L.I. farmers kick off new season of organic food

By Madina Toure

Flushing residents met with farmers from Golden Earthworm Organic Farm over the weekend to formally launch the 2016 season for Flushing Community Supported Agriculture, a volunteer community group that provides families with locally grown organic food.

The “Meet the Farmer” forum, held at the Quaker Meeting House at 137-16 Northern Blvd. Sunday, included presentations by local organic food producers and urban farm groups.

Flushing CSA will work with Golden Earthworm to make 26 weekly deliveries of vegetables from May 26 through Nov. 17.

Shares in the Flushing CSA will cost $565 a year, which comes out to roughly $23 a week, sufficient for a family of three adults or two adults and two children. Members will pick up their shares on Thursdays between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Blvd.

Due to a positive response from last year’s participants, Flushing CSA organizers anticipate increasing the number of families served from 40 to 60.

“Buying local means more of our money circulates locally,” John Choe, executive director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, said. “That translates into more money for our schools, police, and parks.”

To expand access to low-income households, Flushing CSA is creating new subsidized shares for those who want to participate but cannot afford the full membership fees.

Maggie Wood, a farmer from Golden Earthworm Organic Farm in Riverhead, N.Y., brought samples of the fruits and vegetables that Flushing CSA members can expect this year.

Golden Earthworm, which also has a Community Supported Agriculture Program, has 80 acres of land in active production, according to its official website.

Maureen Regan, CEO of Green Earth Urban Gardens, supplied her famous “Whitestone Honey” jar directly from the bees in the backyard of her home. “CSA’s are the 21st-century equivalent of Victory Gardens to busy families. They bring local diverse food choices to New Yorkers and encourage a healthy lifestyle,” Regan said.

Other Flushing CSA partners who participated include Elizabeth Ritter, owner and founder of Fruit Tortes; Victor Eskenazi, owner and founder of S&V Jams; Doaa Elkady, owner and founder of Spice Tree Organics; Elizabeth Williams of Sweet William’s Torte Shoppe and students from John Bowne High School in Flushing, which is supplying eggs from its agricultural program.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.