Jun 19th 2009
The basic idea of Community Supported Agriculture is that a farmer grows for a group of members who have purchased “shares” in the harvest. Members pay at the beginning of the season in March, when the farmer most needs the money. When the crops start coming in in June, the farmer delivers a weekly assortment of vegetables, herbs and some fruit. This is not a co-op, there are no wholesalers or distributors. 100% of your food dollars go to the person who is growing it. You support sustainable local agriculture and get freshly picked organic produce at reasonable prices. In addition, you know the farmer growing your vegetables and can visit the farm—establishing a personal connection with your food supply.
Why Join a CSA?
- Support a local farm
- Eat fresh picked organic vegetables
- Preserve open spaces
- Know the farmer who grows your food
- Teach your kids where food comes from
- Visit the farm
- Eat seasonally
- Meet friends
- Reduce packaging waste
- Cook something new
How Does it Work?
The site looks a little like a farm stand with vegetables in crates and coolers. Members pick-up their share at a distribution site on Tuesday afternoons and weigh and bag their own shares. Everyone contributes a few 45-minute shifts during the season to help with set-up and clean-up. Kids can help or play while you chat and swap recipes. The pick-up becomes a place to bump into friends and meet new ones, a chance for kids from different schools to say “Hi” and an opportunity to compare notes on roasting eggplants.
In addition to a weekly share of veggies, members also have the opportunity to order several other food offerings. Members may opt to sign up for a separate fruit share, purchase bulk organic blueberries and organic honey, order biweekly deliveries of pastured eggs and poultry, Thanksgiving turkeys, pastured pork products, organic jams and soaps.
What’s in a vegetable share?
- The weekly vegetable shares are provided in partnership with John Krueger, currently at Starbrite Farm. John grows mostly vegetables, however, he also grows melons. Previous shares have included: Arugula, Asian Greens, Basil, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Broccoli Raab, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Celeriac, Chard, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Herbs, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Melons, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radishes, Salad Mix, Scallions, Spinach, Summer squash, spinach, Tomatoes, Tomatillos, Turnips, Winter squash.
- How does this divvy up per week? Take a peek at last year’s weekly shares!
- In addition to the vegetable share, CSA members (you must purchase a vegetable share in order to be a member) have the opportunity to order several other food offerings.
- In addition to the vegetable share, we also coordinate a separate fruit share that runs for 23 weeks. Members who sign up for the fruit share receive 1-2 varieties of fruit each week, starting with Bing cherries, and progressing through the season from sugar and shiro plums, to peaches, nectarines, and finally pears and apples in the fall. While the fruit is not organic (growing organic fruit in NJ is quite difficult) they are low-spray, and follow the NJ Fruit Integrated Pest Management program. IPM pairs the age-old good farming practice of careful observation with state-of-the-art weather monitoring and scientific understanding of pest and disease life cycles. The result is a significant reduction in the amount of pesticides used, dependent upon seasonal conditions. For more information about IPM see http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/ipm.htm.
Eggs and Poultry:
- Members have the option of ordering pastured poultry and eggs from Ken and Nancy at Havenwood Farms and Stables, located in Newton, NJ. Pastured chickens are living, eating, and breathing fresh air and grass. They are not caged, or considered free-range (which are often chickens that are allowed to wonder around the same small patch of dirt day after day, but must go inside to find food).
- Members may custom tailor their orders to receive eggs and/or poultry some weeks and not others. Delivery is at the pick up site, on the same day and time as the vegetable pick up.Order forms and corresponding checks for eggs and poultry are mailed directly to Havenwood Farm.
- Havenwood Farm also raises turkeys for Thanksgiving and order forms are sent out to CSA members in late September.
- Havenwood Farms and Stables is makes cheeses, yogurts, peanut butters, jams and all natural soaps. They will also have grass-fed buffalo, beef, pork available in the fall.
- The Bloomfield-Montclair CSA has an arrangement with an organic blueberry farm in southern NJ and we usually coordinate one or two deliveries of blueberries each season. Members have the opportunity to order flats of blueberries for one or both deliveries. Prices vary seasonally.
- From time to time, local honey–some from the hives at our pick-up site–is made available for members to purchase.
How Much does this all cost?
- The vegetable share price for the 2013 season is $600 for a 24-week “full season share” or $560 for the 22-week “vacation” share. (John offers an early bird discount of $25 for shares paid in full by March 15th) There is a $20 cash site fee due during one of the first deliveries each season to help pay for running the distribution. Members get 10% off at John’s stand at the market should they want more.
- The cost for the fruit share in 2013 is $345 ($15 per week).
- Prices for flats of blueberries vary season to season.
- Prices are currently $4.50 per dozen for the eggs, and $18-22 per bird, depending on their size.
Want to join?
- We are currently accepting new members for the 2013 season. If you would like more information or membership registration form, please contact EnidMelville@verizon.net.
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