Farm Update!

The farm is in full swing as we reach mid-summer. Crops planted at the beginning of the season are coming to fruition. Last week we were able to harvest cucumbers, mustard greens, pole beans, onions and turnips. Some of the beds in the field have been re-tilled and seeded for a second crop. We had a good amount of rain so plants are – for the most part – well watered. Soil conditions are not optimal but better than last year and able to yield produce. The youth team has been enthusiastically engaged with learning and helping with farm work. Say hi and give them a pat on the back when you come to pick up your veggies. What you should incorporate into your meals this week: basil!

2014 Contracts Now Available!

Hello Red Hook CSAers,

It is time, at long last, for contracts for the 2014 season!! Thank you so much for bearing with us as we dealt with the transformations at Added Value. The interim Executive Director, Dart Westphal, board members, and the core CSA team are working hard on the planning and organizing and are 100% committed to having an excellent 2014 season full of delicious food.

The contract is available here for you to sign up: Regular Share 2014. Due to the added nuances of changing management this year, we can only offer regular shares (no work shares, or low income shares for now), but they will be available in both small and large. If you have received a low-income share in the past, please email us and we can determine the best route since we are dedicated to trying to keep everyone involved.

The season will be starting soon — really soon!– so please get your contract back to us along with payment ASAP!!

This year, similar to last year, the CSA will be sourced through a combination of awesome Added Value produce when it is available (probably starting mid-season), and a local farmer from within the tri-state area. We will be providing detailed info on the farmer supplying us. Many thanks to the Added Value team that is currently planting, digging, and getting our harvest underway.

We are offering : veggie share, fruit share, cheese share through Ann Saxelby, and an egg share. Please note this year’s cheese share will have two options, large and small. The large share will receive (2) 1/3 lb cheese for $16/wk, and the small will receive (1) 1/3 lb cheese for $8/wk.

Season dates : June 21st – FIRST PICKUP through November 15th LAST PICKUP

Regarding payments

this year you will have 2 options:
1) pay all at once
2) two payments, one now, one mid season (august)

HOW TO MAKE Payments :
1. Paypal : https://www.epkdesign.com/addedvalue/donateform.php
2. check mailed to : Red Hook CSA PO Box 310028, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Regarding signed contracts :
Dates due for signed contracts and first payment :
+ Returning members have until JUNE 13th,
+ Waitlist has until JUNE 13th
+ CSA opens to all thereafter until we are full.

HOW TO RETURN Signed contracts :
1. email to redhookbkcsa@gmail.com (preferable)
2. mailed with payment to the address above

PLEASE EMAIL US BACK TO LET US KNOW WHAT SHARE YOU ARE SIGNING UP FOR AND HOW YOU HAVE MADE PAYMENT SO THAT WE CAN TRACK IT PROPERLY!

Regarding volunteer hours :
Each share requires volunteer hours to help the farm run more smoothly. We are doing things a bit differently this year. The share volunteer hours will be completed by manning the distribution table approx. ONE saturday during the season. This will depend on how many shareholders we get, it may need to be more than ONE, to be determined. If you have a Saturday already in mind, please email the date with your contract.

We will have a welcoming event the week soon after the first pick up. More details to come soon.

All the best
The CSA Core Group : Gita, Abby, Cristina, Erika, Tracy, Caleb

What I Made: Chilled Tomato Soup

For this I just threw together a bunch of stuff we got in our shares.

4 large tomatoes
2 peppers (I used the white ones, mmm)
2 shallots
1 clove garlic
a few stalks of celery
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
a splash of agave
salt and pepper to taste

throw everything in a vitamix or high speed blender and eat with a chunk of bread. This uses a ton of stuff from our share and is super yummy.

CSA Shares

At last, the contracts are ready, and it’s time for existing members to sign up for this year’s shares!

There are three contract types for you to review and sign up with. A regular share, low cost share, and work share.

We have approximately 60 shares available, a few less spots this year than last year because of the farm renovation. It is realistically what could be handled this year. So, returning members will have access first to these open spots. The shares will be given out on a first come first serve basis, so better to get your signed contract and payment is ASAP! Below are the important details of the share, payment, etc.
The cheese and egg shares are back again as options.

Season dates: June 22nd – FIRST PICKUP November 16th – LAST PICKUP

To return signed contracts and first payment:
+ Returning members have until MAY 29th,
+ Waitlist has until JUNE 5th
+ CSA opens to all thereafter until we are full.

Payment can be made through :
1. Paypal : https://www.epkdesign.com/addedvalue/donateform.php
2. check mailed to : Red Hook CSA PO Box 310028, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Signed contracts can be :
1. emailed back to redhookbkcsa@gmail.com
2. mailed with payment to the address above

PLEASE LET US KNOW WHAT SHARE YOU ARE SIGNING UP FOR AND HOW YOU HAVE MADE PAYMENT SO THAT WE CAN TRACK IT PROPERLY!

Looking forward to having you back this season.

All best,
The Core Group

Added Value Farm And CSA Update

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Summer is nearly here, and we are ready to open the Red Hook CSA for the 2013 season, finally. We apologize for the delays, but as you may have heard there are many transformations underway over at the farm, which have impacted our schedule. But the exciting thing is that reconstruction started this week, and we are now excited to get all our members in the loop and connected to the food that will be coming out of this new and improved space.

The farm renovation is a result of Sandy’s impact, and is made possible through the support of various city agencies, like the Dept of Sanitation. Added Value’s compost system is expanding, a solar system being installed, and the farm beds are being raised two feet to help flood-proof for future storms. Construction just started, and is expected to take the next 4-6 weeks. Check out the photos of the farm totally bare! If you have time in the coming weeks, feel free to visit and walk around the perimeter and take a look. The farm cannot have folks on site, due to construction, but it is still worth a visit, as it is the only time you will see the site like this.

Because of this, Added Value will be getting into the ground a bit later than previous years. Our CSA will be provided with the fruit of the farm when the harvest season starts. Until then Added Value has generously arranged with Green Markets and local farmers to provide us with fruit and vegetables so that our season can still start on time. Thank you Added Value!

In other news, have you seen the farm going in on NYCHA property? This is the work of Added Value as well. Farm beds are being constructed on the land next to the senior citizen center, across from the public library, and some the beds are already planted. Feel to stop by and say hello.

We will be having a welcoming event the week before first pickup. More details to come in early June.

We are excited for our 2013 season, since it will be the kick off to an inspiring new Red Hook Farm.

All the best,
The CSA Core Group : Gita, Abby, Cristina, Erika, Tracy, Caleb

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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.

2013 CSA Season

Spring

We hope this message finds all of you well and warm and as excited as we are about the 2013 CSA season. It may not feel like it, but spring will be here before we know it! You’ll be hearing from us soon with details about shares and sign-up. In the meantime, if you are unsure of where you stand with your volunteer hours from 2012, or have any unreported hours outstanding, please email us so we can get you squared away. We are particularly aware that during post-Sandy many of you came out to help and may not have reported (or even had the ability to report). So please let us know.

And if you haven’t taken our end-of-year survey yet, please do! It will only take a few minutes of your time, and your feedback can help us shape the coming season.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZH8QTTN

Looking forward to see you all soon!

Cristina and the Core Group