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July 27th, 2006:

Yonkers CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

Part of living in any city is being part of the community. Which is one of the reasons that Stephanie and I joined a CSA…

For those of you out of the loop- a CSA is a program by a small (or not so small) local farm, in which they sell shares of their crop in advance to consumers such as us. In return for the upfront money, we get a “Share” of their crop– for about 25 weeks– June-November– whatever they are growing.

We joined the Yonkers CSA, sponsored by Groundwork Yonkers. Groundwork is a really great organization that sponsors educational and community building around environmental issues. They’re an excellent organization (we had one in Providence) and so when I discovered by chance their office and realized that they were starting a CSA, I thought “Great! Why join one outside of Yonkers that has been more established. Let’s support our local community organization.”

Groundwork Yonkers bought 50 shares in advance from a farmer, and then resold them to Yonkers residents. I’m happy to say that they sold all of their 50 sharess, so that part is working out. At least for them!

In theory this should work out for us too– our CSA share cost $250, so if we pay $10 a week for organic groceries that we were already going to buy, and we get $10 (or more) per week of groceries (worth) than it should work out fabulously. We get cheap groceries, small farm stays afloat, Groundworks does their mission. Win Win Win.

So far however, it hasn’t quite worked out the way we would have hoped. At least for us Partially it’s because we’ve already missed two weeks (one week we were on vacation, adn the other week through sheer boneheaded forgetfulness) That doesn’t help our cause.

But even so, our shares have been rather meager. Last week’s share was the following:
One tiny eggplant, one radish, 3 heads of lettuce, two bunches of green onions, a quarter pound of kale, two tiny cucumbers, and two green peppers– Not exactly the bargain that we were hoping for. I mean, what can you do with one radish?

We have friends that are in other CSA’s in the area, but we’re holding out with hope that the meager food is due to the weird weather, which no doubt has thrown growing off more than a little. If not— obviously, we’ve already paid for this year, but next year, we’ll probably get something a little more filling. (and hopefully equally fulfilling)