What is a CSA?
The short answer: Community Supported Agriculture
The long answer: It is a partnership between a community and a farm. The farmer gets a guaranteed income and market for his produce. The community gets great local, organic food in return.
How does it work?
Basically, you buy a "share" in a farm for a season. The farmer uses your money to... farm! Then each week he delivers a truckload of produce to the Garden of Union. Members stop by in the afternoon and evening to pick up their share of food.
How long does the 2017 CSA season last?
Full Share: 22 weeks
Every Other Week (EOW) Share: 11 weeks over the 22 week season
Note: Full shares cannot mixed with EOW shares.
The Garden of Union
Where do I pick up my vegetables?
At the Garden of Union located on Union Street between 4th and 5th Avenues just steps from the R train at Union Street or the B63 Fifth Avenue bus.
When can I pick up my vegetables?
When you join, you can choose to pick up your share on either Tuesday or Thursday:
TUESDAYS 4-7:30 p.m.
Full Shares every Tuesday, June 6 - October 31, 2017
EOW odd-week pick-up, June 6 - October 24, 2017
EOW even-week pick-up, June 13 - October 31, 2017
THURSDAYS 4-7:30 p.m.
Full Shares every Thursday, June 8 - November 2, 2017
EOW odd-week pick-up, June 8 - October 26, 2017
EOW even-week pick-up, June 15 - November 2, 2017
What is EOW?
EOW is an Every Other Week Share, suitable for individuals who might not make use of their veggies before the following week pick-up date. Think of it as a half share. EOW members are assigned to an even or odd week season pick-up to achieve a balance in the weekly delivered shares. You can download a calendar showing all EOW pick-up dates by clicking HERE.
What is different about an EOW share?
The Park Slope CSA cannot guarantee which week (odd or even) EOW members will be assigned to. EOW veggie members can only select EOW fruit or flower shares, all delivered on the same week. EOW members work 1 shift (2.5 hours) during the season. If you miss your scheduled EOW pick up you cannot come the following week, or come the next distribution day (say Thurs if you miss your Tues pickup).
What if I move or otherwise have to cancel my membership?
Windflower Farm has committed to growing vegetables for you for the 2015 season. By agreeing to our terms, you commit to paying in full for the items you purchase. It is your obligation to honor your payments. If you must leave the CSA we can help you find someone to take over your share, but ultimately it is your responsibility to pay for the share and find a replacement.
In the past we have been able to help with this and no one has ever gotten stuck with a share. The administrative fee is not refundable. By registering for a share you commit to paying in full for your share. If you pay using Paypal and the refund exceeds the returned funds period, the fee Paypal charges the CSA will not be refunded to you (see Paypal for their current policies).
What should I bring with me when I pick up my share?
Bags! You will want to have some plastic bags to separate greens and small vegetables. We also suggest bringing a large tote bag or rolling cart to carry your produce home.
Does the CSA deliver?
No, we are all volunteers and driving members’ shares around is not an option. Being at the site and selecting your produce also enables you to make a decision when there frequently are choices to be made among greens and other veggies.
Park Slope CSA member/volunteer
What is the time commitment for members?
The Park Slope CSA is a member-run all volunteer organization, so we do ask for a small amount of your time to make things run smoothly. Full share members are required to work 5 hours during the season. This means helping out for 2 shifts at the distribution site. EOW members work 2.5 hours during the season, or one shift at distribution. You can sign up for whatever date and time works best with your schedule. While you may want to arrange your shift to match your pick up schedule, you can mix Tuesdays and Thursdays or Odd and Even weeks. It is important that you pitch in on site. You may need to volunteer at a time different from your pick up date.
The first shift from 3–5:30 p.m. focuses on set-up. Duties include helping to unload the truck, organizing and labeling bins of food, setting up scales and benches and signs in the garden, and restocking produce. You may also check people off as they come in to pick up their shares.
The 5:30–8 p.m. includes restocking produce, check-in, and then closing down. After the last stragglers have filed through the garden to pick up their shares, you take care of gathering the leftover produce for City Harvest, stacking bins in the storage shed, and returning the garden to its original state.
What if I can't make my workshift?
The Park Slope CSA depends on you to honor your commitments and your labor is needed to enable the distribution to function. With enough notice you can make changes with minimal inconvenience to others, using the website where you signed up. If you fail to provide 24 hours notice to the Workshift Coordinator who tried to confirm your shift, or you do not show up for a shift, then you will not be allowed to pick up your share at your next scheduled distribution.
Workshifts are scheduled on the Workshift Calendar. The calendar is locked two weeks prior to the scheduled date. If you need to reschedule after this time, you need to contact the Workshift Coordinator. One week before the scheduled date, the workshift calendar will send you an automated reminder. About five days prior to your shift the WS Coordinator will email you to confirm you are able to work your scheduled shift. Please reply to their email, and acknowledge that you will work your shift. If you do not email the WS Coordinator, they will call you about 3 days before the scheduled shift. If you do not acknowledge their call, and you are a no-show you will be blocked from picking up your share on your next scheduled distribution.
What happens if it rains?
Rain, schmain, a little water never hurt a turnip now did it? Actually, the Park Slope CSA has two tents which make appearances during inclement weather.
What if I can't be there to pick up my share?
Invite a neighbor, friend, co-worker or family member to pick up in your absence. (It's a great way to spread the word on CSA.) All they have to do is give your name to the check-in person at the gate. Any food not picked up by members is donated to a City Harvest designated soup kitchen/food pantry.
The CSA now offers a Vacation Option. When you know in advance that you will not pick up your share, schedule a day off! Members can use 1 Vacation day during the season. If it’s more of a short term thing, or you used your vacation day then try to SWAP shares with another member.
What’s the Vacation Option?
The Park Slope CSA realizes that you may miss a distribution. If you know at least 2 weeks in advance that you have other plans, then you can ‘skip’ that week (your name will not be on the pick-up lists). The CSA will have your Vacation Share at your last scheduled pick up of the season. The Vacation share will consist of hardy and frozen veggies, and represent a weekly share. Vacation shares will also cover Fruit, Flowers and Eggs if you have ‘em.
How do SWAPs work?
Swaps are temporary (usually one time) arrangements. You must give the other person’s name when you pick up their share. They provide yours when they pick up your share. Keep in mind you are not picking up your share on a different date and the CSA does not switch your names on pick-up lists. All swap arrangements are between members. The Park Slope CSA is not involved or responsible for these arrangements.
SWAP List: To take advantage of the SWAP list, members must join the Park Slope CSA google group (link?). You can try to arrange to swap pick-up dates with another member (Tuesday OR Thursday). But bear in mind that your shares may not match. For instance, you may have an egg share, and they may have a flower share. If you are both willing to trade, you are all set! The SWAP list is more active in the summer, but members also find matches after Labor Day.
Can I split my share?
Yes. You make your own arrangements to do this. The Park Slope CSA requires that the whole share is picked up in its entirety. Later you can split the share between your share partner(s). All names and contact information should be on the contract, with the name of the principal shareholder identified. You will have to work out who will fulfill your membership requirements. If the partner is picking up, that person gives the main share name at check-in.
Lastly, please submit payments from only 1 member per installment. If you are paying in installments you can alternate who will make the payment. Just be sure to indicate the principal shareholders member number on the payment so we can assign the payment to the appropriate share.
Is it all organic?
Ted farms organically and is certified by Certified Naturally Grown. an alternate national organization oriented to the small-scale organic farm, using farmer-inspectors, and founded by our first CSA farmer, Ron Khosla, in New Paltz NY.