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.
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 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 a single person 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 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.
Each week the share is filled with at least $25 worth of produce. In the spring it is closer to $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.
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 2016 season:
June: 2 heads of lettuce, bunch of scallions, bunch of baby beets, bag of spinach, bag of mixed salad mix, bunch of kale or chard, bunch of cilantro, bunch of garlic scapes (the flower of the garlic plant, tastes like garlic!).
July: 2 summer squash, red long of tropea onions, bunch of basil, broccoli or cabbage, carrots or beets, mixed salad greens, a bunch of kale or chard, scallions, easter egg radishes, mixed salad greens, cucumbers (not pictured).
August: sweet corn, 2 eggplant, watermelon, a mix of tomatoes, lettuce, garlic, sweet onions, summer squash, beets, basil, radishes, kale or chard, red and orange sweet peppers.
September: Spaghetti squash, cilantro, radishes, garlic, potatoes, leeks, kale or chard, hot peppers, summer squash, broccoli, lettuce.
October: kabocha winter squash, red onion, garlic, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, napa cabbage, spinach, hakurei turnips, celeriac, cauliflower, yellow onions.
In 2016 we received a grant from the National Resource Conservation Service to build a high tunnel to help us extend the growing season. In late fall we put it up and we hope to be able to offer favorite summer crops such as tomatoes and cucumbers earlier in the season as well as adding a Winter CSA in 2017!