COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA)
CSA Sign-ups for 2019 are now open, please fill out the 2019 CSA Form to receive more information.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a unique model of direct farmer-to-consumer marketing where members build a partnership with a farmer or farmers. This gives the consumer (you!) a chance to interact more long-term with the people who are growing your food, and the farmer an expanded and reliable market for his/her produce. Both partners share in the risks and rewards of small-scale farming: weather, insect damage, and bumper crops.
CSA members (or “friends” as they are called here at New Roots) pre-pay for an entire season of produce and pick up a variety of veggies each week from one of four different locations. The New Roots CSA program helps refugees develop long-term relationships with English speaking Americans while developing their small business skills and providing you with fresh, local, organically grown produce all summer.
The Roots of Community Supported Agriculture
The model for CSA came to the US in the 1980s- people in different communities decided they wanted a stronger connection to their food, while farmers looked for other ways to sell their produce and improve their cash flow. Once these groups connected, the customers, or members, prepaid for a “share” of produce so that the farmer could pay for seeds and supplies before the season. By doing this, members acknowledged and embraced the risks and rewards inherent in farming. As a member of our CSA, we ask you to do the same. In return, we’ll work with the New Roots farmers to grow the best produce possible.
What Makes Us Unique
In past years New Roots has paired a single farmer with a CSA friend, which has been an enriching experience on both sides. After receiving a grant to expand and improve our CSA model in 2019 we are excited to announce a new aggregated CSA model which addresses the issues of inconsistent produce quality, communication difficulties between CSA friends and farmers due to language barriers, irregular pick up times, and crop failure. In 2019 customers will purchase a New Roots CSA share, and get to enjoy produce from multiple farmers in the training program. By pooling produce from the 17 farmers growing at Juniper, New Roots is able to ensure high quality vegetables to CSA friends while alleviating the risk of crop failure for farmers in training and continuing to foster relationships between you and the farmers growing your food.
How Our CSA Works
CSA friends will select $20 worth of produce from our assortment of 5-8 different vegetables each week and available to pick up at one of four pick up locations across the Kansas City metro:
New Roots CSA share $21/week for 22 weeks = $462.00 *$100.00 deposit
(One “item” means one bag, one box, one bunch, etc. – sizes may vary. For example, in a share you might get 3-4 onions (depending on size), a quart box of potatoes, a bunch of carrots, and a bag of spinach.)
What We Grow
New Roots farmers follow sustainable practices to grow a wide variety of high-quality vegetables, each on their own ¼ acre. Farmers choose what they grow and when they grow it, so the CSA experience may differ a bit from farmer to farmer. Your CSA share will contain vegetables familiar to a Midwestern palate as well as vegetables that are traditional to the farmers’ countries of origin.
~Spring (May – June): beets, green onions, spinach, lettuce, arugula, kale, swiss chard, Asian greens (like water spinach), collard greens, carrots, radishes, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, herbs (cilantro, dill, parsley, mint, sage, several varieties of basil), green peas (sugar snap, shell, and snow)
~Summer (June – August): heirloom and hybrid tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, various types of eggplant, okra, melons, cucumbers, onions, green onions, kohlrabi, green beans, mustard greens, summer squash, basil, mint, dill, potatoes, arugula, swiss chard, purslane, kale, Burmese roselle, yard long beans and noodle beans, Asian cucumbers and edible gourds
~Fall (September – October): lettuce mixes, arugula, kale, collards, swiss chard, cabbage, winter squashes, edible gourds, carrots, potatoes, radish, onions, cherry tomatoes, green tomatoes, Chinese celery, sweet potatoes, garlic, herbs (same as above, plus lemongrass), peas
Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions (FAQs):
Where can I pick up my Share?
Pick up happens at any one of four locations located throughout the metro. CSA Friends pick up from New Roots farmers at the same pick up location every week in the afternoon (11:30 – 1:00 PM) or evening (4:30 – 6:00 PM). You will be reminded 24 hours before your pick up date via email.
- Chief Properties (510 N 6th Street, KCK) Evening
- Plexpod Westport Commons (300 E 39th Street, KCMO) Afternoon
- Leawood Pioneer Library (4700 Town Center Drive, Leawood, KS) Afternoon
- Ten Thousand Villages (7974 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, KS) Evening
How Do I Join?
All potential CSA Friends fill out the New Roots CSA Interest Form. CSA updates and orders will be processed through Farmigo – after creating a Farmigo account and paying your $100.00 deposit you will be able to choose your pick up location and time as well as see what vegetables will be available in your share that week. The rest of your total ($362.00) will be due before the first pickup in mid-May.
What if the weather is terrible this year? Will we still get our vegetables?
Part of the joy of supporting local agriculture is that we are subject to the whims of Kansas weather. We do our best to guarantee a steady and generous supply of all types of vegetables, but one of the lessons agriculture teaches us is just how little control we have in the world! If we come up short on individual crops, New Roots will supplement the missing crop with other varieties being grown at Juniper. This also means that when there is an abundance of a particular crop (bumper crop), you can expect larger quantities.
What if we don’t like all the produce we get?
While certain traditional items like tomatoes, onions, and lettuce will always be a favorite, other items like mustard greens and kohlrabi add depth and breadth to meals. Learning how to enjoy these foods is part of learning how to eat seasonally and locally. Though you have some choice in our CSA, we hope that you’ll still embrace the adventurous nature of eating seasonally and try a few new things! Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity (and trial and error) to find a recipe you enjoy ~ like chocolate beet cake for example! We will send out regular newsletters with recipes and other information to help you make the most of your CSA share.
The New Roots CSA is unique in that we are all growing together- for customers this may mean trying new vegetables and learning to eat seasonally, and for farmers this means learning a new language and developing new business skills. New Roots staff will do our best to help you enjoy the produce, but CSAs do require a certain level of commitment to eating a variety of locally available produce. We hope you’ll join us in taking some risks!
What is this vegetable?
Sometimes you might not be able to identify a particular vegetable or herb, much less how to use it. We have a large variety of recipe cards available to our farmers, and we encourage them to bring recipes to every market. Don’t hesitate to ask for a recipe, or you can ask your farmer how they cook the vegetable. If you’re still feeling unsure, try searching our “Veggie ID” page on this website.
What if I can’t pick up my produce?
If you cannot pick up your share for some reason, please first try to have a friend pick up your share! If you are not able to find someone else, and you know ahead of time that no one will be coming to pick up your share. New Roots is not able to issue refunds for missed shares.
How can I get more involved in the farm?
We love having people come to visit and to volunteer! You should always let us know in advance, so that we can plan to offer you a good experience. We can arrange group tours if desired. If you and your farmer are able to communicate, feel free to coordinate with him/her independently! We also host multiple activities throughout the year. Sometimes these include cooking lessons with farmers, potlucks at the farm, and general farm tours.
What are CSA members saying about New Roots?
“I feel like I value the produce I prepare for my family more because I know and value the person that grew it. I like the idea of being connected to my food source and having a relationship with my farmer.”
“I recommend this CSA to everyone I know, because the produce
is almost as wonderful as the farmers themselves!”
“I am so used to buying whatever I want at any season of the year.
The CSA has brought me back to the sense of the rhythm of the seasons
and seasonal produce. This is the way it was when I was a kid,
and there is value in that idea.”