Photo courtesy of Free Bird Farm

Photo courtesy of Free Bird Farm

What is a csa?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA members are in a partnership with one or more local farms. CSA members buy shares from the farms, and in return, the farms supply the members with fresh, local, in-season produce and other farm products. This gives the farm working capital at the start of the growing season to buy seeds, equipment, and labor for the coming year. Since there is no middleman, the full purchase price of these products goes directly to the farm.

CSA members share some of the risks of farming with their local farmers, thereby ensuring the survival of the farm. If there is a bountiful year, the CSA members share in that bounty. If the farm suffers from bad weather or a tomato blight, CSA members assume some of the loss, ensuring that the farm survives. Both the farm and its CSA members do their part to maintain a healthy local foodshed.

Small farmers work really hard, and we don’t know any who have gotten rich from farming. Farmers strive to give their CSA members the best prices they can, and they work hard to produce the wonderful bounty that we get. CSA members are in a direct relationship with their farmers. We can let them know what we want more of and what we want less of, as they strive to produce the most varied and highest quality food for us.

who are we?

Dutch Kills CSA was started in 2017 by four Astoria/Long Island City women who comprised the core of our CSA for its first two years: Michele Basco, Julia Mucci, Tonice Sgrignoli, and Susan Valdes-Dapena. We met more than 10 years ago as members of Astoria ARROW CSA. We loved our CSA and its community spirit and the fresh, delicious vegetables and fruit that we got from local farms.

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We grew from 19 members in our first year to 67 members in our second year, and we want to keep growing. We’d also like to make CSA shares more affordable to everyone in our community. Our goal is to launch a community equity program in 2020. If we can hold one or two fund-raising events this year and enroll in SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) that would make our CSA much more affordable to SNAP recipients. Dutch Kills CSA filed to become a nonprofit in March 2019, which means that all donations to our community equity program will soon be tax deductible.

Current core members
Michele Basco – Site Coordinator
Marco Cipolletti – IT Coordinator
Becky Green – Site Coordinator
Kaylin Greene – Communications Coordinator
Wella Haya – Treasurer
Nada Jung – Site Coordinator
Kim Maxey – Site Coordinator
Tatiana Orlov – Community Equity Coordinator
Tonice Sgrignoli – Extras Coordinator
Susan Valdes-Dapena – Public Programs Coordinator

Where is our distribution site?

Our pick-up is 4:30–7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at ARROW Community Center, 35-30 35th Street, between 35th and 36th Avenues in Long Island City. ARROW is a wonderful community center with a long history of supporting CSAs in Astoria and Long Island City. (There have been two CSAs there before us, spanning nearly 15 years.) We are delighted and grateful that ARROW is now hosting us.

Please note: There is a Jewish holiday on every Tuesday in the month of October 2019, so Free Bird Farm has requested that we move all distributions in October to Wednesdays instead. Fruit shares and any other extras will also move to Wednesdays for the month of October.