12 Reasons Why You Should Join Our CSA

DSCF3151The Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm, one of the first CSAs in the country, is now in its 26th year of growing and providing some of the best and healthiest plant-based food grown on our planet.

Why should you join our CSA? Our food is unique and powerful in the following ways:

  1. We’ve got experience. We’ve been growing vegetables and fruits for the past 25 years using the best of the organic and biodynamic processes. Our three full-time growers have a combined experience of more than 60 years of growing food on our farm. Our farmers have made it their careers to grow our food. Each of our farmers has made personal sacrifices so that we can benefit from having some of the best food grown on the planet.
  2. We are local. All of the food we grow and distribute is grown at our farm in Frelinghuysen Township, Warren County, New Jersey. We are not providing food that has been grown hundreds or thousands of miles away.
  3. Our food is grown on property preserved in perpetuity as New Jersey farmland. Our CSA owns approximately 60 acres of farmland that has been preserved by the taxpayers of New Jersey by way of the New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund. We lease about 46 adjoining acres from the Sisters of St. Dominic, whose property was also preserved through the NJ Farmland Preservation Fund. In my opinion, growing healthy plant-based food is the highest and best use of preserved farmland.
  4. Our food is “clean.” We’ve never used herbicides, pesticides, GMO seeds or other agricultural practices that value quantity over quality. We know that our members know that there is truth in the observation, “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”
  5. We are using food to promote environmental awareness and action. We believe that as consumers of food that the choices we make in terms of what we “allow in our mouths” have far-ranging impacts on the health of our planet and our own health. If we refuse to buy industrial food, it ultimately won’t be grown. We recognize that the act of putting food in our mouths and bodies is an environmental action.
  6. We are uniquely collaborating with the Sisters of St. Dominic to utilize some of their Farmland preserved property to grow our food. This is a unique and successful collaboration between a religious organization and a secular organization to find and utilize “common ground” that promotes a “win/win” for both entities. We are being stewards of their land and utilizing it in the highest and best ways of the Farmland Preservation Program.
  7. We have a unique economic model. Our members pay for a share of the harvest at the beginning of the year. Our members share in both the highs and lows, the unexpected bounties and the unexpected disappointments that are inherent to farming. The invaluable “upside” is that this model allows our farmers to concentrate on growing the healthiest food and not be “chasing the marketplace” by growing, for instance, all GMO corn or soybeans. A recent example of how this works is that, as a result of the severe winter weather we experienced, the plastic covering of one of our greenhouses was ripped off during an intense winter storm and most if not all of the greens growing inside were wind- and cold-damaged. This is nature and unavoidable. Rather than the farmers bearing the burden of nature, the loss was spread among our members. In a conventional agriculture setting, the farmer absorbs all the losses.
  8. We have a committed and unique Board of Trustees. We are incorporated in New Jersey as a “NJ Not For Profit Corporation.” Our Board of Trustees consists of 10 people. Four of our Board members have served on our Board for over 25 years! We all bring different perspectives to our Board. We share a common goal of uniting to insure that the food we grow is amongst the best grown on the planet. We all serve without any financial renumeration.
  9. We have an apprenticeship program. Not only are we growing food but we are also “growing farmers.” Every year, we train 3 to 6 committed people who are exploring a career in “healthy agriculture.” Our apprentices have gone on to “spread the seed” in starting their own farms.
  10. We’ve got the best volunteers. Although there is no requirement, as a member, to volunteer, we welcome, incorporate and need volunteers to continue with our success. As with all nonprofits, volunteer efforts and hours are crucial. I’ve repeatedly heard volunteers state, “No matter how much I give, I always seem to get back more.”
  11. We are sustainable. We’ve been “green” since we started 26 years ago. All of our efforts are directed to insuring that the land we farm continues to improve in quality. We use no pesticides, herbicides or GMO seeds. Compost, made on site, is our principal means of nurturing the soil. Our farmers receive sustainable compensation including health insurance, pension contributions and a fair wage.
  12. We make eating vegetables fun! Forget about those canned industrial vegetables that we all “push around our plates.” We grow really tasty food! Our food wouldn’t even fit in a can.

basketApproximately 300 families join every year to receive a share of the harvest at the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm. Most come to the farm in Blairstown to pick up their shares, but there are pick-up locations in Caldwell/Verona, Glen Rock, Madison, Montclair, Morristown, Maplewood/South Orange, Parsippany, Scotch Plains, Sparta, and Teaneck/Cresskill.

Membership is open to all and new members are signing up now for the spring season. For additional information, email csgardeninfo@gmail.com or call 908-362-7486. Join us today!

Join Us for the CSG’s Earth Day Celebration on April 26!

hayrideRThe Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm is again hosting its Earth Day Celebration and Open House on Saturday, April 26. 2014, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  (Rain date is April 27.)

This free public event will highlight local agriculture, healthy food and the northwest New Jersey region. Activities for children and adults include hayrides, field and greenhouse tours, plant walks, cooking demonstrations, animal and nature activities, food sampling, wine tasting, live music and more.

Farmers Judy von Handorf, Smadar English and Mike Baki and the CSG Board members will be on hand to discuss community supported agriculture, year-round farming, and sustainable organic techniques that the farm has been developing for 26 years.

  • Reid Giacomarra will lead an Edible Weed Walk.
  • For the children, there will be array of activities, including children’s crafts, birdhouse making, face painting, dry bean shelling, story telling, and children’s music with Len Mooney and his accordion.
  • There will be performances by Water Street, Kate Butler, and  the Spirit Hoopers. You’ll see a preview of  The Earth Works Theater Project, which is based on interviews with the CSG community.
  • Enjoy cooking demonstrations with Dorothy Salvatore, aka Raw Chef Dosa (dehydrating beets, sweet potatoes etc. as crispy snacks); Jessica Geanoules of Silver Birch (kale pesto, hummus with beets/hummus with sweet potatoes) and Dena Caulkin (fermenting various vegetables).
  • A light garden lunch made with CSG farm ingredients will be available for purchase. Villa Milagro will be on hand for wine-tasting and sales, and local organic bread and cheese will be on sale.
  • Exhibitors will be on hand to give demonstrations and talk about their work, including the Tree Whisperer, the Northwest New Jersey TimeBank, Ridge and Valley Charter School, All Things Good, Spring Street Art Center, Genesis Farm Learning Center, Foodshed Alliance, and more.

 

Special thanks to Dana Gray and Sacramento Earth Day for use of the Earth Day logo.