WHAT’S A CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an alternative, locally-based economic model of agriculture and food distribution through which neighbors join together to support a local farm, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and rewards of sustainable food production.
The Prospect Park CSA, founded in 2011, partners with Windflower Farms, a family-owned, organic farm in upstate New York, run by farmers Ted and Jan Blomgren along with their son and staff.
Each spring, PPkCSA members pay Ted and Jan a membership fee for either a full share or half share of vegetables, plus optional fruit, egg, and flower shares. This gives the team at Windflower Farms the upfront resources to get the season going, and it makes CSA members investors in the farm’s season. Then, throughout the 22-week season (June through October), members get a share of the farm’s harvest, delivered each Tuesday to our neighborhood distribution site (Crow Hill Cross Fit, 1010 Dean Street).
The CSA is entirely volunteer-run. Every CSA household pitches in by committing to one or two distribution work shifts per season, depending on whether they have a full or half share. A core group of volunteer organizers handles registration, communication, logistics, distribution, and events.
SUMMER VS. WINTER SHARES
In addition to weekly shares during the regular growing season (June through October), PPkCSA and Windflower Farms 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 can be added to the winter share, including eggs, maple products, and more.
WHY JOIN OUR CSA?
As a Prospect Park CSA member, you’ll eat locally, seasonally and ultra-fresh. You’ll learn more about how your food is grown and get new recipes and cooking demos. You’ll be part of a community of neighbors with a common interest in food and sustainability. And averaged out over the course of the season, you’ll pay less per week than you’d pay for comparable quality produce at the supermarket. You’ll also be invited to the annual Windflower Farm open house and camp-out in August: a magical weekend of farm tours, swimming holes, live music and new friends.
But becoming part of a CSA means more than just saving money, meeting your neighbors, and eating tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes. It also means joining 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. Joining a CSA means fighting back by supporting an alternative model that prioritizes human health, environmental conservation, 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, daily email inbox tender.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with the CSA? I freelance in media and performance and am finishing an MFA at Hunter College. My thesis has me foraging the Bushwick streets with my dog, looking at “weeds” and thinking about implicit value, remediation, and climate change. Also I eat tacos. Lotsa tacos.
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, distribution protocols, 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? Opening distro, form creation, events, and food pantry liaison.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with the CSA? I teach art and writing, doodle, make ceramics, and overwater my houseplants.
Why did you become involved with the CSA? A food activist friend convinced me to split a share in 2014. Then she moved to Belgium and I wound up helping run the thing. It’s become a great part of our life and community here in Brooklyn.
What’s your favorite thing about the CSA? The farm camp-out in August is magical! But the best is bringing my 5yo to help open distro and sharing an apple or a handful of green beans on the walk home, knowing he eats tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes, is on a first-name basis with the people who grow them, and has petted the healthy happy chickens that lay our eggs.
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? Primary distribution site coordinator.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with the CSA? I design the florals for weddings and events and try to catch up on unread New York Times.
Why did you become involved with the CSA? I switched from lawyering to floral designing this year, so I have more free time during the week and am trying to be more active in the community, rather than toiling away on wedding proposals all day!
What’s your favorite dish to make with CSA produce? Vichyssoise! At the end of the season when there are heaps of potatoes and onions, I make giant batches of vichyssoise. It’s simple and comforting.
Name: Dominic and Marian
What’s your role with PPkCSA? Site coordinators.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with the CSA? Marian runs a natural skincare and cosmetic company called Half Hippy, and Dominic is a DJ and music producer. Our bunny, Lola, eats most of our CSA share.
Why did you become involved with the CSA? Our good friends Candace and John asked us if we wanted to help out last year, and now we can’t remember how we ever went without CSA veggies!
What’s your favorite spot around the neighborhood? Outpost.
What’s your role with PPkCSA? Site coordinator.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with the CSA? I work or cook or run or find somewhere sunny to be!
Why did you become involved with the CSA? I love fresh local food and feeling connected to a community.
What’s your favorite dish to make with CSA produce? It’s not really a dish, but I love when we get fresh potted basil that I can plant in my windowsill, or corn that I can eat right away just as it is!