Now that it's spring, there is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available to us from the city from local farms. I love this for soup making where I try to use local and fresh ingredients as much as possible. One way to regularly obtain fresh fruits and veggies without breaking the bank is to join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). I recently had the opportunity to learn about local CSA right in Brooklyn called The Bed-Stuy Farm Share. This share, whose dues are based on household income, allows members to receive fresh and seasonal fruits, vegetables, coffee, and eggs through a weekly or bi-weekly option for 22 weeks out of the year.
Avaiable in "full shares" (members pick up their shares every week) or "half shares" (members pick up their shares every other week), those who join have flexible payment options - cash, food stamps, WIC checks, credit cards or a combination payment - making it very easy to afford and enjoy local produce throughout part of the year.
Starting in June, members of the CSA pick up their shares whose contributions help to provide a stable, financial base for the farm, and in particular, local farmers of color. Some local farms that are participating in the share include African Zion Organic Roots Farm, Circle Mountain Farm, Conuco Farm, and Guerilla Grown Farm (for vegetables) and Wilkow Orchards (for fruit). Each week members can look forward to receiving 6-10 different vegetables such as beets, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, squash, turnips and fruits such as plums, apples and sometimes even raspberries and blackberries.
All farmers involved in the share only use organic growing methods and provide chemical- and pesticide-free vegetables as well as cage-free and hormone-free eggs.
How to become a member? Members sign up and pay for a Farmshare in the early Spring. Money received is given to the farmer to purchase seeds, hire labor and start the season without taking out high interest loans. Also, the Farmshare is run completely by volunteers, in which members are required to donate four hours of their time over the course of the harvest season to help the Farm-Share keep running. Additionally, Members of the Bed-Stuy Farm Share pick up their farm shares on Saturdays at the Bed-Stuy YMCA (Bedford & Monroe) or Wednesday evenings at a house on Quincy Street & Throop.
To learn more, contact (646) 389-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bedstuyfarmshare.org to sign up online.