Learn about our CSA
Learn About Our Farmer, Fred Lee
Learn about our Emergency Food Provider, First Presbyterian Church
Our CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture)
We are really excited for our next CSA season in Brooklyn Heights! If you’re just finding out about us, the Brooklyn Bridge CSA was established in early 2010 as a project of Pursue: Action for a Just World, in collaboration with Hazon, a Jewish environmental organization. The intention was to establish a CSA powered by volunteers who were committed to leveraging the power of the CSA model for advancing food justice. Today, we are part of Just Food‘s CSA network, and we are committed to exploring new ways to give anyone in our local Brooklyn community access to good, healthy, nutritious food, regardless of income.
There are lots of great explanations online of the CSA model – JustFood, LocalHarvest, and Wikipedia have pages on the topic – but here’s the succinct description and motivation:
A CSA is a community that comes together to share risks and rewards with a local farmer. The CSA community pays the farmer upfront for the season’s produce and the farmer repays this trust by delivering seasonal produce to a pickup location convenient to the CSA membership. CSA members come to the pickup location to get their share of the bounty.
CSA membership is about eating great, local, seasonal produce. Membership is also about supporting local farmers. Farming is hard, risky, and costly, especially for small farms. Many local farms would fail without the support of CSAs.
Fred Lee, Farmer at Sang Lee Farms
We are excited to be partnering with Sang Lee Farms, a certified organic specialty vegetable farm in Peconic on the North Fork of Long Island. The farm’s goal is to provide the highest quality vegetables for its customers by growing unique fresh vegetables that are healthy and pleasing to the palate. Farmers Fred and Karen Lee operate the farm with their three children and staff, growing more than 100 varieties of specialty vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, baby greens, mesclun, herbs, specialty Asian greens and flowers. Sang Lee Farms strives to be environmentally responsible by cultivating its vegetables and herbs organically utilizing sustainable agricultural practices and integrated pest management. Using only organically approved materials and production techniques, Sang Lee is a Certified Organic Vegetable Farm by NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC and cultivates its produce under the National Organic Production Standards to maintain this certification.
A Family Farm
Sang Lee Farms, Inc. was established in the mid 1940′s by Fred’s Uncles, John (Kim Poy) Lee, Hugh K. Lee and father, George Kim Lee. Following George’s return from his Navy tour of duty during World War II, the farm began supplying New York’s Chinatown with quality Asian produce grown in Melville, Long Island. The farm was expanded in the late 1950′s to include year round production from Hobe Sound, Florida during the winter months. In 1964, the New York operation was moved to East Moriches, Long Island. Through the 1970′s, ’80′s, and ’90′s, production and wholesale distribution expanded to Asian markets along the eastern coast from Montreal, Canada, to Miami, Florida, with many cities in between.
As the markets changed and with the passing of some family members, Fred moved the farm operations in 1987 to Peconic, Southold, on the North Fork of Long Island. The moderate climate, offered by the location between The Long Island Sound and Peconic Bay, allows an extended growing season that capitalizes on the fertile, well drained sandy loam soils of eastern Long Island. During the early 1990′s, the product line was expanded greatly to include specialty baby greens, herbs, mesclun and flowers.
Visit Sang Lee Farms’s website to read more directly from the farm. You can also listen to JustFood’s podcast on Farmer Fred.
First Presbyterian Church: Our Emergency Food Provider
We partnered with the First Presbyterian Church (FPC) Food Bank in 2011 as an Emergency Food Provider in Brooklyn Heights. At the close of each Brooklyn Bridge CSA distribution, CSA volunteers bring surplus or unclaimed produce to the FPC Food Bank for distribution to over 100 clients, of which many are elderly on fixed incomes, out of work, or low-income caregivers. The FPC Food Bank operates every Thursday morning from 10-11 AM year round. Our fresh produce provides a welcome and healthy addition to the packaged, canned and dry goods collected from the NYC food bank, food drives, corporate, and personal donations. The FPC Food Bank has been operating for 14 years and began their partnership with the NYC Food Bank in 2009. The FPC Food Bank is a primary Outreach Program for the First Presbyterian Church and is supported by church and community member volunteers. In addition, disabled adult volunteers from AHRC, YAI, HEARTSHARE, and Community Options have an opportunity to mainstream with recipients. Students & faculty from Packer Collegiate Institute also participate as part of their community service effort.