Our CSA has existed for 7 years. I joined it when it was first founded. After the founder moved to Brooklyn a year later, I became one of 7 people he invited to take it over. I didn’t know the other people and we didn’t know much about CSAs but, the 7 of us decided to give it a try. As of now, the other 6 have moved out of the neighborhood and I remain one of the original group that took it over. Over these years, others have joined the Core Team and, like me, learned “on the job”. We don’t get paid but we each have our reasons for doing this. Mine are a combination of appreciating the Angel Family and their hard, joyful and dedicated work and their generosity, believing that, if I don’t support local farmers like them, they may wind up selling their land to developers or industrial farmers, valuing the idea of knowing who is growing my food and being able to have direct contact with them, loving receiving such fresh, local, pesticide-free produce and wanting to do my part to preserve some wholesome, natural space close to our great city.
In my professional life, I am a Clinical Psychologist in private practice and I train mental health professionals. And I am very engaged in issues related to climate change. All of this, along with my personal life keep me more than busy so I ask myself each year why I’m continuing to work so hard to keep our CSA going.
We have just relocated to Book Culture after 6+ years at the Church of St. Timothy and St. Matthew. And we have just started a relationship with West Side Campaign Against Hunger as the organization that receives our surplus produce. Making changes like these requires a lot of work but we think these changes will make things better for our CSA.
I hope you have enjoyed your first distribution of produce and are finding ways to use it before it’s no longer fresh. If you’re new to this, my tip is to use the more perishable vegetables first and, if you find that you have too much left over by Monday, cook the rest of it into a stew and freeze some. When you defrost it, you can add other ingredients and eat it or you can add water and make soup. And perhaps you know someone who would appreciate having some fresh produce.
Keep in mind that the produce varies from week to week and it won’t always be lots of leafy greens.
The Core Team can always use extra help so, if you’d like to get more involved, please send me an email and let me know how and when to reach you.
I’m glad you’ve given it a try or have renewed from previous years.
Susan Spieler, Coordinator
Central Park West CSA