Before the sun rose on November 17, farmers for the Red Jacket Orchards began picking apples from their orchards to share with their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members. Within less than 24 hours, these apples have arrived at the Urban Assembly of Arts and Letters (UAAL), the distribution location for their Fort Greene branch.
A relatively new farming model, CSA members pay forward to receive their weekly share of fruits and juices direct from the growers. This eliminates middlemen, which means the produce are more affordable. “But what’s really wonderful is you can get to know the people growing your food,” said Wen-Jay Ying from Red Jacket Orchards. “So you learn to trust the farmers and feel secure in knowing where your food comes from.”
Joined by community volunteer Grace Duyer, Ying distributed the fruits and juices to members while educating the students at UAAL about apple varieties and how fruits grow. “These kids are smart enough to know that fruits don’t grow in supermarkets,” said Ying. “But there are many who don’t, and that’s partly why I got into this industry; I want to educate the younger generation about the food crisis and how they can do their part.”