CSA is short for Community Supported Agriculture
The CSA concept is simple: Members sign up, pay for a share at the start of the season, and pick up their share on a weekly schedule on a specified day between the months of June and November for the "regular season."
The farmer may choose any number of variations such as having only full shares(provides produce for a family of 4 to 6) as well as half shares(family of 2), vegetables only, or fruits included as well, farm stand style with choice flexibility or a boxed share with no choice.
The farmer may also choose to have produce only grown at his/her farm in the share, or may source from local farms as well. Some CSA's actually grow nothing, and buy all produce in from local farms. Some CSA's are strictly certified organic, while others grow using more conventional practices.
Members who join CSA's love the commitment they have with their chosen farm and to their effort to eat local and healthy, and know they share a bit of risk in that the farmer may have trouble with a few crops each season. Members tend to be very satisfied that they received a very fair amount of produce for their investment.
Cider Hill CSA: 2013
In 2012, over 95% of every distribution came from our farm, with just a few items we were short on coming from a couple local farms. We have an advantage in that we grow so many fruits as well as vegetables. We also expect eggs, herbs, cider and an occasional cider donut to make appearances in the shares. We will have 2 distribution days this year, Wednesday and Thursday, from 11 am to 6:00 pm, beginning June 12 to October 23, making 20 weeks. Members who will arrive later than 6:00 pm will be able to pick up their share set out on a table during Wednesday evening
Family, or Full shares, will have 10 to 15 items equaling roughly $30, while a half share will have fewer items for a value of about $17.The value of the 2013 share came out to more than a 17% increase in value over investment.
We have thought a lot about how to distribute the share, and have decided boxing it ahead of time will help keep the produce extremely fresh no matter what time of day you come, and will allow us to be sure every share gets a great selection. We will have a swap table where you can exchange an item you may not want with one that may fit your menu better. We will offer tours of our farm during a few evenings in the summer, as these were extremely enthusiastically received in 2013.
The full share costs $600, while the half share costs $325. For additional FAQ's, please check out this link.
For an application form, please click this link.
Our first four seasons are under our belt and have been a resounding success! We have a very healthy retention rate, but will have room for about 30 new members for 2013. We are actually happy with the size of this program, and will focus on making it even better.