Staten Island Community Supported Agriculture (SICSA) is a group of Staten Islanders who buy shares in a farmer's organic vegetable and fruit* crop for the growing season. We support Circle Brook Farm (formerly Starbrite Farm) and John Krueger, the farmer, and share the risks and benefits of food production with him. Members receive organic produce every week for 24 weeks (previously 22) by purchasing share in the farmer’s harvest at the start of the growing season, when the farmer has to pay most of the expenses (seed, soil, fertilizer). Our distribution location is on the North Shore of Staten Island. Started in 2005, our SICSA has been an integral part of the north shore community providing high quality fresh produce to families.
The membership includes individuals, families, and charitable organizations. Members can use supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) to pay for shares. There is a coordinating group that stays in contact with the farmer and oversees weekly share distributions. The group may discontinue or refuse memberships—for example, if a member fails to meet his or her work requirement.
There are dozens of other community-supported agriculture (CSA) groups in the New York metropolitan area, all coordinated by Just Food. Typically, members or "share-holders" of the farm or garden pay for a share in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer's salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm's bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production.
Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. However, by direct sales to community members who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing.
Another benefit of the program is that farmers can continue to make a living on their land and pass their farms to their children rather than be forced to sell to developers to pay for retirement. CSAs, therefore, help maintain open land near metropolitan areas. They also reduce members' reliance on vegetables and fruit trucked across the U.S. and from other countries.
Refer to the registration form for pricing.
*Non-organic fruit shares are also available for vegetable share members only.