Monday, December 29, 2008

Arizona Dreaming

I was spending the holidays in Mesa, AZ (http://www.sustainlane.com/us-city-rankings/overall-rankings) and thought I'd share my holiday with the Appleseeds, since it included some sustainable surprises. Unable to successfully fight against the primary social activity that I sometimes forget still grips the rest of the nation, I watched an inordinate amount of television with my family. This did, however, include a great C-Span panel discussion on energy efficiency (http://c-span.org/Watch/watch.aspx?MediaId=Energy-A-13558), which I would love for someone to be able to figure out how to stream/download - it may only be able to be purchased from C-Span. Hmm. In any event, there are amazing things that are pouring through the media that deal with environmental policy and law that we can share with our CUNY community. Maybe the likes of a C-Span panel discussion is too dry, but there are tons of free video podcasts that might make great SIT time events. If we get a regular thing going where each of our members could be responsible for a week's showing we could become a gathering spot for students to stop in and see our weekly environmental law and policy updates from places like http://www.viropop.com/ or http://www.green.tv/. And if anyone is looking for some purely audio sustainability news (um, you could be) then look no further than our own university - this should open the CUNY site in itunes, which has a podcast called Sustainable Times: (http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/cuny-public.1691156758)

While in Arizona, I also got to drive (I LOVE to drive) my parents' Prius around the desert and made them drive with me on the brand spanking new commuter light rail line route (http://www.valleymetro.org/metro_light_rail/) since I couldn't actually ride on it - it opened the day AFTER I left town. It was also a really good excuse for me to go to Phoenix proper, since after 4 visits to see my family in Mesa I had never actually been to downtown Phoenix. Considering the blanket of brown haze that covers the Valley of the Sun there's a curious concentration of tricked-out pickup trucks and other vehicles suffering from gigantism, which leaves me bemused on the economics of gas guzzling automobiles and the disconnect between personal choice and environmental degradation. I can't help but think that its a whole lot of Field of Dreams mentality going on - if you make them bigger people will buy - but maybe there is data out there that says otherwise - that somehow consumers demanded that they drive tanks. Or maybe its the supposed hostility of the desert environment that 'drives' everyone there to get bigger cars, or the spread out scale of the place just makes people believe that they need something bigger. I tend to get around the U.S. to visit friends and family in different places and Phoenix is definitely the place with the biggest cars. There was one Smart Car plying the six-lane streets that belonged to an organic pizza place, and it looked as out of place in Phoenix as a sprawling metropolis looks in the middle of the desert. Given the vehicular social climate in the Phoenix metro area, I'm not sure that I'm so positive about the rail line's future. It will surely be a test of the policy-makers there to implement creative incentives for mass transit use. One creative incentive that was tabled at one of our meetings last semester was about preferred parking for carpoolers in the CUNY Law parking lot. I'd like to see us flesh out that idea and propose it. We're an auto-heavy law school in a mass transit dream of a city because of our location therein, but we're also a pretty darn social and conscious group so it sounds like a workable incentive to aid parking problems and our school's carbon footprint simultaneously.

I did go out of town with my parents to a magical place called the Boyce-Thompson Arboretum (http://arboretum.ag.arizona.edu/). Its one of the last remaining natural riparian zones in Arizona, so if you're ever in the area I highly recommend it. Its a special treat to see water bursting forth in the middle of a desert. The arboretum reminds me of two things closer to home - the Queens Botanical Garden and the New York water supply. We have got to get ourselves en masse to the Queens Botanical Garden. I saw we plan an early spring field trip. And speaking of field trips, I'm still up for going to the Museum of the City of New York (http://www.mcny.org/exhibitions/current/Growing-and-Greening-New-York.html) for the sustainability exhibit there. In terms of the city's water supply I'd be interested to hear from anyone who's worked with the campaign to fight against development around the reservoirs and other issues about keeping our amazing New York water supply as naturally clean as possible. The water issues in Arizona are definitely much different from those here in New York, but short-sighted water management there has landed the state in a real mess and we need to make sure we're not allowing the same general development ├╝ber alles approach to occur here - or perhaps not allow it to bleed out of the city too much.

I hope everyone's break has been enlightening and relaxing simultaneously.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Summer CSAs

EAST NEW YORK
http://www.eastnewyorkfarms.org/csa.html
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BED STUY
http://bedstuycsa.wetpaint.com/?t=anon
This is the CSA I am part of. Pick ups are on Saturdays in Bed Stuy and will start again in late May or June. If there are just a few CUNY folks, we could piggy back on it but I'm not sure it'll be worth it for folks who are not around in the summer. It's $450 a season or $325 if you make less than $25K.
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FLUSHING CSA (I didn't even know there was one!)
Flushing Bliss and Wisdom CSA
25-10 Ulmer Street.,
Flushing, NY 11354
bwflushingcsa@gmail.com
Matt Kurek
Golden Earthworm Organic Farm [web]
Jamesport, NY
It's rather fancy and expensive compared to my other CSA experiences but they do have this option (they say entroll by Jan 2009 to lock in the price):
AUTUMN
FARM SHARE
Going away for the summer months? Enjoy 12 weeks of fall season produce, beginning the first week of September. $289.

THURSDAY PICK UP.

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If you are looking for your personal veggie needs, a complete list of JustFood CSAs can be found here: http://justfood.org/csa/locations/

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The Green Coalition will hold an interest meeting in January to assess whether we ought to partner with a farmer to make CUNY LAW a CSA site for 2009. We will also be investigating getting produce from the high school next door. If there are enough folks in the CUNY community interested in getting their seasonal farm-fresh local produce brought to them at school, we will work to make it happen. If there is something else you think we should be doing, come to the next Green Coalition Meeting.

WINTER SHARES LAST CHANCE INFO BLAST

It doesn't look like any of these winter shares are gonna work for our immediate after hours snack needs but, in case you are still looking for your winter root veggie source, here is the status. Thanks for compiling the original list!

Prince George Norwich Meadows
http://www.commonground.org/csa/?page_id=10
FULL
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Merchants' Gate CSA
http://groups.google.com/group/merchantsgatecsa
WINTER SUBSCRIPTION CLOSED
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Bialas Farms
http://www.bialasfarms.com/
MANHATTAN PICK UP
Pay now for your veggies, then come to our stand at the West 97th Street greenmarket on the pick-up dates (2 per month) to pick up a beautiful assortment of seasonal produce. The CSA will run from Jan. 2009 – Feb. 2009 (4 dates) and cost $100 per share.
Pick up dates and times are as follows:
Friday Jan. 9 - 8am-11am
Friday Jan. 23 - 8am-11am
Friday Feb. 6 - 8am-11am
Friday Feb. 20 - 8am-11am
Here’s an idea of some of the vegetables that might be included in your CSA distributions: Potatoes: red, yukon gold, russet, Onions: red, yellow, cippoline, shallots, leeks, Squash: acorn, butternut, buttercup, pumpkins, & more, Root Vegetables: carrots, rutabagas, white turnips, celery root, beets, parsnips, Greens: cabbages, spinach, kales, baby greenhouse greens and lettuces. We estimate that one share is enough for 3-6 people.

Applications are currently available at the West 97th Street Greenmarket, Fridays from 8am - 2 pm (until December 19th).

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Winter Sun Farms
http://www.wintersunfarms.com/morningside.php
(frozen/non-seasonal local items - all Hudson Valley)
MANHATTAN PICK UP
Cost $128.
The cost includes four monthly pick-ups of a variety of our produce. This year the share will include potatoes and carrots from our root cellar.

Winter Share Produce
Each pick-up includes 6-7 items of the Hudson Valley’s best — approximately 28 items in total. (Look in Winter Share- Whats in a Share page for details.)
Pick-Ups: Tuesday
December 16th
January 20th
February 17th
March 24th
Where: 114th Presbyterian Church (Morningside Heights near Columbia University)

Time: 3:15pm till 6:15 pm

Currently we are full at this location and aren't taking any more on-line payments. There is a good chance more shares will come available. If you are interested please send a check for the full amount to the above address. If not enough shares become available your check will be voided. You can also e-mail me to get on the waiting list. RISKY BUT MAYBE WORTH IT!

Payment
Checks can be sent to: Winter Sun Farms 195 Huguenot St.New Paltz, NY 12561
Please include: Name,address,email,phone number and pick-up location.

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Garden of Eve - Williamsburg pickup
http://www.gardenofevefarm.com/WinterCSAShare.htm
FULL

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Clinton Hill CSA
http://www.clintonhillcsa.org/?p=491
DEADLINE PASSED IN NOV> 1st share already delivered

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Astoria CSA thru Golden Earthworm Organic Farm
http://www.astoriacsa.com/
(it has winter veggie shares and add-on apple and cider shares)
http://www.goldenearthworm.com/
DEadline was NOV. 20

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Winter CSAs around New York City

Since Green Coalition is considering offering some healthy after-hours produce, here are some winter CSAs around town to look into. I'm sure there are even more winter shares than this out there - it's just hard to find information about which farms are offering them. It seems like Long Island/Queens is dominated by the last one listed here, Golden Earthworm Farms, which has tons of distribution sites all over Long Island. Just something to keep in mind as we look into all the options...!

Prince George Norwich Meadows
http://www.commonground.org/csa/?page_id=10

Merchants' Gate CSA
http://groups.google.com/group/merchantsgatecsa

Bialas Farms
http://www.bialasfarms.com/

Winter Sun Farms
http://www.wintersunfarms.com/morningside.php
(frozen/non-seasonal local items - all Hudson Valley)

Garden of Eve - Williamsburg pickup
http://www.gardenofevefarm.com/WinterCSAShare.htm

Clinton Hill CSA
http://www.clintonhillcsa.org/?p=491

Astoria CSA thru Golden Earthworm Organic Farm
http://www.astoriacsa.com/
(it has winter veggie shares and add-on apple and cider shares)
http://www.goldenearthworm.com/