Neighborhood residents met with local farmers from Golden Earthworm Organic Farm to launch the 2016 season for Flushing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a volunteer community group that seeks to ensure access to fresh, locally-grown, organic food to area families. The “Meet the Farmer” forum took place at the Quaker Meetinghouse, located at 137-16 Northern Boulevard, and featured presentations by local organic food producers and urban farm groups.
Farmer Maggie Wood from Golden Earthworm Organic Farm brought samples of the fruits and vegetables that Flushing CSA members can expect this year. Golden Earthworm started as a small farm in 1996 by Matthew Kurek, a chef turned farmer with a passion for vegetables and for sustainable agriculture. Golden Earthworm now cultivates more than 80 acres of protected land in Long Island and serves more than 1500 families in the metropolitan region.
Golden Earthworm was also joined this year by a number of local vendors who are also partnering with Flushing CSA, including: Elizabeth Ritter, Owner and Founder of Sweet William’s Torte Shoppe; Victor Eskenazi, Owner and Founder of S&V Jams; Doaa Elkady, Owner and Founder of Spice Tree Organics; Maureen Regan, President of Green Earth Urban Gardens, who is supplying her famous “Whitestone Honey”; and, even students from John Bowne High School, which is supplying eggs from their nationally renowned agricultural program.
“Where else can you get great locally grown (Long Island) vegetables and fruit that are delivered close to home, at Flushing town hall weekly for 26 weeks? There’s also a convenient parking behind Town Hall while you are picking up your weekly fresh produce,” stated Jack McLernon, a Flushing CSA member. “We love it and are back for another year’s fresh and delicious produce!”
Flushing CSA will work closely with Golden Earthworm Organic Farm to deliver 26 weeks of vegetables from May 26 through November 17. The response from last year’s participants was overwhelmingly positive and Flushing CSA organizers expect to increase the number of local families served from 40 to 60.
“I love being a CSA member because it helps me feel connected to my community, to the earth and it lets me feel in control of what’s going into my body. I also love the convenience of being a CSA member. It only takes me a few minutes to pick up my produce each week. Meanwhile, I get a big variety and the assurances everything is fresh and organic,” stated Emily Griffin Sheahan, a member of Flushing CSA. “I like that I have met my farmers and seen my food growing in the fields. My children have played with our farmers’ kids; it’s a connection to the land many of us have lost.
Flushing CSA is open to all. Members pick up their shares on Thursdays between 5pm and 8pm at Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Blvd in Flushing, NY 11354. For more information, contact the Flushing CSA at FlushingCSA@gmail.com or (646) 801-4021.
“Our family has enjoyed the bountiful, delicious, and healthy vegetables and fruit from the Flushing CSA. We are looking forward to our fourth year of great service and food,” stated Ralph and Nancy De Pas Reinertsen, members of Flushing CSA. Shares in the Flushing CSA will cost $565 a year – which comes out to about $23 a week – enough food for a family of three adults or two adults and two children.
To expand access to low-income households, Flushing CSA is creating new subsidized shares for those who want to participate but cannot afford the full membership fees.
“We love Flushing CSA! We get to enjoy weekly fresh organic produce from our local farm for six months out of the year and we are part of this great community,” said Judith Karlin, a member of the Flushing CSA. “It’s hard to believe this is our 4th year!”
With no middlemen, CSA members save money and the entire community enjoys the environmental benefits. The growing network of CSAs limits the carbon footprint of our food system and fits the “100 mile” criteria for “locavores” who prefer to eat food grown by local farmers. By supporting local farmers, Flushing CSA organizers hope to help the regional economy and keep more of our money in our community.
“By participating in Flushing CSA, we not only benefit from a healthier community and cleaner environment, but we also contribute to a more sustainable local economy,” stated John Choe, executive director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. “Buying local means more of our money circulates locally. That translates into more money for our schools, police, and parks. Buying local improves our quality of life and expands economic opportunities for all of us.”
Another event co-sponsor, Maureen Regan, CEO of Green Earth Urban Gardens, stated: “CSA’s are the 21st Century equivalent of Victory Gardens to busy families. They bring local diverse food choices to New Yorkers and encourage a healthy lifestyle.”
Other co-sponsors include Flushing Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and the Just Food network.
Meet the Farmers!
Sunday, March 20, 2PM – 4PM
@Flushing Meeting House
137-16 Northern Boulevard
Flushing, New York 11354
Do you ever wonder where your food comes from, when it was picked, what is in it, or if it is safe and nutritious? Some of us in the community have partnered with local farmers to make sure we know what we put on our family’s table. By eating smarter, we also help New York’s small farmers. Our goal is to allow Flushing residents to have direct access to high-quality, organic, super-fresh food grown locally by regional farmers.
When you become a CSA member, you’re purchasing a “share” of vegetables from a local farmer. We pay our farmer in the spring and our investment brings us 26 weeks of just-picked fruits and vegetables – delivered to our neighborhood every Thursday, from May to November, atFlushing Town Hall.
Are you interested? Please come and meet our farmers to learn more about this exciting opportunity.
For more information, contact Flushing CSA at
FlushingCSA@gmail.com, (646) 801-4021, or