Thursday, January 15, 2015

Community Supported Agriculture.... What a CSA Means on our Farm

Well we made it through the holidays and the new year has quickly shown us that there is no time to waste! Rebuilding the greenhouse and getting Certified Organic is officially under way. Working out the plans for our CSA this year is also our most valued agenda because we feel it will be the most important thing to bring our community together and start the shift towards a more healthy and happy life.

Matt is working on rebuilding the greenhouse which really shouldn't take too long (*fingers crossed*) while I am organizing as much as I can inside to get ready for filing, newsletters and any other 'admin work' that I can do. Don't get me wrong I am about to embark on a new life with toddler in tow.  I hope to have Juniper set up in the greenhouse to help me work while planting and germinating seedlings for our upcoming season.  We are preparing this year for a 30 member CSA and one or two markets.  We are both very excited for this year on the farm and all the things that are happening.

I decided to write another blog about Community Supported Agriculture for a couple of reasons.  My first blog was from the standpoint of the customer side of things that supported a local organic farm, which you can view here on my personal blog The Conscious Kitchen.  Although I have not written in a while on that page I still recommend taking a look to see one way a CSA works.  Now as the years have gone by (and I have gone and gotten myself my own farmer, hehe) Matt and I have been reading and learning about different models of CSAs all across the country.  In a traditional model, the farmer receives payment up front to be able to purchase seeds and supplies for the farming season and  for a certain amount of time (usually weeks) during that growing season the families come out to the farm and pick up their boxes. In each box contains seasonal fruit, vegetables  and / or herbs that had been picked that day.  It really doesn't get any fresher than that folks.

CSAs have since evolved to drop off points and Internet orders where the customer can place an order for whatever he/she wants the next day.  Matt and I on the other hand, believe that farms build community and with that idea comes the desire to have families come out to the farm and be a part of the farm, whether it is through volunteering or picking up fresh produce that was picked that day.  We certainly understand how busy people's lives are these days and that driving to the farm to pick up vegetables every week could feel taxing but we honestly believe becoming part of the farm and supporting your local farmer can change communities and bring people together. Not to mention you're eating some of the most nutritious and delicious food on the planet.  I can promise you one thing:  you will have a very hard time shopping for produce at the grocery store after eating food that is as fresh as this.

We have decided to start small since this is our first year for a CSA and limit membership to 30 families.  We also wanted to have the pick ups each week for 10 weeks. Some seasons in other parts of the country run all year long and if things go well we are looking forward to a possible fall CSA which would be another 10 weeks.
If by chance you go to sign up and membership is full, don't worry we will still be working downtown river market this year on Saturdays.  There will be more details about market as information comes in.  The total cost for our Spring 2015 CSA membership is $222 for 10 weeks.  That equals out to $22 a week and our deadline for sign up will be April 1, 2015.  If you have any other questions please feel free to email us at  We look forward to this awesome new year and are very excited to share our food with you!

Thank you,
The Hartingers

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