Summer time, and the bounty of vegetables and fruits are abundant. Sometimes you want a touch more of the flavor of the farm with your meal. Besides local grocery stores and green markets there are Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) projects in the city.
There are three CSA’s in the East Village area you should be aware of. And plenty more throughout NYC. Sixth Street CSA at Sixth Street Community Center paired withHepworth Farm, Washington Square CSA operating out of St. Mark’s Church on the Bowery withNorwich Meadows Farm and the 14th St Y CSA partnered withMountain View Farm.
A CSA project allows you to have direct access to fresh produce grown by local farmers. You become
a member of a CSA, by purchasing a “share” of vegetables from the farmer. The share is brought to the city every week from around June through November to a convenient drop-off location in your neighborhood. Usually CSA members pay for an entire season of upfront to allow the farmer to plan, purchase necessary items, make equipment repairs, and more.
Shares can include up to 10 kinds of vegetables, enough for a family of 2-3 people. Or one person who likes vegetables!
Some CSAs also offer the other produce like fruit, eggs, and even seasonal flowers. CSAs can even arrange payments in installments, accept food stamps, and offer sliding scale plans. Your neighborhood CSA group is run by members and a team of volunteers.
The 6th Street CSA provides local produce to their youth programs and neighborhood schools for use in nutrition and food preparation workshops. Their after school program holds regular collaborations with local schools, where students learn about healthy food choices and nutritious eating; both the CSA and their youth programs are working with kids and parents to address issues of obesity and diabetes, the results of unbalanced diets.
If there is not a CSA near you, you can even form your own with your neighbors. The organization JustFood has more information.