Third Root Community Health Center in Brooklyn, New York is a worker cooperative of healthcare practitioners that offers yoga classes, nutritional consultations, acupuncture, and other holistic medicine services, as well as a CSH program.
Third Root’s CSH provides members with herbal remedies every week from June to November. Members have the opportunity to answer health-related questions on their registration form, which Third Root’s herbalists use to tailor each season’s products to address members’ needs.
The monthly herb packages include information on the specific herbs and usage instructions, and the herbal remedies focus on that month’s theme, such as the November “breathe” theme that features a calming tea, oil infusion, and lung-centered tincture. Each month, members request a specific fourth herbal remedy, and pick-ups coincide with monthly health education workshops taught by Third Root Herbal Education Program students.
Unlike many CSAs around the country, Third Root’s CSM program is unique in that it functions within an inner city community and is not based on a single farm. Instead, it depends mainly upon herbs gathered at the nearby Prospect Park and Flatbush Community Garden and some farms in upstate New York. Additionally, herbs for the CSM are supplied by Third Root’s “Sponsor an Herb” program, in which community members grow herbs in their backyards, on fire escapes, and windowsills, keeping 40% of the herbs for themselves and donating the additional 60% to Third Root.
Third Root’s CSM is based on a sliding pay scale in which members pay according to their income level. Prices start at $100 for a half share (10 installments) and $200 for a full share (20 installments) and increase in increments of $5 to $10 for higher income brackets. “In the CSH program specifically, the sliding scale means that people who couldn’t otherwise afford a full apothecary can build one over a season and that we can have a more diverse membership,” said Jacoby Ballard, an herbalist, yoga instructor, and health educator at Third Root “In Brooklyn, that’s key, as so many immigrant communities have intact herbal traditions but can’t necessarily afford herbal products in stores. Our sliding scale means that we can reach these communities and validate the kind of healthcare they are more familiar with their home country.”
At the Third Root Community Health Center, we strive to thrive and achieve social justice and community wellness by providing holistic, collaborative care in an accessible and sustainable manner. Our greatest intention is to watch students and patients walk out of the center with a heightened perspective regarding their own potential for good health.
We strive to be Accessible, Empowering, and Collaborative.
Accessible — We offer sliding scale fees, a staff trained in anti-oppression, and a clinic that is building bridges within a community.
Empowering — Third Root is a place where people learn to make informed choices about self-care. We offer health education workshops, herb walks, a resource library, and someone available for questions.
Collaborative — Practitioners from various modalities work together toward a client’s optimum health. We will be working with members of the local community to form a Community Advisory Board as well as help shape workshops on health and well-being that reflect the community’s needs.