News & Events
Join the CSA: sign-up meetings scheduled
GVOCSA will kick off its 23rd season with sign-up meetings on Wednesday, March 16, from 7 to 9 pm and Saturday, April 2, at 2 pm at the James P.B. Duffy School 12 at 999 South Avenue in Rochester. Be a part of the organic food movement and learn how consumers and farmers work together to share the harvest. Sign-up for a share of local organic asparagus, lettuce, spinach, beets, carrots, broccoli, and peas harvested weekly. New members attend a short orientation to learn more about how Community Supported Agriculture works. Childcare is provided. If possible, please post a flyer to support the CSA.
Elizabeth Henderson visits TaiwanElizabeth Henderson travelled to Taiwan this summer to share her knowledge of organic agriculture. For the full story, see Elizabeth Henderson: A CSA Mission to Taiwan.
Factory Farming: Unprecedented Growth
Food & Water Watchhas released a new version of its Factory Farm Mapwhich charts the concentration of factory farms across the country. The interactive map illustrates the geographic shift in where and how food is raised in the US and allows anyone to quickly search for the highest concentration of animals by region, state, and county.
Gardeners supporting local food pantries
AmpleHarvest.org is a nationwide campaign enabling more than 40 million gardeners who grow food in home gardens to donate excess produce to a local food pantry. Rolled out nationwide in May 2009 and backed by Google Inc., the USDA, the National Gardening Association, Garden Writers of America, numerous faith and service organization and many others, AmpleHarvest.org is helping more than 2500 food pantries across all 50 states get garden fresh produce that would have otherwise been wasted.
Important 2011 Dates
March 16 and April 2: GVOCSA Sign-up Meetings.
Sunday, May 1: Season begins with a Maypole dance, wildflower walk and potluck picnic supper at Peacework Farm.
Thursday, May 19 and Sunday, May 22: First Distributions.
Sunday, November 13: Season ends with the annual end-of-season potluck dinner in Rochester from 5 to 8 PM.
What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between consumers and farmers. Consumers contract with farmers before the growing season begins for a share of the upcoming harvest. They agree to share the risks and rewards of growing food in their local climate. Farmers are guaranteed a market and an income; consumers receive fresh, just-picked local produce and the satisfaction of helping to keep local farms in business. CSAs are as individual as the people who form them. GVOCSA founder, Elizabeth Henderson, has written an excellent book on the topic called Sharing the Harvest. For information on how to order a copy, see below.
GVOCSA Brochure (tri-fold)
Who Is GVOCSA?GVOCSA's distribution site is the warehouse/parking lot area of Abundance Cooperative Market at 62 Marshall Street between Monroe Avenue and Broadway in Rochester (see ). During the main season, we distribute shares on Thursday and Sunday evenings. When you sign up, you choose the pick-up day that's best for you and keep that day throughout the season. The main season runs for 26 weeks from mid-May to mid-November (see News & Events at left for specific dates). Winter shares are contracted separately from the main season membership. Winter share distributions occur every other week from January to March, also in the Abundance warehouse.
Genesee Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture (GVOCSA) is a member organization of consumers in the Genesee Valley area of New York, in and around the city of Rochester. We began in 1989, making us one of the oldest CSAs in the United States. We contract with Peacework Farm Newark, Wayne County, NY for shares of main season organic vegetables and herbs and with Blue Heron Farm in Lodi, Seneca County, for organic winter shares. We also special-order items such as berries, apples, wine, and maple syrup from other New York producers during the main season. Another local farm that raises livestock using sustainable methods is often present at our main season distributions selling meat and eggs and delivering items members have previously ordered. A cooperative bakery also delivers pre-ordered bread and other items to our members on specific distribution dates. During the main season, Peacework Farm offers extra produce for sale on a weekly basis, if and when it's available. During a good growing year, Peacework also has bulk quantities of certain vegetables for sale for canning, freezing, and winter storage.
Peacework Farm also operates a separate CSA for 30 to 40 members in Wayne and Ontario Counties who pick up their local shares at the farm. See Peacework Farm CSA on this web site if you live within 30 minutes of Newark and are interested in a local share.
What does it cost?
: 6-10 items per week, depending on the time of season. Pricing is on a sliding scale to accommodate people of varying incomes: $440, $520 (the "break even" cost for our farmers), $600, or $680 (approx. $17, $20, $23, or $26 per week) for the same amount of food. Choosing the upper range helps the folks who can only afford the lower range and assures the farmers a fair price for their produce. An annual membership fee of $15 is also required.
: The same size and sliding scale cost as a Full share. Cost, work, and produce are divided among the households sharing the share. An annual membership fee of $15 per household is also required.
: 4-6 items per week depending on the time of season. Set cost: $325 ($12.50 per week, no sliding scale) plus an annual membership fee of $15.
The cost of the food varies according to the type of share you purchase. For the 26-week main season, three types of shares are offered.
Every member signs a contract for the 26-week season. A down payment of at least $50 is required to join. The remainder may be paid in a lump sum or in increments designated on your contract. Food stamps are accepted. Bulk and special orders are paid for separately when ordered.
We envision the creation of a land-based community of people of diverse ages, backgrounds, and incomes, farmers and non-farmers, who are committed to love, justice, equality, democracy and cooperation, and who honor the intrinsic value of nature and food, and the dignity of labor. The members of this community will work gently together to learn and teach others to live sustainably, in the broadest sense, for the health of all living creatures and the planet. We will practice an agriculture that supports a whole, healthy, sustainable, and loving community.
GVOCSA is one of the few CSAs that require all members to work as part of their share. We feel it is important for ourselves and our children to understand where our food comes from, how it is grown and to know the people who grow it. It gives us an appreciation for the labor that goes into growing, harvesting, washing and packing the food that appears on our plates. Our labor also helps to keep the costs of our shares reasonable. Work requirements include work shifts at Peacework Farm during the main season and at distribution for both main season and winter share members.
Alternatively, members may choose to serve on the Core Committee that administers and coordinates the activities of GVOCSA. See News & Events (upper left) for current Core position openings.
Main Season Work Requirements:
3 Farm Shifts of 4 hours each (8 AM to Noon) on your pick-up day (Thursday or Sunday) and
2 Distribution Shifts of 2.5 hours each (starting one hour before food pick-up begins) on your pick-up day
Total of 17 hours for the 26-week main season. (Hours do not reflect driving time to the farm and time spent delivering produce to the GVOCSA cooler at Abundance at the end of your work shift.)
2 Farm Shifts of 4 hours each (8 AM to Noon) on your pick-up day (Thurs. or Sun.) and
1 Distribution Shift of 2.5 hours (starting one hour before food pick-up begins) on your pick-up day
Total of 10.5 hours for the 26-week main season. (Hours do not reflect driving time to the farm and time spent delivering produce to the GVOCSA cooler at Abundance at the end of your work shift.)
Members often stay for a picnic lunch at noon. If you'd like to stay, please bring some food to share and let the farm staff know to load your vehicle after lunch. The farm crew makes a big seasonal salad and there are plenty of plates and utensils at the farm.
You choose your work shift times at the annual sign-up meetings (see News & Events for dates). If you sign up two adults and an able-bodied child willing to work four hours, you can fulfill your Full Share farm work obligation with one visit. You may instead choose to work a Special Vegetable Action Team (SVAT) shift. SVAT teams help with special jobs that only happen once a season such as putting up pea fencing, harvesting garlic, or dividing and weeding perennials. You can sign up for SVAT shifts at a separate table at the sign-up meetings. Many members and Core Committee members (who are exempt from farm and distribution work shifts) sign up for extra shifts at the farm because they love being out there. Extra help is always welcome on Thursday and Sunday mornings. If the weeds get ahead of them or other urgent help is needed, the farmers will post an alert to the GVOCSA e-mail list. Members should see the Contact Us/Join the email list for how to be added to the list.
Winter Share members are required to work only a single 1.5-hour distribution shift. There is NO farm shift.
How long does the season last?
Produce is typically distributed for 26 weeks: from mid-May through the middle of November.
The annual Winter Shares program is not part of the regular membership season. Participating members may receive regular supplies of organically grown beets, carrots, celeriac, cabbage, daikon, garlic, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, winter squash and more. Detailed information is announced in the fall.
A typical Winter Share program might include both Full and Half shares. For example, a Full Share might provide approximately 16 pounds of vegetables per distribution; and a Half Share nets about 8 pounds per distribution. Distributions usually take place every other week beginning January 9th through March 20th.
Each share is only required to work a single 1.5 hour distribution shift. There is NO FARM SHIFT.
Sign me up!Sign-up meetings for the main season occur in early February and March (see News & Events, upper left, for dates). All new and returning members must attend a sign-up meeting. If you miss both meetings, contact Dave Fergusson on the Core Committee to see if shares are still available or to be put on the waiting list.
Sharing the Harvest
The latest edition of Elizabeth Henderson's book, Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen's Guide to Community Supported Agriculture (Chelsea Green, 2007) is now available. According to Howard Zinn, a historian, author, and playwright, Sharing the Harvest is "an extraordinary book, an opening to a new world in which growing and eating food will be a sharing among humans, between farmers and surrounding communities, not a commercial venture for profit. It is both utopian and practical, inspiring and down-to-earth. It is a treasure, rich with suggestions, exciting for what possibilities it foresees for the human race." To purchase the book directly from the author, send a $35 check plus $4 postage and handling to Elizabeth Henderson, ,
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Peacework Farm is proud to work closely with Sanctuary at Crowfield Farm, a local non-profit community-based organization offering environmental education in a beautiful natural setting and giving people a safe and welcoming place to reconnect with the earth. Special thanks to The Genesee Gateway for generously hosting this web site.
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