The Core Group is composed of members of the CSA who volunteer their time year-round to run the CSA, working with our farmers, recruiting members, running the distribution site, maintaining records and accounting, managing member work shifts, writing the newsletter, performing community outreach, etc. Core Group members often focus their efforts on a specific area or task, but there are at-large members as well, whose contributions vary. Get to know the current Core Group in their bios below that touch on their involvement in and passion for the CSA. If you’re interested in joining the Core Group, please email us for further information.
April Hope, First Shift Coordinator
Joined CSA: 2010; Joined Core Group: 2014
Favorite CSA Item: Strawberries, Herb pots
Favorite part of the CSA season: Meeting members (and their kids) when they show up for work shifts
I’m a travel writer and mostly focus on budget travel (but at times I work as a hair model, a poll worker, a babysitter, and a paid audience extra for shows like The People’s Court). I’ve stayed in a cave on a mountain with rastafarians in Jamaica, I was in a Bollywood film in India, slept under a tent with Bedouin gypsies at the base of the mountain where Moses got the 10 Commandments in Egypt, and I once stumbled into a juju (voodoo) market in Nigeria. I’ve lived in many countries, but I love coming back home every year to my tiny apartment with a huge backyard that I recently transformed into my own secret garden.
I enjoy eating healthy and taking care of my body now, and I love having the opportunity to be a part of the CSA and meeting like-minded people.
When not procrastinating about a writing assignment, I’m teaching a writing workshop, working on my website, a global travel community for people in long distance relationships, making jewelry, playing with my dog, or creating a costume for one of the many annual events I love going to, like The Coney Island Mermaid Parade or The Cloisters Medieval Faire.
I am a nutritionist with the New York City Health Department and manage nutrition education for young children and their parents and teachers. I love food, cooking, and local produce and have been involved to varying degrees as a core member since 2007. I am also on the board of directors of the CSA.
Jane Freidson, Newsletter Coordinator
Joined CSA: 2012; Joined Core Group: 2014
Favorite veggies: tomatoes, corn
Favorite part of the CSA season: The surprise that awaits each and every Thursday afternoon
I am a lawyer/artist who has lived in Brooklyn for more than 35 years. When I had my own garden, I grew vegetables, fruit and flowers, but when I moved to an apartment in Prospect Heights I joined the CSA so that I could continue to enjoy fresh, organically grown produce (and flowers!).
On the core group, my job is to get out the weekly newsletter. Contributions of recipes, photos and information are all welcome and they make for a richer newsletter, so please be in touch over the course of the season, or visit our website for information on how to share via Instagram and Pinterest.
Jennifer Traska Gibson, Workshift Coordinator
Joined CSA: 2008; Joined Core Group: 2013
Favorite veggies: arugula, tomatoes, corn
Favorite part of the CSA season: Nothing is better than walking down the steps to PS9 and being greeted by the scent of fresh basil
I joined the CSA in 2008 after reading the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life and wanting to have a better connection with local food sources.
I have a background in urban planning and have worked for the United Nations, with the World Food Program and most recently with UNICEF, so sustainable food systems – especially in cities – are important to me.
These days I can usually be found chasing after my 2 young sons, fussing with my window box flowers, cooking or homebrewing, and generally enjoying the wonderful community that is Brooklyn.
As the Workshift Coordinator for the CSA, I make sure all the pickups are fully staffed so your veggies get from Farmer Ted’s truck to your bags every Thursday.
Joanna Shaw Flamm, Extras Coordinator
Joined CSA: 2008; Joined Core Group: 2010
Favorite part of the CSA season: I love the first pickup (seeing those first fresh foods of the season is so exciting!) and I love the farm trip, where we get to connect with the farmers who grow our food and the land it comes from.
I’m a performer and teaching artist originally from Minnesota. I got involved with the CSA after a friend ran one back home, and I love the way it’s introduced me to my neighbors. I joined the Core Group after my first trip to Windflower Farm, and I feel very lucky to have formed friendships with the people who grow our fabulous veggies. As the Extras Coordinator, I’m the main connection between our CSA and the farms and producers we work with in addition to Windflower Farm (Lewis Waite Farm, Davis Family Maple, and Sfoglini Pasta).
Johanna Thomsen, Core Group Coordinator & Board of Directors
Joined CSA: 2009; Joined Core Group: 2009
Favorite veggies: Nothing beats a Windflower tomato, and when we get ground cherries from Ted my heart skips a beat.
Favorite part of the CSA season: I love the peak when we’re all stumbling out onto St. Marks under the weight of multiple bags of amazing veggies.
I am an urban herbalist with a background in dance and personal training, working in arts marketing. Windflower Farm is one of my favorite places on earth, and I try to visit often throughout the year. It’s an honor to be a part of this amazing Core Group, and I look forward to another wonderfully successful season with all of you!
Laura Parewski, Second Shift Coordinator
Joined CSA: 2014; Joined Core Group: 2014
Favorite part of the CSA season: Tomato season!
As a veggie lover, joining a CSA had been on my mind for a few years before I actually signed on. But, when I found myself with some extra time to cook last year I jumped in. I love the way the random assortment of veggies helps me expand my passion for cooking each week.
Maggie Galvan, Website & Communications Coordinator
Joined CSA: 2010; Joined Core Group: 2012
Favorite veggie: Kale, especially now that I discovered how to massage it with salt to use it raw in salads!
Favorite part of the CSA season: tomato-crazy late summer
I moved to New York from Los Angeles to pursue a PhD in English, and I’m currently finishing a dissertation on representations of female sexuality in 1980s American visual culture—a project that has taken me to archives all over the United States. To make a living, I teach instructional technology at Brooklyn College and writing/research at NYU Gallatin.
The kitchen is the heart of my household, so I joined the CSA in 2010 to gain access to a wider range of vegetables and meet like-minded individuals in my community. My main core group responsibilities are updating the website and answering the main PHCSA email address.
Meret Lenzlinger, Board President & Treasurer
Joined CSA: 2007; Joined Core Group: 2007
Favorite part of the CSA season: The first few pick-ups, when all the hard work from the pre-season is paying off! Garlic scapes are the emblem of that start for me. Plus, they look funny.
I am an architect and professor, originally from Switzerland. Growing up, I lived in a small town where you knew your butcher, chose your head of lettuce while it was still planted in the ground at “the gardener’s”, and picked up the warm milk from the town dairy, minutes after it was delivered by the local farmers, many of them parents of my school mates. Joining the CSA brought back to me a bit of that connection to farm and community.
I’m a tech geek who loves sunshine, working with people, cooking, and eating great food. Getting involved with the CSA was a no-brainer! I joined the PHCSA in 2010, soon started attending Core meetings as a member-at-large, and now manage all things related to sign-ups and membership record keeping. Outside of CSA work and tending to my fire-escape garden, I have worked in cognitive psychology research, at Apple, and am now pursuing a Masters in Computer Science at CUNY-Brooklyn College.