What is a CSA?
CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a model of farming in which farmers sell shares of a season’s harvest directly to community members. The model is based on a shared commitment: the shareholder commits to the farm for the season and the farmer commits to providing high- quality, nutritious food to their shareholders. Community members purchase shares before the season begins, in order to provide cash flow when farmers need it the most, and to allow farmers to focus on farming, rather than marketing, during the season.
Joining a CSA is an investment in your community, in open spaces, in the health of the land, the farmers and your family. Your upfront payment allows us to buy seeds, soil and supplies, as well as pay staff, all before we start to “realize the profit” of delicious veggies. It’s important to mention that a catastrophic weather event could wipe out weeks worth of crops, and in that instance, shareholders might not receive the full value of their shares. However, despite droughts, floods and pests, our shareholders have always received more than the full value of their shares.
Joining a CSA is an adventure, inviting you to become a better cook, allowing you to use your creativity to make use of the freshest ingredients each week! It also allows you to have a deeper understanding and connection with the seasons and where your food comes from.
How much produce will I receive each week in the summer vegetable share?
Your mileage will vary depending on how many vegetable enthusiasts you live with. Our shares (along with your FarmBucks) are generally enough to provide veggies for an average family of 3-4, but could be the right amount for 1 or 2 folks who eat a lot of veggies. Weekly shares generally include between 7 and 13 items.
Early season shares will have things that grow well in Spring (leafy greens, scallions, strawberries, peas and herbs). They tend to be smaller in size than shares later in the season. In July, beets, carrots, cucumbers, summer squash, and zucchini will begin to appear. By August, we’ll have tomatoes, melons, eggplant, potatoes, peppers, and sweet onions. September yields garlic and winter squash in addition to the peak summer veggies. In the last month of the Summer Share, we’ll have sweet potatoes, leeks, and savory herbs. In years where we have certain “bumper crops” you’ll likely be able to preserve some of the harvest for later in the year. There’s nothing better than a can (or freezer bag) full of tomatoes preserved at their peak from your own farm share!
Every week, our farmers try to provide a variety of fresh-eating and cooking greens, an allium (onion/garlic family) vegetable, and something bulky to provide a substantial meal.
Our farm store manager and farmers love to cook and will be happy to share recipe ideas with you if you’re trying something new! We provide a recipe each week in the newsletter that highlights at least one of the items in the share that week and there are loads of resources online to help discover new recipes as well!
Can I split a share?
You are welcome to split a share with another household. However, we will not be administering split shares this year. What you choose to do on your own is your choice, but we will only record one name per share. That name will appear on the sign-in sheet at share pickup.
What if I can’t make my regular pickup?
Produce is harvested for a specific number of shareholders every day, so unfortunately we cannot make special accommodations for individuals. Also, there are over 300 of you! Imagine the administration that would entail! We’d rather focus on growing your veggies!
That said, we realize life happens, and we want you to get your produce, so we provide some options:
- Seek a swap. We will set up a Google group to help you swap dates with someone else if needed. Finding a swapmate is not guaranteed but it has worked well in past years.
- At the start of the CSA season, each shareholder is emailed an invitation to join the Google group. (Email [email protected] to have your invitation resent.)
- Have the swapmate check in under your name. You do not need to let us know.
- Send a friend. This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce a neighbor, friend, or co-worker to the farm. As with swaps, have the friend check in under your name.
- Donate your share. If you don’t pick up your share, the food will not go to waste. We donate all extra vegetables to food rescue organizations twice every week, and we are happy to make your share available to those who will use it!
I noticed your prices went up. Why is that?
I’m sure you’ve noticed prices going up everywhere. We anticipate our input costs rising right along with everything else. In addition, we’re committed to paying our staff a fair wage. As a small farm, we need to keep our costs and income somewhat balanced. Growing fresh, delicious organic fruits and vegetables on a small, sustainable scale isn’t cheap, and when you find low prices, someone or something else has likely paid the costs.
Do you offer work shares?
Yes! We love our work shares and couldn’t get through the season without them! There are two types of work shares. Harvest work share participants join the farm crew in harvesting and washing vegetables to be distributed through the CSA program. Farm stand work shares help with setting up, replenishing, breaking down, cleaning, and customer service during CSA distributions in the farm stand. Work share positions involve physical work, a weekly commitment to work at the farm, and involve a formal interview. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in a work share, as we only have a limited number to offer.
Why am I not receiving any CSA email?
All communication about the CSA will be from [email protected]. Please look in your junk and spam folders and make sure emails from [email protected] are not marked as junk or spam, so you don’t miss any of our communications.
LexFarm seeks to create a comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone in a safe and secure environment. The safety of our staff and community members is of utmost importance to us. We have always erred on the side of caution when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to follow CDC and Lexington Town guidelines and mandates on masking.