We’d like to say that more than half of our adult life has not included the daily consumption of the college four basic food groups: coffee, pop tarts, booze, and cigarettes, but that wouldn’t be true. We didn’t consider, until recently, that those things were quickly turning us into fat old farts. Now we actually watch what we eat and are on a constant quest for fresh/organic foods. To our surprise, fresh/organic produce isn’t too readily available in area grocery stores or if it is available, it’s too expensive or we have to do co-op swift with rich peoples’ nannies to get it. We love the markets that are all over the city, but those too can be a bit pricey when buying in bulk. -It totally gives us sad face.The price of living in the Big Apple is that farms, with their delicious natural veggies, are just a little too far away. The only alternative for normal folks like us seems to be to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from a place outside NYC.

We are super fortunate in South Brooklyn because Build It Green! New York (BIG!NYC) your source for re-use materials, has what’s called the Full Plate CSA from farms just up the road in Ithaca, NY. -bully for locally sourced! Like some other CSAs this group, known as the Full Plate Farm Collective, consist of multiple farms that work together to produce food for a community of members. Each farm produces a large amount of certain fruits or vegetables, which keeps production costs low for each farmer. Farmers share equipment, storage, and have a coordinator that manages members’ signup and farmer meetings. Members in turn pay a fee at the beginning of the season that supports the farmer during the growing/harvesting period. The Full Plate Farm Collective has been around for 8 years and now not only conveniently drops off fresh and organic produce in Brooklyn, it has some bonus features that set it a part from other CSAs. Bonus features like a new walk in freezer at the BIG!NYC location that keeps food fresh and allows for longer pickup times for members, and the possible addition of non-produce items with the normal 1/2 bushel box of veggies. -Awesome!

We contacted the Full Plate Farm Collective CSA and got the skinny from Sara, the group’s coordinator, to learn more about the collective, what food members can expect from this summer season, and the unique bonus items.

How did this Collective get started?

Farmer Nathaniel of Remembrance Farm knew he wanted to start a CSA, but didn’t want to grow all the crops himself. So he talked with his friends Lucy & Chaw of Stick and Stone and the Collective was born….

What crops can we expect this coming summer?

Between our farms, we offer a bountiful and varied share: from spinach, lettuce, peas, and strawberries in June to winter squash, brussels sprouts, leeks, kales, and parsnips in November with lots more in between! Also check out our harvest calendar.”

Image Provided by Full Plate Farm Collective

Do you expect a large amount of a particular crop?

Weather has so much to do with it! After last years’ wet spring we are hoping for some good tomatoes!”

Is it true that you will be providing more than just produce?

Yes, we are working towards bringing eggs and dairy products to Brooklyn. We’ll keep you posted.”

Is the collective involved in the building of the freezer at BIG!NYC in Gowanus?

Yes, our farmers are building an energy-efficient walk in cooler using salvaged parts from Build It Green! and a farmer hacked air conditioner called a Coolbot.”

future walk in cooler location at BIG!NYC Gowanus

Any new technology being used to harvest the food or do the farmers use the traditional tools for harvesting?

Check the video I made on our baby greens harvester:

What’s the schedule of an Ithaca area farmer?

When the sun is up and the skies are clear we are outside working. And if its raining we are catching up on office work”

What are the farmers making for dinner?

This time of year we are putting the last of our storage roots into frittatas, eating lots of salad and Asparagus, and drinking homemade parsnip ale!”

Any recipes that you could recommend for Brooklynites?

These ingredients should be available at Green Markets.

What music do the farmers jam out to when working?

Farmer Chaw says this time of year he is digging “his diesel powered drone machine” also know as a tractor.”

Full Plate Crew - Image Provided by Full Plate Farm Collective

The Full Plate Collective CSA share is certified organic. The core farms are Stick and Stone Farm and Remembrance Farm, but Youth Farming Project, Black Oak Farm, Solana Farm, and The Good Life Farm are also adding to the members goodie box. The Summer CSA offers a pre-packed 1/2 bushel box of veggies. It will be delivered to Build It Green! NYC every other week starting in June: June 14, 28, July 12, 26, August 9, 23, September 6, 20, October 4, 18, November 1, 15. Pickup for members’ 1/2 bushel box is anytime BIG!NYC in Gowanus is open, beginning late-afternoon on Thursday through 5pm Sunday of each delivery week. You can learn more and sign up for the Full Plate Collective CSA here.

Where: Build It Green! NYC, 69 9th St. Brooklyn, NY

When: Every other Thursday, June through November

How Much: $325 for 12 boxes of organic produce over the period of 23 weeks.

To sign up: Please visit the website or call our coordinator Sara for more information. (607) 379 – 2866


Bonus Your Face Off

If you consume produce like the little woodland creature your are, you are going to need a place to put all your scraps. You could be a jerk and put all your biodegradable items in a plastic bag and let it do nothing in a landfill for the next year. Or on your way to BIGNYC in Gowanus you can swing by the Salt Lot, managed by Gowanus Canal Conservancy, and drop off your compost like the super star you really are!!!

Gowanus Canal Conservancy's Salt Lot