Frequently Asked Questions
What is a CSA?
A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a locally based economic model of agriculture and food distribution that typically allows city residents to have direct access to high quality, fresh produce grown locally by regional farmers. CSA members pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they periodically receive shares of produce. Thus, growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food production.
Why choose a CSA over a meal kit service?
Meal kits have been growing in popularity for the past few years because of their convenience. While they emphasize "local" sourcing, they are actually put together in central packing locations, so "local" is really a relative term. Plus, they use tons of packaging and are not necessarily organic. With our CSA, everything you get has been grown about 100 miles away from Williamsburg in the Hudson Valley. It is brought to us by the farmer directly, which means that the farmer earns all of the income from their produce, instead of selling to a middleman. You won't get an individually wrapped tablespoon of butter or a teeny plastic bottle of cooking oil, but you will get better, fresher food! Check out our recipe blog if you want some ideas for what you can make with your share, or google "CSA share recipes" for loads of ideas.
Why am I signing up in February if I don't get any food until June?
The CSA model provides important upfront capital to the farmer. They have to plan (and pay for) their growing season months before they get to harvest. Your investment pays for things like seeds, farm labor, fertilizer and more. It also helps the farmer plan for how much food to grow based on how many CSA members have signed up. Signing up early is the best way to signal that you support small-scale organic farming.
What if I can’t pick up my share?
Members are responsible for picking up their share each week. This year we have three options if you are going to be out of town during a pick up.
1. Ask a friend to pick it up for you. Maybe even let them keep a head of lettuce as a thank you (or not, your choice).
2. Swap pick ups with another member. You can communicate with other members via our Google forum HERE and our Facebook page HERE. When you pick up the share, just let the volunteer know the name of the person who should be picking up that day.
3. Hold for Make Up Date: Hearty Roots is now generously offering a "make up" date for one missed pickup. If you can't make your pickup and can't find anyone to trade, follow the directions below at least 48 hours before your missed pickup; your make up pickup date will be at the end of the season in November. This option is for products from Hearty Roots (vegetables and eggs) and pasta pickup only. Simply sign into your CSAWare account, select the date you want to skip in the calendar view and then click the hold delivery button. Keep in mind that we need the advance notice because the farmer decides how much to harvest based on how many shares he is delivering.
What do you do with any food left over at the end of a shift?
We donate all leftover food to Los Sures, a community-based, non-profit organization that has served as an integral part in rebuilding the South Side of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1972. The organization provides a multitude of much-needed services, including a senior center and a food pantry.
How can I get more involved?
This question makes our hearts flutter. The all-volunteer core group is responsible for running pick ups, coordinating with all of our food vendors, answering emails, advertising to recruit new CSA members and posting on social media. In short, we do everything besides grow the food. We are open to any help our members want to provide, whether it's running pick ups, graphic design, social media, web design etc. Just send us an email and let us know what you can offer.
I don’t like radishes. Can I swap for another vegetable this week?
Utilize our swap box! Members can exchange items with each other, so you can leave the radishes behind and go home with extra fennel (or whatever). We donate any food left over at the end of each pick up.
What if I can’t afford to pay the full amount?
Some subsidized shares are available for those that would like to be part of the CSA but cannot afford to without assistance. We follow New York State SNAP guidelines. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about these options.
The sign-up system looks different this year. How do I sign up?
1. Go to http://heartyrootsbrooklyn.csaware.com/store/
2. You must first select a vegetable share (look for the EWCSA Logo):
3. Choose your payment plan:
- One payment now
- Two payments (one now, and one in 30 days)
4. If you would like to purchase a fruit or egg share, select Continue Shopping. You will then be taken to a page where you can select add-ons.
5. If you have selected an A or B half veggie share, your half fruit and egg share will automatically be applied to that pick-up pattern. If you have selected a full veggie share but want only a half fruit or egg share, you will be randomly selected to receive those on either an A week schedule or B week schedule. If you have a preference, simply place your order and then email us and we will work to accomodate.
5. Before payment, you will need to create an account with CSAWare. It's easy!