Monday, August 22, 2011

City and Farm: Finding a CSA in The Bronx

My blogging schedule is a little messed up this week as I did some interesting things over the weekend I wanted to share.
I live in a large apartment complex with a population of more than 50,000 people, I guess I should have said huge. Given it’s size there really is not to much access to straight from the farm produce. I have watched with envy as many of my fellow food bloggers have posted about being members of a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture is a concept whereby a group of individuals pay upfront for a share in the production of a farm. The share is subject to the vagaries of small time farming. Being subject to crop failures or just a very poor season but also sharing in the bounty of a good season.
I always imagined CSAs to be in suburban neighborhoods a little closer to farmland. Somebody suggested I should do a search on to see if there was one nearby. Much to my surprise there was one right in my neighborhood.
Turf CSA, Bronx, NY
The CSA is called Turf and I have  copied the following is the description taken from their website:   Turf a word sometimes used as slang to describe territory claimed by a gang, here describes an environmental stewardship project located in Parkchester (the Southeast Bronx) in which members of the community are actively involved in creating a healthy, sustainable, community food system. Turf believes that one of the most effective ways to create food security in our community is to involve residents, community groups, local farmers, businesses and food providers in the process. Therefore, Turf provides these groups with opportunities to: participate in educational workshops to increase their knowledge of food (including food production, marketing, distribution, and safety); enter business partnerships; and advocate for improving New York City’s food system. Turf is managed by a project director, advisory team, high school interns, and volunteers. Turf current partners include: Just Food, W. Rogowski Farm, and St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Although the list is closed for this year when I emailed the Project Director, Sharon Wong she very graciously invited me to take a look at what they were all about.
They had a nice “basket’’ of items for this week’s share as you can see above so it will certainly be something for me to think about for next year. The Rogowski Farm is a family farm in Orange County, NY and is in partnership with several CSA in the region. IMG_8136-1

I had a very busy weekend but picked up some similar stuff to what was available at the CSA and bought some bread and chickpeas to pull together  a bit of a platter. I roasted the beets and made a roasted beet hummus with one of them . I used the chilies with the heirloom cherry tomatoes and tossed them with some olive oil. Grilled the bread with garlic olive oil and served the whole lot with the red leaf lettuce. Great for sharing.