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. In return, shareholders receive 10-15% more vegetables than purchased, if the season goes well!
How Much Produce Will I Receive Each Week In The Summer Share?
The harvest changes as the season progresses. In June, you will receive a variety of spring greens and quick-to-ripen spring onions, radishes, strawberries, sugar snap peas and herbs. 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 the last month of the summer CSA, we’ll have sweet potatoes, leeks, and plenty of savory fresh herbs. The shares are a little lighter at the beginning of the season and heavy by August!
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. We generally recommend a 20 week share for a family of 4 (though it really depends on how many vegetables you eat!), and anticipate that you will have extra produce at times to preserve. Our stand shopkeepers all love to cook and will be happy to share recipe ideas with you if you’re trying something new!
Can I Split a Share?
Yes, but we have a few requirements! If you are splitting a share, please be sure that:
- Each participating household has a LexFarm membership at the Household-level (or higher).
- Payment is managed by one party (you are only submitting one payment for the entire CSA share).
- We need contact information for the additional shareholder so we can stay in touch with all shareholders once the season begins.
- The entire weekly share is picked up in one trip to the farm.
- You could alternate pickup weeks or, if you are sharing vegetables for a single week, you will need to come to the farm to pick up your share together or split the share at home.
- To simplify administration, the primary shareholder is our single point of contact during the signup/confirmation process. The primary shareholder must take responsibility for addressing, in a timely manner, any issues with the share payment/membership that are brought to their attention by our CSA administrator.
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 vegetables, so we provide some options:
- Seek a swap. We have set up a Google group to help you swap dates with someone else if needed. Finding a swapmate is not guaranteed but 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!
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. Farmstand 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 process. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in a work share, as we only have a limited number to offer.
In 2020, we had to shift our CSA distribution model to a prepackaged share. Shares were packed for shareholders while they went and harvested their PYO portion of the weekly share or while they waited.
We were able, most weeks, to give shareholders a choice of what was in their share, when choice was available. We will likely continue with this model in 2021. Packing shares in this way adds significant labor and packaging costs, but the health and safety of our team members, shareholders and customers is worth it.
The exact distribution model may change slightly before June, but whatever the final model looks like, you can rest assured that we consider the health of our team members, shareholders and community at large, to be our top priority.