What is a CSA?
The basic idea of Community Supported Agriculture is that a farmer grows for a group of members who have purchased “shares” in the harvest. Members pay at the beginning of the season when the farmer most needs the money. When the crops start coming in, in June, the farmer delivers a weekly assortment of vegetables, herbs and some fruit. You support sustainable local agriculture and get freshly picked organic and farm fresh produce at reasonable prices. In addition, you know the farmer growing your vegetables and can visit the farm – establishing a personal connection with your food supply.
Meet our Farmer
John Krueger is the owner/operator of Starbrite Farm in Andover, NJ. He has been farming for over 25 years. John’s farm and food are certified organic by NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association). Some of his other CSA sites include Metuchen, Westfield, Montclair, Newark and Staten Island. At the beginning of the 2013 season, we learned he was trying to grow his business so he could buy his own land. Elijah’s Promise signed on to host the New Brunswick share site which put his total membership at around 700 members. Some of his other CSA sites include Metuchen, Westfield, Montclair, Newark and Staten Island. He purchased 80 acres of his own land in November. Congratulations! We like to think the New Brunswick site gave him just enough of a bump that he was able to finally turn the dream of owning his own farm into reality.
What will I get in my share?
The share season begins in June and runs for 24 weeks into November. A typical share includes 6-10 varieties of produce. The amount and types of produce delivered will vary by season. You will enjoy vegetables you know and love and some more unusual varieties, too. If you have a question about how to prepare or use a vegetable, feel free to ask, a chef from Elijah’s Promise will be at every pickup.
What does it cost?
There are a number of ways to participate in the CSA. Our goal is to make sure anyone can participate, regardless of income. For the 2014 season, A share costs $625. Register prior to March 1st and the get the early bird special of $600, which works out to $25 a week. You may split a share with a friend. You can split the share however you like. Some people alternate picking up and keeping the full share every other week. Some people prefer splitting each week.
Your Pickup Host
There are so many CSA’s out there to choose from and we want the community to support local farmers. Period. What sets our CSA apart from others is the host. We have deep connections to the food community in the greater New Brunswick area and throughout New Jersey. Elijah’s Promise has the ability to connect CSA members with seasoned chefs for guidance on how best to prepare and preserve your weekly share. Any produce not claimed will be sent to the community soup kitchen at Elijah’s Promise to give guests access to local, organic produce. Many times out of the season, Farmer John will send a bit extra along just for the soup kitchen and our guests certainly enjoy it.
Picking up your share
Pick up day will be Friday. The location of pick up will be Elijah’s Promise, 211 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick. The site will look a little like a farm stand with vegetables in crates and in coolers. Members weigh and bag their own shares. Feel free to have a friend pick up your share if you can’t make it one week. All food left over at the end of the night is donated to the community soup kitchen at Elijah’s Promise.
Sharing is what makes a CSA
All members are asked to volunteer 5 hours during the CSA season to help support its success. This can be done in two ways. You can work two shifts of 2 1/2 hours each during pick up. Or, you can attend a Volunteer Day or Work Party at the farm. Elijah’s Promise has many other volunteer opportunities that are convenient for an schedule. Schedule your shifts with the CSA coordinator.
Farmer John will be offering an additional 14 week fruit share option for $210 and a stock up share at the end of the season. Elijah’s Promise will be offering baked goods made by students at Promise Culinary School. We are pursuing new partnerships to make your CSA experience in New Brunswick terrific. If you are interested adding a particular item as an optional share purchase, such as locally sourced eggs, honey, jam, pickles prepared foods etc. Please make your thoughts known about what you would like to see offered in 2014.Members will receive a weekly newsletter with what to expect in your box and lots of resources. As a New Brunswick CSA member you will have access to chat with each other in a private Facebook group through out the week. This is a great place to share recipes, anecdotes and get to know your fellow members better. There will be plenty of fun opportunities planned to keep you mingling during pick up hours, too.
How do I sign up?
Please print and fill out the 2014 New Brunswick CSA Registration Form.
Mail it with your check to:
211 Livingston Ave.
New Brunswick NJ 08901
For More Information
Please contact the CSA coordinator, Rachel Weston at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-545-9002 x 127