A Project Bears Fruit: The Corbin Hill Farm CSA Comes to The New School
When the academic year officially ends on May 17, the growing season will be at its height. That’s why the Corbin Hill Farm CSA (community-supported agriculture organization) is offering membership to New School students right through the summer.
But The New School is far more than a drop-off point for the kale, apples, eggs, and other goods coming from Corbin Hill Farm. The CSA has its roots here at The New School: Dennis Derryck, professor of professional practice at Milano, founded the organization three years ago to supply the South Bronx, Harlem, and other neighborhoods lacking ready access to fresh produce. Drawing on his scholarship on food access and social entrepreneurship, Derryck created the Corbin Hill CSA as a conduit for goods from a farm in Schoharie County in upstate New York. Now the CSA invites residents of the South Bronx and Harlem, and The New School, to buy shares in the farm and receive fresh seasonal produce.
The New School has been an amazing laboratory for developing Corbin Hill,, says CSA general manager Sabrina Wilensky. Wilensky got her start with Corbin Hill as one of Derryck’s social entrepreneurship students at Milano. We have access to such an amazing group of minds and resources at The New School, including faculty, staff, and students, who have provided feedback and talent to make Corbin Hill possible.,
Those New School minds include Charles Allison, associate professor of professional practice and one of the earliest Corbin Hill shareholders. My wife and I live in Harlem, and unfortunately the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables in the traditional stores is often disappointing,, says Allison. When Dennis Derryck told us about Corbin Hill Farm we jumped at the opportunity to buy quality fresh produce locally, and to be able to contribute to the bigger picture of supporting the development of a healthy food market in Harlem and the South Bronx.,
Corbin Hill Farm reflects the pacesetting scholarship and public engagement around food currently taking place across the university. This year, The New School’s Food Studies department partnered with Creative Writing to launch the Inquisitive Eater blog. Last year, research on sustainable sourcing by Environmental Studies chair Nevin Cohen found its way into New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s FoodNYC legislation. And Milano grad Annie Moss has broken new ground with a woman- and minority-operated urban farming project, La Finca del Sur.
With seasonal opportunities for site leaders, sales representatives, translators, and people with other skills, Corbin Hill welcomes New School students to get involved as more than shareholders. Says Wilensky, The company is constantly evolving. We consider ourselves a learning organization, There’s a lot of evaluation and adaptation going on at any given point. I’ve been fortunate to be able to grow with the company and apply all of my past experiences and knowledge and skills from Milano directly to the work I do at Corbin Hill.,
New School members can pick up their summer produce every Tuesday from June 12 through November 14, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., at 2 West 13th Street in the Sheila C. Johnson Lobby area (glass-wall corner of 5th and 13th Streets). Those New Schoolers who will be away from campus during the summer can still sign up–Corbin Hill will hold a place for them when they return if they contact the CSA before June 12. To learn more and to join the Corbin Hill Farm CSA, visit corbinhillfarm.com.