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

Mail in Your Forms!

Just a reminder that you CAN mail in your vegetable & fruit and/or eggmembership agreements and payments (Please note, you MUST secure your vegetable share BEFORE you may secure a fruit or egg share).  It is not necessary for you to come to a sign-up event to secure your spot!

You may mail your forms to:

New York City Coalition Against Hunger

50 Broad Street, Suite 1520

New York, NY 10004

Please make checks payable to “NYCCAH”.