WHAT IS A CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA for short, is a mutual commitment between farmer and CSA member. We, the farmers, commit to providing fresh high-quality produce to our CSA members. The CSA members commit to paying for the produce at the start of the season which in turn provides them with a weekly share of the harvest throughout the season.
Our Summer CSA season starts on June 4th/5th and runs through October 29th/30th (depending on your pickup day).
We offer two different share sizes and four different pickup locations.
Full Share - Members pick up every week and is typically good for a family of 4 or more, or for 2 people if they eat more vegetables than the typical person, or if they want to preserve some of the harvest by canning or freezing.
Half Share - Members pick up a Full Share every other week and is typically good for one or two people or those who are new to the CSA concept and want to test the waters. Since we grow and pick all of the produce on or just before pick up day, the produce is a fresh as possible and should last for those two weeks. Half shares also choose if they'd like to start their CSA the first or second week of June, and then continue picking up their share every other week until the end of October.
PICK UP TIMES AND LOCATIONS:
On Farm pick up in Belding on Tuesdays from 4:30pm-6:30pm.
Rockford Pickup on Tuesdays from 4:30pm-6:30pm.
At Jamie’s parents' place in Lowell on Tuesdays from 4:30pm-6:30pm.
Fulton St. Farmers Market in Grand Rapids on Wednesdays from 4:30pm-6:30pm.
We ask that members pay a non-refundable deposit of $100 before the season begins to secure their spot. This deposit money helps us farmers to buy seeds, potting soil, and other things until we have produce to sell. We ask that the remainder of the cost is paid by the first pickup, but if this isn't possible we are able to work with members. New this year we are offering online payment options with a 2.9% surcharge to cover the fees.
Each week the share is filled with at least $27.25 worth of produce. In the spring it is closer to $27.25 and in the summer and fall the value tends to rise upwards of $35 or more. The spring is heavier on greens and then in later July-September the variety continues to expand and the share load is heavier. It isn't until the killing frost that our variety lessens again which is usually mid-October.
Each year is different and each crop grows differently every year. As an example, some years you may get enough tomatoes to can, while other years the tomatoes may get early blight and you might only get a handful before the disease kills off the plants. In our seeding schedules we grow many different types of vegetables and varieties within those types to limit the possibility of crop failure.
We also host three farm potlucks throughout the growing season where we welcome you onto the farm for a shared meal, farm tour, and a good time.
CSAs are known for throwing in some veggies that people aren't as familiar with such as kohlrabi, eggplant, celeriac, and bok choy. We email a weekly newsletter with recipes or links to recipes which can help guide members when a strange veggie is in the CSA share. Part of the fun of having a CSA share is learning to cook with different vegetables and experimenting! We know this takes time and effort, but what good thing doesn’t? Here are some examples from our 2018 season:
June: 2 heads of lettuce, quart of peas, bunch of scallions, bunch of salad turnips, hoop house cucumber, kohlrabi or bok choy, parsley or cilantro or dill bunch, bunch of chard or kale, bag of spinach, bunch of garlic scapes (valued at $29.50).
July: carrots or beets, two cucumbers, cabbage or napa cabbage, pint of cherry tomatoes, 3# hoop house tomatoes, bunch of scallions, bunch of kale or chard, bunch of dill heads or cilantro or parsley, bunch of basil, 4 zucchini or summer squash, head of garlic, bag of pea shoots (valued at $38.25). *plus one egg share*
August: bunch of chard or kale, pint of cherry tomatoes, watermelon, head lettuce, bunch of parsley or cilantro, two bell peppers, carrots or beets, 1.5# tomatoes, 6 zucchini or summer squash, 2 cucumbers (valued at $37.25). *plus one egg share*
September: 7# heirloom tomatoes, pint of cherry tomatoes, bunch of parsley or cilantro, bunch of chard of kale, 1# sweet onions, head of garlic, eggplant, quart of beans, quart of broccoli florets, quart of potatoes, two green bell peppers (valued at $40.25). * plus one egg share*
October: bunch of kale or chard, quart of beets, cabbage, pint of purple fingerling potatoes, fennel bulb, celeriac, garlic, cauliflower, 1# yellow onions, two delicata squash, bunch of leeks (valued at $33.50).
In 2016 we received a grant from the National Resource Conservation Service to build a high tunnel to help us extend the growing season. We offered our first Winter CSA share that ran from November through December 2017 and extended it the following year to from November 2018 through February 2019. We now have two high tunnels and we’re building a third in early 2019.