What is Community Supported Agriculture?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) brings together farmers and people in neighboring communities into a mutually beneficial relationship. CSA members subscribe to local farms for weekly deliveries of fresh produce (in CSA parlance, a “share”). The CSA community provides farmers with a reliable and steady market throughout the season, regardless of natural fluctuations in harvest yields. CSA members and farmers share the risks and rewards of sustainable, small-scale agriculture.
How much does a basic share cost?
The Cobble Hill CSA’s basic subscription package consists of a weekly share of produce from Green Thumb Farm. This share is delivered each week in the summer and fall (approximately 27 weeks of produce, supplied from June through December). The weekly produce share costs $513.00 (or $19.oo a week). In addition to this subscription, all members are required to pay a $25 administrative fee and make a $5 food pantry donation, bringing the total annual cost for the basic share to $543.00. Members must also complete two shifts assisting with produce distribution on Tuesdays over the course of the season.
How do I get my produce?
Our farmers deliver their produce each week to Christ Church, located at 326 Clinton Street (corner of Kane Street). Members are able to pick up their weekly supply of produce from the synagogue between 4PM and 8PM on Tuesday evenings. Members are responsible for bringing their own bags to carry home their shares. Please note that the Cobble Hill CSA is unable to arrange pickups outside of the Tuesday evening distribution.
Do I get to pick which vegetables are included in my share?
Each week, our farmers assemble a selection of seasonal vegetables and fruits and apportion a set quantity for each member. One of the most exciting—and challenging—tasks for CSA members is learning to cook an incredibly diverse array of vegetables. Shares typically include a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar items, so be prepared to try new recipes. The Cobble Hill CSA is unable to provide custom shares.
How much produce will I receive each week?
The size of the weekly produce share, as well as of the supplemental fruit and other shares, varies depending on the harvest schedule. The early deliveries are smaller in size (although not in value) because they often include tender greens; by the end of the season you have to be in good shape to haul your share home. Moreover, the vegetable consumption for individuals and families differs considerably. For some, a share might last a week, for others, a share would only be enough for a few days. Although many people will easily use a share in a week, some members choose to split a single share. For a record of what members have received in the past, please see our Archive of Shares page.
What if I can’t make it to the CSA site for the regular Tuesday pickup?
If you can not pick up in any particular week, you can arrange for a friend to pick up your share for you. The CSA is unable to refund money for any missed pickups.
If I don’t pick up all or part of my share one week, what happens to the leftovers?
At the conclusion of each Tuesday evening distribution, all remaining produce is boxed and donated to the Mizpah Assemblies soup kitchen, located in the Brownsville neighborhood. The CSA also makes an additional donation to the soup kitchen each year in the week before Thanksgiving.
Are there any work requirements of members?
The Cobble Hill CSA is a volunteer-run cooperative. All members are required to assist with produce distribution on two Tuesdays over the course of the season (you pick the weeks that are most convenient for you). Morning volunteers help the farmers unload the week’s produce and set up for distribution; afternoon and evening volunteers staff the sign-in table and keep the distribution area tidy. For details, see our Work Requirement page.
Can I join after the season has started?
We encourage members to join for the entire season; however, there are people who discover our CSA after the season opening. As long as spaces are still available, members may be able to join later in the season at a pro-rated cost. If you are interested in submitting a late registration, please email jphillips [at] cobblehillcsa.org as soon as possible.
Who coordinates the CSA?
There is a core group of up to 11 volunteers who work behind the scenes to keep the CSA operating. The core group carries out a variety of tasks, including overseeing the weekly produce distribution, managing registration and payment, scheduling members for their work shifts, and communicating with members through the website, newsletter, and surveys. (For more on these roles, see the Core Group page.) In return for their time, our farmers provide core-group volunteers with complimentary weekly shares. Any CSA member who wants to devote their energy, time and talent is eligible to join the core group upon an opening.
What are some of the other benefits of joining the Cobble Hill CSA?
Farmer Ray at Green Thumb Farm organizes strawberry-picking and pumpkin-picking/hay ride outings at the farm. Members receive a bi-weekly newsletter, which offers recipes for our produce items and news from the farm. And the weekly pick-up is a community experience shared with neighbors who care about healthful eating and sustainable agriculture.