About Peacework Organic CSA
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.
Who is GVOCSA?
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 in Newark 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.
GVOCSA's distribution site is the warehouse/parking lot area of Abundance Cooperative Market. 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. 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.
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 About Peacework CSA if you live within 30 minutes of Newark and are interested in a local share.Back to top
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.Back to top
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:
Full or Shared Share:
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. 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 page for a link 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.Back to top
How long does the season last?
Produce is typically distributed for 26 weeks: from mid-May through the middle of November.Back to top
Is produce available in the winter?
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.Back to top
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:
PO Box 596, Newark, NY 14513
Sanctuary at Crowfield Farm
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.Back to top