2020 Season Preview

Hi prospective Forest Hills CSA members!  

We hope you have had a wonderful start to 2020.  Our farmers, Matt and Maggie of Golden Earthworm Organic Farm, are finalizing the planting and harvest schedules and just placed the first of their seed orders. Exciting times!  

Here is the share pricing information for the 2020 season.  

There will be middle and low-income shares and an administrative fee, as always. We haven’t had time to calculate them, but want to send out this information now so that you can start thinking about joining us for 2020. We won’t be able to work on the CSA next week during school break, but hope to have the contract ready either the last week of February or the first week of March.    

There is a modest price increase of a little under $2 per week compared with last season.  This directly reflects the increased cost of production due to the new law in New York State mandating overtime pay for farm employees.  This is a huge change and one that is affecting every farm across the state.  Our farmers fully support this expansion of labor rights to the farm sector, but this will increase their payroll costs, and in turn, increase the cost of CSA shares. You can read more about the Farmworkers Farm Labor Practices Act here. Below is the Farmer Letter that was sent out to last year’s members.  It includes a review of last season and information on what members can expect in 2020.   

2020 CSA PRICING VEG SHARES – 25 weeks
$598 FRUIT SHARES – 14 weeks
$92 MIDDLE AND LOW-INCOME SHARES – amount TBD 
ADMINISTRATIVE FEE – amount TBD

Our full-season program runs for 25 weeks from June through November. Shares are distributed at The-Church-in-the-Gardens, 50 Ascan Ave., in Forest Hills on Tuesdays, from 4-8 pm.

Members may also order products (Beans, eggs, grains, dairy, meat, honey and more)  from Lewis Waite Farm. We will also be offering Lewis Waite Farm Only membership for people who pay the administrative fee and volunteer.  VOLUNTEERING HOURS – We are entirely volunteer-run. All members volunteer! Hours to be decided after we know how many members we have, but will probably be around 6 hours for the season.

Looking forward to another wonderful season!

Warmly,
Marina
for the FHCSA core group

———
A NOTE FROM OUR FARMERS!
———


Farewell 2019 & Hello 2020!
Our apologies for the delay getting out this long overdue end-of-season letter.  It’s been a whirlwind time for us as we finished up our growing season here on Long Island, raced off to our farmland in Vermont to sell trees for a month, and then returned home for the Winter CSA and planning for 2020. Finally, here we are with a cup of tea in hand, the fire roaring in the woodstove and the seed catalogues piled high.  This is the time farmers dream about all season long…
2019 was a fantastic growing season for us.  Mother Nature cooperated by providing us with warm temperatures in the spring, not too much (and not too little) water in the summer, and a nice long fall without a frost.  We had a few crop losses, most notably the Nicola Potatoes and the Rutabagas (and some later plantings of cabbage), but it was overshadowed by the bountiful harvests of tomatoes, cucumbers, greens, fall roots, lettuces and squash.  Every season brings a new set of challenges and this season our biggest challenge was the lack of labor.  We’ve always had a difficult time finding experienced farmers and this year was no exception.  Long Island is an expensive place to live and many young farmers would prefer to live elsewhere.  So as usual, we were running a skeleton crew here, with our core crew putting in extra hours and effort to get the work done.  We are grateful to every single one of them who work tirelessly to grow our food.  We are proud to provide a competitive wage, safe (and happy) work conditions and a environment that fosters cooperation, creativity and a love for the work.  That loving energy that goes into growing, harvesting, washing and packing is why our food tastes so good!
So, what’s on the planning boards for 2020? 
All good things!  Farmer Matt will be trialing some new varieties of tomatoes, basil, squash and greens.  We’ll be tweaking out the planting schedule to include some more of all your favorites.  As our boys grow up (now 10 and 7), they are showing more and more of an interest in farming.  We’re looking forward to them joining us and carving out their own space to grow and learn on our family farm.
We believe that fresh, local, organically-grown food should be accessible to everyone.  This is why we price our CSA shares at a little over $25 a week. This year’s modest price increase reflects the new law in New York State mandating overtime pay for farm employees.  This is a huge change, and one that is affecting every farm across the state.  We fully support this expansion of labor rights to the farm sector, but this will increase our payroll costs, and in turn, increase the cost of our share. You can read more about the Farmworkers Farm Labor Practices Act here. We’ll continue to offer a 14-week fruit share from our friends at Briermere Farm.  Our 2020 season will remain 25 weeks, running from the week of June 1 through the week of November 16th. 
Everything in our CSA shares is grown on our family farm, washed, boxed and delivered to your neighborhood pick-up location. There is no middle-man, no warehouse, no extra handling and no delivery fees. This is what a safe, dependable and transparent food system looks like.
“Never before has growing and eating
this way been more important.”
Our planet is rapidly warming and drying. Our food choices are more than a symbolic act.  As a consumer (and advocate) for local, sustainable and organic agriculture, your food dollars support farmers like us who work to regenerate the land, build biodiversity and draw carbon out of the atmosphere. You can read more about regenerative agriculture here. When farmers (us) and members (you) join together in a direct, tight-knit relationship based on mutual trust and a desire to make our food choices reflect our values, we can make real change.  
Let’s be the change.  Together.  Please join us!
Much love from all of us…
Maggie & Farmer Matt
(for Farmer Galen, Zinny, Kelly & the Crew!)

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