Update: Wait List Is Open for the 2016 Season

Apologies for the late start! We are pleased to announce that the Central Brooklyn CSA is back for 2016 and officially open for registration via the following link: Central Brooklyn CSA Member Registration

Update: The registration period has now ended– if you missed the deadline and would like to be added to the wait list, please send an email to centralbrooklyncsa@gmail.com

Please note that your share is not reserved until we receive your full payment or deposit as is applicable.

As in years past, pick up will occur on Thursdays from 5.00pm – 7.30pm at the Hebron SDA Church, 1296 Dean Street, Brooklyn.

Stay tuned for confirmation of exact pick up dates commencing in June and how you can order additional products, such as meat and condiments, from Lewis Waite Farm.

Again, thank you for your patience and dedication to the CBCSA. We have an exciting year ahead as we transition to an independent CSA. We’re in the process of organizing a core group to orchestrate administrating the CSA and need your help. Consider putting your talents to good use by volunteering to join the CBCSA Core Team! Message me if you’re interested in learning more.

Looking forward to a great season!

ONLY 1 Week Left to Get Your CBCSA Shares!

CSA main photoHave you been thinking about joining the Central Brooklyn CSA (CBCSA)?

If you have, now is the time to purchase your veggie, fruit and other shares, there’s only one week remaining to make your purchase. Registration ends on June 4th!

If you would like to purchase your share using a credit card go here. Please note that if you choose to pay with a credit card, the share prices reflect additional credit card fees.

If you prefer to pay by check or money order go here.

Please note that your share is not reserved until we receive your full payment.

Shares Still Available for 2015 CSA Season!

cropped-cropped-10500273_788158961215906_5675136779896711666_n.jpgWe still have a few shares available for the 2015 season! See how to purchase your shares below:

 

If you would like to purchase your share in full using a credit card go here. Please note that if you choose to pay with a credit card, the share prices reflect additional credit card fees.

If you prefer to pay by check or money order go here.

We like to offer our members as many options as we can, so if you prefer downloading, completing and then mailing in your membership agreement with your payment, download the 2015 membership agreement CBCSA Membership Agreement Form 2015-2.

Please note that your share is not reserved until we receive your full payment.

Meet Lewis Waite Farm, Our Newest Farm Partner!

Spring2006LewisWaiteThis season, we’ve partnered with Lewis Waite Farm to bring our CSA members a plethora of extra farm fresh, all natural, artisanal, and organic products like pasture raised meat and poultry (10 kinds of meat), fresh eggs and bread, grass fed butter, yogurt and ice cream, artisan cheese from sheep, goat or cows’ milk, including aged raw milk cheeses. They also offer many pantry staples like local and naturally made: granola, fresh stone-ground organic flour, dried organic beans and grains, natural jams and chutneys, natural sweeteners, locally roasted organic coffee, apple cider vinegar, and more!  Lewis Waite Farm partners with small, family run farms and producers who take great pride in their products. Learn more about our newest farm partner here!

CBCSA Registration for the 2015 CSA Season Begins Now!

image001The Central Brooklyn CSA 2015 season is nearly here!  Please purchase your shares and become a CBCSA member today!  Here ares a few words from Ted:

Greetings from all of us at Windflower Farm. We are happy to be kicking off our Central Brooklyn CSA membership, and hope to have you join us. Our greenhouses are filling quickly with little plants and soon our tractors will be working the fields. Spring is coming, and our farm team will be working hard to produce some of the most delicious organic vegetables and most attractive cut flowers around! We have paid close attention to our end-of-year survey results and believe that we have put together a crop plan that you’ll be very pleased with. We’ve purchased a new salad harvester and, from time to time, intend to include baby greens in your shares. We’re growing more tomatoes than ever, with more than 30 varieties in this year’s lineup. To keep it interesting, we’ve have added some oddballs to the roster, including celeriac, fennel, Chinese leeks, Thai basil, and purple carrots. And we are increasing quantities of some favorites, including sweet potatoes, garlic, seedless cucumbers and cauliflower.

Once again, we are pleased to provide you with 2 convenient ways of purchasing your shares online. If you would like to purchase your share in full using a credit card go here. Please note that if you choose to pay with a credit card, the share prices reflect additional credit card fees.

If you prefer to pay by check or money order or are purchasing a share with your Food Stamp/SNAP benefits, go here.

We like to offer our members as many options as we can, so if you prefer downloading, completing and then mailing in your membership agreement with your payment, please download the 2015 membership agreement CBCSA Membership Agreement Form 2015.

Please note that your share is not reserved until we receive your full payment or deposit as is applicable.

No need to put yourself in a pickle with rotting fruits and vegetables: Adopt these fruit and veggie storage best practices

That vegetables and fruits are most delicious and nutritious when eaten at peak ripeness, is something we know. Synchronizing our schedules with the fruit and vegetables ripening can be a challenge; strategizing can be eased and conducted most efficiently by using storage appropriate for each of the different items in our farm-share. Some basic tips follow; please feel free to send along your own tips to centralbrooklyncsa@gmail.com for posting here. Please note, the estimates of time to maximum ripeness/pre-spoilage are really approximations.

Fruits and vegetables need to breathe. 

Store fruits and vegetables separately from each other. Fruits that give off high levels of ethylene, the ripening agent, can prematurely ripen and spoil surrounding produce. Think of the “one bad apple” adage. Likewise, root vegetables and onions stored together spoil more quickly.

If trimming a vegetable, trim all leafy ends, leaving an inch to keep the vegetable from drying out. Make sure that the bag in which the veggies are stored, has some holes punctured to allow for good ventilation. Also, pack veggies and fruits loosely, whether in the refrigerator or not, as the closer they are to each other, the more quickly they will rot.

Too much of a good thing? Almost all fruits and vegetables can be stored in the freezer, in small pieces on sheet trays, or in airtight containers, or the herbs in ice cubes as my mother does. 

Garlic, onions: store at room temperature or cooler in a well-ventilated area; avoid stacking. Pantry: 2 months

Cucumbers: store above 50°F to avoid the risk they develop “chilling injuries” including water-soaked areas, pitting, and accelerated decay. If refrigeration is necessary, limit to 1-3 days before eating. Store cukes far from fruit with high levels of ethylene, such as bananas, melons, and tomatoes. 5 days

Spinach: store as quickly as possible, loose in an open container in the crisper. Spinach likes the cold. 4 days

Potatoes: store in a cool (45°F to 50°F) and dark place, using perhaps a brown paper bag, so as to prevent the spuds from sprouting. Mature potatoes with tougher skin store better than fresh or fingerling potatoes. Mature potatoes: 3 weeks; new and fingerling potatoes: 5 days

Fennel: if using within a couple days, fennel can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water; If storing longer than a few days, store in a closed container with a little water in the refrigerator. Refrigerator: 1 week

Bell peppers: refrigerate, as they will only deteriorate if left out of the refrigerator. 1 week (green); 5 days (red, yellow, and orange)

Carrots: snip the carrot greens to keep them from sapping nutrients from the carrot roots. Note, there is the option of storing the greens separately. Place carrots in a closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel, or dunk them in cold water every couple of days. 2 weeks

Celery root/Celeriac: wrap the root in a damp towel and place it in the vegetable crisper. 2 weeks

Herbs: if storing washed and dried, place in a paper towel in a plastic bag, to absorb extra moisture and make the environment more humid, in the refrigerator. Soft herbs should be washed right before use. Cilantro and the like can be put in a jar of water, protected by a plastic bag on top, and refrigerated. Woody herbs: 2 weeks, approximately 1.5 week longer than their leafy counterparts.  

Beets: cut off the greens to prevent greens from drawing nutrients and moisture from the roots, and to keep beets firm. Wash beets and store them in an open container with a wet towel on top, in the refrigerator. 3 weeks

Melon: store at room temperature, out of the refrigerator. Melon stored in the fridge can develop a rubbery texture and lose a lot of flavor quickly. A few days

Tomatoes: store unwashed at room temperature in a well-ventilated area. A few days

Berries: refrigerate and gently wash just before eating. Strawberries do well dry in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Maximum tends to be 1 week

Plums, peaches, and pears: store at room temperature. Ripening can be accelerated in a brown bag. Maximum tends to be 1 week, varying with type

Apples: can be stored in the refrigerator or a cool, dark location. Up to 4 months

Meet our Member, Molly

tomatoes&onions

To say our CSA member Molly puts a lot on her plate might be the under-statement of this season.

Molly’s to-do list this autumn included, among others, celebrating her Vermont barn wedding with husband River; training for and completing the New York City Marathon; and registering for the Law School Admission Test.  That’s in addition to her full-time work for a civil rights non-profit, where she learned about CBCSA from her colleague and fellow CBCSA member Elizabeth.

“I thought it was such a cool concept,” says Molly, citing the appeal of becoming a member of an organization that enables access to organic, local vegetables for Brooklynites, no matter their income. “We should all eat our veggies.”The collective “we” hints at Molly’s social justice sensibility from which her CSA commitment stems. She later refers to the Martin Luther King, Jr. thesis that injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere.

Molly has expanded her CSA enthusiasm beyond that basic of eating veggies. At the beginning of the season, Molly shared her and her mother’s scrumptious recipe for Summer Squash with Montreal Seasoning, published in the newsletter. In September, she arranged a pick-up swap so as not to risk spoiling veggies while she was away for the  wedding, and shortly afterwards she carved out time for the conversation that informs this piece. Last week, Molly contributed her cheerfulness and solid work ethic during her distribution shift.

Once at home, in Crown Heights where Molly and River have lived for two and a half years, Molly appreciates the challenge of cooking with an abundance of seasonal vegetables. “It’s been an adventure for sure,” says Molly with a smile, identifying her go-to as tomato-onion-garlic. “I had never cooked chard before, for example. The CSA has caused me to branch out a lot.”

Branching out not only in her recipe repertoire, but to meet more neighbors was another factor that motivated Molly to sign up for CBCSA.  She said she looks forward to making the acquaintance of fellow members during the remainder of this season — and hopefully next season, too.