You may have heard our type of arrangement called CSA or Community Supported Agriculture.
Membership is a direct relationship between our farm and our customers. Rather than simply purchasing food, our customers become “members” of our farm and receive a portion or share of the farm’s harvest.
Joining a CSA can be risky, and it isn’t for everyone. Only two things are certain:
- Every year there will be at least one crop we attempt to grow that will fail despite our best efforts. Some years, several crops will fail. Your favorite vegetable may be among them.
- Every year is different. Weather conditions vary widely. Pests come and go. Human error happens. Some years are fantastic, others are not as wonderful.
It is also important to remember that we aren’t a grocery store. We don’t have every vegetable on display every week. Instead, the variety changes with the local seasons. For a chart showing our best estimate of what we expect to harvest and when, find the colorful page in our 2019 CSA Member Agreement.
Section 2 of our Membership Agreement outlines the concept of shared risk and reward for our CSA members. You can read the parts pertaining to vegetables below. If you’re not prepared to take the risk with us, you should not join our CSA. On the other hand, if you’re up for adventure and a connection to real life on a farm, you should give it a try!
A. Sharing in the Risk of Crop Failure
We promise to do our best to provide you with a bountiful share each week. The quantity of produce, however, may vary from week to week due to extreme weather, insects, or other production factors despite our best efforts. By joining our CSA, you are agreeing to share the risk of crop failure with us and other members. In the event of a crop failure, our procedure is as follows:
If the total volume of crops available to be harvested in any particular week is less than the total volume of paid memberships, we will ask members to reduce what they take by a fraction that corresponds with the produce available. (For example, if we only have enough produce to fill 50 large baskets but expect members to pick up the equivalent of 100 large baskets, we’d ask each member to only fill their basket half full.)
Each crop ebbs and flows throughout the season. We may offer any particular for several weeks in a row. There is usually a smaller amount of each crop available at the beginning and end of its harvest cycle. Our goal is to have plenty of each crop in the middle of its harvest cycle so that the first and the last member to arrive at pickup could choose to add that crop to his or her basket. During the beginning and end of the harvest cycle, or if a certain crop never produces as much as expected, the first members to arrive will have the first chance to take these scarce items. From our experience, those members who arrive early will take the scare crops at the beginning of the cycle, but they will move on to something else by the time the crop’s availability is coming to an end, and that gives those members who arrive later a chance to enjoy more of those scare crops.
If a large portion of crops fail, it is possible that we may skip a pickup week altogether.
Our farm is exclusively a CSA farm and all our vegetable production is planned for the CSA. When crops are especially abundant, we will encourage you to take more than what will fit in your share basket. Sometimes we will handle surplus items by marking them as “unlimited”. Even if your share basket is already full, you may take additional items from the designated unlimited items in any quantity. These items are intended for members’ household use only, not for resale. We hope members will utilize these surplus items for off season preservation (canning, freezing, ferments, or dehydrating).