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.

Membership Forms

apple treeThe wait is over, it’s time to start signing up for your summer CSA shares. Download the CBCSA Membership Agreement Form 2013(Wait List Only)

 

We can’t wait to see you this summer.  And it’s never too late to become a core group member!

CBCSA Brochure 2013

It’s never too early to think about a summer CSA!

week 5 shareLet’s face it- it’s freezing! We have had some of the coldest days this winter season. And with more snow on the horizon, even if you like winter weather, it’s still nice to think about being warmer. And if you can agree, let’s snuggle in with the Central Brooklyn CSA and look forward to the warm distribution nights we have ahead of us this year.  The following are a few of the updates on the progress and plans we have made so far:

1. As fortune would have it, the Hebron SDA Church (at 1256 Dean Street) has welcomed us back for 2013 distribution.

2.  The 2013 season will run from June 13 through November 7 and our distribution day and times will continue to be on Thursdays from 5:00 to 7:30.

windflowerfarm3. Jan and Ted Blomgren from Windflower Farm will return as our farmers. In addition to the vegetable share, they will be also be offering us fruit, egg and flower shares. As a reminder, Jan and Ted farm organically and are certified by NOFA.D fruit shares will be available on a sliding scale based on income.

4. More details about share prices and options will be made available in the near future! We will also have membership forms for this season made available in the next month or so.

If you have any questions or would like to take on a core group role, email us at centralbrooklyncsa@gmail.com for more information.

CORE GROUP MEMBERS NEEDED:  We could use help with different levels of organization and coordination including membership outreach, coordinating weekly distribution, and event planning! In the past, such volunteers have been able to receive benefits for their much needed and appreciated assistance. Think about it and contact us over the next few months and throughout the season if you’re interested.

Looking forward to a great season!

CBCSA Membership Agreement Form 2013

1st Meals of the CSA

Member Sean Rosvold sent out this e-mail to his friends and family after cooking up their first share.  It was posted by our friend’s at Nostrand Park too!

We joined a CSA group and received our first weekly allotment of veggies and eggs straight from the farm. Laurie proceeded to make a wonderful dinner using some of the ingredients.

Romaine lettuce and radishes
Continue reading “1st Meals of the CSA”

Central Brooklyn CSA Blog Meal

For our first Central Brooklyn CSA Blog Meal we made garlic scape pesto and spaghetti, served with a farm fresh fried egg, garnished with fresh cilantro and black pepper: it tastes as awesome as it sounds!

Many of us who picked up our first week of vegetables from Central Brooklyn CSA had the same question: “what in the world is a ‘garlic flower’ and what do I do with it?” Alas, there is nothing to fear, garlic flowers (or, as they are sometimes called, “garlic scapes “) are delicious and just happen to be the centerpiece of our first Central Brooklyn CSA Blog Meal (feel free to help us come up with a better title for the blog meal, too)!

Garlic flowers are members of the Allium family, along with onions, leeks, and scallions. And, yes, as the name implies, these curvey tubes are in fact part of the garlic plant. Famers cut the superfluous stems and buds off of garlic bulbs (or heads, as we call them once harvested) to focus the plants energy on the bulb and not the stalk and flower.

Continue reading “Central Brooklyn CSA Blog Meal”

Not Sure What To Make With Your CSA Share?

Don’t worry! In addition to the great tips and recipes you’ll get from your fellow CSA members, NPR put out a great list of cookbooks highlighting easy to prepare and delicious recipes focused around eating locally.  Check it out here.

Why Join? Because You Can Make A Difference!

CSA’s help you make personal changes that will likely positively affect more than just you. What a way to begin to make a difference.

A lot of the news I read and watch tells me that we all need to try harder to live within our means. Whether that means, sticking to a budget, or making more Earth-aware decisions, or even watching what we eat so that we can enjoy life and avoid costly trips to the doctor.  There is no one thing any of us can do that will improve every aspect of our lives, but for my money, joining a CSA is a great place to start.

Spend Differently

The membership fee in most CSA’s goes directly to the farmer as seed money, and Central Brooklyn CSA is no different. The reasoning is simple: by knowing whom they are planting for and how much they need to harvest, farmers are able to budget better and ultimately save money. CSA memberships can help members apply that same logic to their personal finances. By pre-paying for a season’s worth of produce, members can better plan their grocery budgets, save money week-to-week, and not have to worry about the price of carrots or lettuce going up every time they go shopping.

Buy Differently

Buying food from local farmers is literally investing in your own community. Spending money in your neighborhood keeps business in your neighborhood and encourages those businesses to provide the products and services you like. But buying food from local farmers is also an investment in our global community. Not only does buying from a local farmer reduce the gas used to ship food by as much as 90%, but often, as is the case with our farm MimoMex, CSA farmers refrain from using petroleum-based fertilizers, which also reduces the use of (and  harmful by-products) of fossil-fuels. Did you realize that 1 in every 6 gallons of oil used in America is used for agriculture? By joining a CSA and buying locally-grown foods, you can help change this.

Eat Differently

If making a change can help you live a more healthy and productive life, isn’t that a change worth making?                Sometimes the most important change we can make is within ourselves. For some folks, the hardest part of joining a CSA is committing to eat fresh vegetables and fruit. Cooking at home and eating produce everyday is different if you are not used to it, true enough. Replacing chips, crackers, and sugary snacks with fresh produce can reduce your risk of diabetes, high blood-pressure, obesity, and cancer.  What is more, the Central Brooklyn CSA is committed to helping our members find new, delicious, and healthy ways to prepare their produce!

CSA’s help you make personal changes that will likely positively affect more than just you. What a way to begin to make a difference.