Friday, March 19, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
What is a CSA?
What if, instead of getting a news magazine every week, you got a big box of produce from a farmer down the road, a box of fruits and vegetables picked that very morning, bursting with flavor and nutrition? That's what you get when you subscribe to a CSA.
Community-Supported or Community-Shared Agriculture (CSA) is also known as "subscription farming." You buy a subscription from a local farmer just like you buy a subscription to Time or Newsweek. But instead of receiving a magazine each week, you receive a "share" of fresh, locally grown or raised fruit and/or vegetables. Some farmers also offer CSA subscriptions for farm-fresh eggs, and/or meats.
While new in name, Community Supported Agriculture hearkens back to an earlier time-a time when people knew where their food came from, ate in harmony with the seasons, and enjoyed a delicious, healthy diet of pure, fresh foods.
"In season" is what CSAs are all about. The grocery store knows no seasons. It is disconnected from Nature and so are the people who must shop there. Sure, you can buy tomatoes in January-but who wants to eat cardboard tomatoes? That sorry tomato was picked green 2000 miles away and weeks ago, then blasted with ethylene gas to make it turn red just before it landed in the produce section of your store. What we have gained in convenience, we have lost in flavor, freshness, nutritional value, and human connection-to each other and to the land.
When you subscribe to a CSA, however, you remake all those connections.
Of course, you'll never get tomatoes in May. In May, your vegetable CSA share will be full of luscious lettuce, spinach, and other spring delights. When August comes, then you will experience an explosion of true tomato flavor with your first bite of a juicy, just-picked, sun-ripened tomato- proving once again that some things are worth waiting for!
CSA subscribers don't so much "buy" food from particular farms as become "members" of those farms. CSAs provide more than just food, they offer ways for eaters to become involved in the ecological and human community that supports the farm.
CSA Is About Health
Healthy soil means healthy food. When no herbicides, pesticides, or artificial fertilizers are used, ground water pollution and toxic residues on food are avoided. CSA gives consumers the chance to choose how their food is grown. Eating locally grown, freshly harvested food is the basis of a healthy diet and is recommended by health-care professionals. CSA offers the opportunity for you to reconnect with rhythms of nature by eating produce when it is in season. People who join CSAs find a meaningful way to reunite with the Earth and a community and discover a kind of spiritual nourishment which they have been missing.
How CSA Works
Consumers and farmers work together on behalf of the Earth and each other. While the farmer is tending the Earth on behalf of others, consumers share the costs of supporting the farm and share the risk of variable harvests (and also share the over-abundance of a particularly fruitful years). Membership in the CSA is based on shares of the harvest. Members are called shareholders and they subscribe or underwrite the harvest for the entire season in advance. Each project handles this relationship in its own fashion. Every farm is different in length of season, crops grown, level of social activities and price they set for their shares.
CSA is not about cheap food, which is usually neither nourishing nor grown with care of the environment in mind. CSA is about each of us being responsible. We encourage you to compare prices of a share at your local CSA to the supermarket's "cheap food."
Each CSA is unique and tailored to the needs of its community. Generally farmers make a detailed plan for the next season during the winter. The plan includes the type and varieties of crops to be grown, projected yield, and length of the season each crop will be available. Farmers plan the crops according to the tastes of the local community. Informal meetings with consumers and questionnaires can be of help. Herbs, flowers, and soft fruit are often included.
Climate and weather change from year to year. And some farms have soil which is suitable for growing certain crops and not others. Over the long term, these things tend to balance out. CSAs also often work co-operatively with one another to supply the needs of their communities with certain crops, meat, eggs, or special fruits.
The Garden Farm Plan enables the farmers to draft up a detailed expense budget for the coming year. The length of season, crops grown, labor costs, etc. affect overall costs and share prices. The Garden/Farm Plan may be drawn up with a specific number of consumers in mind. Many CSAs simply take the budget and divide it evenly among the number of consumers to arrive at the average price of a share. Because many CSAs offer half shares for smaller households or individuals, 100 individual shares may actually mean 150+ households.
The White Water Aerie Share Plan:
Here at the Aerie we are anticipating an18- 22 week growing season, and are offering three share options:
Full Share: Weekly delivery of a large basket enough for a family of four. $650.00
Payment Options: A) ½ down at time of sign up, ½ upon first delivery of produce
B) $37.00/week during the growing season.
Half Share: Weekly delivery of a smaller basket enough for a couple or a single person who is a large vegetable eater. $350.00
Payment Options: A) ½ down at time of sign up, ½ upon first delivery of produce.
B) $25.00/week during the growing season.
1 / 4 Share: New for 2010. At the request of our single, small family, senior members, we have created the smaller share option. $125.00
Payment Options: A) ½ down at time of sign up. ½ upon first delivery of produce.
B) $10.00/week during the growing season.
In addition to a bountiful basket of organic vegetables we also offer these a’ la carte options:
Egg Share: One dozen farm fresh eggs 3.50/dz for the length of your share season
Bread Share: A delicious loaf of wholesome artisan bread from The Neighbors, your local artisan bakery. Each loaf is shaped by hand and baked hearth style. Selections change weekly, special requests are always welcome. Gluten free baking available upon request please call to discuss pricing. $4.00/loaf
Larry and Christina Dammerman
Friday, July 10, 2009
A big Big BIG thank you to the Sawdy family, Crogh Family and Cornforths for their help in the garden this week. It was so very appreciated.
Remember to Eat Happy!
Monday, June 1, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Here is what is in the ground so far: Chili peppers, anaheim peppers, sweet yellow peppers, hot cherry peppers, roma tomatoes, Better Boy tomoatoes, cucumbers, yellow neck squash, black beauty zuchinni, onions, three varieties of potatoes, corn, corn, corn, winter butternut squash, watermelon, cantalope, several varieties of lettuces, rogue de verone greens, rainbow chard, purple and orange heart carrots, bok choy, peas, leeks, and a wonderful herb garden.
Here is what is left to go: Sweet bell peppers, cabbages, broccoli, sweet potatoes, radishes, pumpkins, and more egg plant.
Shares are still available and we are offering a two payment installment option to help during this wonderful economy! 675.00 (two payments of 337.50 for a full share), 337.50 (two payments of 168.75 for a half share).
We are also offering a baked goods, egg and dried food share if you are interested please send us an email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Better get back at it, pictures will be up soon, so check back.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Check back soon for the planting schedule and expected dates of delivery for 2009....
Come on Spring!
Monday, February 23, 2009
Happy Spring...Almost :p