In-season, farm fresh vegetables are hard to beet! That's a lesson members of the newly established Einstein CSA have bean learning all summer.
CSA, which stands for Community-Supported Agriculture, offers the public access to high-quality, locally grown food through the purchase of a share of produce from a regional farmer. Shares are paid for upfront, allowing farmers to plan appropriately for their growing season. In turn, CSA members receive weekly deliveries of a variety of vegetables, as well as fruit, and meat and dairy products that are available through separate share purchases. And each week, different CSA members serve on volunteer shifts at the distribution site, where all members gather to collect their goods.
The idea for bringing a CSA to Einstein was hatched by Lola MacRae and Alena Janda, Einstein students who had been members of the Norwood CSA, located near Montefiore. When the duo surveyed students and postdocs to gauge interest, "we got an overwhelmingly positive response," said Ms. Janda. "So we looked into it and were able to connect with Norwich Meadows Farm, in Norwich, NY."
"We're losing touch with real food and agriculture in this country," noted Ms. MacRae. "It's important to strengthen and support the connection between the farm and the community."
The CSA also seeks to strengthen ties within the Einstein and local Bronx community. In addition to listing recipes featuring the week's produce on the CSA's website, the group donates its leftovers to a homeless shelter in the neighborhood.
Spanning 22 weeks between June and November, each share provides enough food for a small family or to split between two to three people. For a mere $15 per week, members receive a bountiful delivery that most recently included melon, tomatillos, cherry tomatoes, squash, peppers, a variety of greens, and eggplant.
Members come away from collecting their produce with one thought in mind: "Lettuce eat!"
Editor’s Note: For those interested, the possibility of offering winter shares - from November 2012 through May 2013 - is currently under consideration. The deadline for filling out the Winter CSA survey is Friday, September 14, 2012. To complete the survey, please visit http://doodle.com/xrc2cuxkyykufysg. Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
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