Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Join our CSA for 2011!

A typical weekly share in late July or August

We are now offering CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscriptions for our 2011 growing season. Our CSA usually has 20 weeks of our sustainably grown veggies and fruits, from mid-June until Halloween. Our specialties include corn picked fresh all day, everyday, over 30 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, over 10 types of cherry tomatoes, raspberries and blackberries, heirloom melons, eggplant and squash, sweet onions, softneck garlic, all kinds of potatoes, tender lettuces and greens, beets, green beans, edamame, heirloom cukes, all the fall decorations and pumpkins, and gorgeous flowers.

If you have never been a part of our CSA you need to read this! We do things a little different than other CSAs.

What is Community Supported Agriculture? Historically CSAs charge you money in the winter and give you whatever they pick (their choice) every week throughout the growing season. In addition, members had to work a certain numbers of hours on the farm to share in the experience. This helped to educate the members about what it takes to produce their stuff and why some crops failed and others didn’t. Some people even like that kind of thing!

We do charge you in the winter and we do give you stuff in the summer. That is where we part paths with the CSA Fundamentalists. We don’t require you to work on the farm in the summer though we would welcome you with open arms. Summer camp for the Kids? Ha! I encourage you to at least come see that we really are growing fruits and veggies on the farm. We don’t pick out your stuff for you and don’t put it a box for you. You come to our produce stand and pick out your share from our displays using the white board to see how much of each item you are entitled to. 
We do not grow everything organically, but many of our crops are never sprayed. We are very careful about what we do use to control problems that arise from time to time, and use far less than we did in the past. Some crops are more susceptible to insects and diseases and we recognize that. This is called Integrated Pest Management or IPM and we have been practicing it for 25 years. It requires a lot more management and a lot less chemicals (organic or synthetic). And best yet, every bit of our ground that is rotated in to crop production is fertilized with compost that we make here on the farm. 

If you agree to become a member you pay SIW in the winter and I give you fruits and vegetables that are grown here on the farm, once a week, throughout the growing season. The idea is that you help us when we don’t have any money coming in and eat healthy all summer! You pick up your goodies on Tues., Wed., or Thurs. We are pretty strict about this as they are our slower days. However, if you absolutely can’t make it one of those days we have been known to accommodate! You also get a discount on items we don’t grow(like yummy peaches and cheese from Phiily) and any other SIW produce over your allotment, ie 200 ears for your 4th of July shindig. Plus you get all the free compost you want (actually we have a 100 ton limit, sorry). If you don’t have a truck we would be glad to lend you one. If you need me to deliver it, I can and it costs $50 for about 3.5 yds.

Typically we start to get a few things in mid June, most things in July and continue through October. Your choices diminish in October as the month wears on, but there is still plenty to choose from. 16 full weeks and 4-5 with not as much. The first two weeks are lean, but be patient.
You also share in the ups and downs of the growing season. If we have a crop failure you are out of luck. If we have a bumper crop you will get extra. We try to keep an updated board with what you are entitled to each week. If you are cornfused by something or notice an omitted product on display PLEASE ASK FOR HELP. We do make mistakes. Substitutions are not permitted as some items (the ones you like more) are not as plentiful as others. If you take extra someone else may get short changed.
I usually have one or two farm tours in June or August. It is usually at 4:00pm until whenever. It is a good time to ask all those questions that have been keeping you up at night. And to see where your food comes from. Kids are welcome!

In 2011 a share will cost $565 if paid by Feb. 29th.  and $600 anytime after that, until we fill up.  Some members split it with a friend and alternate weeks with them. That works fine for us. 
Assuming a 16 week season (this year it was 20 weeks) you are paying $35 per week and the other weeks are free. If you take what you are entitled to it is well worth it. Even if you don’t take all the items or miss a few weeks it is still a good deal. If you are out of town feel free to tell a friend or neighbor to pick up your stuff, it’s yours! Checks are due by February 29th or sooner. We don’t like to borrow any more money than we have to. 
If you have any questions at all or would like to sign up, please e-mail me at siwvegies@aol.com

- HG Haskell