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Around Queens: Dutch Kills CSA

Around Queens

Dutch Kills CSA was started in 2017 with 19 members. By our second year we had 67 members, 90 members in our third year, 125 members in 2020, and 140 members in 2021. Our goal is to make CSA shares affordable to everyone in our community. That goal became even more urgent in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic took a devastating toll on our city. We launched our Equity Shares Program in the midst of that crisis. 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 it’s 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 fruit and vegetables 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.

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