frequently asked questions
WHAT IS COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE?
Farms with membership programs like ours exist all over the world. They are called CSAs -- you've probably heard of them. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The concept began in Japan in the 1970's, with mothers who were seeking clean, safe, healthy food for their families. They approached their local farmer and asked them to grow for them and in return they would help the farmer pay for their up-front costs (such as seeds, potting mix and fertilizers). There are now over 7,000 CSA farms in the US, with all different styles, options, and distribution methods. But the essence remains the same, members pay in advance for a share of the upcoming harvest and in return we provide high-quality, local produce and the farmers are guaranteed a consistent and secure market.
WHY SHOULD I JOIN A CSA RATHER THAN SHOP ELSEWHERE?
Fresh food - you know your vegetables were picked within 24 hours with no warehouse, middleman or long distance travel.
Support the local economy and environment- With your food dollars we can afford to take better care of our land making responsible long term decisions and in turn supporting other small businesses in the community.
Transparent & reliable source of vegetables - You can see our fields and ask us questions knowing that we have the highest standards of food safety so that your food is harvested and handled with care.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL A SHARE FEED?
We offer two share sizes. Our Half share is 4-5 items and is meant for a couple that eats out some nights each week, or a family that also has their own garden and just wants to supplement. Our Full share is 8-10 items and meant for a couple who eat at home every night or a family with kids who mostly like vegetables. It may be small for a vegetarian family that eats at home every night.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY 20 WEEK SHARE AND 10 WEEK SHARE?
Our regular season or 20 week share runs from the first week of June through the middle of October and includes both our 10 Week Summer Share and our 10 Week Fall share. We divided our regular season share into two 10 week share options to allow for people who have a garden to supplement their veggies or for people who are away, or just really busy in the summer, to join us in late summer/fall. If you sign up for the 20 Week Share you are signing up for our full season which includes both the summer and fall shares.
WHAT TYPES OF VEGETABLES DO YOU GROW?
We grow pretty much every kind of vegetable that can be grown in our northern climate. That being said there are lots of selections within these varieties (I cannot even count how many types of tomatoes there are) so we grow the selections that work for our farming style, fit within our fields and taste awesome. We try to include greens, roots and seasonal items each week in your share, usually the more common vegetables as well as the unusual.
CAN I CHOOSE WHAT'S IN MY SHARE?
Our farm shares are "farmer's choice" which is the most traditional method of CSA. This means that we harvest those vegetables that are at their peak of freshness and every member receives the same box. This may take a little getting used to but provides an excellent outlet for creativity. You will be eating a greater variety of vegetables and ones that you and your kids wouldn't otherwise be exposed to. You will also be gaining a sense of place, how is the weather affecting what you eat? Are the tomatoes going to be early or late, are the blazing hot nights going to slow down eggplant ripening? It will bring you closer to the process of what it takes to put dinner on your plate.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN I PICK UP MY SHARE?
Depending on where you pick up your share, the process will be a little different. We send out information and a CSA Handbook the week before your first pick up so you will know exactly what to do. The location you choose on your sign up form is where you will pick up your share for the duration of the season. We only harvest the number of shares signed up for that day and pick up location, this ensures you get the freshest produce all season. You can not change your pick up day/location without contacting us first.
WHAT IF I AM GOING AWAY ?
If you are going away and unable to pick up your share we ask that you coordinate with a friend or family member to come and pick up for you. This is a great way to introduce people to the CSA concept. Just be sure to give them all the details on CSA pick up procedures. If you aren't able to find someone to pick up your share, with enough prior notice we will work with you on a case by case basis.
WHAT IF I'M LATE OR MISS A PICK UP?
We understand life happens and sometimes you just forget, but produce is perishable. If we do not hear from you by the end of your pick up day your share will be donated and there will be no refund or make up box.
WILL I KNOW IN ADVANCE WHAT IS IN MY SHARE?
Yes! Every Monday evening you will receive a newsletter with what will be in the share for the week, what's new on the farm and recipes using the items in your share. We also try to include ideas on preserving your share for future use.
WHAT IF THERE IS A STORM OR JUST A BAD GROWING SEASON?
We have a combined experience of over 40 years of farming which has given us the tools needed to plan for unexpected possibilities. Planting extra, diversifying our crops, using season extension techniques and raising healthy plants we can guarantee a full season of vegetables. That being said we can't guarantee you will get all of the crops on our planting plan every season.
CAN I VISIT THE FARM ANYTIME?
We are a small production farm with very few employees (which means we are working hard all of the time) so are closed to the public.
ARE THERE ANY ON FARM EVENTS?
In May we have an open house for new and potential CSA members to see how pick up works, a chance for members who pick up at drop off sites to see the farm and for anyone to meet us and ask questions. Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on social media for open house dates.
HOW DO I KNOW IF A CSA IS RIGHT FOR ME?
We have a diverse group of members with different back grounds, but what they all value is fresh, nutrient dense food. They desire to know where their food comes from and create a relationship with their farmer that allows them to become a more informed consumer. They are creative, friendly and even spontaneous, trying out new recipes for their favorite veggies and experimenting with surprises. If you are ready for "everyone to know your name" (and your kids and your pets) join us and let us be your weekly stop. Check out our Testimonials page to read what others think of our CSA and our vegetables.
ARE THE VEGETABLES ORGANIC
Yes! We are certified by Baystate Organic Certifiers out of Massachusetts.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
Yeah! visit our CSA Sign Up page to join.