The Central Brooklyn CSA and The New York City Coalition Against Hunger

Although the Central Brooklyn CSA is a community-organized effort of Brooklyn citizens, we are able to provide low-cost shares for citizens through the Farm Fresh Initiative, a program run by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.

The Coalition’s original mission was to “coordinate the activities of the emergency food providers in the city so that issues can be identified, prioritized and addressed effectively.” Though its aims have expanded and evolved over the last two decades – for example, it has strengthened advocacy and legislative efforts and now provides national service participants to emergency food providers – food access for all New Yorkers has always remained the Coalition’s animating goal.

The Farm Fresh Initiative is a city-wide program model that addresses this question by providing families with choices while connecting small local farms to low and middle income New Yorkers in traditionally under-served communities.

The centerpiece of this citywide program is a unique mixed income Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model that makes healthy, organic, fresh vegetables accessible to community members of all income levels by offering a variety of personalized payment options, including the ability to purchase vegetable shares using SNAP (Food Stamps) benefits.

NYCCAH’s involvement in the Central Brooklyn CSA is to support the mixed-income and community building aspect of the CSA, provide funding for the subsidized share prices,  staffing support, and an AmeriCorps volunteer who coordinates the CSA.

If you are able to, please consider donating to NYCCAH to help programs like ours running by clicking here.

Meet Your Farmer!

We are happy to announce that next Wednesday, May 26th from 6 – 8 PM will be our Farmer Meet and Greet, with Martin and Gaudencia Rodriguez of MimoMex Farm. This is your time to introduce yourself to the people growing your food, to get to know them, and to ask them questions about the farm!
 
This event will take place at our distribution location, Hebron SDA Church at 1256 Dean Street on the corner of New York Avenue.  Refreshments will be provided.
 
This event is open to all current and interested members of the Central Brooklyn CSA, so spread the word to anyone who may be interested in joining. 

Waitlist for Low Income Shares

As of right now, we are only offering shares in the $35,000+ brackets.  Please be aware that you are more than welcome to partner up with someone and purchase a share in a higher income bracket if you can!

We are also maintaing a waitlist for shares in the under $35,000 brackets, so please contact the CSA coordinator at centralbrooklyncsa@gmail .com, or at 212 825 0028 ext. 205 if you are interested.

Farmworkers’ Rights and Preserving Small Farms: A Conversation About the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act

Our farmer, Martin Rodriguez will be participating in this panel discussion, sponsored in part by our supporting organization, The New York City Coalition Against Hunger.  This is going to be a fantastic event, so make sure to register soon!

The Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act is a New York State bill that was intended to provide fair labor protections to farmworkers who were excluded from the federal fair labor laws enacted in 1939.  The legislation’s opponents have argued that, in its current form, the bill is not fair to smaller farms, which predominate in New York State. This forum will explore how the rights of farmworkers can be ensured without endangering the livelihoods of small farmers.
 
When: May 20th, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Where: Draesel Hall, Church of the Holy Trinity, 316 East 88th St
(between 1st and 2nd Avenues), New York, NY 10128
Suggested donation:  $5-$20. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.  This is to cover the cost of panelists who traveled to speak at this event
Panelists include:
Ms. Jody Bolluyt, farmer, Roxbury Farm, policy committee member for NOFA-NY
Dr. Margaret Gray, Assistant Professor, Adelphi University, currently completing a book manuscript about Hudson Valley agriculture, food politics, and farmworkers.
Ms. Lea Kone, Assistant Director of NOFA NY
Ms. Librada Paz, former farmworker for several decades, farmworker advocate
Mr. Martin Rodriguez, farmer/owner, Mimo Mex Farm
Reverend Richard Witt, Executive Director, Rural & Migrant Ministry

Register for the event 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.