What is a CSA Farm Share?
A “Farm Share” is a simple idea (very much like buying a magazine subscription) in which a “Member” buys a “Share” of a farmer’s harvest at the beginning of the growing season, and then comes to the farm each week to pick up their “Share” of the farm’s vegetable harvest or that share is bagged or boxed and delivered to the shareholder. Many farm share programs are called “CSA” which stands for “Community Supported Agriculture.”
What A Farm Share Program Is All About:
A Farm Share Program is both an investment and a risk for the farmer and the family who joins. Together we are sharing in the risks and rewards of farming. We have to understand that we are growing in New England, with unpredictable weather, using only natural growing methods for fertility, and against insects, fungi and bacteria – methods that meet or exceed the federal government’s organically-grown standards. By choosing this approach we understand that it inherently decreases our potential yield and chance for success. We take this approach because we believe the potential risks associated with chemicals, fungicides and commercial fertilizers outweigh the benefits.
There are significant differences between joining a local CSA and purchasing from a Whole Foods, Price Chopper or even a Farmers Market. Joining a CSA does not mean that you can select from 17 farmer vendors who will bring only those crops that were successful that week to the Farmers Market. It does not mean that you select from hundreds of international farmer vendors that Whole Foods has brought together for you under one roof. What joining a CSA means is that you share in one local farm’s harvest. You share in the risks and rewards of farming, with one farmer, not 17 farmers. When purchasing from Whole Foods or a Farmers Market, at the end of the day, you don’t truly know how those vegetables have been grown, where they’ve been grown or how they’ve been handled. When you join our CSA, you gain the ability to walk through the fields of crops and see your food being grown. And, you get to know your farmers on a first name basis.
When you share in one farm’s harvest, you are sharing in seasonal crops... some crops like it hot and some like it cool. Our tomatoes for example, are field grown, not hot-house grown. You will see tomatoes at farm stands long before ours are ripe. But a little patience and understanding on your part will result in amazing field-grown, vine-ripened tomatoes in your share (provided mother nature cooperates)!
Reasons families invest in a share of our harvest:
Reasons why someone might not want to join our farm share program:
• Many folks just want to experience truly fresh food and have an appetite for a variety not available at the supermarket
• Many join for their health. Simply visiting the farm can be a stress reliever, eating food that is natural and clean has to be right.
• The concept of supporting local farms is important to the community’s rural character
• To some families it’s about interacting with nature, visiting the farm and experiencing life on the farm and helping children learn how their food is grown
• For some it’s about reducing the amount of food miles your food travels, and the amount of fossil fuels that is used to transport your food, (your average vegetable travels over 1500 miles before it’s consumed).
• Many of our families enjoy the community environment where like-minded people share recipes, ideas and experiences, as well as sharing the vegetables!
• If you want every type of vegetable, each and every week, a CSA might not be right for you. Eating seasonally means that you eat the crops that are at the peak of ripeness at that point in the season. Early in the year, that could mean most of the ingredients for a salad, but not Summer vegetables or Fall vegetables. We grow seasonally as nature intended it.
• If you want tomatoes or vegetables that are so perfect that they look like they were raised in a laboratory, our CSA might not be right for you. Our veggies are healthy, natural, and sometimes are not perfect.
• We prefer members who are happy and positive, with can-do type of personalities... our farm is meant to be a great, positive experience for you, your family, your fellow members, and for us! We welcome constructive feedback, but please remember, we work our tails off in blazing sun and pouring rain to bring you delicious vegetables and beautiful flowers!
Please be sure you fully understand what a CSA Farm Share is truly about before you join!
Our CSA Shares Sell Out Quickly...
To join our CSA Farm Share Program, please fill out an enrollment form today.
"I wanted to thank you so much for the wonderful vegetables the past two weeks. Everything has tasted so good, and I have very much enjoyed using the greens not only in stir fries and salads but also in smoothies. Lots of versatility!
Tara's smoothie recipies are yummie; I'm enjoying using the greens. Patti's roasted vegetable recipie was fantastic. I had some guests over and had them taste it - but then I quickly grabbed the bowl and tucked it away in the fridge. It is MINE! :-)
Thank you so much,"
Maureen Blicker, 2012 CSA Farm Share Member
Patty - just a quick note to say how much Craig and I really enjoyed the CSA this summer. You and Erick really do a great job. We found ourselves looking forward to getting the Tuesday pickup not only because of the veggies and herbs (which were outstanding!!!) but also because of the joy of simply just visiting your farm and talking with you. Always a great experience, which we enjoyed.
Thanks again for the work you do and we very much look forward to next spring's CSA. Thanks,
Deb LaFiandra, 2012 CSA Farm Share Member