The Farm, The CSA and The Market Are Coming Back!

Dear Friends,

It has been a long winter and now Spring has now really sprung. Corbin and our Youth Leaders (who have been joined by Aseel, who has returned to AV as a College Intern in the program) have just completed a Community Food Assessment; our Urban Farm Corps members are working hard to build out the new farm site on Wolcott street; David is still composting like a mad man; and yes, Kenny is quickly filling up the Greenhouse.

As we enter the tenth season of growing at Red Hook Community Farm, we here at AV want to first convey our gratitude to you, the CSA members, for your care and concern in the immediate aftermath of Sandy, and for your continued interest and investment in the health of the fields and the wellbeing of the Staff and youth leaders.

We are excited to say that despite the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we will be rebuilding the farm this season. Our soil science came back with conflicting information. There were a number of toxins but only in negligible amounts.

We have been working with the City and State (and Gita’s firm ThreadCollective) to redesign the farm in a way that is more productive, more educational and more resilient to the changes that have come to us as a result of global climate change. We anticipate the approval of a final plan by early May and to begin the buildout soon thereafter.

Our current plan is to replace the existing soil, import new compost and raise the level of the farm to two feet deep. Raising the soil will allow us plant many new crops, manage irrigation and drainage better while limiting the impacts of future inundation.

Should this plan be approved, it may mean that the farm will not be planted until late June, which means that we will not have crops available to you until mid-July, or roughly three weeks after our traditional start time. BUT, WE WILL STILL HAVE A SEASON, EVEN IF DELAYED, AND THE FARMERS MARKET AND CSA will be held.

AS THE PLANS GET FIRMED UP WE WILL BE SENDING OUT WEEKLY UPDATES ON THE REBUILD SO THAT THE CSA CAN WATCH THE TRANSFORMATION.

In order to keep our schedule on track and provide members with fresh, locally produced food we have been organizing with our friends at Greenmarkets who have agreed to provide us with delivered produce from great regional farmers. Linking into the regional food system will help to ensure that we can launch Saturday June 22nd. Our additional share options of egg (new producer from the Finger Lakes), fruit, and cheese will remain unaffected and will be part of the share options as usual.

We will be providing you with contracts by no later than the beginning of next week. Within the contract you can opt in or opt out of these first weeks when the produce is not ours. Whatever your choice we hope that you know that your continued support of the farm and our work at Added Value is meaningful and important to us. We hope that you will continue in the CSA and participate in the local urban agricultural community.

All the best,
Ian and the rest of the AV team.

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