Food Activists to Launch Third Innovative Project to Bring Affordable Produce Directly from Farms to Central Brooklyn

Tomorrow, Wednesday June 16th, is the official kick-off of our season!  We will be hosting a special kick-off event at Hebron SDA Church at 2 PM, where a variety of food activist leaders will be presenting our project.  Stop by and support us in this great exposure!

We will also be taking applications for sign-up.  THIS IS YOUR LAST OPPORTUNITY TO JOIN THE CENTRAL BROOKLYN CSA, so spread the word to friends, co-workers, and anyone you know who may be interested! Or, if you haven’t already done so, sign up yourself!

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.

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. 

Check out our shout-out on “Not Eating Out In New York”

Our good friend Cathy Erway wrote a great piece on the Central Brooklyn CSA… There is still time to sign up, but hurry!  Shares are moving fast!

DEADLINE EXTENDED! (FOR NOW)

We would love for everyone to join the Central Brooklyn CSA, and even though we cannot make that happen, we are doing our best to make sure everyone who is interested at least has an opportunity.

Great news: due to the incredible response over the last week, we are extending the deadline to join the Central Brooklyn CSA! We are proud of the opportunity our CSA provides for members of our community to eat well for less, and want to make sure everyone that is interested in becoming a member has a chance to. Having said that, vegetable shares (standard memberships) and fruit and egg shares are going fast, so if you would like to become a member, we urge you to move quickly.

We have made a commitment to make at least 40% of our shares available to members making less than $35, 000, and we are keeping that commitment. However, in fairness to all potential members, we are accepting applications on a first come, first serve basis. (In other words, if you are planning on joining, you should know that the availability of shares is impacted by your income level.)

We would love for everyone to join the Central Brooklyn CSA, and even though we cannot make that happen, we are doing our best to make sure everyone who is interested at least has an opportunity.

If you are interested but have questions or financial concerns, please contact us (no need to panic!). If you sent in your deposit and membership agreement and want to make sure we received it, email us at CentralBrooklynCSA@gmail.com and we will get back to you right away.

Eat well, until we meet again!

Why Join? Because the Food is Amazing!

Our farmers only harvest produce when it is ready to eat, instead of harvesting it weeks early to ship it across the country, or further!

If you are keeping count this is the third installment in our “Why Should I Join?” series. If you want to read the earlier posts here is the introand  part 1!

Delicious Food

My mother used to say “Boy, what you want isn’t always what’s best for you.” Who knew she was talking about vegetables? (Ok, she probably wasn’t but, the idea still fits here!) Although I would love to eat farm fresh tomatoes year-round, I cannot. Because I would rather not eat tomatoes, than eat a bland hot house tomato in early June, I have learned to heed Mom’s words.

The great thing about being a part of a CSA is that I can eat fresh, great tasting food all season, because our farmers only harvest the food when it is ready to eat, instead of harvesting it weeks early to ship it across the country (or further, yikes).  This means that the food is at it’s peak ripeness, and it’s peak nutritional value; you’re getting the vegetables that are the best for you, and the best tasting!

In the late summer, when the tomato harvest comes in, “Look out world, I’m on a natural high!” And in the meantime, I get to try fruits and vegetables that although I may have never tried before new, I know they taste the way they are supposed to.  And, learning to love new food is almost fun as eating a delicious favorite.

Central Brooklyn CSA has vegetable, fruit, and egg shares available. We are currently developing a wicked menu board, and are planning on hosting cooking demonstrations to boot, so if you like the idea of eating perfectly ripened fresh foods, but are not yet a kitchen wizard, fear not!

What Do I Get For Volunteering?

Volunteering requirement serves has two primary functions: 1) to lower the cost of food for every member (despite income level), and 2) to promote the idea of “community” within our CSA.

The Central Brooklyn CSA has a minimum volunteer requirement of 4 hours of service for every adult member who is part of a share (regardless of whether a member receives a half or a full share).

The volunteer requirement serves has two primary functions: 1) to lower the cost of food for every member (despite income level), and 2) to promote the idea of “community” within our CSA.

So if you are wondering “Do I get a discount on weeks I volunteer?,” the answer is “yes, and no. “Volunteering helps the Central Brooklyn CSA save money by not hiring workers. Those savings are factored into the total cost of every share before you pay a dime.  So all members of the CSA “get something” for their efforts, we just get it up front!

Participating in the CSA community is just as important as the money members save. CSA’s answer complicated questions about sustainability, supporting local economies, healthy living, and community empowerment, with a very simple and effective solution. By realizing the power our community members have to work together, we are able to collectively increase our access to healthy foods at a low cost, help keep local farmers in business, and do all this in an Earth-friendly way. Score!

By requiring every adult CSA member to volunteer at least for hours, our CSA enables us to make contact and encourages us as a community to work together on other community related as well.

So, that is what you get for volunteering!

If you have questions about our volunteer requirement, or just questions in general, you can call us, e-mail us at CentralBrooklynCSA@gmail.com, write on our facebook wall (Central Brooklyn CSA), hit up our myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/531196295), or follow us on Twitter @CentralBklynCSA!  Phew! It’s tiring trying to be everywhere!