Thanks for your interest in the Forest Hills CSA! We hope these FAQS answer your questions!
What is a CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) consists of a community of individuals who commit to supporting a local farm by purchasing its produce for an entire growing season. In the spring, CSA members buy “shares” of the farm’s yield which helps cover anticipated operation costs and pay the farmer a living wage. In return, members receive farm-fresh vegetables and fruits each week. Locally grown crops are taste better, are more nutritious, and are better for the environment because they are delivered immediately after harvesting (in contrast to produce sold in grocery stores which travels on average 1,500 miles and take two weeks to reach you).
When and where can I pick up my share?
On Tuesdays between the hours of 4 and 8 pm at the Church-in-the-Gardens on Ascan Avenue. Please try to bring your own bag(s) for picking up your produce.
What happens if I don’t pick up my share?
If you’ll be away and can’t pick up your share, you may have someone else pick it up for you. If a share isn’t picked up during the distribution time, it will be donated to a local charity.
How long do your seasons last?
The main season always runs for 25 weeks from the last week in May or the first week in June until late November. We also have a winter season which is 4 deliveries, one month apart December through March.
Are the fruits and vegetables organic?
Vegetables come from Golden Earthworm Organic Farm, which is nestled on two parcels of pristine farmland on the North Fork of Long Island. Its acreage protected by a land preservation program, Golden Earthworm has 80 acres currently in production. Read more about Golden Earthworm’s farming practices. Golden Earthworm is certified organic through NOFA – NY. They have been farming using organic practices for 25 years. Read more here.
Fruit shares come from Briermere Farms, located just a short drive away from Golden Earthworm. Briermere produces a wide variety of tree fruit and berries. Long Island is a difficult region for tree fruit production because of the high humidity levels which contribute to fungus disease pressure, and can decimate fruit quality (and sometimes the whole tree). At Briermere Farms, insecticides and fungicides are used only when needed to produce marketable fruit. The tree fruit is sprayed with 1 or 2 synthetic insecticides and fungicides at some point typically earlier in the season. No herbicides are used underneath the trees, and on-farm produced compost from leaves is the only fertilizer/nutrient source for their fruit crops.
What types and quantities of produce will I get each week?
Produce is picked fresh from the farm fields the day before distribution, boxed up, and delivered to us. This share contains 6 to 10 vegetables each week, depending on the season and availability. The “vegetable” share also includes some watermelon, and possibly also some strawberries or blueberries, which are organic. The share typically feeds a family of 3-4, but we have anywhere from 1 to 8 members who eat one share. Read newsletters, sample shares and the harvest schedule to get a better idea of what’s in each week’s shares. Read vegetables guides and recipes for more on how to store and cook the vegetables that may be in your share.
Briermere Farms will keep track of the dollar amount per share as deliveries are made each week. Fruit will be delivered until the total dollar amount of the fruit share is reached. For further information, please see the Golden Earthworm guide to fruit shares.
Can I “share” a share?
While the Forest Hills CSA does not offer half-shares, you may contact us and we’ll do our best to match you to someone else who is interested in a half share. The details of sharing the share will be left up to the individual members.
What’s involved in volunteering?
In order to keep the group running, all members need to volunteer at least six hours during the season. This mostly involves staffing the pickups each week, but can also include other activities such as administrative support.
The Core Group will approve all distribution site shifts as well as alternative volunteer arrangements. Some members fulfill their volunteer obligation by delivering leftover produce to local charities, assisting with member communication (electronic, making telephone calls, etc.) or administrative work and organizing special events such as lectures, potluck dinners or other things appropriate and of interest to the members of the CSA.
All volunteering sign-up will be online. You will receive the link once your application is received and accepted.
How much does a share cost?
In 2019 our prices will be: $550 for the vegetable share and $92 for the fruit share.
What other shares do you offer?
We are very pleased to have Lewis Waite Farm provide our CSA with additional products again this year. Nancy and Alan Brown, the farmers at Lewis Waite Farm, have organized several farms near them in Washington and Delaware counties in upstate New York to deliver their products to CSAs in NYC.
Some of the things they offer:
• Pastured Poultry (Chicken, Duck, Goose and Turkey) and Eggs
• Pastured, Grass-fed & Grass-finished Beef, Lamb & Goat
• Pastured Pigs
• Cow, Goat, and Sheep Cheese, Yogurt and Kefir (raw & pasteurized)
• Maple Syrup processed by reverse osmosis
• Wildflower Honey low heat processed and raw, Jams and Sauces
• Bread, handmade & hearth-baked
You place your order by the Thursday before each delivery and pay Lewis Waite farm directly via check or PayPal. You may also place a standard order for each delivery, such as 2 dozen eggs, if you know you will always want certain staples. Lewis Waite Farms deliveries are made on Tuesdays like your vegetable share, only not weekly. The delivery dates will be released as soon as we have received them from Lewis Waite.Please go to www.csalewiswaitefarm.com for more information and links to participating farms. You may also call them at (518) 692-3120 or (518) 692-9208.
How do I get on your mailing list?
Please join our Mailing List to receive future CSA share information when it is released.