Sunday, April 29, 2007

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.

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