Tuesday, December 30, 2008

CSA Enrollment is OPEN!

Here is some information about our CSA program, please contact me if you are interested in having a subscription!

What Is Community Supported Agriculture?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an alliance between farmers and adventurous eaters. Families and individuals who join the CSA receive a share of produce every week during the growing season (Mid-May thru October). In exchange, members sign a contract for the season, and agree to pick up their vegetables every week. Both partners share in the risks and rewards of small-scale farming: weather, insect damage, and bumper crops. The New Roots for Refugees CSA is in its second year, the season will most likely run from the middle of May to the middle of October and members will pay weekly on reception of their share.

“Who” is New Roots for Refugees CSA?

This is the second year for the New Roots for Refugees CSA, and these farmers have been growing in Kansas for up to four years now. All of the New Roots farmers are refugees; some are from Somalia, some are from Burma, some are from Burundi, and one is from Sudan. Most of the farmers from Somalia arrived in the United States in 2004, those from Burma began arriving in 2007. The New Roots for Refugees project provides an opportunity for refugee women to build on their strengths and experience while learning English, growing vegetables, and making money.
All of the farmers are women because this program grew out of Refugee Women’s Programming. Most refugee men take full-time positions in factories, hotels, or other places depending on their employment history. Farming income is supplemental to the family income.
As a CSA member, you will be building a partnership with one farmer. You will pick up vegetables from the same farmer every week. This gives the eater an opportunity to know who is cultivating your food and the refugee a chance to interact more long term with English speaking Americans. You are also welcome and encouraged to visit the farm and spend time working alongside your farmer!

What Is My Share of the Food?

The weekly food share will include 4-6 different veggies. The bag may be enough for a family of four, but if you really love your veggies, you may need to supplement the share from other sources. You will receive two New Roots for Refugees tote bags, which will be rotated each week when you pick up your share. Every week the share of produce will be different depending on the season. Here are examples of what a share might look like:
Spring: green peas (sugarsnap or snow), baby beets w/greens, green onions, carrots w/tops, lettuce, radishes, chives

Summer: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or okra, melons, cucumbers, onions, green beans, squash/zucchini, basil, corn

Fall: lettuce, broccoli or cauliflower, cabbage, winter squash, swiss chard, carrots, potatoes, garlic, dill

Along with growing these traditional American veggies, New Roots for Refugee farmers grow a variety of ethnic crops that will also be a part of the CSA bag. If you don’t know what any of these are, or how to cook them, just ask!

Who Can Join?

Anyone can join! Last year, our CSA was a pilot program with limited membership. This year, we have opened registration to any adventurous eater that can commit to picking up every week (or have someone else pick is up from you).

What Does It Cost?

Usually, CSA members pay an initial deposit, with the balance being paid by the beginning or middle of the season. Because it is helpful for our growers to have consistent income throughout the season, New Roots CSA members will pay weekly upon reception of their share. The share costs $15 per week, which includes sales tax. Please pay in cash or check made out to your farmer.
Approx. 4-6 items depending on time of season.

Share cost: $300 for approximately 20 weeks (start date closer to the season)
Weekly payment: $15.00 per week, which includes sales tax.

How Does It Work?

For this season, there will be two pick up options. You can either join the CSA that picks up at the Brookside Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings (8:00-1:00) OR the Overland Park Market on Wednesday mornings (7:30-1:00).
Season:20 Weeks – May through October. We will be in contact as the start of CSA pickup approaches with more finalized details.

How Do I Join?

Sign up by contacting Rachel and saying that you want a spot! She will send get some basic contact information from you so that she can stay in touch. We are limited to 40 shares in 2009. Membership will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

What if it is a terrible year weather wise?

Will we still get our vegetables? Part of the joy of supporting local agriculture is that we are subject to the whims of Kansas weather. We do our best to guarantee a steady and generous supply of all types of vegetables, but one of the lessons agriculture teaches us is just how little control we have in the world! If we come up short on individual crops, we will try to be creative, but our intent is to give you vegetables grown seasonally on our farm. This also means that when there is an abundance of a particular crop, you can expect larger quantities.

What if we don't like all the produce we get?

Part of what we hope to encourage is an adventurous approach to eating vegetables. While tomatoes will always be a favorite, bitter greens and crunchy fennel and different herbs add depth and breadth to meals. We’d like to encourage you to get creative with your cooking; we also hope to develop recipes based on your farmer’s ethnic cooking to share with you as we develop our program.
What is this leafy purple thing? Sometimes customers don't know what a particular vegetable or herb is, much less how to use it. We recommend a two-step approach to this. First, do an internet search or crack open your cook book for creative ideas on how to prepare it. Second, give Rachel a call to find out what it is.

What if I can't pick up my produce?

Please make arrangements with a friend to pick up your vegetables if you can. If you absolutely cannot be there, give us a heads up! You can take a double share some week when you need extra produce. You are financially responsible for every week, so if you miss one, you’ll have to pay double the next week. If you do not pick up your share twice in a row with no warning, you forfeit your subscription.

How do the New Roots for Refugees tote bags work?

We rotate the bags each week so that we aren't using so many of those darned plastic grocery bags. At the end of the season, we will return both the bags to you.

I don't like beets. How do I make sure I don't get any in my bag??

Unfortunately, we can't accommodate individual likes and dislikes even though we would like to. We suggest making arrangements with a friend, neighbor, or co-worker to take the vegetables you’re not so fond of.

How can I get more involved in the farm?

We love having people come to visit and to volunteer! You should always call a day in advance, so that we can plan to offer you a good experience. We can arrange group tours if desired.
Other questions? Contact Rachel Bonar at
rbonar@ccsks.org or (913) 909-1027.

1 comment:

  1. Yep. I'm going to check with TL about this. I wonder, can we choose which farmer we would like to buy from? It would be really cool if we could partner with the Sudanese woman.