WHAT IS A CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture programs are a convenient and affordable way to access local produce and bypass the grocery stores. The concept is simple; You subscribe to the farm by paying for a “share” at the beginning of the season providing the necessary cash when farmers need it most to buy seeds and supplies. Then the farm grows a wide variety of vegetables throughout the growing season and when the crops are ready for harvest the farmer provides the supporting members with weekly shares of fresh vegetables picked ripe and delivered promptly to a pick-up location near you.
It is similar to a co-op in the sense that it is a communal effort, but we do all the manual labour! It is a program aimed at keeping small, local farms... well, small and local. All the while supporting the surrounding community with fresh organically grown vegetables that are picked in due season.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
As a member you pay upfront for the season. The CSA program costs $375 for a small share and $495 for a large share. By paying in full, this gives the farmer an opportunity to invest in seed and supplies needed for the start-up. In return we commit to providing you with a weekly bag of fresh seasonal vegetables from mid July – mid October. (Please note: Limited shares are available and payment secures your spot in the program. The deadline for signups is June 1, however the program usually fills up fast).
As a part of the CSA community you also share in the risk that each farmer faces every season...crop failure. Unfortunately there's no telling what the coming year will bring, and sometimes factors are outside of our control. But with skillful preparation and equipment we are confident that all our customers will be more than satisfied.
WHAT KIND OF PERSON PARTICIPATES IN A COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA) PROGRAM?
Usually the type of person that participates in a CSA program is one who is adventurous and willing to try different foods, eats fresh & seasonally, enjoys cooking meals from scratch as opposed to pre-made meals, and wants to purchase their foodstuffs locally from a farm that uses sustainable farming methods.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
We do the hard work, we're farmers after all! We commit to planting, growing, maintaining, and harvesting the crops, while providing you with a weekly bag of the bounty. We do our utmost to ensure that you receive a nice variety and the best of the best. It is important to us that our customers know their farmers and how we grow so you are able to know and trust where your food comes from.
HOW MANY PEOPLE DOES A CSA SHARE FEED?
That’s always a tricky question, because every person has different diets and eating habits. A large share is designed to provide a week’s worth of veggies for a family of four or two veggie lovers. A small share is designed for a single veggie lover or a family of two who enjoy salads for lunch and carrot sticks and tomato sandwiches for snacks.
As the produce contained within the bags is freshly picked from the fields using no spraying methods, it is crucial that upon receiving your bag you set aside time to wash, and properly store the produce to prevent spoiling. We do provide tips and tricks for storage, as well as some great recipes though our CSA weekly emails.
WHAT WILL BE IN MY SHARE BOXES?
Generally speaking there are 5-9 items per week in the full size shares. As we progress through the 12 weeks this can change - boxes may be lighter in early summer compared to the fall harvest, and weather will always play a factor. No matter how many items, we always ensure you get you the full value of your share over the course of the season.
Our CSA works out to roughly $25/week for the small share and $35/week for the large, and on a good year, you can expect to receive as much or more vegetables than you could buy for the same price at a grocery store. However, CSA’s include sharing the risk inherent in food production, so if one or more of our crops are not doing well,
this will be reflected in the vegetables you receive.
In addition, unfortunately due to the high volume of requests and the inherit time consuming work involved, we can no longer offer customization/substitutions. If there is a veggie in your bag that you are not familiar with, we suggest giving it a try anyway. Along with the recipes we send you, there are always so many other recipes on the internet! Many of our members love this part of the program – trying something they wouldn’t typically buy. If you absolutely unequivocally hate a certain veggie, perhaps sharing it with a friend or family member would be nice. Everyone loves free food!
Here are a number of photos of the full size share. A half share generally contains just over half the size or variety.
Here is a photo of an early season bag in early July. The first bags may have fewer items but most people are still excited to get them since they contain the first produce of the season. Lots of green leafy goodness!
This is a late July Bag. As you can see there is a great assortment of veggies by this time of year. Early root crops such as spring turnip, radish, kohlrabi and even cucumbers are ready by then.
This is an August bag. The first crop of our carrots are so sweet! Beans, peas, cauliflower, tomatoes, and zucchini are in full glory.
Here is a September bag. Beets, turnip and early cabbage are also real favourites of the season.
This is a picture of an October bag. There are lots of great fall vegetables that get sweeter and tastier as the weather gets cold such as brussel sprouts and leeks. The sap of the plants gets thicker, sweeter, and more nutritious in the cold which increases their ability to store and enhances their flavour. Potato, cabbage and winter squash round out the season as the weather cools down.
WHY IS YOUR CSA ONLY
Our short Newfoundland growing season means that the only vegetables available from mid-June to mid July are herbs, greens, radishes and salad turnips. We prefer to start our CSA in late July so that we can provide more substantial and varied bags for our members. Shares start small in late July and increase in variety and size as more produce becomes available during the growing season. We also love ending the program Thanksgiving weekend so you are sure to have lots of wonderful selections for your family dinners.
ARE YOU CERTIFIED ORGANIC?
No, not technically. There is an annual fee for organic certification that we feel is unnecessary, and direct marketing allows our customers to ask us about our growing practices or visit the farm themselves.
Although we follow organic principles our farming practices are driven by a philosophy of working with nature rather than regulatory guidelines and farming sustainability. At this point, we feel that our customers trust that we are doing as we say.
This means we:
· Don’t use any chemicals, which disrupt the soil food web, kill beneficial insects and make the product less healthy for the consumer. Instead of herbicides, our weed management system is either done by hand or with a flame or a mechanical weeder. Rather that harmful fertilizers, we use organic matter compost on our fields. Most of what we use to build our compost is simply the leftovers of our harvest that can’t keep, aged manures, cover crops, leaves, fish offal and kelp.
· Add flowers and plants to our farm to increase biodiversity and attract beneficial insects.
· We use crop rotation and companion planting to deter pests and encourage maximum growth.
· Keep tilling to a minimum. Tillage damages soil structure and harms earthworms and microorganisms beneath the soil surface.
· Use floating row covers to protect crops particularly vulnerable to insect damage. These covers allows light and water to reach the plants while keeping out the bugs and critters that want to snack on our veggies.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I WILL BE AWAY FOR A WEEK?
No problem! Just be sure to let us know ahead of time either when you come to pick up the week before or by e-mail. We will put your share on vacation for that week and we can either split the value of that skipped bag over the course of the remaining weeks, or you can have a double bag either prior to or when you come back. Please note that we are only able to offer ONE week vacation. If you need to skip more than that we suggest you have a friend or relative pick up your share. After all, who doesn’t love free, local, fresh veggies?!
WHERE ARE THE PICKUP LOCATIONS?
St. John’s(Lemarchant Road) - Thursdays 4-7
Holyrood - Thursdays 2-5
Bay Roberts – Saturdays 11-5
WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM NOT ABLE TO MAKE A PICKUP?
Your bag can be left at the pickup location until noon the following day. We also suggest you have a friend or relative pick up your share for you - what a great way to introduce the CSA concept to others! If bags are not picked up by noon the following day or no one can pick up your share for you, we have a relationship with a local soup kitchen where we can donate your share. They are extremely appreciative of all the wonderful fresh produce they have received through member donations like this.
Farm fresh eggs *Limited quantities *SOLD OUT for 2020!
We are excited to be able to offer farm fresh eggs to our CSA customers exclusively again this year.
Bi-weekly - 6 weeks x $5.00 dozen - $30
Weekly- 12 weeks x $5.00 dozen -$60
Home delivery is available for an additional fee based on your location. If you are interested, please contact us for area availability and quote