WHAT’S A CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an alternative economic model of agriculture and food distribution in which neighbors join together to support a local farm by purchasing “shares” of the season’s harvest.
The Prospect Park CSA, founded in 2011, partners with Windflower Farms, a family-owned, organic farm in upstate New York. The farm is run by Ted and Jan Blomgren, their son Nate, and a small dedicated staff.
Each spring, PPkCSA members pay Ted and Jan for a share of their vegetable harvest. (Members can also add optional fruit, egg, and flower shares.) The collective, up-front payment gives the Windflower Farm team the resources to get the season going, and it makes CSA members investors in the risks and rewards of sustainable food production. Then, throughout the 22-week season (June through October), members receive their weekly share of the farm’s harvest, delivered each Tuesday to our neighborhood distribution site (Crow Hill Cross Fit, 1010 Dean Street).
The CSA is 100% volunteer-run. Every member pitches in by committing to one or two short work shifts per season (one for a half share, two for a full share). A core group of volunteer organizers manage registration, communication, logistics, and events.
SUMMER VS. WINTER SHARES
In addition to weekly shares during the regular growing season (June through October), we offer a monthly winter share. The winter share is distributed one Saturday per month (November through February) and consists of a one-bushel box of hardy greens, root or storage vegetables, autumn fruits, cider, preserves, and more. Optional shares in the winter include eggs and maple products.
WHY JOIN OUR CSA?
As a Prospect Park CSA member, you’ll eat locally, seasonally and ultra-fresh. You’ll learn about how your food is grown and get recipes and storage tips. You’ll be invited to the annual Windflower Farm Potluck Open House and Camp-Out—a magical weekend of farm tours, swimming holes, and friendly guitar-picking around the campfire every August. You’ll be part of a community of neighbors with a common interest in food and sustainability. And you’ll pay far less per week (averaged over the season) than you would for comparable produce at a supermarket.
Joining a CSA also means being part of the food justice and sustainability movements. Industrial agriculture and factory farming are poisoning us and our planet, and for every dollar consumers spend on food in retail food stores and restaurants, farmers gets on average only 7.8 cents. Becoming a CSA member means supporting an alternative model that prioritizes human health, environmental conservation, sustainable practices, and small-scale farmers.
OUR MISSION & VALUES
At the Prospect Park CSA, our mission is to:
- Support small-scale, family farms in the New York region, prioritizing the work of Ted and Jan at Windflower Farm and neighboring producers they recommend.
- Foster community and trust amongst our members, farmers, peer CSAs and neighbors.
- Cultivate inclusiveness and diversity in our membership and organizing with an ethos of welcoming hospitality.
- Seek transparency in organizational decisions to synthesize the best solutions for Prospect Park CSA members and farmers Ted and Jan.
- Advance food justice, to the best of our abilities, with flexible pricing and payments, food pantry relationships, community bridging, and more.
MEET THE CORE GROUP
The Prospect Park CSA is a volunteer-run organization. Below is the core group of organizers who—alongside dedicated members working their shifts—make it all happen!
What’s your role with PPkCSA? Weekly email writer and inbox tender.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with the CSA? I freelance in media and performance and work part-time as a Wild Food Educator at Stuy Cove Park, one of two publicly forageable food forests on the island of Manhattan!
Why did you become involved with the CSA? I originally became involved because my friends Troy and Susan needed afternoon site coordinators. I have since fallen in love with Ted’s produce. If I had one song to sing to Ted’s tomatoes, it would be Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2U.”
What’s your favorite thing about the CSA? The idea that we can create an alternative, community-centered food model that strikes back against megacorporate agribusiness. Being in a CSA helps me remember that my environment and my food are directly linked, and that context and climate have a direct impact on my life!
What is your role with PPkCSA? Work shift coordinator, overseeing distribution protocols and materials, and liaison to Farmer Ted.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with the CSA? I’m a chef, culinary instructor, and founder of Teaching Table, transforming local, seasonal foods—like our gorgeous CSA bounties!—into healthy-ish eats for all occasions. My best times are with my husband and two kids. I work out at Crow Hill Cross Fit, and I love cooking, eating, wine, yoga, gardening, the great outdoors and traveling. But mostly eating.
Why did you become involved with the CSA? I believe in supporting local farmers and in delicious produce. Helping launch Prospect Park CSA in 2011 was a way to ensure my access to a vegetable and fruit share and make access possible for others in our neighborhood.
What’s your favorite dish to make with CSA produce? Carrot bread, zucchini muffins, pumpkin pie and apple cake. Oh, and corn chowdah—cause I’m from New England.
What is your role in PPkCSA? Distro opener, social media and website tinkerer, and food pantry liaison—to help ensure that all unclaimed produce each week gets to Brooklyn-based CAMBA to support their food pantry and nutrition programs.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with the CSA? I teach at Parsons School of Design, make ceramics, and chase two small kids.
Why did you become involved with the CSA? A vegan chef friend convinced me to split a share in 2014, and it snowballed from there. I’m interested in alternative economies and cooperative orgs, and the CSA has become an big part of our family’s weekly life.
What’s your favorite thing about the CSA? The farm camp-out in August is magical! But mostly: tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes.
What’s your role with PPkCSA? Registration, finances, and Lewis Waite liaison.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with Prospect Park CSA? I teach in NYU’s food studies program and consult with nonprofits working in food, arts and culture, social justice, open space and the environment.
Why did you become involved with the CSA? I’ve been a member since 2012. It’s important to me to support the kind of agriculture I believe in, and I’m a sucker for beautiful vegetables. My current work schedule is more flexible than in years past, so I figured it was a good time to get more involved.
What’s your favorite dish to make with CSA produce? It’s crazy in the heat of summer, but on Tuesday nights I crank up my oven and make cast-iron skillet pizza with whatever goodies Ted showered on us, followed by a bountiful breakfast salad the next morning.
What’s your role with PPkCSA? Site coordinator.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with the CSA? I manage a paper flower studio in the Bronx, and source hard-to-find botanicals for cosmetic companies. When I’m not doing that, I like to visit the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, work on my apartment terraces (can you tell I like plants?!), and ride my bike around different neighborhoods.
Why did you become involved with the CSA? I wanted to take better advantage of my flexible schedule and contribute more to my community. Plus I’m always striving to make environmentally conscious choices so this felt like an awesome way to do both.
What’s your favorite spot around the neighborhood? Mayfield – their food is delicious!
What is your role with PPkCSA? Site coordinator
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with the CSA? Selling ads behind a desk is my 9-5, but after that I enjoy cooking, being a dog parent, and figuring out how to compost in a tiny NYC apartment.
Why did you become involved with the CSA? I wanted to give back to the local community and know where my food comes from. As someone who is 95% vegan, I can’t resist a good spread of veggies and fruit.
What’s your favorite dish to make with CSA produce? Bok choy, green onions and oyster mushrooms marinated with soy sauce, or a strawberry and cream tart.
What is your role with PPkCSA? I unload the trucks before pick-up and place the boxes in tidy, pleasing rows.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with the CSA? I market books to the masses on behalf of a midtown publishing outfit. I’m also a soccer enthusiast—let’s chat Premier League.
Why did you become involved with the CSA? My wife and I have lived in this neighborhood for well more than a decade, and the CSA has offered us an opportunity to be more involved in the community.
What’s your favorite spot around the neighborhood? Gold Star on Underhill has the beer you need to wash down all of this marvelous produce.