Farmer’s Note and Update on the 2014 Season

Dear Friends, Neighbors and Shareholders,

What an exciting time. Spring has really sprung. And on this blustery day I wanted to share a bit of news with you. Thanks in large part to support from the City and your on-the-ground stewardship, we spent much of 2013 rebuilding. I’m happy to report that the Red Hook Community Farm has been rebuilt.

The reinvigoration of the Farm (designed by Gita Nandan and her colleagues at ThreadCollective) has increased growing space, provided us with the new solar array, and radically expanded infrastructure for our Community Composting Program. With this improved infrastructure we have the opportunity to grow more food and a greater diversity of crops, expand programming, build new systems (such as rain water harvesting systems) and reestablish the Farm as a model for sustainable development while helping Red Hook shrink its environmental footprint, expanding economic development and improving the employment potential for young adults in our community.

You, our past and present CSA Shareholders, have been and continue to be a very special part of the extended Added Value community, and we are excited to begin the 2014 season with the following news.

This year in addition to running our Youth Empowerment Program, the Urban Farm Corps, and our Farm Based Learning Programs, we have established the following goals for the Farm:

· Reestablish a minimum of one acre of agricultural growing space

· Grow 7-10 tons of produce

· Diversify crops

· Install fruit crops to diversity flora and fauna on the farm

· Reintegrate apiculture (bees) into the farm

· Pilot a small chicken operation with an eye towards implementation in 2015

· Hire a Food Systems/Marketing Coordinator to run the RHFM, RHCSA and Restaurant Partnerships

· Engage 1000 volunteers

· Host the Red Hook Harvest Festival

This will allow us to:

· Reestablish the market as a source of healthy locally grown food stuff for 200 regular customers, representing the diversity of the neighborhood, and reinvigorate the space as a place for community gatherings

What does this mean for the CSA?

· We’re going to return to 50 full shares this year!

· We will have sliding scale, work shares and special project shares

· We are seeking your input. Please take this survey, https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8D9M2DY, by Friday April 4th.

· Your response will help guide us in our plans to diversify product offerings to the market and CSA with the potential of bringing bread, grains, legumes, meat coffee, and honey.

· Contracts will be circulated to returning members by April 14th. Those on the wait list will receive contracts no later that the 28th, with the CSA opening up to the general public soon there after.

We hope to have you all back for the 2014 season!

All best,

Ian and the CSA core group

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