branching out not only in her recipe repertoire, but to meet more neighbors was another factor that motivated Molly to sign up for CBCSA.  She said she looks forward to making the acquaintance of fellow members during the remainder of this season — and hopefully next season, too.

Meet our Member, Melissa

MelissaUsing CSA vegetables is like a game of Tetris, says member Melissa Olson.  She and her husband tend to first target vegetables with the shortest shelf life, such as leafy dark greens.

“It’s a challenge,” Melissa says. “You’ve got your leafy greens, you’ve got your salad. … First there is the  kale …chard and the choy come next.” Her go-to summer dish: sauteed mushrooms and kale with eggs.

As a nutritionist and registered dietitian, Melissa knows that over time vegetables lose not just flavor but nutrients, too.  She’s also well-aware that fresh vegetables, an essential part of health, can be unaffordable for some Brooklyn individuals and families. So she puts the Central Brooklyn CSA on the table.

“I recommend it whenever they’re on food stamps and they’re having trouble getting access to affordable vegetables,” says Melissa, who has worked at Community Healthcare Network for four years. “The clients that have used it have really done well with their health.”

“I truly believe a CSA share could be a life-changing experience for someone’s health,” she says in a tone of humility. “I know it has been for us.”

That the Community Healthcare Network branch is located close to the Central Brooklyn CSA distribution site makes it even more accessible for Melissa and her clients who choose to participate. Hebron SDA happens to be on Melissa’s way home from Community Healthcare Network, such that she integrates Thursday pick-ups seamlessly into her routine.

Melissa also encourages others to attend the Windflower Farm annual Harvest Party, if possible. She and her husband so enjoyed seeing the coop houses where tomatoes grow and the lush fields of green where herbs and – yes – the kale stalks grow.  “Now when we eat our vegetables we can picture where the vegetables were grown,” says Melissa.

Until the summer CSA season ends, she and her husband, along with their two year-old child, will continue to team for CSA Tetris, at which they’ve achieved a high level of creativity to accommodate her husband’s gluten allergy.  Melissa is also working on her blog on gluten-free basics, called the Gluten Free Game, where she has recently posted her first video on gluten-free baking.  That, together with Melissa’s use of the CSA in both personal and professional aspects, is a win-win.

Windflower Farm opens its barn doors

Save the date for the Annual Open House at Windflower Farm August 23-24!

Central Brooklyn CSA members are invited to a Saturday mid-day tour of Windflower Farm, a wine, beer and cheese hour with local music and homebrews, and a potluck with the farm staff and CSA members from all over New York City.

From Farmer Ted: “You are welcome to camp on the farm (most people do) and to enjoy the campfire and the star-filled sky, or stay at one of the nearby motels or B&Bs. We will make breakfast for you on Sunday morning, after which you might go for a swim in the Battenkill River, tour Victory View Winery, attend the Washington County Fair or the Cambridge Farmers’ Market, go to the horse races at the historic track in Saratoga, head up to the Battenkill Creamery for an ice cream sundae, or visit the new Argyl Brewery store. Bring a tent and sleeping bags, good footwear, and a dish to pass.”

For those Members concerned about Potluck perishables: Farmer Ted says there is refrigerator space, cooler space, and ice to share.

Please RSVP with the number of people in your party to Ted.

 

image001
Join Jan in the snapdragons, Windflower Farm.


 

Meet our Members, Elizabeth and Ernie

cbcsaElizabeth’s Italian grandmother calls the CSA “the Communism.”

“How’s the Communism?” she asks, phoning from her own vegetable garden in Long Island.

“The Communism” is doing fine, replies Elizabeth. No doubt her affirmative answer is accompanied by a smile as warm as that with which she recounts the exchange.

The Communism has been a topic of conversation for six years now, since Elizabeth joined the CSA organized by New York City Coalition Against Hunger. Elizabeth began her NYC CSA participation with the West Harlem CSA when she resided in West Harlem.

“I was looking for a way to get good and fresh vegetables and eat them at home,” explains Elizabeth. “Now I feel as if I’m cooking like my grandmother.”

The weekly basket of CSA vegetables inspired her to plan and prepare meals with an essential creativity. Elizabeth fed her enthusiasm back into the virtuous loop by committing her time and skills as a Core Group Member in West Harlem.

In 2010, Elizabeth moved from West Harlem to settle in Crown Heights with her husband, the writer Joshua Furst, and brought her passion for CSAs to the Central Brooklyn CSA. They take turns picking up the share or come together, and they continue to prepare and enjoy their favorite CSA dish of arugula salad with sliced kohlrabi, steak, and a dijon mustard vinaigrette. “We also really like strawberries with whipped cream,” Elizabeth divulges.

Elizabeth and her husband share responsibility for caring for their effervescent 8-month old son Ernie, switching several times each evening between cooking and caring for him. Nurturing Ernie has been more of a successful endeavor than tending the potted herbs from the CSA: they have all died. That Ernie’s health glows in comparison is an understatement.

“Ernie’s favorite veggie dish is sweet potato and celery root puree,” says Elizabeth. Ernie’s outgoing smile widens, strengthening his already-apparent promise as the Central Brooklyn CSA’s new cover boy. Perhaps he’ll grow up to be a farmer, muses Elizabeth, who readily admits her dream of yeoman farming will at most materialize into a small city plot. “Until then I’m thrilled to pick up veggies and continue doing what I most love– eating them!”

Elizabeth will also continue toting her CSA fennel, peppers and onions to her grandmother’s home in Long Island, to cook up a scrumptious-sounding Italian-American dinner. Her grandmother “loves it”– despite its Communist-root connotation.

Elizabeth’s Easy Sausage and Peppers with Fennel and Onions

Serves 2-4

4 big links of sausage (pork sausage is best)

2 or 3 long green peppers (you can also use red, green and orange bell peppers, if you want)

1 fennel bulb

1 large or 2 small onions

Olive oil

Salt (kosher salt or sea salt is good, anything coarse)

Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Chop the fennel bulb and onion(s) into medium-sized wedges. Don’t chop finely! Slice the peppers in half longways, and scoop out the seeds. Slice the pepper in half again (longways), and then cut the entire thing in half along the middle. Cut the sausage links into smaller pieces, if desired (I usually cut each link into 3 pieces). Put the onions, fennel, peppers and sausage into a roasting pan, and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables and sausage until they are lightly coated with oil, salt and pepper, and put into the oven. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables soften. Remove from the oven and put the roasting pan under the broiler. The pan should stay under the broiler for about 10-15 minutes, until the sausage is browned and the vegetables are caramelized in a delicious broth of sausage juices and olive oil. Throughout the time under the broiler, pull out the pan every 4-5 minutes or so and turn the sausages with a wooden spoon, so that all sides get browned and nothing burns. Serve with some good thick bread, or in a hero. Alternatively, you could toss the sausage,  fennel and pepper mix with penne pasta– just add a little butter and parmesan or pecorino romano cheese to make the sauce really indulgent!

Shares still available!

TomatilloWe still have shares available for the 2014 season!

If you would like to purchase your share using a credit card go here . Please note that if you choose to pay with a credit card, the share prices reflect additional credit card fees.

If you prefer to pay by check or money order or are purchasing a share with your Food Stamp/SNAP benefits, go here.

If you prefer downloading, completing and then mailing in your membership agreement, please go ahead and print out the membership agreement located here!

 

Please note that your share is not reserved until we receive your full payment or deposit as is applicable.

Come learn about the CBCSA at the Annual BALC Community Health Fair on Wednesday

windflowerfarmHave you been thinking about becoming a member of the Central Brooklyn CSA?  Do you want access to affordable, local organic produce?  Come join us at the Annual BALC Community Health Fair to learn how:

What:  The Annual BALC Community Health Fair

When: Wednesday, May 7th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Where: Brooklyn Adult Learning Center, 475 Nostrand Avenue (between Macon & Halsey).

Come learn about the Central Brooklyn CSA, sign up for your CSA share, and get a free health screening too!

See you there.

 

Join us Saturday at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum Eco Fair

earth_handsCome visit the Central Brooklyn CSA table and sign up for your CSA shares at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum Eco Fair on Saturday, April 19 from 12:00 am to 3:00 pm.

 

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is located at:

145 Brooklyn Ave
Brooklyn, NY, 11213
on the corner of St. Marks and Brooklyn Avenues

Join over 500 parents and their children at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum as we celebrate the Earth.

Sign Up for Your CBCSA Share for the 2014 CSA Season Today!

Basil Week 02aThe Central Brooklyn CSA 2014 season is here! OK, it’s really 3 months away, but now is the time to purchase your shares.

Once again, we are pleased to provide you with 2 convenient ways of purchasing your shares online. If you would like to purchase your share in full using a credit card go here. Please note that if you choose to pay with a credit card, the share prices reflect additional credit card fees.

If you prefer to pay by check or money order or are purchasing a share with your Food Stamp/SNAP benefits, go here.

We like to offer our members as many options as we can, so if you prefer downloading, completing and then mailing in your membership agreement, please go ahead and print out the membership agreement located here!

Please note that your share is not reserved until we receive your full payment or deposit as is applicable.

 

ANNOUNCING: The 2014 CBCSA Season!

flowersatwindflowerfarm Hello Members and Soon-to-Be Members,

It’s our favorite time of the season – the first part when we focus on building our CSA community! That means accepting applications for all our Veggie loving/CSA sponsoring neighbors in the Central Brooklyn area.

Share applications for the 2014 season will be on their way soon to your email inbox and will be posted here as well, so be on the lookout for your email and check back soon.

This year, distribution will take place between June 12th through November 6th on Thursdays, between 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Hebron French-speaking Seventh-day Adventist Church at 1256 Dean Street Brooklyn, NY 11216.

Any questions please leave a comment below, or email us at centralbrooklyncsa@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing returning members and new members on the first week of distribution!