I am very excited to announce to the blogosphere that Temple Sinai will be starting its own CSA, Pri Adamah. This initiative of the social action committee at temple is going to meet a number of goals of the committee and also of the synagogue and most importantly, it is providing the entire community an opportunity to think about the question, are we what we eat?
So you probably have some questions. Let me try to answer them.
First, what is a CSA?
CSA is a system in which individuals or families choose to buy organic produce from a local farm for a whole growing season. Produce is delivered once a week to the pick-up location, where the members are able to choose their produce while connecting with the farmer and members of their community.
A CSA is an effective way to confront the global challenges of pollution, land degradation, and poor nutrition. In addition to the global benefits of participating in a CSA, you and your family will benefit greatly in the realms of quality, cost, community, and education. In terms of quality, your weekly produce is always fresh (often harvested the morning you receive it), and because it is grown organically, it is of the highest nutritional value. Cost wise, the price of CSA membership is competitive with organic prices at local grocery stores and farmers markets. In addition, our CSA drop-off site has proven to be a social gathering place — a place where members get to know each other while they share ideas and stories about food, family, and life. As for the educational benefits, through newsletters, farm visits, workshops, and special events, members are exposed to the various issues that affect agriculture in your community.
Why is this Jewish?
Why is joining a CSA a “Jewish” thing to do? When God finished creating the world, God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden and commanded Adam, “l’ovdah u’l’shomra,” to serve and protect Creation. When we purchase local organic produce, we are choosing to support a food system that cares for our natural world, our health, and our community – we are honouring our role as stewards of God’s creation! As well, participating in a CSA that values social, environmental, personal and economic health as “the bottom line,” enables us to actively participate in the process of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world.
Join the 30+ other Jewish communities across North America that have already committed to putting Jewish purchasing power behind our local farmers! Become a part of the new Jewish food movement today!
What about Tzedakah?
An important part of the PRI ADAMAH CSA is the Tzedakah component. Each week, The Cutting Veg will donate some leftover produce to Eva’s Place. Eva’s Place provides support to homeless youth through emergency and transitional housing, harm reduction services to address drug and alcohol use, counseling, employment and training programs, housing support and services to reconnect youth with their families (www.evasinitiatives.com). Each week, through the PRI ADAMAH CSA, produce will be given to Eva’s Place staff, who will work with the youth to produce nutritious meals, while teaching invaluable cooking skills. Thus, your participation in the PRI ADAMAH CSA directly supports folks in our community who are most in need of highly nutritious food. In addition, all unclaimed produce is donated each week,and you will be given the opportunity to donate shares during your vacation weeks.
What if I want to be more involved? Are there more opportunities?
Yes. Beyond providing the freshest, localest, organicest produce around, the PRI ADAMAH CSA offers the opportunity to get educated and get involved. Throughout the summer, The Cutting Veg Organic Farm offers weekly volunteer work-bees — an opportunity for people to get involved in the growing process, and connect with nature, members of their community, and themselves. Also, you will have the choice to sign up to help out at the depot site, as there is nothing more Jewish than providing food for others. None of these opportunities are mandatory, but all of them will help you to feel more connected to where your food comes from.
For even more information, please go here. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions and I will do my best to answer them.