Sunday, April 29, 2007

Barbara Kingsolver 5/3: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
An Evening with Barbara Kingsolver
Lecture and book signing
Thursday, May 3rd, 6:30 pm
The Great Hall at Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street at Third Avenue
New York City

Barbara Kingsolver, bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible, will be speaking at The Cooper Union's Great Hall about her new book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which chronicles the year she and her family vowed to spend eating a locally-produced diet and avoiding food transported by the use of fossil fuel. This local-food project was the culmination of Kingsolver's longstanding conviction that America has lost its way when it comes to the production and consumption of food. Kingsolver's book makes a compelling case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.

$10, call Ticket Central: 212 279-4200 or go to
http://www.ticketcentral.com/showdetails_f.asp?i=1274
The box office at 416 West 42nd St. is open noon-7 p.m.

Proceeds from this event will benefit Bette Midler's New York Restoration Project, a non-profit dedicated to revitalizing underserved parks, community gardens, and open space throughout New York City and to teaching children to be better environmental stewards.

Buy tickets to the event:
http://www.ticketce ntral.com/showdetails_f.asp?i=1274

****************************
Susan Grove
 

Getting Ready for the '07 Season -- End of April Update

Hi all -- if you couldn't make it to last weekend's meeting with Eve of Garden of Eve farm, -- don't worry! There is still time to sign up for the 2007 growing season, and there's still plenty of room for additional members.

Much of this information repeats some previous posts, but we thought we should gather it all up in one place for now. We'll try to put together an F.A.Q. for the season sometime soon, but hopefully what's below will answer most of your questions.

Basic facts/pickup time and place:
Garden of Eve farm will deliver our CSA's shares on a weekly basis, to our pickup point, which we hope will be the E. 4th St. Community Garden (E. 4th St. between Ft. Hamilton Parkway and Caton Avenue -- just a couple of blocks from the Ft. Hamilton Pkwy stop on the F train).

We're still in discussion with the governing board of the Garden about whether we will be able to use it as the staging point for our pickups this year. They've been very helpful, and we're hopeful that we can make the necessary arrangements to have our pickups in this beautiful space. Stay tuned for more news on this.

Weekly distribution of shares will to be on SATURDAY MORNING from 10 AM-12 NOON, in the garden. Half-shares will get assigned as an A or B week and come for a "full" pickup, every other week (instead of getting half the amount, every week). If you can't be there to get your share, you'll need to arrange with someone else to pick it up for you.

The first pickup date will be on SATURDAY, JUNE 9. The last pickup of the season is SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 (flower share ends 2 weeks earlier).

Quantity:
A vegetable share includes 7-8 items per week, includes enough vegetables for two large vegetarian meals per week, for a family - or sides for the whole week.

What kind of vegetables/fruits come in the share?
As most of you know, participating in a CSA means you get a variety of seasonal produce over the course of the season -- and there's no precise guarantee as to what (and how much of what) you'll get on any given week. Garden of Eve has a compiled a chart that shows what the shares provided through the season in some past years:
http://www.gardenofevefarm.com/documents/MicrosoftWord-FullShare2004-6prices.pdf

Share Prices:
Full vegetable share: $475
Half vegetable share (picked up alternate weeks): $245
Full Egg share (1 doz): $95
Half egg share: $50
Full Flower Share : $145
Half Flower Share: $80
Full Fruit Share: $245
Half fruit share: $125
"Mega Combo Share" (one of all shares every week): $925 ($40 discount)
"Variety Pak Share" (half-share of everything, picked up alternate weeks): $485 ($15 discount)

There is no requirement that you purchase any particular kind of share for participation -- for example, if you are only interested in a fruit share, you do not have to purchase a vegetable share (in some CSAs this is not the case).

Administrative costs:
There will be a small administrative fee per participating household (no matter how many shares or half-shares are purchased). This is mainly to cover the cost of equipment (tables/tent/scale etc.) we will need to purchase to run the pickups. We believe that this fee will be in the neighborhood of $10 per household.

This fee should be paid at the first pickup on June 9th (or at the second pick up if you have the “B” half-share). This money is for the CSA’s operating expenses, not the farm.


How to sign up and pay:
If you picked up a signup form at the meeting, you can use that. You can also go to Garden of Eve's website and print out this page, which includes a form at the bottom:
http://www.gardenofevefarm.com/csa_Kensington_Prospect_Heights.htm

MAIL the form (along with your check made out to Garden of Eve), to: PO Box 216, Aquebogue NY 11931. DON'T include the administrative fee,

In order to reserve a space in this year's harvest, we ask that you have your sign up formand payment in by June 1 at the latest; we encourage you to sign up sooner.

If you wish to sign up immediately but pay in installments, you may pay 50% of your total balance by May 15, with the remainder due by June 1st. However, you MUST be paid in full by the first delivery date, June 9th, in order to pick up vegetables.

Working pickups:
Each participating family will be asked to work at least 1-2 pickups during the season. We'll have a signup schedule going at the very first pickup, so be sure to fill in your preferred time slots.


Other volunteering:
We're still in need of some dedicated participants who would like to take on a more central role in the CSA. We will speak more to this in detail between now and the start of the season, but in general we are in particular need of a few people who can be on hand to supervise the pickup and make sure the pickup site is taken good care of. Please let us know if you have an interest in taking an active role in helping the CSA this season.

Communicating with Each Other:
Obviously, it's very important that we have a current email address for every member, so be sure that we have the "right" address for you, and to make sure we're allowed through any spam-blocking software you run (assuming you want to hear from us). You can always email kwtcsa@gmail.com with questions or concerns; or you can communicate with any of the core members directly.

Garden of Eve farm will shortly be rolling out a new website for updating participating CSAs on what's going on with the harvest, as well as resources like recipes etc. It's worth bookmarking their website (http://www.gardenofevefarm.com/), as well as this one (
http://kwtcsa.blogspot.com/).

Over the next month we plan to set up an email listserv (probably using Yahoo or Google groups, or a similar free service) for all members of the CSA who wish to sign up. This would enable participants to ask one another for help and information (for example, if you need someone to pick up your share in a pinch, or if you want to trade a slot working a pickup with someone else). We'll let everyone know more about this soon.

Some other issues --

What's Organic and What's Not:
Vegetables and flowers from Garden of Eve are all organically cultivated.
Eggs are from humanely raised, free-ranging chickens, but are not strictly organic (the chickens do not receive organic feed). Fruit comes from a neighboring farm and is not certified organic, but is responsibly cultivated; if you have further questions about Garden of Eve farm's practices, see their website at http://www.gardenofevefarm.com/aboutus.htm.

Locally-raised meat:
We are exploring some options to partner with providers of locally raised meats for CSA members. We'll keep the group informed as we know more.

Visiting the farm:
Garden of Eve welcomes families who want to come see how our food is grown; we'll arrange a couple of scheduled weekends on which anyone who wants to take a trip out to Long Island can bring the family and visit the farm! We can carpool, or there is an LIRR stop not far from the farm.

If you have any questions about the above -- or if there's anything important you think we've left out, please let us know at kwtcsa@gmail.com. If you aren't sure if you want to join, but still want to be on our mailing list, send us a note there as well. And
whether you're already eagerly awaiting your first batch of veggies, or are still weighing the options, thanks for your time and interest.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sunday's Meeting with the Farmer...

...will be discussed in detail here shortly. We're trying to get all the facts together in one place, and I don't want to post anything I'll just have to correct tomorrow. But if you're here for the latest info on the upcoming season, pickup location, availability (don't worry about this one -- we have room for you!) and other details...it's coming as promised, before this week is out.

If you were with us on Sunday, you know what a lovely afternoon it was, and how great it was to hear from Eve. We're going to have a great season, and I hope many of the people who came out to the community garden this weekend will be a part of it.

More soon.

The Local Food Movement in the Times

The New York Times covers the growing number of people doing what they can to eat locally-produced food.

Many drawn to the movement say they have been eating that way for years and had never thought about the implications beyond the flavor. “Initially it was the taste thing for me,” said Robin McDermott, who lives in Waitsfield, Vt., where locavores call themselves localvores. “But now when I think about what it takes to get lettuce across the country so I can eat it in the middle of winter, between the fuel costs and the contribution all the transportation is making to global warming and climate change, I just can’t do it. It’s not sustainable and I don’t want to contribute to it.”

Not sure if that "locavore" term they toss about is going to catch on. But it's great to see this coverage.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Meet the farmer and learn about the new KWT CSA

A wonderful way to celebrate Earth Day -- come to the East Fourth Street Community Garden to help us kick off the first season of the Kensington/Windsor Terrace CSA.

There will be a community-wide organizational meeting for the new KWT CSA (community supported agriculture) at 4:00, Sunday April 22nd -- that's Earth Day -- at the community garden on East 4th Street, between Caton Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway.

Eve and Chris from Garden of Eve Farm will be there to answer questions and talk about the locally grown, organic produce that will be available. We'll discuss the way the CSA will work, this season's prices, pickup location and times, great additional opportunities (fruit, flower, egg shares and more), and opportunities to lend a hand to make this a great and successful season.

If you've been waiting eagerly for locally grown organic produce to find its way to the neighborhood, or are just want to know more about what a CSA does and how we're going to work, please join us for a fun and informative get-together. And its a great way to get to know more of your neighbors!

If you think you're going to be there, it would be great if you could let us know by emailing kwtcsa@gmail.com or leaving a comment. If you're interested but can't be there, send us an email and we'll keep you posted.


Where: The E. 4th St. Community Garden, on E. 4th St. between Ft. Hamilton Parkway and Caton Ave. (Google Map)

When: Sunday, April 22 at 4PM

See you there!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Watch this Space!

Just an interim post to let everyone know that we're working on confirming our pickup location, and will add that information here just as soon as we are able to get it nailed down.

Also, stay tuned for details about our upcoming kickoff community meeting, where we can all meet the farmer who will be supplying our produce, and ask (and answer) questions about all the details of the upcoming season.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Basic Information about our CSA

Hi everyone -- we've received a lot of requests for information about the plans for the Kensington/Windsor Terrace CSA. What follows is a basic introduction to where we are now. If you already know a little bit about CSAs, and just want the details about the KWT setup for the 2007 season, please read on past the introductory details.

Of course, we'll add updates here as we have them. We're looking forward to a wonderful season!

___________________

About CSAs

CSA stands for "Community Supported Agriculture." CSAs in NYC are facilitated by a group called Just Food (www.justfood.org). CSAs help to support family farms that are struggling to stay in business, while providing city people with access to high quality, locally-grown, organic, affordable produce.

Just Food partners a city group (our CSA is called Kensington/Windsor Terrace CSA) with a regional farmer (our farm is Garden of Eve Farm, http://www.gardenofevefarm.com/). During the winter and spring, the CSA farmer sells shares in her/his farm's upcoming harvest to individuals, families or institutions. The share price goes toward the cost of growing and distributing a season's worth of produce and paying the farmer a living wage. Then, each week from June through November the CSA farmer delivers the week's share to a central neighborhood distribution site (our distribution site is to be determined). Members collect their food at their neighborhood sites.

Shares and What You Get

Members receive shares for 24 weeks over the growing season.Typically, each week's share consists of 7-10 types of vegetables, enough for a family of 2-4 people. Over the course of a season members get at least 40 different types of vegetables, always fresh-picked and changing with the seasons. Here is a typical list of the types of vegetables that are delivered, depending upon the season: arugula, basil, beans, beets, bok choi, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage,
carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, chili peppers, cilantro, collard greens, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leeks,lettuce, mustard greens, onions, parsley, parsnips, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, rutabagas, shallots, spinach, summer squash, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, and winter squash.

CSA members must commit to the entire CSA season. They also volunteer 4 hours per season setting up, breaking down, or supervising the distribution site. For most, this means helping out twice at the distribution site.

For an additional cost, CSA members are also given the opportunity to purchase shares of fruit (not organic, but low spray), eggs (not organic, but free-range and vegetarian), and flowers (organic). These shares are only available to members who buy the vegetable share.

We are looking into ways of making meat available--grass-fed, free-range beef, chicken, turkey (including fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving), lamb, and pork from a consortium of independent meat farmers upstate. If we are able to arrange this, you will be able to order via a website. You will be able to order as much or as little as you'd like and meat will be delivered at least once a month.

Cost

In addition to the costs listed below, there will be a $10 administration fee to help us purchase needed items, such as an EZ-UPtent, a scale, etc...

To sign up for the CSA, you can visit the Garden of Eve website:
http://www.gardenofevefarm.com/csa_Kensington_Prospect_Heights.htm

2007 SEASON:
24 weeks, for all shares except flowers, which will be 22 weeks (end
at Halloween).
First pickup: Sat., June 9
Last pickup: Sat., Nov 17 (weekend before Thanksgiving)
Half-shares will get assigned A or B week and come for a "full" pickup, every other week (instead of getting half the amount, every
week).
If you are not able to make your share pick-up, you are welcome to have a friend pick up your share. No prior notice is required, just tell them to check in under your name.

Full Harvest Vegetable Share
June-Thanksgiving, approx. 24 weeks – 7-8 items per week, includes enough vegetables for two large vegetarian meals per week, for a family - or sides for the whole week. See harvest chart (http://www.gardenofevefarm.com/harvest.htm) for approximate schedule of vegetables including heirloom tomatoes, mesclun salad mix, zucchini, baby corn, summer squash, cucumbers, lettuces, beets, carrots, plus pumpkins, gourds, winter squash.
Full Share Price: $475 ($19.80/week)
Half share: $245

Egg Share
June - Thanksgiving, approx 24 weeks – Receive one dozen farm-fresh
eggs from the Garden of Eve Farm's own pastured, free-range hens, fed
no hormones or antibiotics.
Full Share Price: $95 ($3.95/week)
Half egg share: $50


Flower Share
June - Halloween, approx 22 weeks – A gorgeous weekly bouquet of
fresh-picked flowers, grown organically, different every week.
Includes zinnias, snapdragons, sunflowers, gladiolas, black-eyed
susans, and much more.
Full Share Price: $145 (6.59/week
Half Flower Share: $80


Fruit Share
June - Thanksgiving, approx 24 weeks – Starts out in June with strawberries, then cherries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, apricots, plums and pears in July and August, and mainly pears and apples September through November. Fruits are very fresh and flavorful, not organic but grown on our next-door neighbor's farm using lots of compost and low-spray techniques.
Full Share Price: $245 ($10.20/week)
Half fruit share: $125


"Mega Combo Share" is one of all shares every week:
Added together the prices total $965, but you pay only $925 ($40 discount)
(totals $38.54/week)


"Variety Pak Share" is in respond to POPULAR DEMAND for a little bit of everything at a reasonable price. It includes a HALF share of everything (which means one full share, picked up every OTHER week) Added together the prices total $500, but you pay $485 ($15 discount)
(totals $20.21/week)
.