CSA: Q&A

{to sign up & apply for CSA membership: click here}

to

What is a CSA?  

CSAs are Community Supported Agriculture programs in which the farmer/s and CSA members share in the rewards and risks of growing local produce. Typically, CSA members pay in advance to help with the farmer’s start up fees and in return enjoy weekly deliveries of fresh produce throughout the growing season. Project Harmony has been a part of the Just Food CSA network (www.justfood.org) since 2008.  

Where do the Project Harmony CSA shares come from?  

Our farmer, Claudio Gonzalez, is an immigrant farmer in Orange County, NY. He is part of the Just Food Immigrant Farmer Program and sells his produce at various farmers’ markets throughout the city.  

How long does the CSA run?  

Our summer CSA runs for 22 weeks from June 4th to November 5th (skipping the week of July 4th).  

How do I pick up my share?  

Pickup occurs every Thursday from 5-7:30pm in the Joseph Daniel Wilson Memorial Garden on 122nd Street between Frederick Douglass Blvd and AC Powell Blvd.  

What if it rains?  

During severely inclement weather pickups occur across the street from the garden at:
216 W 122nd Street (garden level). Emails will be sent out & signs will be put on the garden gate
to let members know.  

What are the responsibilities of a CSA member?

Each member is required to volunteer 2-4 hours throughout the duration of the Summer CSA. 
Members sign up on "Sign-Up Genius" where it's very easy to manage volunteer hours.
These hours happen during regular distribution time, when we need volunteers to help with sign-in/pick-up, as well as cleaning up and putting away any extra vegetables that are left over.  

What does my CSA share include each week?  

CSA shares include 6-7 types of produce. Spring/early summer shares includes lots of leafy greens, young carrots, radishes, leeks and the like. Later in the season, our shares typically include tomatoes, a variety of summer squashes, tomatillos, onions, potatoes, peppers, cabbage, etc. While our farmer does not offer plentiful fruit, we do receive peaches, apples and sometimes pears in season.

How many people does a share serve?  

A share should serve a family of four. Strict vegetarians, vegans or people who only juice or eat or raw vegetables may need to buy more than one share.  

Can I buy eggs, organic meats or other organic food in this CSA?  

Members can also order many other items, which we call "CSA Extras." These include cheeses, yogurts, butter, ice cream, meats & poultry, eggs, grains, flours, even granola and artisanal breads--all organic, grass-fed, pastured, cage-free, locally grown & milled, etc.  These items can be ordered directly, ala carte, from Lewis Waite Farms, with whom we partner.   Last year we had a separate mushroom share, which may or may not continue this year.  

How much does it cost to join the CSA?

Our CSA has a sliding scale payment format. All the shares the same size; we do not ask our members for income information, people usually know where they fit, and this has always worked out well for us. Our scale is as follows:  
High Income: $440.00 Regular Share: $390.00 Subsidized Share: $340.00 
Food Stamps/EBT Share: $340.00. $32.00 due first pick-up and due every two weeks
thereafter (no admin fee).   We strongly encourage members who can to contribute a donation of
any size to help subsidize low income and EBT shares.  

Can I pay in installments?  

Anyone wishing to pay over time (other than EBT) can do so; we suggest two/three payments. Individuals decide
when to make these payments and should let us know their plans via phone/email by the time of the
first payment.  The first payment is due before deliveries start.  

What if I am on vacation and can’t pick up my share?  

If members go away on holiday they either have a friend pick-up for them or donate their share for that week/those weeks. If a member knows at sign-up that they will be away for 2 or more weeks and lets us know, we can reduce their initial payment. Members are required to remind us of their vacation, as close as possible to the actual dates, so that we can inform the farmer.

I’d love to join the CSA, but can’t be a member. Can I still purchase vegetables?

We plan to have a “People’s Market” in conjunction with the CSA for people who do not want to sign up for the 22-week share.
These vegetables are also provided by Claudio Gonzalez, as well as local community gardens.  

This sounds great! How do I sign up?  

Our application is available, just click here. You can also email projectharmonycs@aol.com for an application and more information.

The Project Harmony CSA & its members endorse

the U.S./Canada CSA Charter as follows:

Charter for CSAs in the U.S. & Canada Each CSA farm community

will be governed by these principles:

1) Farm members will buy directly from the farm or group of farms, with no middleman. Members will forge a strong cooperative connection with farmers and the land and acquire a deep understanding of how food is grown

in their locale.

2) The farm will provide members with high quality, healthy, nutrient-dense, fresh or properly preserved, low fossil-fuel food or fiber -- primarily grown on the farm or, if purchased from other farms, clearly identified as to origin.

3) The farm’s production methods will respect ecosystems and biodiversity, natural seasonal cycles, and cultural legacies; will build healthy soils, restore soil carbon, conserve water, and minimize environmental pollution; will include proper handling methods to ensure that produce is fresh, tasty, and nutritious, and that all health and safety concerns are addressed; and will use locally-adapted seeds and breeds to the extent possible. Farmers will consult and communicate with members about which crops will be grown and how farm operations are progressing.

4) Through signed agreements, good-faith solidarity efforts, and at least partial pre-payments (as little as two weeks’ worth for SNAP beneficiaries), farmers and members will jointly assume the inherent risks of farming and enjoy the fruits of the farm.

5) CSA prices will strike a fair balance so that people can afford memberships, farmers can cover costs of production and make a good living, and farm workers can receive decent wages and benefits and live with dignity.

6) Farmers, farm workers, and members will pursue socio-economic inclusiveness and commit to furthering the international CSA movement and its ideals.