Please download our 2015 CBCSA Brochure for an overview!
What is a CSA?
CSA stands for community supported agriculture. It is a way to support a local farmer by helping the farmer with the costs at the beginning of the agricultural season (like purchasing seeds) without the need for high-cost loans. It also gives the farmer a secure source of income in case of a bad year. A CSA member becomes a shareholder in the risk and benefits of farming. CSA helps ensure the viability of local agricultural production. Local agriculture is better for the environment, the regional economy, and provides you with fresher, more nutritious produce! To join, fill out the CBCSA Membership Agreement Form and return it to the address at the bottom of the form.
CSAs are a new and quickly growing business model for farmers and consumers. It is like a community-based buying club. CSAs started in Japan in the 1960s where they are called tekei, roughly meaning “food with the farmer’s face on it.” The model was brought to the U.S. by a farmer studying “food guilds” in Switzerland in the 1980s. According to localharvest.org, there are now about 3,000 CSAs in the U.S. Just Food, a New York City non-profit, estimates there are just over 100 CSAs in NYC alone.
By supporting this farmer, you will get the freshest, most nutritious vegetables you can get without growing them yourself. The vegetables are usually picked the day before a distribution, sometimes even the day of! You will receive vegetables that are in season and at the peak of their flavor. You will also start a relationship with the person growing your food, which means that the farmer and the consumer connect on more than just a business transaction level.
CSA doesn’t work for everyone. There are a few factors to account for before joining:
- The cost of the CSA We try to make the CSA accessible to people from all income levels by offering a variety of different payment plans.
- Timing and time commitment The pick-up day and time must work for you or someone in your household. Included in this time commitment is the volunteer requirement. The CSA is dependent on members volunteering their time towards CSA operations.
- The amount of vegetables This depends on the amount of vegetables you eat and are ready to prepare. Most CSA members report that they increased the number of vegetables they would normally eat, which is a great thing! CSA organizers write a newsletter every week, which will include ways of preserving and preparing your share, to make sure you get the most out of your CSA share. Your fellow members may have advice about how to prepare different vegetables also; just ask at pick-up!
How do I join?
First, you have to become a member. Add your email address to the sign up list and we will contact you when the signup period for the next season begins.
If you are purchasing a share with your Food Stamp/SNAP benefits, a 10% deposit payable by check/money order is required to secure your share. The remaining portion is paid weekly or bi-weekly during the season with your Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits at the distributions.
Membership means that you will come to the weekly CSA distribution site in Central Brooklyn each week for 22 weeks to pick up your share and fulfill your volunteer requirements. This is a requirement for all of our members. The CSA functions best when all members do their part!
Second, full payments are due before distribution begins unless you are paying as a low-income member. In the case that you are paying as a low-income member, you may pay for your share in installments as described above.The payments made before distribution begins help the farmer cover the farm costs early in the season.
Once your payment has been processed, we will contact you to confirm your membership in the CSA. To learn more about our CSA, download the above brochure.
When does distribution happen?
Distribution begins Thursday, June 13th and will run for a 22-week season. It will occur every Thursday from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM.
Who is the farmer?
This year, our primary farm partner is Windflower Farm. Windflower Farm is a small family farm located in Taconic Hill country, between the Hudson River and the Vermont border. Ted and Jan Blomgren have been growing organic vegetables and cut flowers for shareholders in New York City for over ten years. Ted brings to Windflower Farm his training in horticulture and experience as an educator. Formerly an adviser to Cornell Corporation Extension, he’s now a full-time farmer. Jan brings to the farm experience as an illustrator and training in botany and she is a superior floral designer.
Is it organic?
Yes! As organic growers, Ted and Jan use no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers of any kind. To enrich their soils, they use cover crops, crop rotations, and compost. They are committed to careful land stewardship, ecological pest management, and a healthy environment for the people who work with them. In this way, they hope to leave their farm in good condition for future generations.
When and where is the distribution?
Thursdays, 5:00-7:30 PM
Hebron SDA Church
1256 Dean Street
(On the corner of New York Avenue)
Brooklyn, NY 11216
Nearest subways are A/C and the 3, at Nostrand Ave. Nearby buses are the B65 and B45.
What if I cannot make it to distribution?
You are required to pick up your share at every designated distribution time. If you cannot make it, please find a family member or friend or a fellow CSA member to pick up your share. Any food that is not picked up will be donated to the Hebron SDA Church food pantry and soup kitchen. You will not be refunded or compensated for any missed share and if you are a half share member who picks up every other week, you cannot pick up on a week that you are not scheduled to. We ask that you please respect these conditions.
What is the time commitment?
This is a member-run volunteer organization, so members are required to volunteer 4 hours per household over the course of the season. This can be done by volunteering at distribution, helping with events or the newsletter, or working at the Hebron soup kitchen. Volunteer opportunities are very diverse, so be sure to communicate with other members! A more descriptive, but by no means complete, list of roles can be found here.
What should I bring with me?
Bags! You are required to bring your own bags, so consider bringing small ones to separate vegetables and greens. You may also want to bring a tote bag or rolling cart to carry your share home.