CUFSP Group Update
Saturday, CUFSP members cleared out the garden for the winter, with the aim to add compost to the soil and plant a cover crop in the coming weeks. Look for our next produce sale TOMORROW on college walk from 9am-2pm.
CUFSP also met with Facilities this past week to pitch ideas for on-campus garden expansion and a model rooftop garden demonstration as we transition into winter planning. At last Wednesday's meeting, Natalie Johnston provided a great presentation on composting and Erin Axelrod discussed ideas for incorporating permaculture design into the on-campus garden. Students from the Gateway Engineering class presented their proposed design for a drip irrigation and rainwater collection system, and are now working with CUFSP to decide how best to incorporate the mechanical and agricultural functions of the system, which we intend to implement in spring 2009.
Also Saturday, CUFSP members working on the Grant Houses Garden Project took a busload of youth and parents from the Grant Houses public housing development to Queens County to visit a model farm, providing kids the opportunity to interact with farm animals and allowing Columbia students to get to know Grant Houses residents and discuss the proposed garden project. Team members are currently working with residents to plan for a community holiday meal that we will host on November 15th with the guidance of Chef Leslie Woodward from the President's House.
The chicken coop team is amidst developing a proposal for the project based on their research and information gleaned from Just Food through their City Chickens initiative. They are also looking into potential academic exploration of coop design to facilitate the project.
CUFSP's Morningside CSA has a couple weeks left to go! For those of you who missed out on the fall share, we are partnering with Roxbury CSA to offer a WINTER SHARE(!!) provided through Winter Sun Farms. Read the following message from Morningside CSA coordinator Megan McNally for more info:
"Alison Powell (the coordinator of the other CSA in the area) has been corresponding with a great farmer upstate who provides winter shares (mostly frozen veggies) for CSAs in NYC. He is willing to deliver if enough people are interested (at least 25!), so we are combining forces to get enough shares. Please read below (The four pick-up dates would likely be: December 16th, January 20th, February 17th, & March 24th and the location would be the basement of the church on 114th and Broadway.)
"Winter Sun Farms partners with local sustainable farms to supply great tasting frozen vegetables all winter long. Our goal is to deliver a superior product at a fair price for you and the farmer. Our farmers care for the land and the food they grow. They are part of our communities. We want you to know them, who they are and how they grow. We make it simple… the name of the farm goes right on the package.
Our Winter Share includes four monthly delivers of seven different frozen vegetables and fruits. The list includes blueberries, tomatoes,summer squash,green beans,raspberries, fall greens, blackberries, peppers, edamame, broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash and new this year-potatoes & carrots from our root cellar. Please visit: www.WinterSunFarms.com for more details."
Please visit the following link to find out more about the Winter Share opportunity and to buy your share online (or print out the form and bring it with your check to our CSA and give it to me, Megan): http://www.wintersunfarms.com/morningside.php
Note from Jim at Winter Sun Farms:
"Not all the farms are USDA certified organic, but almost all grow organically. We use many small farms that don't use the USDA certification, but grow what I consider beyond organic. We only had two items that might be considered less then "organic". Corn from Migliorelli Farm. Organic corn is very hard to get in the Hudson Valley, but Ken grew a no-spray crop for us. Since we used the whole field he didn't use any synthetic pesticides. We see this as a great opportunity to introduce farmers to alternative methods. With an economic incentive (buying a whole field) a farmer can see the benefits and not have to take on all the risk himself. Blackberries from Quimby Farm (we only did a small amount). Diana Quimby doesn't use any pesticides or herbicides but after a heavy rain she sometimes uses a low-dose fungicide (blackberries are very susceptible to fungus and it could wipe out her whole crop) . It is what I consider a IPM (integrated pest management) approach when a synthetic agent is only used when absolutely necessary. The corn and blackberries are only 900 items of the over 23,000 that we did this season. Also we put the name of the farm that grew the food on every label. I consider that our form of certification. (most of the farms' websites our on my website). Sorry for the long answer, but it is important to me that my members know exactly who grows their food and how.""