Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way for the public to buy locally grown food, create a relationship with a farm, and help to keep small farms in their community. Subscribers make a financial commitment to the farm by buying “shares” (aka a subscription). The shares provide the farm with the funds needed to plant, grow and harvest the crops and in turn the subscriber receives a box – a share - of seasonal produce throughout the season.
Subscribers pay the same whether it turns out to be a bumper year or a skinny one. Just as when you buy stock in any company, CSA subscribers take risks when the bounty is not plentiful. If a natural disaster (such as hurricane or other weather-related condition or a major pest problem) destroys a crop, the subscribers bear the burden along with the farmer.
If the possibility of receiving less than full market value for your vegetables makes you anxious, a CSA may not be for you. Instead, you might choose to shop at a farmers market, where you can still get terrific fresh produce directly from the farmer, and you can pay for just what you buy.
The vegetables you receive from our farm will vary in size and appearance during the season, looking and tasting similar to those you would grow in your own home garden. The vegetables in the grocery store tend to be more uniform and perfect, because those varieties are chosen mainly to keep their appearance through shipping and storage, and then graded to remove those that are misshapen or have blemishes. The varieties we grow were chosen for their flavor and their ability to produce well in our climate, and are not expected to look perfect. For example, you might receive a double squash or pepper, an eggplant with a "nose", or an ear of corn with baby ears attached. These are all vegetables that would have been sent for processing or thrown away in a normal commercial grading operation.
Keeping farms in a community can be a positive for the community, but why would your family want to join a CSA? Mainly for the freshest vegetables you can buy. Most of them are harvested within 24 hours of the time you receive them. That means they have less time to lose their flavor and nutritional value and they last longer. You’ll also have a chance to cook with vegetables and herbs that are difficult to buy in other stores-maybe your family will even be willing try some things they may not have tried before. You’ll even get to attend our annual Subscriber Open House Farm Tour and see how your vegetables are grown.
Finally, in these days of impersonal multinational corporations, our farm is still a small business. That means that when you have a special request or a question, you’ll deal with people who actually know what is going on and can help you. We recommend you read the Local Harvest Organization tips about joining a CSA.