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Educational Alliance Seeks Volunteers For a New CSA

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Yesterday we reported that there are still a few shares available for purchase in the Grand Street CSA.  As interest has grown in the neighborhood about community supported agriculture and a potential food co-op for the Lower East Side, a plan for an additional CSA has been presented with support from Dana Weissman of the Educational Alliance. Grand Street CSA organizing member Jeremy Sherber is advising on the initial set-up.  They are currently seeking community members who would like to be a part of the Core Group of this new CSA.  Jeremy writes:

We’ll be having a meeting (next Monday, March 1st) for anyone interested in running the CSA (the Core Group) and will be making decisions after that about sign-up. Though a farmer/partner has been identified for us by Just Food, the timeframe of putting this together is still very short, and it’s not clear to us yet that we’ll be able to pull it off. The more enthusiastic neighbors show up next Monday, the better!

Neighbors interested in joining the Core Group to help organize a new CSA (or just to learn more about the CSA itself) can sign up here.  The first organizational meeting is scheduled for March 1, 6:30pm at The Educational Alliance, 197 East Broadway.

The Educational Alliance has put together an announcement for the organizational meeting of the new CSA. We have posted it  below:

WHAT IS A CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a program for purchasing fresh produce from a single, regional farm.

With a CSA, you buy a fixed-price share of a farm’s output at the beginning of the season, and receive a selection of their harvest once a week from June through October.

For the farmer, CSAs reduce wasted food (in good years) and financial loss (in bad years), allowing smaller farms to avoid some of the risk of their business.

In return, you get fresh, organic vegetables from a farmer you know. (For more information, visit justfood.org)

The Educational Alliance, an organization that’s been making a difference in our community for over 120 years, has already committed to contribute logistical support as well as to buy into the CSA for their many neighborhood nutrition programs.

A Core Group of members is now needed to get this new CSA off the ground.

WHAT IS THE CORE GROUP?

The Core Group consists of 6-10 CSA members willing to donate time during the year to coordinate membership and distribution. In addition, this year Core Group members will have to make some quick decisions as to how this new CSA should be organized.

Core Group responsibilities include:

Managing sign-up of new members
Collecting member payments and disbursing funds to farmer
Arranging volunteer schedule for distribution days
Supervising 6-8 distribution shifts per season
Communicating with members and farmer

The first organizational meeting is scheduled for March 1, 6:30pm at The Educational Alliance, 197 East Broadway.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting. So shares are still available in an already existing CSA, just a few blocks away, yet here is a movement to start another one, though it seems that supply of CSA shares currently outstrips demand in the area. Does the Grand Street CSA get bad reviews? Is there a reason why these Educational Alliance folks don’t just join that one?

  2. Joey, good question. We decided to pursue a second CSA in the neighborhood when the Grand Street CSA wait list topped 80 names, and another 70 neighbors showed up for the initial LES Food Coop initiative meeting, many of whom had never heard of the Grand Street CSA but obviously were interested in the idea of fresh, organic produce available in the community. Additionally, the Grand Street CSA has never had the chance to do much outreach in the neighborhood, and we thought a second CSA, with the backing of Educational Alliance, might be able to reach a broader population.

    The Grand Street CSA’s wait list turned out to be softer than we thought, but we still think there are more interested people out there who haven’t yet heard about what we do. We might be wrong, but we’ve got about 6 weeks to figure it out.

    As of right now, there are only 3 shares still available for the Grand Street CSA. They will fill up before the second CSA has its organizational meeting on Monday evening.

  3. Thanks. Will both CSAs be getting produce from the same farm? Is the idea to get the second CSA off the ground for this season?

  4. No, different farms. Woodbridge Farm, which partners with Grand Street CSA, was already maxed out. Monkshood Farm, in upstate NY, would supply the new CSA, if we are able to find about 40 interested members to participate this year. (Yes, we’re hoping to get the second CSA running this year.)

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