Community Supported Agriculture

A forum to discuss Home Economics. Tips and tricks to run your household.
User avatar
tabby
Posts: 2511
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:41 pm
Location: Virginia

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by tabby »

I bought a CSA share yesterday in a nearby farm for a proceeds of their yield once a week from mid May to the end of November. This venture is new to me so this will be a learning experience in economics as well as providing ample healthy fruits and vegetables for quite some time. I’m so looking forward to it and I hope it proves a worthwhile small investment.

Although the farm offers eggs from free range chickens as well as selling beef and goat meat, I bought my share solely for the vegetables and fruit. They also have a deal where you can receive your share "free" if you “donate” 6 hours a week to work on the farm. Since I just left a fast paced job where I felt knee deep in ... um ... crap, I just don’t feel ready to volunteer my time to shovel more crap albeit of a different type.

I found the farm by doing a search on Local Harvest / Farmers Markets / Family Farms / CSA / Organic Food . This is a great site/resource for anyone interested in locally grown foods. I’ve used it often in the last few years and discovered a whole world of healthy foods right under my nose and I never even knew they were there!

The veggies & fruits on this CSA share will include: beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, sweet corn, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, green beans, green onions, hot peppers, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, okra, onions, peas, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, salad greens, salad mix, shallots, spinach, summer squash, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, winter squash, zucchini, blackberries, cantaloupes, melons, raspberries, strawberries, watermelons & fresh herbs.

Has anyone else here done anything similar? If so, I'd love to hear your experiences!

User avatar
YZGI
Posts: 11518
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:24 am

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by YZGI »

tabby;1385976 wrote: I bought a CSA share yesterday in a nearby farm for a proceeds of their yield once a week from mid May to the end of November. This venture is new to me so this will be a learning experience in economics as well as providing ample healthy fruits and vegetables for quite some time. I’m so looking forward to it and I hope it proves a worthwhile small investment.

Although the farm offers eggs from free range chickens as well as selling beef and goat meat, I bought my share solely for the vegetables and fruit. They also have a deal where you can receive your share "free" if you “donate” 6 hours a week to work on the farm. Since I just left a fast paced job where I felt knee deep in ... um ... crap, I just don’t feel ready to volunteer my time to shovel more crap albeit of a different type.

I found the farm by doing a search on Local Harvest / Farmers Markets / Family Farms / CSA / Organic Food . This is a great site/resource for anyone interested in locally grown foods. I’ve used it often in the last few years and discovered a whole world of healthy foods right under my nose and I never even knew they were there!

The veggies & fruits on this CSA share will include: beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, sweet corn, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, green beans, green onions, hot peppers, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, okra, onions, peas, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, salad greens, salad mix, shallots, spinach, summer squash, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, winter squash, zucchini, blackberries, cantaloupes, melons, raspberries, strawberries, watermelons & fresh herbs.

Has anyone else here done anything similar? If so, I'd love to hear your experiences!




That sounds cool, may I ask how much a share costs and what amounts you recieve from a share?
User avatar
tabby
Posts: 2511
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:41 pm
Location: Virginia

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by tabby »

Each share is $30 and includes 2 bushels for an average weight of 15 lbs, depending on what is in season, of course. If you add a dozen eggs to your share, it goes up to $35. Organic or not, $5.00 for a dozen eggs seemed pricey to me so I passed on those. You can buy weekly shares or bi-weekly shares. I didn't inquire about the price of the beef or goat meat since I wasn't interested but I'm guessing that wasn't a weekly item as much as a fill your freezer at the time of slaughter kind of thing.

The farm is about 7 miles away and we went last weekend to check it out. On the face of it, it looks like a well run operation!

As a side note, they have a very beautiful lake set amidst rolling hills and a gazebo nearby that they offer for outdoor weddings. It was a gorgeous setting!
User avatar
YZGI
Posts: 11518
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:24 am

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by YZGI »

tabby;1385985 wrote: Each share is $30 and includes 2 bushels for an average weight of 15 lbs, depending on what is in season, of course. If you add a dozen eggs to your share, it goes up to $35. Organic or not, $5.00 for a dozen eggs seemed pricey to me so I passed on those. You can buy weekly shares or bi-weekly shares. I didn't inquire about the price of the beef or goat meat since I wasn't interested but I'm guessing that wasn't a weekly item as much as a fill your freezer at the time of slaughter kind of thing.

The farm is about 7 miles away and we went last weekend to check it out. On the face of it, it looks like a well run operation!

As a side note, they have a very beautiful lake set amidst rolling hills and a gazebo nearby that they offer for outdoor weddings. It was a gorgeous setting!


They grow all those veggies at the same farm?
User avatar
tabby
Posts: 2511
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:41 pm
Location: Virginia

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by tabby »

Yes, all on the same farm.
User avatar
Oscar Namechange
Posts: 31842
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:26 am

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by Oscar Namechange »

What a wonderful Idea
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. R.L. Binyon
User avatar
LarsMac
Posts: 12171
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:11 pm
Location: Far Out, Man

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by LarsMac »

My sister-in-law is signed up for such a farm.

At first, she didn't want to do the volunteer work. She is an accountant, and pretty busy.

Now she has decided it is worth the time investment, just to get away from accounting and dig in the dirt. She loves it, and actually works twice the hours required, and donates a share to the community food share program.
“All it takes to get elected in twenty-first-century America is a mob of frightened sheep and a wolf with a nice smile,”
― Greg Bear, Darwin's Children
User avatar
Lady J
Posts: 1085
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:08 pm

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by Lady J »

Tabby will you and your family be volunteering at the farm?

Growing your own vegetables is such a rewarding experience.

Since many here don't have the space, the community associations have set aside parcels of land and you can pay a nominal fee for a piece of land and farm and work it yourself. It can be 6' x 6' or 20' x 12', any size you want.

I think the only problem with that might be others helping themselves to your harvest but usually you have more then enuf to go around.

I hope you enjoy it!
User avatar
Accountable
Posts: 24818
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 8:33 am

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by Accountable »

tabby;1385985 wrote: Each share is $30 and includes 2 bushels for an average weight of 15 lbs, depending on what is in season, of course. If you add a dozen eggs to your share, it goes up to $35. Organic or not, $5.00 for a dozen eggs seemed pricey to me so I passed on those. You can buy weekly shares or bi-weekly shares. I didn't inquire about the price of the beef or goat meat since I wasn't interested but I'm guessing that wasn't a weekly item as much as a fill your freezer at the time of slaughter kind of thing.

The farm is about 7 miles away and we went last weekend to check it out. On the face of it, it looks like a well run operation!

As a side note, they have a very beautiful lake set amidst rolling hills and a gazebo nearby that they offer for outdoor weddings. It was a gorgeous setting!
$5 for a dozen eggs every week May through November?? That's a fantastic deal.
User avatar
tabby
Posts: 2511
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:41 pm
Location: Virginia

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by tabby »

Lady J;1386035 wrote: Tabby will you and your family be volunteering at the farm?

Growing your own vegetables is such a rewarding experience.

Since many here don't have the space, the community associations have set aside parcels of land and you can pay a nominal fee for a piece of land and farm and work it yourself. It can be 6' x 6' or 20' x 12', any size you want.

I think the only problem with that might be others helping themselves to your harvest but usually you have more then enuf to go around.

I hope you enjoy it!


No volunteering at this point, LadyJ, although I won't discount the possibility in the future. I'm looking on this as a learning experience with fringe benefits!
User avatar
tabby
Posts: 2511
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:41 pm
Location: Virginia

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by tabby »

Accountable;1386058 wrote: $5 for a dozen eggs every week May through November?? That's a fantastic deal.


Is it? I had been buying eggs from a co-worker for about $3.50 per dozen so that's my only frame of reference. I haven't bought them in a grocery store in ages so I'll have to recheck local prices. I can always add them if I decide to go that way!
User avatar
Accountable
Posts: 24818
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 8:33 am

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by Accountable »

tabby;1386077 wrote:

Is it? I had been buying eggs from a co-worker for about $3.50 per dozen so that's my only frame of reference. I haven't bought them in a grocery store in ages so I'll have to recheck local prices. I can always add them if I decide to go that way!
By my calculations it comes out to about 18 cents a dozen. Or do you mean you have to pay $35 every week? If that's it, then the whole thing's too darn expensive.
User avatar
tabby
Posts: 2511
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:41 pm
Location: Virginia

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by tabby »

Hmmmmm ... with fresh vegetables and fruit as our primary food source, I don't think it's too expensive but that's relative as most things are. The projected bulk amounts will be more than sufficient for 2 people and hopefully there will be enough left over for freezing or canning. We'll see though and play it by ear!
User avatar
Accountable
Posts: 24818
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 8:33 am

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by Accountable »

But can you clarify for me? Is it one payment, or paying every week?
User avatar
tabby
Posts: 2511
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:41 pm
Location: Virginia

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by tabby »

The payments are requested in quarterly installments.
User avatar
Accountable
Posts: 24818
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 8:33 am

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by Accountable »

tabby;1386177 wrote: The payments are requested in quarterly installments.
I'm sorry I wasn't being clear. I searched some local CSAs in my area. They were asking for $300-$900 for memberships, but it breaks down to around $30 per week. There's only two of us, and I don't think we spend $30 a month on veggies ... and we eat a lot of veggies! Still, I think the idea is wonderful, and those with big families could probably make out well with it. Plus the added bonus of the feeling of community, bringing the kids closer to the earth, etc.
User avatar
Cascadian
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:54 pm

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by Cascadian »

What a great experience for you and your family! I hope it turns out to be all you'd hoped and that you might even reach the point of wanting to help shovel out the chicken coop for a price cut! :)

We are going to sign up for this CSA in our area:

Helsing Junction Farms - Community Supported Agriculture

Some of the produce you would receive in your CSA box over the course of the season…

pints of our ripe red strawberries!

liberty apples

our 2 varieties of Asian pears

the most perfect tender green butter lettuce

cucumbers (have you ever had them freshly harvested? It’s a must!)

baby green beans

a lavender posy

Yukon gold potatoes

striped Italian zucchini

huge white pink freckled Oriental lilies, as well as deep red or pink throated!

baby arugula

fresh sweet onions

our famous carrots!

broccoli

crispy snow and snap peas

garlic, ours is huge and easy to peel

all purple, yellow finn, russet and fingerling potatoes.

sunflowers

large leaf basil (and our farm’s pesto recipe!)

10 varities of gourmet + heirloom lettuce
User avatar
tabby
Posts: 2511
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:41 pm
Location: Virginia

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by tabby »

Oh nice, Cascadian! You can tell from some of the produce that we live on different coasts! I'll trade you my brussel sprouts for your lilies!
fuzzywuzzy
Posts: 6596
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:35 pm

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by fuzzywuzzy »

I think I saw something of that nature on telly. The farm was just outside one of the major American cities.

I like what a bloke did when he bought his new home ...took down the tall front fence took out all the front lawn and planted only edible herbs spices and plants ....open to everyone to take when ever they want . his fruit trees are constantly pruned an harvested so he doesn't have to lift a finger. Now others int he street are doing it too. I think that's wonderful. they have like a community garden going on and not going out of their way to do it.
User avatar
Accountable
Posts: 24818
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 8:33 am

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by Accountable »

fuzzywuzzy;1387100 wrote: I think I saw something of that nature on telly. The farm was just outside one of the major American cities.

I like what a bloke did when he bought his new home ...took down the tall front fence took out all the front lawn and planted only edible herbs spices and plants ....open to everyone to take when ever they want . his fruit trees are constantly pruned an harvested so he doesn't have to lift a finger. Now others int he street are doing it too. I think that's wonderful. they have like a community garden going on and not going out of their way to do it.That's a neat idea! That's why my HOA would object to it.
User avatar
tabby
Posts: 2511
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:41 pm
Location: Virginia

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by tabby »

I agree, that's a neat idea! I've read of inner city/urban blight areas that have local civic groups make arrangements with city officials to allow them to cultivate vegetable gardens in abandoned plots of land in poor neighborhoods and involve the local children in the planting, maintaining and harvesting of the vegetables. In many cases, it's probably the only time some of these children get fresh food. Hopefully some of them pick up the gardening "bug"!
User avatar
flopstock
Posts: 7406
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 2:52 am

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by flopstock »

We have farmers markets in pretty much each of the small towns that surround me. Each have theirs on different days of the week and anyone can bring their surplus produce to sell. The local grocers can't give their basic produce away in the summer months. That's when we start seeing the unusual or different stuff popping up.
I expressly forbid the use of any of my posts anywhere outside of FG (with the exception of the incredibly witty 'get a room already' )posted recently.

Folks who'd like to copy my intellectual work should expect to pay me for it.:-6

User avatar
YZGI
Posts: 11518
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:24 am

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by YZGI »

Accountable;1387111 wrote: That's a neat idea! That's why my HOA would object to it.


I hate HOA's (Home owners associations). You buy land to build on, then they tell you what kind of grass, trees etc. etc you have to plant and where and what kind of vehicles you can park on your land. When I buy land I would like to make my own decisions.
User avatar
Accountable
Posts: 24818
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 8:33 am

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by Accountable »

YZGI;1387286 wrote: I hate HOA's (Home owners associations). You buy land to build on, then they tell you what kind of grass, trees etc. etc you have to plant and where and what kind of vehicles you can park on your land. When I buy land I would like to make my own decisions.
My beloved and I pronounce the three letters as a word, since we pay them to screw us. :sneaky:
User avatar
YZGI
Posts: 11518
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:24 am

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by YZGI »

Accountable;1387288 wrote: My beloved and I pronounce the three letters as a word, since we pay them to screw us. :sneaky:


I still live in the house we built in "88" before HOA's were in vogue. My son and some friends built houses where they have HOA's and generally are a pain in the ass. People that run them tend to be powerless in their jobs and homes so they wield it at their HOA members. At least thats what I have seen, I'm sure some are useful but if the people they are meant to govern don't give a **** then HOA's power won't help any.
User avatar
YZGI
Posts: 11518
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:24 am

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by YZGI »

By the way, my son and I are secretly by-passing the grass laws in his back yard. (don't tell anyone). We are planting Bermuda because with his dog the turf grass is heartier than fescue. It's what I have in my yard and we like it. We had the one of the hottest summers on record last year and I never watered the yard one time while all these fescue lovers watered for hours a day and still burnt up their grass.
fuzzywuzzy
Posts: 6596
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:35 pm

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by fuzzywuzzy »

My nephew had a HOA ...he wasn't allowed to build a back verandah because they didn't like the colour. WTF? There's a site that tells you how to disolve a HOA . they don't have the last say on anything it seems ..I'll try to find it. Who ever came up with a concept of having your neighbours make your personal home decisions for you was nuts.
fuzzywuzzy
Posts: 6596
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:35 pm

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by fuzzywuzzy »

YZGI;1387291 wrote: By the way, my son and I are secretly by-passing the grass laws in his back yard. (don't tell anyone). We are planting Bermuda because with his dog the turf grass is heartier than fescue. It's what I have in my yard and we like it. We had the one of the hottest summers on record last year and I never watered the yard one time while all these fescue lovers watered for hours a day and still burnt up their grass.


The reason it burnt was because they watered it. You're basically boiling your grass in summer if you water it more than once a week.
User avatar
tabby
Posts: 2511
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:41 pm
Location: Virginia

Community Supported Agriculture

Post by tabby »

I wanted to follow up on this post since almost a year has passed and my CSA share option is up for renewal. This turned out to be a wonderful & educational experience and yes, I can't wait to do it again this year! The amount of vegetables was staggering some weeks and without a doubt our meals revolved predominantly around veggies from May through December. I froze a lot of them and have used them in soups for most of January/February.

The farm tended to focus on heirloom varieties. There were so many more options than what is offered at the grocery store.

Bok choy was new to me and I think it was my favorite of all the greens.

Eggplant and I were never meant to be friends.

Sometimes there would be a jar of honey from the farm, or she would include some fresh baked bread, fresh herbs, homemade pickles, etc.

Anyway, there's too much to write about so I'll just summarize it but saying that without question we're on-board again for 2013 and I'm looking forward to May when it starts up again ... fresh strawberries ... bring it on!

Return to “Home Management”