COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE

What is a CSA?

“CSA” stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Before the growing season begins, the farmer sells “shares” of their upcoming summer and fall harvest to community members. The CSA members participate in the cycles of the season and get to enjoy the “fun” of seeing “what you get” from week-to-week. By purchasing your membership at the beginning of the year, the member provides the farmer “seed” and start-up money at the very beginning of the season, off-setting these costs for the farmer when cash flow is lighter. It also allows the farmer to plan the upcoming growing season according to the size of membership. Our "traditional" CSA season spans 16 weeks during which members come to the farm to choose fresh, in-season vegetables, flowers and herbs. The weekly offerings change with the season as it progresses from Summer through Fall. We also offer a Farm Market Credit that functions as another opportunity for community support and patronage.  

Is a CSA a good fit for me?

When considering joining a CSA, it’s important to evaluate if the CSA model is right for you. Here are some things to consider:

 

Risk--Both the CSA members and the farmer share in the risks that can affect a season such as unpredictable weather patterns (extended drought, extended rain) and insect damage (stink bugs, potato beetles, slugs, cabbage worms, etc…).  This is a VERY IMPORTANT cornerstone to the CSA model and it is a completely necessary consideration when deciding to join a CSA.  If it’s a rainy season, you may not get as many tomatoes. If it’s a hot, dry season, you may not get as many greens. The growing season is unpredictable and as such, CSA members need to understand that this is part of farming and you should be prepared to have a certain amount of flexibility when deciding to join! We will work as hard to provide you with your share at all times. 

 

Seasonality-- One of the great learning opportunities provided naturally in a CSA program is the understanding of the term “in-season”. You will literally be eating right out of the garden and your weekly pick-ups are directly dictated by the season. As such, you do not receive lettuce or greens during the hot summer months (July & August) but you do receive tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil. In the cooler months of late August and September, you will see the greens return - and so on and so forth....

 

Quantity—As mentioned above, however, if you’re used to eating a tomato on your sandwich every week, you will not be receiving slicing tomatoes the first few pick-ups (though cherry tomatoes are possible) because tomatoes take a little while longer to mature during these months. Instead, you will be able to make a cucumber, tomato, basil salad in July and August.  You may find yourself supplementing if you want out-of-season produce or you may find yourself on a great in-season eating adventure!

Why Join a CSA?

Lots of folks are drawn to CSA programs for many reasons and there are many good reasons to join a local CSA! If you want fresh, delicious produce, if you love good food, if you want to support local producers, if you want a farm experience or if you just want to see what it is all about- check us out!

 

Local Farmer & Economy Support

Strong farms make strong communities. Strong communities make strong farms. Your membership helps to support your local farmer, strengthens your local economy, and helps to preserve valuable farmland. You’re taking your food dollars away from the huge agri-industrial-food complex and putting them into the small farms in your own backyard. You’re helping to keep farmland farmland! 

 

Health

We grow our vegetables, flowers, and herbs without the use of any synthetic, broad-spectrum industrial chemicals. See the “How We Farm” category to see how we control pests and manage the farm. Our family eats this food too! While we have not pursued formal organic certification, we may plan to do so in the future. In the meantime, you have our pledge that we do not use and will never use chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. Ask us questions, walk the fields, check it out--this is the beauty of having you on the farm. We take our commitment to you very seriously and our responsibility in protecting our water and land resources as well as our non-human community.

 

Your food is harvested right here in soil that we work hard to bolster with minerals and high-quality compost—we harvest within 24 hours of pick-up—the nutrients are not lost in transportation or prolonged refrigeration. You’re getting the freshest, most nutrient-dense produce you can possibly buy. Your body and mind benefit from the freshness and wholesomeness of our vegetables.

 

Affordability

Our CSA share, on average, costs less than the supermarket retail value of in-season, organic produce. We track the dollar value of your share throughout the season. Typically, there is a steady increase in dollar value as the season progresses. And there are a few dips, like in July when we’re waiting for the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant to come through and most of the earlier greens and brassicas have bid us farewell. By mid to end of the season, you are receiving the bounty of the harvest and generally, if it’s a good year, you will come out ahead of the value you paid.

 

Fresh, Real Food

As a CSA member, you will have fun and enjoy tasting and experimenting in your kitchen with many different types and varieties of vegetables (as well as your old-time favorites). We harvest within 24 hours of pick-up. You won’t get anything fresher, better tasting and therefore more nutrient-dense, than our produce. 

 

Environment

Sustainable, organic agriculture works with natural systems to build soil fertility and reserve critical water and land resources. It is better for our water, our air, our land, our bodies, and animals. 

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FOOD    COMMUNITY    HEALTH
STRAFFORD VILLAGE FARM, LLC
375 Justin Morrill Highway
Strafford, VT 05072
802-765-4077
straffordvillagefarm@gmail.com