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.

 

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Join Jan in the snapdragons, Windflower Farm.


 

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 That Time Again: Sign Up for the Central Brooklyn CSA’s 2012 Season!

We’ve finally gotten all our information together for the 2012 CSA season, (our 3rd CSA season) and are ready to start signing you up for your shares.

We have been busy behind the scenes and would like to report about a few changes for this season, which was brought about because of membership feedback from the surveys and conversations during last season’s distributions:

1. Our farmer has changed! Victor Pavia and El Mirador Farm will be working with another CSA in East New York (where he is much needed), and we will now be working with Ted and Jan Blomgren from Windflower Farm, both seasoned CSA farmers. They will also offer our CSA some additional items like fruit and flowers as well. Jan and Ted farm organically and are certified by NOFA. More information coming to the Blog soon.

2. We are also in the process of looking for an egg share for the CSA. Remember, after you sign up for your veggie share, you will receive information about these extra items and how to purchase them.

3. Important reminder, we are a volunteer-run organization, and we need you! There are a number of key core group roles open, and we would love to have you join us in organizing and running the CSA. See below:

Outreach Coordinator(s): The outreach coordinators will assist in recruiting new members, handling publicity, answering phone and mail queries, and working on these projects during the off season. Multiple people can be involved in this effort.

Newsletter Editor(s): The newsletter editor will collaborate with the core group, farmer, and members to get newsletter material. This should be compiled, formatted, and edited at least two times a month, ideally every week. This could be a revolving responsibility among several members.

Volunteer Coordinator: This person is responsible for setting up and maintaining the weekly schedule for members to volunteer at the distribution site and contacting the volunteers each week to confirm shifts.

Distribution Site Coordinators: This person oversees the weekly veggie distributions, including being onsite when the farmer unloads the truck and making sure the distribution site is cleaned up at the end of each distribution. This role should also be a revolving responsibility among 2 or 3 members.

Please keep in mind that we have a limited amount of shares to go around, so if you want a share for the 2012 season, don’t wait to purchase.

Click here for the 2012 membership agreement!

Thanks for wanting to be a part of our wonderful CSA, hope to see you for the 2012 season.

The Best Central Brooklyn (Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, and surrounding areas) CSA End of Season Party of All Time!

If you are reading this blog post, we can assume two things about you: 1) you love great-tasting, sustainable produce; and 2) you love to party.

As your luck would have it, both of those things come together at 7pm, Sunday November 7th! It’s true, the Central Brooklyn CSA (serving Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, and surrounding areas)  is having its first End of Season Party (or as we like to call it,” the Blowout Bash, the Premier Part-tay Around the Way, the Mega Mixer, the Super Soiree, the Best Fest, Get Your Groove On Dot Com”) at Bar Sepia. Join us. Shake your groove thang.

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. 

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.

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!

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!

Affordability

Trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents!

On the average CSA’s cost less than buying the same foods in “traditional” stores.  In fact, when you do the math, most CSA’s cost a lot less. I would not say I am cheap (my girlfriend, however, would), but I do hate to overpay for things. The cost value in most CSA’s is probably the reason I signed on in the first place, and for me, the savings are real.  What’s more, paying for four months of produce all at once helps me budget what I spend on groceries better (sweet!) and helps me eat better, too (more on this in a later post!).

There is a risk in CSA’s – since the food is pre-purchased, local weather conditions can affect the harvest. However, CSA’s use professional farmers, who are up to the challenges that weather provides and rarely if ever are CSA members left holding the (empty) bag. (The proof is in the pudding on this one, most CSA’s bring back the vast majority of their members year-to-year.)

Because CSA’s pair communities directly with farmers and use cooperative labor, they often represent the greatest value in purchasing locally grown, sustainable produce around. But don’t just take my word for it, sign-up and see for yourself!

Membership Has It’s Privileges

Why did I first join a CSA? My girlfriend made me. Ok, she did not so much force me, as much as she led me to believe that if we did not join, my life would be considerably less pleasant for the foreseeable future.  As they say, “Mama didn’t raise no fool,” and shortly thereafter I found myself a member of my first CSA.

There were a lot of reasons I was hesitant to join, but the biggest one was simple: CSA’s are different than the traditional supermarkets I was used to. In most CSA’s, you pay for your share (typically one to two seasons worth of food) all at once, before the season begins. The food is seasonal – meaning you get what naturally comes out of the ground at that time of the year, and since my CSA, like most, partnered with a local farmer, that meant no tomatoes in June. Since I have an unnatural love of tomatoes, this was awful news. The food looks like it has just been harvested – it has – which means there may be a little more dirt on fruits and vegetables than we are accustomed to.  And of course there is a volunteer requirement (you mean I have to pay AND work for my food?!).

If CSA’s are so so different than traditional supermarkets and bodegas, why I am so excited to be a part of a CSA now? The first five reasons that come to mind are 1) it is affordable; 2) the food is delicious; 3) I get to “do something” in my community; 4) I feel like I am making a difference; and 5) it is different than a traditional supermarket.

We thought it would be cool if we made a “Why I joined my CSA, a regular series of posts that anyone can contribute to, so that is exactly what we are doing! Over the next few days, I will post more about my reasons for joining, but we would really love if you took the ball and ran with it – so feel free to comment or write your own post too!

Eat Well, Until We Meet Again,

JT