2016 Orientation Handout

Kensington Windsor Terrace CSA Orientation 2016

Garden Rules
We are guests in the East 4th Street Community Garden. To ensure a good relationship between the CSA and its host, we must follow the garden’s rules, which include:

  • Don’t pick flowers or vegetables or touch other people’s garden plots, which are tended by individual members.
  • You are welcome to stay and visit the garden. It is open for public use whenever the gate is open, and there is always an on-duty garden member who can answer any questions. Since the garden rules are subject to change, please follow any requests by the garden member on duty. Garden membership information can be found at eastfourthstreetgarden.tumblr.com.
  • Garden visitors may contribute properly processed compost. Cut compost into small pieces and follow posted instructions. Please ask the garden member on duty if you have any questions.
  • For CSA pickups, stay on the paths or designated route during.
  • While in the garden, children must be accompanied by an adult and supervised continuously, including while you pick up your share. Water in the garden (koi pond, fountain, hoses) is not for children to play with.
  • Avoid bringing strollers and carts into the garden unnecessarily to reduce wear on the lawn.
  • Dogs must remain on the lawn and on-leash.
  • Garbage cans are for garden waste only, carry your own garbage out with you (diapers, picnic waste).
  • Be careful not to step on the garden beds or roll carts over them.

CSA Rules
  • Bring your own bags. Instruct anybody picking up for you to bring bags, too.
  • Volunteer at least once per season. Wednesday members must volunteer on Wednesdays, Saturday members may volunteer either day.
  • CSA Distribution coordinators are in charge and can answer any questions.
  • Supervise any kids that you come with. Kids should not wander away in the garden without an adult.
  • You are responsible for your guests and friends picking up a share for you. Tell them to bring bags  and what to expect at the pickup, including pickup times.
  • Pickup times are 10:30-12:00 Saturdays and 4:30-6:30 Wednesdays. Pickups will end promptly at 12:00 or 6:30 due to garden rules. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate latecomers.
  • If you miss your pickup, you forfeit your share that week. It cannot be made up at a later date. Please arrange in advance to swap with another member, or give or sell your share to a friend for the day. Swaps can be arranged on the Google Group List.
  • Produce left over at the end of a pickup will be donated to area hunger relief whenever possible.
  • Contact the Core Team at kwtcsa@gmail.com with any questions, and please be patient as we are a volunteer team.
  • Say hi! We’re all neighbors and usually happy to share veggie inspiration, recipes, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where and when do distributions occur?
Distributions take place on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:30, and on Saturdays from 10:30 to 12 at the East 4th Street Community Garden located between Caton Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway. PICKUPS WILL END PROMPTLY AT THEIR END TIMES. Due to garden restrictions, we will not be able to accommodate latecomers.

2015 SEASON: 24 weeks, for all shares except flowers, meat, and cheese. Biweekly members are assigned an A or B week for pickup. Cheese shares are picked up every other week, meat shares every fourth week, and flower shares end at the end of October. See kwtcsa.org or the Garden of Eve Farm website for a full schedule.

First pickup: Wed June 10/Sat June 13 (June 17 or 20 for “B Week” biweekly members)
Last pickup: Wed Nov 18/Sat Nov 21 (November 11 or 14 for “A Week” biweekly members)

What is my volunteer requirement and how do I fulfill it?
Every household must volunteer at least one shift per season (whether your share is weekly or biweekly). You should have received an email with your volunteer signup link, which is also linked on kwtcsa.org. Every share only requires one volunteer shift per season, though members are welcome to volunteer more than once. Please note on your volunteer signup if you will be unable to stand or lift boxes.

When you’re volunteering, plan to dress for physical work and be aware than crates and equipment can be dirty. Bring a sun hat and water if you are sensitive to the heat, and let the distribution coordinator know at the beginning of the shift if you require any specific accommodation. You will not be able to supervise your child playing in the garden during your volunteer shift. If you have any questions about volunteering, please email Volunteer Coordinator Marilynn Doore, edwardsmum@gmail.com.

What if I can’t pick up my share?
If you are not able to make your usual share pick-up, you are welcome to have a friend pick up your share or to swap dates with another member. No prior notice is required; just tell them to check in under your name, to bring their own bags, what time the pickup begins and ends, and (for non-members) tell them how pickup works. Any share leftovers are typically donated to a Brooklyn area hunger relief organization or distributed among volunteers. Many members arrange date swaps on the KWT CSA Google Group email list.

Any shares that are not picked up are forfeited and cannot be made up at a later date.

What’s the difference between the official email list and the Google Group? How does the CSA communicate with me throughout the season?
The CSA maintains an official email list to send you essential information about your share including signups and deadlines. Emails will come from kwtcsa@gmail.com through a service called MailChimp. Please do not unsubscribe from this list or mark these messages as “spam,” as this leaves us no way to reach you. The farm may send you email directly or through Farmigo for specific updates.  

KWT CSA also maintains a “Google Group” email list where members can reach each other with relevant announcements and to arrange date swaps. The Google Group is also how we reach you with a weekly share list, CSA events postings, and updates from the farm. You will be added to the Google Group automatically and can unsubscribe at any time with the links at the bottom of each message. If using Gmail for your email, please add kwtcsa@gmail.com and kwtcsa@googlegroups.com to your preferred contacts list and drag our messages from “Promotions” into your main inbox.

If the volume of email is too much for you, try changing your message settings to “abridged mode” to receive only one message per day. You can also change your settings to “NO EMAIL” if you’d like to be able to look at the group messages without receiving them in your inbox. If you signed up and are not receiving messages, make sure that your subscription at groups.google.com is not set to “NO EMAIL.”

You can find us on facebook.com/kwtcsa, where we will post updates and members can share relevant announcements.

On our website, kwtcsa.org, we will  post weekly share lists, farm announcements, and recipes.

Will there be events and other ways to get involved during the season?
We typically have member events during the season including cooking classes and potlucks. Our farm, Garden of Eve, also holds open member days so that you can visit. If you would like to plan or host an event or farm trip, contact kwtcsa@gmail.com!

What if I don’t like a particular share item?
You are welcome to leave any items that you don’t intend to eat. Extra items will be donated to a local hunger-related organization when possible. At most pickups, there will be a “Swap Box” where members can trade one of their unwanted items for another item in the box. If you don’t see the swap box, ask the distribution volunteers to set one up.

How do I cook ____ item?
Good question! A spirit of curiosity will make the season much more fun. There are lots of great web resources for learning how to prepare seasonal vegetables and fruits. Feel free to share great recipes on the Google Group or facebook page, and please participate in CSA community events. We will repost member recipes on our website at kwtcsa.org. Just Food, a non-profit that supports CSAs around New York City, sends out a helpful email list with weekly recipes and CSA-related news, justfood.org.

What happens in the rain?
Pickup proceeds under the tent as usual.

Can I change my share during the season?
We are usually not able to accommodate share changes during the season. If you move away during the season, you may be able to sell your share to another member. Contact the core group for special circumstances.

What changes can I expect during the season?
The produce typically peaks in quantity in the late summer. You may find topical blemishes or insects in your produce more often than you would from supermarket vegetables due to the farm’s organic farming practices. The farm often chooses to share its crops with us—rather than throw them away—even if they are not cosmetically pristine.

After daylight savings time begins, Wednesday members will receive their shares in pre-packaged boxes, for the safety of the volunteers running distribution after dark.

What is a CSA? How does the CSA model support local farms
CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture.” CSAs are farm shares that individuals buy into at the beginning of a season to support a local farm, pre-paying for a portion of the farm’s crops over that season. City groups partner with regional farms to support sustainable growing practices and to access high quality, locally-grown, affordable produce. The Kensington Windsor Terrace partners with Garden of Eve Organic Farm in Riverhead, Long Island.

Pre-paying gives the farm the economic stability to face the uncertainties of the weather and land. The farmers work to ensure a plentiful bounty throughout the summer, but some factors are outside the farmer’s control. In the CSA model, members assume the risk for the farm share and are not guaranteed a particular quantity of produce. In times of high productivity, members receive extra produce and share in the farm’s harvest. This risk sharing is integral to local farms’ survival from year to year.

What is the Core Group and what does it do?
The core group is a volunteer team that manages all the administrative tasks of the CSA including membership, communication, events, and distribution. The core team often has openings from year to year, and is happy to receive help. Please reach out if you would like to take on more leadership within the group. The 2016 Core Group is Megan, Preston, Diane, Martha, Marilynn, Debbie, Craig, Stephanie, Alec, and Thomas.

How can I help out?
Contact the core group at kwtcsa@gmail.com and feel free to sign up for additional volunteer shifts! KWT CSA is a community organized group and welcomes your help and participation.

Contacting the Group

The core group answers email at kwtcsa@gmail.com. Because the core group is a team of volunteers paid in vegetables, we are unable to answer email every day. Often, other members can answer general questions on the Google Group, kwtcsa@googlegroups.com. For farm-specific issues, you can contact farmer@gardenofevefarm.com, but please copy us on your email if you’d like the core group to know about your inquiry.

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