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

Winter CSA shares—sign up by Nov. 15!

Last chance to sign up for the winter share, with monthly pick-ups on November 23, December 14, January 11, and February 8.

The winter share comes pre-packaged in a returnable box, and includes approximately 2 lbs of organically grown greens (including spinach, kale, tatsoi and Swiss chard), 8-10 lbs of storage vegetables (including carrots, red and yellow onions, winter squash, a variety of potatoes, beets, leeks, sweet potatoes, shallots, popcorn and more), along with 4-6 lbs of fruits, plus a local sweet (usually local honey, apple cider, or Deb’s homemade jelly made from organic berries).

The total for a full winter of comfort and nourishment is just $192, and you get the satisfaction of supporting a small-scale, sustainable farmers through the fallow months. Winter share members can also add an optional egg share, maple share (!!), and/or a la carte items from Lewis Waite.

Sign up here by November 15:
https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/

The Dark Art of Quick Pickling

This kid might not think so, but every adult knows that pickles totally rule. And you can make lazy/busy person’s pickles from pretty much anything in your CSA in about 20 minutes, plus 24 hours of fridge time. It’s a great way to help manage produce that is confounding you or has been taking up too much fridge space for way too long.

Will they last into the winter like pickles that are properly canned, and will they taste just like a crispy dill freshly blessed by a Rabbi? No, of course not. That involves fermentation and things I don’t know jack about because I have an arts degree and was raised by Southern Baptists.

But these will last a couple weeks, and you’re gonna love ‘em so much that you’ll eat them up quickly anyways.

What you’ll need:

  • Vegetables: cucumbers, squash, radishes, cauliflower, beans, kohlrabi, peppers, garlic scapes, onions, carrots, beets, cabbage… I mean, what doesn’t taste good soaked in vinegar and sugar and salt? Nothing. That’s what.
  • Vinegar: white, black, cider, wine…whatever vinegar you like, I don’t care.
  • Some water, maybe
  • sweetener, maybe: you can use white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc… Don’t use some gross artificial sweetener thing like Splenda though. I have absolutely no science education but I don’t think that would work. Plus, that’s gross.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Other spices, maybe: try throwing in something like peppercorns, turmeric, coriander, chili, dill, bay leaf, mustard seed, fennel, cumin, a cinnamon stick, garlic…. I want you to feel enabled and supported to try whatever feels good to you. This is a safe space.

What you’ll do:

  • Slice up your veggies however you want. Wash em and sprinkle em with a little bit of coarse salt and then put them into heat tolerant jars, like mason jars. You can also reuse old glass jars for things like pasta sauce, but clean ‘em real good and be careful about pouring hot liquids into them when they’re cold. You’ll want the brine you make to be able to completely cover your veggies, so keep that in mind.
  • Then make a brine: over medium heat bring water and vinegar to a quick boil with some sugar and salt mixed in along with whatever herbs or spices you like. Typical proportions are 1 to 1 water and vinegar (or maybe more vinegar than water) and “some” sugar and salt, depending on your personal palette.  You’re not making simple syrup or salt water, though, so don’t go crazy. You want to make sure all the sugar and salt dissolves in the liquid. Taste it and adjust if needed.
  • Bring it to a boil and then maybe let it cool just a tad so your jars don’t blow up on ya. Then pour it over your veggies in their jars. Let ‘em sit on the counter and cool for a couple hours, then seal ‘em up and stick ‘em in the fridge. In 24 hours they’ll be well on their way towards awesomehood, and will only get more awesomerer in the next coming days.
  • Chop em up and put em on your ramen/taco/sandwich/salad or eat em straight from the jar while drunkenly swaying in front of the refrigerator in the middle of the night in your underwear. They taste extra special then.
  • ADDED BONUS: You can easily reuse this same brine with the following week’s veggies! This here is a jar of pickle brine which has now held three kohlrabis, half a red cabbage, a couple turnips AND some spring onions and garlic scapes. This jar and a plate of homemade swiss chard stuffed pupusas have already made me the star of several summer potlucks… Just say’n….
jar of fridge pickles

Sign up for a tour of the SIMS Center on August 22!

Ever wonder what happens to your cans and bottles after they leave your curb? Do you have a child (your inner child counts!) who loves cranes and trucks and seeing things get crushed? Or do you just want to be more informed about sustainability efforts in Brooklyn?

Join your Prospect Park CSA organizers on Thursday, August 22 at 1:30 p.m. for a group tour of the SIMS recycling center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn! The tour is 75 minutes long and recommended for adults and kids ages 7 and up. RSVP to harvest dot henderson at gmail, or look for the sign-up sheet at distro when you pick up your share!

Important notes about our 2019 season start!

Hey CSAers! We have two important updates for the 2019 season:

  1. Our start date is delayed one week to June 11 due to a cool, rainy spring on the farm. (Half-share members: June 11 is an even week; June 18 is odd.) This means the entire season shifts by one week; our last week will now be November 5.
  2. Online registration is closed, but there are still a few shares available. If you’re interested, please email info@prospectparkcsa.org!

Email us with any questions and we look forward to seeing you at distro on June 11!

2019 registration starts soon!

Spring is inching closer! Your PPkCSA core group met this week to prep for the start of the 2019 season—our 9th season! Mark your calendar for your first share pick-up on Tuesday, June 4, and start daydreaming now about Farmer Ted’s sweet, midsummer tomatoes!

Registration link will go live here in a couple weeks. If you were a 2018 member (or are on our wait list) you’ll get an email reminder to sign up.

Did you know that the PPkCSA accepts SNAP benefits? Want to help us increase access to healthy, local, sustainably farmed produce? Print a flyer (postcard format or pull-tab flyer) to post at your neighborhood school, playground, or community board meeting!

As always, thanks for being part of this thing, and we’ll see you soon!

PPkCSA flyer image

First shares, wait list, and kohlrabi magic

Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 9.59.16 PMOur Week 1 share made for some amazing fried rice with bok choy, happy rich, green onions, and kale—and we gobbled Ted’s strawberries. How about you?

As we enter Week 2, registration is closed. To hear it first when sign-ups open for the 2018-19 winter share or 2019 summer share, leave your info here.

kohlrabi-1Also, we are heading into kohlrabi territory. Did you know this crunchy little friend is chock full of potassium, iron, calcium, B-complex vitamins, vitamins C and A, fiber, antioxidants, and more? If you’re not sure what to do with yours, Martha’s got you covered—from slaw to sauté to baked chips.

 

CSA season begins in JUST ONE WEEK!!

124221d3eefa49d5a78c29aa232dd647--teddy-bears-picnic-kid-pictures
PPkCSA’s 2018 season begins in JUST ONE WEEK, so dust off your veggie-hauling bags, update your calendar with our NEW distribution location, sign up for your work shifts, and get ready for your weekly produce high—we’ll see you next Tuesday, June 5 from 5:30-8:15 p.m.!

Also, if you’re interested in joining our core group of organizers in exchange for a free half share, please contact info@prospectparkcsa.org. We’re in particular need of an extra hand to close the distribution site (semi-regularly) on Tuesday nights.

Lastly, there are still a handful of shares available for this season. The online registration form is closed, but interested folks can email info@prospectparkcsa.org. That’s also who to reach out to if you go to the first distro on Tuesday and realize you desperately wish you’d signed up for flowers, fruit, or eggs! (Don’t worry, it happens every year…)

Register for the 2018 CSA Season!


Registration for the 2018 season is now open!

Click here to sign up

Here are the deets:

  • NEW location: Starting this year, our weekly distribution will be at Crow Hill Cross Fit (1010 Dean Street, between Classon and Franklin).
  • Dates and times: The 2018 season runs June 5 through October 30. The distribution window for your weekly share pick-up is the same: Tuesdays from 5:30-8:15 p.m.
  • Payments: As always, members can opt to pay for their share(s) in one lump sum or three monthly installments (May, June, July).
  • Work shifts: By purchasing a share, members commit to working one or two shifts between June and October. Full-share members work two shifts; half-share members work one shift. Shifts are 60 to 105 minutes.
  • Share options: PPkCSA offers a vegetable share from Windflower Farm, plus add-on fruit, flower, and egg shares. Members can also order a la carte meats, cheeses, grains, spices and more from Lewis Waite, delivered every other week.

Sign up for your 2018 CSA share today!

SaveSaveSaveSave