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Author Topic: Affordable, Organic Vegetables!  (Read 21377 times)

RavenswoodCSA

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Affordable, Organic Vegetables!
« on: August 03, 2005, 11:05:21 AM »
There will be a Q&A session at the Freeze Peach Cafe regarding Community Supported Agriculture on Wednesday, August 10, 2005. 3:30pm

I am working to start a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in the Ravenswood housing here in Long Island City. A CSA program is a mutually beneficial relationship between a group of people and a farmer in which the CSA members commit to buy a “share” of produce for the season. Then, every week, the farmer delivers his very fresh (usually harvested that morning or the day before) produce to a location in the neighborhood (in our case, 21st St. and 35th Ave.). At our CSA site, the season runs for 20 weeks from July to November, costs $200 for the season for about 6 lbs. of produce a week. The season is pro-rated, as we started last month.  We're paired with a farmer out of Long Island who has been growing organically since the 70’s on land that his family has farmed since the 1640’s. Obviously this is a good set-up from a few perspectives-- the farmer is able to stay in business as a small organic farmer with the least amount of hassle and debt, the consumers are able to get a variety of local, organic food inexpensively in a neighborhood that lacks access to great produce, the environment has one more organic, local farm, and we’re all eating more veggies (plus, they taste better!). I’m a huge fan of the program; hence, I’m working for peanuts and the thrill of it.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has questions or would like to join. My work number is (718) 609-1028 (ask for Cara) or (646) 284-7762 after 4. Our website is http://www.ravenswoodcsa.org.  You don’t live in Astoria or Long Island City?  Check out http://www.justfood.org.  Thanks!

Offline jayme

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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2005, 11:07:27 AM »
I'm relatively certain I'm going to do this -- which means I'll be picking up my veggie box on Tuesdays.  If anyone else is interested in the Ditmars area (Matt, Samantha, Rudy, Carse...) and would want me to pick their stuff up as well (or work out a group pick up system), let me know.

cheers,
jayme
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zeno

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Organic Veggies
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2005, 02:21:04 PM »
I think i'll be doing this too, especially after reading that Safeway article that you posted :shock:
I live very close to the cafe so i'll send you some kind of message as soon as i'm signed up.

Offline merm

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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2005, 04:18:16 PM »
I'm interested in at least a 50% share. The only thing is that I'd really like to figure out a way that we can get some of this stuff redistributed near 31st and Ditmars. It's a long haul down to LIC to pick up. I'm open to exploring ideas - including having things brought to my apartment (29th and Ditmars), or maybe we can work something out with the Freeze Peach to have local pick up there.

I also have one question about the volunteer thing. You have to volunteer 3 hours? That will be hard for me on a Tuesday.

AstoriaK

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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2005, 05:34:11 PM »
I'm a member of the CSA in Ravenswood.  If you have any questions, ANY, give Cara (the lady starting the CSA) a call or an e-mail directly to her.  

In terms of distributing at the Peach Freeze...

1.  The only distribution spot we have is in the Ravenswood complex at the Senior Center (BTW, our location happens to be right off of the Q19 bus.  The other CSA in the area is at the ARROW community center on 35th Street between 35th Avenue and 36th Avenue.  Not so direct of a commute).  The farmer is the party responsible for dropping off the veggies to the distribution spot and he only makes one drop.   Let's not segregate Astoria/LIC because of a thing like distance.  Let's join together in our common love of organic produce!  

If you and a group of residents in the northern Astoria area can work out an arrangement where someone in your group picks-up on your behalf and takes it to the Freeze you would want to bring up that possibility with Cara and someone at the Freeze.  Some members in the group already pick up for other members so I'm sure it won't be a problem.  It's also great when neighbors can help each other out!  Community involvement IS one of the missions of the CSA.

2.  Also, you have to worry about transporting the veggies.  They are not boxed up for individual members.  You, as a member, bring your own carrying devices, such as canvas bags or your ganny cart (reuse, renew and recycle, 'cause it's good for the environment), to pick up the food.  That helps keep the price of the veggies down.  
 
The donating your time issue should be brought up to Cara on an individual basis (since everyone's situation is different) and you may be able to give in other ways.  The CSA is run by it's members and with out it's members donating their time (no matter how they volunteer) how would we be able to have Community Supported Agriculture?  Volunteering keeps the prices down.

Almost forgot, anyone interested in a 50% share means you have to find someone to go into the share with you, or find out from Cara if she know's of someone who's also interested in a 50% share so she can hook the two of you up.  But again, CALL CARA!

FELLOW RESIDENTS!!!!  Don't post your CSA questions on the forum...Give our CSA coordinator a call!  You'll be glad you did!

Offline merm

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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2005, 06:42:42 PM »
Hello AstoriaK. Thanks for your informative post.

One reason for people posting questions and ideas in the forum instead of asking Cara is that there are several of us that are wanting to coordinate getting the veggies from across down to Ditmars. It seems more sense for us to find a way to coordinate with each other and share information so that we don't all call Cara and ask the same questions over and over. Especially since she is unable to coordinate delivery in our neighborhood. :)

No matter what it looks like we're going to need to figure out how to do this on our own. So for anyone that has ideas on how we can continue to coordinate a more streamlined way for Ditmars Astorians to participate I'd be very interested in any ideas. There must be a way we can do this without every person making separate trips to the veggie stand from such a distance.

AstoriaK

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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2005, 06:07:26 PM »
Hello merm,

It sounds like you got a good head on your shoulders and doing the right thing by doing the group thing.  I understand about it being far.  I don't  live in that neighborhood either.

I just wanted people with questions (like your question about the volunteer hours) about the CSA to give us a call.  You never know what kind of info or help you'll get.  There may even be an established CSA member who lives in/towards your neighborhood to be of assistance.

People like Cara work in partnership with Just Foods to establish CSA all over the city.  Perhaps you may even be interested in starting one in your neighborhood?

Good luck to the group and hope you get to enjoy your veggies soon!

Offline merm

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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2005, 09:36:03 AM »
I think that most of us on this board are relatively new to the concept of how a CSA works, but all of us are totally on board with locally supported organic foods. I'd love to find a way to pool resources here and pick up over there (so we can support the Ravenswood CSA, but you bring up another good idea as well; if there's a real interest on this side of town maybe it merits looking into how a group starts their own CSA.

One of our group has signed up, and we're going to keep thinking/brainstorming about ways to work together to efficiently particpate.

Offline lanseaux

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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2005, 10:12:22 AM »
I'm very interested in this, and would be willing to be part of a group to explore how to coordinate transportation or delivery to the Ditmars area.

We belonged to the ARROW CSA a while back, and it was generally a great thing.  The produce was fantastic.  However, there was no installment plan, it was more expensive, and the one-time fee just wasn't practical for us.  We also found that the location, while easily accessible from the train (so frankly, more accessible than Ravenswood for us), was far enough away so as to make coordinating a weekly pickup problematic, especially around our work schedules (my work schedule is more flexible now, so that would be less of a problem).  It seems to me that if a group of us can arrange a pick-up rotation, or something similar, it would make it much easier.

One question I have that is not answered on the website is how much produce is included in an average weekly share?  Is it enough for two people?  A family of four?  I'd like to get an idea of the quantity.

Offline merm

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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2005, 11:21:56 AM »
I'm glad you're interested in doing this. Looks like we have about 5 people so far. I'm thinking that we might be able to get as many as 10.

We might be having a Q&A at the Freeze Peach cafe this coming Wednesday. More details to follow soon.

Offline merm

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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2005, 11:49:12 AM »
OK -  here are more details:

Wednesday afternoon at 3:30pm Cara will be available for an informal Q&A at the Freeze Peach Cafe to discuss and answer questions from anyone interested in the idea of Community Supported Agriculture. Cara works with the Ravenswood CSA here in Queens.

I've added this to the calendar in case there are others that are interested.

Offline megc

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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2005, 12:37:20 PM »
I am very interested in belonging to this CSA.  I had a share with Full Belly Farm CSA in Berkeley, CA and the produce was fantastic!  I love the concept of the CSA.  I will talk to my housemate and see if she and I would like to go into this together.  I will try to be at the 3:30 Wednesday meeting to learn more about what's going on.  I don't have internet access at my apartment yet, so I will just go with this info.  If there is a change, could someone call me at 631-897-6052?  Looking forward to it!

Meg

Offline lanseaux

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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2005, 03:58:51 PM »
Unless work intervenes unexpectedly, I'm planning on coming to the meeting.

blueeyes

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Affordable, Organic Vegetables!
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2005, 06:01:48 PM »
Hello all,

I can't make the meeting, as I have work and (then) class, but could somebody let me know what transpires?  (maybe Matt or Laura)?

Thanks!

Carse

Offline jayme

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« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2005, 06:56:05 PM »
hey guys,

I'll be bringing my sampling from Tuesday -- or what hasn't yet been eaten just for an FYI.

cheers,
jayme
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