About the Hellgate CSA
The Hellgate CSA was founded in 2005 by AmeriCorps volunteer Cara Fraver in conjunction with Just Food. Originally it was called the Ravenswood CSA and was based in the Senior Center at the Ravenswood Houses on 35th Avenue.
In 2006, a team of volunteers stepped in to fill the shoes of Cara, and moved the CSA to the Ditmars neighborhood in northern Astoria. For three seasons (2006-2008) its home was at the Freeze Peach Cafe. Then from 2009 to 2014 our host was Fresh Start market on 23rd avenue. From 2015 to 2021 Hellgate was graciously hosted by Astoria First Presbyterian Church in their Broom Tree Garden and Gallery space on Ditmars blvd. Now the CSA is hosted by Astoria Reformed Church at 4101 Ditmars Blvd at the corner of Ditmars and 41st streets.
We purchase our shares from a variety of local farms. During the regular season (June-November) we get our produce Hepworth Farms upstate. Throughout the year we also have access to an additional collective of farms that provide us with pastured meat, poultry, dairy, flour, honey, maple syrup, bread, and jams.
Our CSA couldn't exist without the commitment of its members, who contribute individually by purchasing shares and products from these farmers, and volunteer their time to make a distribution happen on a weekly basis. Whether you are an existing CSA member or considering joining the Hellgate CSA, we encourage you to talk to one another and share the enthusiasm and enjoyment of our weekly bounty the CSA helps distribute!
The core group works hard to bring to you the Hellgate CSA, communicating closely with the farmers, nailing down the logistics, and creating a dialogue within the community to promote membership and membership interaction with the CSA. Each person works voluntarily because of their strong belief in local, organic, and sustainable food.
About Hepworth Farms Hepworth Farms, located in Milton, New York, consists of 45 acres and has been farmed since 1818. For seven generations, they've raised a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs, mostly according to certified organic requirements. They also started the first roadside stand in the Hudson Valley.
Hepworth Farms provides our fruit shares, which are "ecologically grown". This means all organic techniques are used when ecologically appropriate. And when appropriate otherwise, ecological fruits are treated with small amounts of targeted synthetic pesticides to minimize the use of broad spectrum organic pesticides, like sulphur, which is harsher to the environment. The synthetic pesticides they use are soft and gentle to the environment. This video explains more.