January 28, 2013

Getting Ready for 2013: Lots of Changes!

Happy new year! We have so much to share with you to prepare for our new season.

Before we get to the details, we’d like to put out a call to members who would like to join our Core Group. These are the people who help organize the CSA, supervise distribution every week, manage the accounts, and communicate with our providers during the season. Typically we ask core group members to volunteer for six distribution shifts during the summer instead of the normal two, participate in email conversations about the CSA plus a few in-person meetings, monitor the CSA email account, and generally be available to add a hand as needed.

If you’d like to become more involved, please email us at info@grandstreetcsa.org.

Now, on to the news …

First of all, Max and Kerry of Provider Farm, after reviewing their first full season, have decided that the trip down to NYC is not sustainable — it just takes too much time out of their busy week to drive down here and back every Tuesday. This was a big disappointment for us to hear, since all the feedback we received from our members indicated a high degree of satisfaction with their vegetables and service. In both quantity and quality, it was probably our best season so far. Nevertheless, we’ve had to find another farm to join our CSA for 2013.

Second, we’re also parting ways with Breezy Hill Orchards, from whom we’ve been getting fruit, eggs, and pasta for the past four years. In this case, the choice was ours — we have had long, simmering complaints about the selection they offer, and this year we struggled mightily with delivery times and proper inventory.

Luckily, we’ve found more than suitable replacements, and we are almost ready to open registration for 2013.

Norwich Meadows Farm is a well-established CSA provider with two properties — one in Norwich, NY and the other in Lebanon, NJ. They are certified organic, and come highly recommended by other NYC CSAs, including Washington Square and Astoria. They’ll offer a familiar list of crops including beans, peas, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuces and cooking greens, herbs, summer and winter squashes, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers, melons, root crops, and other special items. (For a full list of crops, click here.)

Norwich also provides eggs from free-running hens fed only the highest quality certified organic feed with a supplemental diet of organic greens. And they partner with Red Jacket Orchards to bring us stone fruits, pears, and apples during the season.

To round out our offerings, we will be partnering with Sfoglini Pasta Shop in Brooklyn to provide small batch, freshly extruded pastas made from the finest organic semolina flour. We will also continue to offer maple syrup at the start of our season from Circle C Farms, monthly dairy products from Milk Not Jails, and the occasional order of poultry and meat from Norwich.

A few other changes that you should be aware of:

  • The vegetable share offered by Norwich is equivalent to our previous half share — if you have been used to ordering a full share, this year you will just order two shares.
  • Because fruit is provided through our connection to Norwich, you must be getting vegetables in order to order a fruit share.
  • Half shares for fruit and eggs will actually be getting a full share every other week.
  • Vegetables will be delivered in bulk — which means we’ll all be using the scales again at distribution.

You can see our new prices and some more information about our new providers on our website.

Registration will open for past members in about a week (you’ll get another email). We are preparing to have a meet-the-farmers evening in the first half of February, so of course you may want to wait until then to register. But this year we will have deadlines to encourage early sign-ups — on February 22 the vegetable share price will go up $10, and on April 1 the share price will go up another $40.

Obviously this is a lot of change — we will have new providers this year for all of our weekly shares — but we are committed to maintaining our CSA and are hopeful that partnering with an established CSA farm will give us a more consistent experience over the next several years.