What is a CSA?
Prospect Heights Community Supported Agriculture is a community collaboration that connects a group of Brooklynites hungry for sustainably grown foods with Windflower Farm, a small organic farm located in upstate New York. We were founded in 2006 with support from Just Food. As CSA members, we invest in the farm’s financial stability by paying for produce “shares” before the start of the growing season. In exchange, for 22 weeks of the year, we receive fresh vegetables, fruit, flowers, free-range eggs, and more, delivered straight from the farm to the heart of our neighborhood.
How do I join the mailing list?
Enter your email address in the link to the right. We use the mailing list to distribute important information like when it’s time to sign up for shares. For more day-to-day info, you can also follow us on Twitter at @phcsa.
Do you have a waiting list for shares?
No. If you are interested in a share for the upcoming season, please join our mailing list and we’ll let you know when shares are available.
Where does the produce come from?
Vegetables, fruit, and flowers come from Windflower Farm, eggs from Elihu Farm, and supplemental products from a collective administered by Lewis Waite Farm. For more information, see our “What we offer” section.
Who runs the CSA?
A core group of CSA members volunteer their time to work with our farmers, recruit members, run the distribution site, maintain records and accounting, manage member work shifts, write the newsletter, and perform community outreach. The yearly administrative fee helps to cover expenses associated with running the CSA.
If you would like to volunteer to join the core group, your support would be much appreciated! Email us for more information.
What are member work shifts?
Our CSA is a collective effort that relies on members to run the distribution site. This includes unloading produce from Ted’s truck, organizing vegetables for easy pick up, checking in members as they arrive, and cleaning up the school cafeteria at the end of the evening.
The purchasers of each single vegetable share are responsible for covering two work shifts during the season, from 3:30-4:45pm, 4:00-6:00pm, or 6:00-8:00pm. You’ll be asked to sign up for your shifts at the first two pickups of the season, and we’ll do our best to ensure that members are assigned times that work well for them.
Please keep in mind that enjoying the fruits of a well-functioning CSA requires a small commitment from every member of the group. The failure to fulfill your work shifts places undue stress on the core group and your fellow shareholders and could jeopardize your eligibility to participate in the CSA.
What if the Prospect Heights CSA runs out of shares?
Try our friends in neighboring CSAs: Prospect Park CSA (here in Prospect Heights!), Brooklyn Beet CSA in downtown Brooklyn, Central Brooklyn, Fort Greene, Crown Heights, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.
Do you offer winter shares?
Windflower Farm makes four once-a-month deliveries during the winter months. We do not accept new members for the winter share; only members from the summer season who are in good standing are eligible to participate. Details will be distributed to current members every fall.
Why are there different membership prices?
Because our CSA strives to make fresh organic produce available to families at all income levels, we offer a sliding scale based on household income, with high-income shareholders subsidizing low-income shareholders. Our cost breakdown is an estimation of what we think are fair and reasonable prices. However, members should feel free to select the price level that best fits their household budget and personal circumstances. We will honor requests for financial assistance on a case-by-case basis, as subsidy funds permit. If you would like to contribute to our subsidized share program, please feel free to make a donation when you purchase your share. We also accept food stamps for CSA shares. For more information, email us.
Are there any other costs affiliated with CSA shares?
Each share will be assessed an administrative fee to cover expenses associated with running the distribution site and to pay our CSA’s membership fee to Just Food. For this year’s costs, click here.
When are payments due?
When you receive notice of your acceptance into the CSA, you will have two weeks to register using the link provided. Payment due dates will be listed on that form.
Why do I have to pay before distribution begins?
Paying at the beginning of the season provides our farmer with income to cover the expenses for the seeds, supplies, and equipment necessary for the growing season. This advance income, at a time of year when there are usually no crops to harvest, enables CSA farmers to avoid the usual pattern and pitfalls of farm loans. In addition, knowing the number of CSA members early on takes the guesswork out of how many crops to plant.
Do you offer half shares?
We will be offering half shares of vegetables and fruit to our members. Half shares will be picked up every other week. If you are interested in having a half share, please choose the Half Share option on the membership application form. Please note that flower and egg shares are only sold as full shares. If you want to split these shares, email us and we will try to connect you with another half share member who wants the same.
When and where do I pick up my produce?
Shares are ready for pick up on Thursdays, from mid-June to late November, between 4:30pm and 7:30pm at PS 9, located at 80 Underhill Avenue. You can access the cafeteria via the St Marks entrance at the foot of the stairs, adjacent to the playground.
How does the distribution work?
Members should bring their own bags to distribution. Eggs and flowers are pre-portioned. Fruits and vegetables are placed in bins, and members select a predetermined quantity or weight from each category (for example, 2 heads of lettuce, 3 pounds of zucchini, 2 beefsteak tomatoes, etc.).
What exactly am I going to get each week?
That really depends! View previous shares here.
Can I select the produce I want from what’s available?
Due to the variety of vegetables offered at distribution, you’ll often have some flexibility in picking a combination of vegetables within each category. However, to ensure that popular or labor-intensive crops—like corn, peas and tomatoes—are distributed equitably, we may limit the number of pieces or the weight of a particular item per share. There will be clear signage at the distribution site each week to help ensure you get the right combination of vegetables.
What if I can’t pick up my share?
If you can’t make it to distribution, send a friend in your place! Just be sure to let that person know what name the share is under and if they should pick up any items in addition to vegetables.
What do you do with leftover produce?
Leftover produce is donated to an emergency food provider that serves our neighborhood: Church of God Feeding the Hungry on Classon Avenue, led by Pastor Urlin Gray.