What is CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a relationship between a farm and its community. Mainstream CSAs gained popularity in America in the 1980’s, though the model has been around much longer due to contributions of Booker T. Whatley and Japanese Teikei cooperative models. To read about the extended history of CSAs, check out this article. CSA members commit to supporting the farm by purchasing a share of the harvest at the beginning of the year. Each week from mid-June until late October, members receive a ‘share’ of what’s in season at the farm, picked within 1-2 days of distribution. Unlike a simple retail transaction, CSA is a community food program. It’s a partnership that shares not only the bounty but also the risks of farming, including weather, pests and disease. CSA provides the farm with early-season cash flow needed to purchase seeds, soil, equipment, and more, while members get access to first dibs on the freshest fruit and vegetables, the opportunity to connect with their farmers and neighbors, share recipes, try new vegetables and eat truly seasonally. Continuing this year, CSA members will be able to bring their pre-consumer food waste to the farm for composting.
Our CSA began in 2009 when the organization itself was merely a seed. 25 founding member families were involved in everything from crop choices and seed orders to planting and harvesting. Since its humble beginnings, our CSA has expanded to include over 150 families. Our membership is based on a sliding scale fee structure and a portion of shares are donated to local food pantries.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Our base cost is $650 (plus credit card processing fees) for 21 weeks (mid June thru Halloween), or about $30/week. Members often receive upwards of $35, $50, or even $60 worth of produce as higher value crops come in and out of season. The best way to get the most out of your share is to participate in the weekly pick-your-own options, which this year will again include flowers, fruit, a rotation of vegetables and unlimited herbs.
We hope you’ll agree that much of the value of CSA lies in the community gathering, the connection with the farm, interaction with the farmers, the freshness of the products, the fun of the weekend routine, and ability to be an active part of the farm.
We offer an egg share of one dozen eggs every week for 21 weeks. Pickup your fresh eggs every week during the CSA pickup. You do not have to be a member of the regular CSA in order to purchase an egg share. The price is $235 for the season, which is $1/dozen less than retail.
Again this year, we have a pork share available. The share includes a variety of pork cuts from our woodland raised pigs. The price is $450 for a pickup every other week during our regular CSA pickup. You do not have to be a member of the regular CSA in order to purchase a pork share.
What is the Farmstand Credit?
The Farmstand credit is a great option for those who don’t want to commit to the CSA. A $500 Farmstand credit gives you a total value of $550. Farmstand credits can be used when the Farmstand is open. The membership expires after one calendar year.
WHAT IS THE “SLIDING SCALE” AND DONATION SHARE FUND?
Based on the success of the sliding scale model last year, we will be continuing a sliding scale model again this year. Members who can afford to are encouraged to pay more than the $600 base price. This money will go towards donated shares and continuing to build our CSA program so we can create better access in years to come.
What's in the Share?
Due to the seasonal nature of CSA, the components of weekly shares are based on seasonal availability and will vary. Members can expect: kale, swiss chard, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, beets, lettuce, arugula, escarole, herbs, blackberries, hakurei turnips, radishes, mustards, cabbage, broccolini, fennel, eggplant, flowers and more. There are some staple crops you’ll receive a lot of, like lettuce or tomatoes. We grow a variety of crops, but also want to make sure you get enough of each item to cook with.
There will be some variety among shares due to limited quantities of vegetables. CSA pick up is first come, first serve. Items that are either/or options are subject to availability and offered in limited quantity. Members will also enjoy pick-your-own opportunities when available.
We offer a one-size fits all share and we do our best to accommodate everyone’s wishes based on feedback from past seasons. In order to ensure bountiful shares we have to be very calculated and make the most out of the field space we have. There will be multiple weeks with the same items. At the end of the day, this is a community farm program and there will always be some give and take when it comes to individual preference. The swap box option provides members with the opportunity to swap out items they may want to trade.
How does pick up work?
CSA Pickups will be behind the Farmstand on Manwaring Rd on Saturdays from mid June until the last week of October, from 9am – 2pm. Pickups are “market style,” where weekly share contents are laid out with instructions so members can select veggies themselves.
What happens if I miss my pick up?
We cannot accommodate late or missed pick ups. If you miss CSA distribution, you forfeit your share for that week. We recommend sending a friend to pick up for you! Leftover produce from CSA will be donated to local food pantries or the Shelter Island School.
Are there volunteer opportunities?
Absolutely! While we’re no longer offering volunteer price reductions, we do encourage members to get involved in the farm, as it’s an integral part of the CSA experience. We will be seeking volunteers to assist with our food waste collection program and CSA distribution. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact us at: email@example.com.
For questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.