Sign-ups are open!!

Registration is open for the 2020 CSA season! For details about what’s in a share, pics of past weekly shares, share plans and payment options, please see our Join/2020 Season page. And as always, reach out to us at info@prospectparkcsa.org if you have questions.

There’s never been a better time to examine—and shorten—your food supply chain. Most supermarket produce travels around 1500 miles to reach your table and is subjected to a whole lot of storage, handling, and interventions along the way (gassing, irradiation, preservatives). PPkCSA produce is grown, harvested, and packed fresh each week at a family farm in upstate New York. They drive it to Brooklyn; we pull it off the truck; you come and pick it up. Simple.

We are redesigning processes to prepare for CSA distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are answers—from both our farmer, Ted Blomgren of Windflower Farms, and your PPkCSA core volunteer team—to some FAQs for the 2020 season:

What will distribution look like?
Farmer Ted: We plan to minimize food handling and streamline distribution by pre-bagging or pre-boxing your share at the farm. We are maintaining social distancing protocol and have sanitizer and ample PPE. 
PPkCSA core group: We’ll be limiting the number of people on site at a time, and social distancing will be practiced as members grab-and-go with their prepackaged shares.

What will my volunteering commitment be?
PPkCSA core group: We are suspending the normal member workshift requirement until it’s safe to resume. The six-person core group will manage all aspects of distribution.

Are payments or pricing changing?
PPkCSA core group: As always, we offer four pricing plans depending on self-reported household income, but our guide to choosing a plan now considers household size, too. Due to economic challenges, we’ve expanded our payment options. You can now pay for your share in as many as five installments. We accept paper or electronic checks, credit and debit cards, PayPal, Venmo, and SNAP.

Will my CSA location change?
PPkCSA: Right now it looks like our distribution site will remain in the lobby of Crow Hill Cross Fit (1010 Dean Street). If the space remains closed, the owners have agreed to give us access for CSA distro. If things change, we will find another nearby location.

And here’s the last word from Farmer Ted:

Please stay posted for news from the farm and Prospect Park CSA regarding distribution logistics, site location, and volunteering commitments as the first share approaches. We pledge to keep you informed and to deliver and distribute your shares safely and efficiently.

Please follow us on Instagram at @windflowerfarm to learn more about what’s happening at the farm. We also suggest that you check the Prospect Park CSA website, Facebook page, and Instagram (@ProspectParkCSA) for the latest information. 

Thank you for your trust in us to grow your food, and for your support of the farm and our CSAs. We are as excited as you are about the season’s upcoming bounty: delicious vegetables, mouth-watering fruit, fresh eggs, and beautiful flowers. If you’ve already joined us, thank you for your membership. For those of you who haven’t just yet, we welcome you with open arms. 

Farmers—human beings—are resilient. Together, we will prevail through this challenge and the others to come.

Good Food Responsibly Grown

Notes regarding Coronavirus/Covid 19

March 20, 2020

If Community Supported Agriculture means anything to us, it means coming together to support one other in the difficult times as well as the good. It means that Jan and I will take every precaution to ensure that our workers stay safe and healthy and that the food we grow and sell remains free of contamination of any kind and is safe for our CSA shareholders and their families.

In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have revised key staff policies to be fully in accord with new CDC guidelines. The staff knows to stay away from the farm at the first sign that they might have the disease or have been exposed to it. They know when and where to seek medical attention. And they know that we have extended our paid sick leave policy by an additional 14 days to eliminate the temptation to come to work when sick for financial reasons. 

Everyone at the farm is healthy at present and, of course, fully aware of the pandemic. Currently, there are several cases in Saratoga Springs, but none in nearby towns. We all expect this to change, and we know to avoid exposure to risk by staying away from groups, maintaining safe minimum distances from others, washing well and frequently, and avoiding touching our faces. Staff policies not only describe personal hygiene, but also outline a range of workplace cleaning protocols.  

We will be developing new safe food handling policies well in advance of our first harvest. Our current food handling system is being reviewed in light of what the scientific community and health experts are telling us about this disease. New information is coming in daily about how long the virus survives on surfaces and how best to clean and decontaminate processing equipment. University Extension educators are helping us with this effort. Two years ago, we underwent a comprehensive packing shed renovation with new federal food safety rules in mind. Our next steps will build on what we already do well.

The reuse of packaging is something that concerns us. One of the safeguards we will implement is the pre-packaging of shares, just as we do in winter, and we will do this for as long as necessary. The rationale is that the shortest food handling chain is the safest. We, as a small and careful group, can do all the harvesting and boxing in a clean, safe space using best management practices, so that the next people to touch those boxes are the very users of that food, our shareholders.

These days are stressful for all of us. There continues to be a lot of information to process. But I feel confident that we are developing an effective food safety plan that includes staff awareness, safe harvesting, and sanitary packaging and distribution. We will proceed with an abundance of caution. The safety of your food is our first priority. 

I know that there is a great deal of uncertainty around employment. Keep in mind that all of our CSA sites offer payment plans and most offer sliding scale pricing in an effort to help make our food affordable to you. If you have questions, please contact us at windflowercsa@gmail.com.

I can imagine important roles in the city: offloading CSA packages wearing gloves, masks and other appropriate PPE, and figuring out how to distribute them while maintaining safe distances. Let’s keep an open dialogue about these and other related issues. Please share your thoughts. We will continue to share what we learn and how we plan to respond throughout the season.

Our best wishes for your good health,

Ted and Jan