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CSA Season 2014

27 Apr

It’s CSA season once again!!!  I’ve tried a few different options over the years and I’m excited to try something new this year.  While thumbing through Edible Allegheny this month, I noticed their CSA guide and I think its an important resource to share with you guys.

What is a CSA?

CSA stands for community-supported agriculture.  You sign up to receive a weekly share of food grown locally by people in your very own community.  These growers plant crops based on how many shares they have committed to selling.

One of our early CSA shares from last year with Clarion River Organics.

One of our early CSA shares from last year with Clarion River Organics.

How does a CSA work?

Each week, the growers drop off shares at locations around the city.  Some offer the option to pick-up on site for a lower price.  Most times, you simply show up, sign off on your share, and take your loot home!

What are the benefits of a CSA?

There are so many benefits to joining a CSA.  You will be supporting a local grower, providing jobs and commerce within your region; you will be connected with your food and not be wondering what mystery chemicals and additives are in there;  you will have the chance to truly eat seasonally; your food is fresh (as in just picked and deliveries basically to your door); you lower your carbon footprint by depending less on the fossil-fuel driven industrial food system; you pay a fixed price throughout the season for produce; do I need to keep going or have you all ready skipped ahead to see where you can sign up??!!

As with anything else, the best way to chose a CSA is to shop around.  Figure out what you’re looking for and what your price point is.  Some CSAs offer more than just veggies and fruits.  You can add on options like eggs, cheeses, honey, mushrooms, flour, and herbs.  As urban CSAs become stronger and build a bigger customer base, they gain the ability to provide more options to consumers.  Call, write an email, ask a million questions!  I promise, growers love to talk about what they do.

Get to know your grower – you’ll be surprised how much more connected you feel to your region and to your food.  Every time you reach into our fridge a grab some fresh, locally harvested produce you will feel pride knowing that you are helping your region prosper.

Below you will find a list of CSAs which provide drop-off locations in Allegheny County.

Blackberry Meadows Organic Farm  724-226-3939

Butter Hill Farm  412-221-9275

Christoff’s Greenhouse  412-874-5900

Churchview Farm  412-496-5623

Clarion River Organics 412-589-9276

Dillner Family Farm  724-444-6594

One Woman Farm, CNG  412-913-7709

Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance  412-586-7577


Do you belong to a CSA?  If so, which one?  If not, what’s holding you back?

Burgh Eye View: Follow Up ♥

14 May

Don’t you just love social media?!

No sooner did I post my questions about the green bus shelter in East Liberty, then answers started to appear!!!

The project was brought about by East Liberty Development, Inc. in cooperation with the Sprout Fund‘s Spring program in an attempt to educate people on the street level about the benefits of green building design:

This particular solar panel produces energy to power a pump that pulls captured rainwater from the ground level back up to the green roof or to a nearby tree.  Get it?  Its self-powered and nothing is wasted.  I’ve mentioned feedback loops before, and a green roof is a great visual example of how to close them.

Green roofs have many benefits, which are explained in the video by project leaders Loralyn Fabian and Katherine Camp:

fostering biodiverstiy
mitigating stormwater runoff
energy saving
curbing the heat island effect
education through signage on shelter

Yay for green infrastructure and sustainability awareness in urban projects!!!

Don’t you just love Pittsburgh? ♥

Brew in Beechview

10 May

Sorry for my long absences, I’m in the middle of my graduate research AND Changin’ Time is really taking off.  Both faster and slower that I could ever imagine.

Shameless plug:

Since I’ve been frequenting Beechview a little bit more, I thought I would do a follow-up post from the Crested Duck.  I have decided not to share my secret access to the aging room just yet.

Instead, since its nice and chilly in Pittsburgh today, I am turning my attention to coffee.  The best invention ever.

And Brew – a community-owned coffee house on Broadway Ave. – is what I’m craving.

Adorable.  When the weather is nice, there is some great seating out front on the patio/sidewalk.

My first visit to Brew was a little overwhelming!  Everything is adorable so I of course wanted pics of everything.  I wandered around with my iced chai latte like a creep and scoped out the place.

There was a dog there with her owner, which hello…..I have the attention span of a goldfish sometimes and I can’t walk past a dog without having a full conversation with it.

Then I got sucked into a conversation with a ex-New Yorker, a violin maker to be exact.  He was chatting me up about the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, which is supposed to be incredible.  They have been added to my super secret list of places/things to do.  🙂

During our conversation, I noticed this adorable little deli board, which visually explains how each drink is made:

We didn’t have time to sit and relax, but if we did – I would have picked this spot:

Brew is a pretty neat idea: after expenses and wages are paid, the “profits” of the shop get invested back into community projects.  I wish Homestead would wake up and smell the coffee.  (Don’t judge me.)

To keep a short story short – Brew is worth a visit.  Get like me ♥

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