What is community supported agriculture (CSA)....
CSA is the acronym for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a fairly recent idea in farming, developed in the United States in 1986 in response to food quality and the urbanization of agricultural land. A CSA is a mutually beneficial relationship between a farmer and members that keeps working agricultural land in production. CSA has become increasingly popular over the last 20 years, with thousands of small farms around the country and the world adopting this model. Community members support the farm by purchasing a Farm Share before the growing season. In return, the farmer takes good care of the land while growing flavorful, healthy food. The bounty of the farm is then returned to the Farm Share members, who receive a variety of fresh produce every week throughout the growing season at a competitive price. By joining a CSA, members have a voice on how their food is grown while also helping to keep the family-run farm a part of the American landscape.
Another benefit of CSA membership is the relationship created between the farmer and members in that members are able to personally know the farmer and the farm that produces their food. Developing that relationship can be as rewarding as knowing that the food you buy helps to create solutions to our ever-burdened environment and local economy.
CSA members are essentially a community of individuals who pledge support of a farm operation by pre-paying a quarterly or yearly fee known as a "share," in exchange for a box (or bag) of locally grown, fresh produce during the growing season (November - June in Central Florida).
Membership in a CSA also provides the income the farmer needs to pay for operational costs at the beginning of the season. This gives the farmer increased flexibility to be more creative in the crop-planning process. Our members will be introduced to some varieties of produce not normally found in grocery stores.
How our CSA works....
We pack member bags by mid-day Fridays for pick up at the farm on Fridays or Saturdays. At the time of pick up, members will give us an empty tote bag while in turn receiving the week's share in the second bag; the exchange of tote bags is done with every pick up.
The items in the member shares are selected each week by your farmer. It is usually not until harvesting is done on Friday mornings that we will know what will be in that week's share.
The produce in the shares are subject to the season as well as the elements. We work to give you a wide variety of seasonal vegetables, fruits and herbs, clean, plentiful and fresh. All of the contents are grown directly on our farm. They are NOT from genetically modified or treated seed. Some fruits may be subcontracted to other local family-run farms that employ the same strict growing methods used by us.
We are sorry members cannot select the vegetables they specifically wish but there is a "trade box" at the farm on pick up days by which members may exchange one item for another in the box.
In signing up for membership, our members select from one type of share (consisting of 6 to 7 items), available either on a weekly basis or every other week.
Our vegetables are grown in season and harvested at their peak, primarily on the day of farm pick up or the day prior. This maximizes the flavor and nutritional quality of our vegetables.We try to keep members informed with what's happening on the farm and with the crops via email, our website, Facebook page and our newsletter. Members are welcome to come see the farm but we just ask that an appointment be made in advance for mutual convenience.
Which share is right for you....
Determining the correct membership for you and your family depends on the amount of fresh produce consumed by the household.
The weekly share should provide ample vegetables for a family of four or five whereas an individual, a couple or a family of three might find the every other week share better suits their needs.
These are only guidelines, of course. Families and individuals can have such a contrast in eating habits and it's difficult to say which would be the right choice.
Why should you join?
We invite you to try out a CSA membership with our farm. We look forward to sharing freshly harvested, locally grown and nutritious produce with you. A CSA is your opportunity to receive the safest and healthiest food possible from a local farm. You know the grower - you know the area. The food you receive will be at its peak of ripeness and nutritional value. It is also competitively priced with local organic produce. CSA is not about cheap food which is usually neither nourishing nor grown with care of the environment in mind.
Additionally, you can be proud that you are helping a small family farm and supporting a sustainable local food source. There is no better way to receive the most delicious and nutritious food on earth, not to mention embracing the concept of "KNOW YOUR FARMER, KNOW YOUR FOOD." Support comes from purchasing a "share" which is returned to you in the form of weekly bags. So join us for a season and share the harvest!