The Gift of the Seasons... CSA 2019!
I did not realize upon opening our store that we would have so many people interested and asking about our CSA program! I am always so excited to hear that someone is wanting to try eating seasonally with locally grown produce. That’s why we do what we do as farmers, grow vegetables and raise pastured meats. I was not going to drop our 2019 shares until today, but something told me a little sale on Cyber Monday would be a fun way to kick off the season. And it was! We sold a handful of shares that day! Part of me still feels like we are in the middle of the 2018 season, that it’s too soon to think about next year. Are you in the same boat? I totally get that. In fact, it’s really already time for me to start planning the field for next spring because I have to start seeds are early as the last week of January. Yeesh!
All of that to say that 2019 CSA Shares are available to peruse and purchase right now! Why is that important? Let me tell you…
Why join a CSA?
What does CSA even mean? It’s the first question we are always asked upon discussing this program that we offer. In short, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The best way I know how to explain this is that a customer buys a share into our farm and in return will receive a half bushel of vegetables, meats, and flowers from our farm(s).
But what does that really mean? What’s a share? Where does my money go? Well, it partly helps feed us. Even though we grow a lot of our own food, we still have grocery bills. Someone has to buy the toilet paper and pay the mortgage. Your money goes towards our well-being. It also helps to pay for start up costs. This includes things like seeds, potting soils, seed trays, grow lights, greenhouse costs, tractors and tools, mechanical repairs, irrigation refrigeration, storage, harvest tools and time, row cover, weed barrier fabric, etc. It helps us get the ball rolling every spring when costs pop up that are initially pretty big. Weed barrier fabric, something we have to purchase a lot of this year, is not cheap. In fact, it’s pretty dang expensive. But we want you to have the best possible organic food you can. Your money also goes to our CSA partner’s farms, Wild Farm and The Barn, who have to cover feed costs, animal medical bills, shelter repairs, and processing fees.
As for what a share is, well, you’re supporting our farms. You appreciate the work that we do. You want to become closer to your food, to know where it comes from, to know the people who grew or raised it and how exactly they did that. We pride ourselves on transparency and honesty. We want you to be involved here; I’ve even had members that desperately want to help grow the food too. That’s really cool! Your involvement in the process is what makes our program so unique.
Who is CSA for?
Do you wish that you had access to fresh food from a local farmer that you know personally and trust?
Do you want to get closer to your food?
Do you want to eat more nutritious and healthy food? Not just to change your diet but to change your lifestyle?
Do you love garden fresh produce and pasture raised meats/eggs but you don’t have the land or means to grow/raise it yourself?
Do you want to cook more? Maybe you’re sick of going out to eat once or more a week and letting the costs add up?
Do you want to experience farm life up close and personal?
Do you want to spend your hard-earned money on a real family and not some major corporation?
Then Community Supported Agriculture is definitely for you! Even if you just answered one of these questions as yes, it’s maybe something that you should consider. The fact of the matter is that CSA is not for everyone. As much as I would love to say that it is - it’s just not! Or perhaps our program is not for everyone. What do I mean by that? Here are some things to consider before joining our program:
You have to pick up your food once a week. No big deal, right? Sometimes it comes down to that. While we did not have major issues during our 2018 season, we had plenty of people that would either have to go away on vacation or would simply forget. That’s okay! It happens, and we understand that. Now that we have the Country Store we will be more likely to save food for longer periods of time. But we can’t save your food every single week. That’s not fair to us. So before you dive right in, make sure that you can make the commitment of picking up your food every week on the same day!
Variety of vegetables changes by the week. Some weeks you may get a variety of 8-14 different types of veggies. This is usually during the peak of summer or the start of fall. Other weeks you may only get 6-8 different types. One week you may get an entire bag of cucumbers, the next only two cukes total. That’s the art of market gardening. It’s unpredictable, and you have to think fast when it comes to cooking. If you are hoping to get a box full of tomatoes each week, think again. This is not that type of program. We try our hardest to provide a diverse range of vegetables so that you get something new and delicious every single week. You can see photos of our 2018 shares HERE.
Crops can fail. Yep, it happens. This is usually caused by unpredictable weather issues, like early snow or a drought. It doesn’t happen often, but it is possible. We will try our hardest to provide you and your family with a diverse range of fresh vegetables every week, but we cannot control Mother Nature. We do not offer refunds on farm products, so if you don’t get as much food as you hoped or you decide you don’t want to do it anymore then please know that is the current way we handle things.
I’m Interested… What do you offer?
This year, we have more to offer than ever before! We are really excited to introduce a deeper variety of vegetables, not to mention even more of everything that we missed out on last year. I have high hopes to improve our yields and vegetable size. We will have a larger selection of cut flowers for bouquet shares, too. Our chicken and pork selection will remain the same, with a turkey finishing out the Fall Season.
We are introducing two new share options! A Beef Share and a Flower Bouquet Share. Our beef will be coming from… right across the street! The cows raises for our program literally graze in the field across from the one that we grow our vegetables in. They belong to our neighbors and good friends, John and Joni Yoder of The Barn Iowa. I am currently working a page with more information about how they raise their beef, but for now I can tell you this… They are raised on pasture and finished on grain. They are fed GMO corn while being finished, though their pasture is left unsprayed. They are hormone and antibiotic free. They are not organic, but they are raised in a humane way and by a loving farmer.
Read below for a list of our current share options!
Two-Season Share 2019, Summer and Fall
The two-season share includes both of our CSA season, summer and fall. It lasts 23 weeks, starting on June 12th and ending on November 13th, approximately.
This share includes everything, with the choice of a Beef Share and Flower Share as a la carte items to add on. You will get the joy of late spring greens, ripe summer tomatoes, autumn carrots, and winter squash. Flowers are only available during the summer season.
This share will always be available at a discount! If you are wanting to do both seasons, then take the opportunity to grab this share type while it is still available and get $25 off!
Summer Share 2019
Love garden fresh tomatoes? Cucumbers? Beans? Peas? Zucchini? Radishes? Lettuce? You get a little bit of everything with a summer share! Feast upon the freshest of delicious produce, chicken, and pork bundles.
With this share you’ll get a large variety of veggies plus pork or chicken every other week. Chickens come whole or cut, depending. Pork bundles include 5 lbs of various cuts like roasts, tenderloins, chops, ground, burgers, brats, sausage, bacon, and more. This share also includes beef and flower shares that can be added on a la carte.
Our Summer Share is 18 weeks long: June 12th - October 9th. Please click the button below for price options and more info.
Fall Share 2019
Fall is all about roots and greens! If you love sweet, crisp carrots, turnips, rutabagas, radishes, kohlrabi, lettuce, salad mix, spinach, arugula, kale, and more then you will love our fall share!
Fall offers a selection of cold weather veggies that don’t make their debut in summer because it’s too hot! We had an amazing fall season in 2018, so much so that a lot of our members said it was their favorite season! We also offer pork bundles throughout the entirety (sorry, no chicken) and it ends on the final week with a pastured turkey. This share also includes beef shares that can be added a la carte.
Our Fall Share is 5 weeks long: October 16h - November 13th. Please click the button below for price options and more info.
Summer Flower Bouquet Share 2019
Buying local flowers means that you are taking a part in a movement. By purchasing from us, you are saying no to the use of harsh chemicals, carbon emissions from long-distance shipping, low quality product, exploitative labor practices, lack of diversity in flower variety, and a floral industry that is focused more on cheap profit than quality.
This share includes a weekly large bouquet of diverse, fresh, interesting, beautiful, and long-lasting flowers. Flowers will be different every single week and throughout the entirety of the season. Enjoy specialty blooms like dahlias, snapdragons, stock, zinnias, sunflowers, bells of ireland, and more.
The 18 Week Summer Flower Bouquet CSA Share will begin June 12th and ends October 9th. Click the button below for price options and more info.
There you have it! Does CSA sound interesting to you? I hope that it does! Even if you do not live nearby, you may still have CSA or farmer’s market opportunities near you. Local Harvest is a great place to start looking. If you do live nearby, we are adding an option to pick up in Iowa City this year instead of on the farm. It’s an additional $15 to cover transportation costs. We are not sure of the official pick-up location yet, but we are hoping to be at the Iowa City Farmer’s Market on Wednesday evenings. Pick up at the farm will now be on Wednesday during open hours 10AM-5PM. This is subject to change.
Do you have any questions? Please check our “About Our Program” page for more in-depth information and our “FAQ” page for specific CSA questions. If you still cannot find an answer, please contact us and we will help you!
We hope to see you and your family here at the farm this summer enjoying our farm fresh food!