What is a CSA and how does it work?
Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a partnership between CSA members and a farmer. The farmer is supplied with a predictable income, and members are supplied with freshly harvested vegetables, fruit, and eggs on a Weekly or Every Other Week (EOW) basis beginning in June and going until the end of October or November. Typically, members or “share-holders” of the farm pledge to pay in advance for the cost of growing the vegetables provided during the summer harvest. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s harvest throughout the growing season. Members pick up their shares at a distribution site run and organized by neighborhood CSA members. In 2016, the Sunset Park CSA season will begin on June 8 and run for 22 weeks until November 2, 2016.
What kind of vegetables will I get in my share?
A week’s share will consist of 7-10 vegetables (as the seasons dictate). In addition to the vegetables that you are familiar with – onions, squash, carrots, greens, beets, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, cabbage, parsley, etc., MimoMex Farm also grows an array of traditional Mexican and Central American vegetables and herbs as well as a large selection of peppers (grown without pesticides!). For unfamiliar produce, we have recipes and storage tip sheets on our website that will surely help turn even the most conservative cook into a culinary adventurer!
The Egg share consists of one dozen eggs from pastured chickens at Tello’s Green Farm (the chickens get to run around the farmyard to their hearts content). The optional egg share is only available if you are purchasing a Weekly or an Every Other Week vegetable share.
Orchard Fruit Share
The Orchard Fruit share consists of seasonally available fruit from Hepworth Farms. The optional fruit share is only available if you are purchasing a Weekly or an Every Other Week vegetable share.
We are partnered with MimoMex Farm, located on 16 acres in the rich black dirt region of Orange County, New York. The farm is about 50 miles north of Brooklyn, in a valley area known for its extremely fertile soil left over from an ancient glacial lake bottom.
The farm is run by Martín and Gaudencia Rodriguez. The name MimoMex combines the nickname of their oldest son Mimo with the family’s country of origin. Martín & Gaudencia both grew up on farms in Mexico and have more than 21 years of farming experience. They have been on their farm in Goshen, NY for about 13 years, and own most of the land they cultivate. This will be their eighth year as CSA farmers.
With five children, family and tradition are very important to Martín and Gaudencia. Staying true to the healthy agricultural practices they grew up learning in Mexico, Martín and Gaudencia have maintained their traditions by avoiding synthetic chemical pesticides or fertilizers on their farm here in New York. In addition to providing our CSA with fresh veggies, MimoMex Farm sells vegetables at the Sunset Park Greenmarket during the summer months on 4th Ave. and 59th St.
Is the produce organic?
MimoMex Farm produces vegetables for the Sunset Park CSA using organic growing practices but they are not certified by the US Department of Agriculture. The fresh veggies you receive each week through the Sunset Park CSA are grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers. MimoMex sources the fruit (apples, peaches, pears, plums, etc.) for our fruit shares from neighboring farms. It is very difficult to produce fruit organically in this region and very few of our local fruit producers are certified organic. The fruit is produced using conventional practices or using a system called integrated pest management (IPM), which seeks to limit the amount of chemical controls used on the farm. Our eggs come from chickens that are free-range and eat grains, grass, some soy, and nothing with hormones or animal byproducts.
Sunset Park CSA is a mixed-income CSA. We use a sliding scale to make our vegetable shares available at a lower price to households living on less income. Households with greater incomes help subsidize households with lower incomes. We are proud to be a mixed income CSA and maintain a two tiered pricing structure to ensure that the CSA remains accessible to low-income members. We are now able to accept SNAP benefits from members.
How do I pay?
Please see the online Membership Agreement form for 2015 season prices. A deposit (or full payment) is due with your agreement form to secure membership. The deadline for sign-up is May 15 and deadline for payment is May 31. Shares will be filled on a first come, first served basis. The deposit includes a $10 administrative fee (which includes Just Food affinity membership dues for our CSA). You can:
- Pay in Full – Paying for your share early in the season is the preferred method, as it helps cover expenses such as seed orders, equipment, and maintenance.
- Pay in Installments – To reserve a share pay a deposit of $100 for a weekly share or a deposit of $50 for an EOW share and pay the remainder by May 31, 2016.
- Sign Up for a Flexible Payment Option – A flexible monthly payment plan is available to Plan B share members. Please contact the CSA at SunsetParkCSA(@)gmail.com or by phone at 347-460-1477 if you need to establish an alternate payment plan.
Refund & Non-Payment Policy
If payment is not received in full by May 31, 2016, the CSA will retain $50 of your deposit and refund the remaining amount. If you contact us before May 31, 2016, and are not able to keep your share, we will refund the whole amount except for the $10 admin fee.
Where and when do I pick up my vegetables?
Members pick up their shares on Wednesdays between 5:30 and 7:30 PM at the distribution site @ St. Michael’s Church, 352 42nd St, Sunset Park, between 42nd and 43rd streets. If you are unable to pick up your share you may send someone to pick it up for you. Shares cannot be held past 7:30 PM.
What is the time commitment for members, and what comprises a shift?
Because we are a member-run, volunteer organization we rely on members’ time. Members are required to work 2 shifts of 2 hours each for a total of four hours per season. Our work duties include unloading the delivery truck, organizing and itemizing produce, setting up scales, tables and chairs, etc. At the end of a shift, all equipment must be returned to storage, tables are put away, and plastic crates get stacked so they can be returned to the farm, ultimately leaving the site in its original state. These responsibilities may be changed and/or modified as our CSA’s needs evolve.