Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What is a CSA?

Though Turf uses this blog space to share information on the sustainable food movement, we also like to share what we are doing in our community. Beginning in June, Turf will be managing Parkchester’s first CSA! The idea to start a CSA arose from residents being dissatisfied with the quality, cost, and safety of fruits and vegetables sold in the neighborhood, along with residents’ interest in eating healthy, supporting local farmers, and protecting the environment.

For folks who are unfamiliar with the term “CSA,” CSA stands for community supported agriculture, which is a unique arrangement between community members and local farmers where both work together to share the responsibility of producing and delivering fresh food. CSA members support their farm by paying an annual fee (in the winter or spring) that entitles them to a "share" of the season's harvest. Once harvesting begins, members pick-up a weekly box of fresh foods which may include produce, fruits, cheeses, eggs, meats, poultry, flowers, herbs, and preserves at a neighborhood drop-off point. One share is generally enough to feed a household of four or more. Half shares are often available for smaller households. The average cost of a share is $350-500 for a season, 18-20 weeks (June to November). A share can have 8-12 food items. Many CSAs have a core group of members that assists with running the CSA.

CSAs members have the opportunity to eat a variety of freshly picked, locally grown vegetables which still have their flavor and nutrients. Also, CSA members get to know their farmer and where their food comes from. Farmers receive capital up front to cover their operating expenses and better prices for their food, due to the absence of a middle person. CSAs also benefit the environment and community. Most CSA farmers practice sustainable farming. They use farming practices that do not harm the environment or animals, offer fair wages and safe working environments for their employees, and work to improve the economy of the communities they serve.

To find a CSA in your own community go to
Local Harvest
or contact Just Food : http://www.justfood.org

If you live or work in Parkchester and would like to join Turf’s CSA, come to our first CSA meeting on Thursday, March 5, 2009 (6pm—7:30pm) at the New York Public Library (the Parkchester/Bronx branch) at 1985 Westchester Avenue.

***For more information, call 917-432-8494 or email contactturf@yahoo.com

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