CSA (Signup Period Content)

Summer 2016 CSA
at Lexington Community Farm

CSA Produce Shares

Dec-csa

This year, we will be offering a 20-week produce share, a 10-week produce share with pickups every other week, and a 10-week flower share. While continuing to focus on improving the health of our soil through cover cropping and soil amendments, we plan to bring more land at Lexington Community Farm into production this year.  As a result, this year’s share will include more Lexington Community Farm-grown produce with the remainder supplied by Picadilly Farm in Winchester, NH. In addition, the share includes “Pick Your Own” (PYO) crops.

The Basics:

 

  • The CSA share runs for 20 weeks, starting the week of June 1 and ending October 15.
  • Pickup is at Lexington Community Farm at 52 Lowell Street.
  • This year, we will also be offering a limited number of 10 week shares with every other week pickup throughout the season.
  • You must select your pickup days at signup. Each option consists of two pickup days/times to offer you a little flexibility from week to week.  100 shares will be available for each option.
    • Option 1: Wednesday and Thursday afternoons: 3 pm-7 pm (Sold Out)
    • Option 2: Friday afternoons: 3 pm-7 pm  and Saturdays: 9 am-1 pm
  • Signups will be processed in the order received. You will be asked for your first choice of two pickup options (Wed/Thurs or Fri/Sat). Your first choice will be honored if it is still available. Due to manual processing behind the scenes, there might be some lag before a sold out option can be removed from the list of choices.
  • For 10 week shares, odd or even week pickup will be assigned when your share is processed.
  • The CSA share will be set up “market style” with shareholders filling their own bags or boxes with specified quantities of vegetables from the display. The share will also include “Pick Your Own” (PYO) crops. The share will occasionally include fruit.
  • PYO items may include culinary herbs, green beans, cherry tomatoes, occasional late-summer flower bouquets, etc.

The Cost:

  • Summer CSA 20 Week Produce Share : $550
  • Summer CSA 10 Week Produce Share: $300
  • You can add a PYO Flower Share to your produce share for an additional $100. See below for details about the flower share.
  • If you wish to pay online by credit card, a small fee will be added to cover the processing costs. (Note as of May 25, you must pay by credit card so we are sure to have payment before the CSA starts on June 1.)

To sign up:

  • Complete and submit the signup form.
    You must fill out the signup form regardless of how you are paying.
  • If you are signing up before April 1, you have two payment options:
  1. you can pay in full at signup or
  2. you can make two payments: half at signup and the balance by April 1, 2016.
  • After April 1, full payment for your share is expected upon signup.
  • If you sign up for a produce share and full payment for your share and membership are received by February 15, you will get a coupon for a PYO flower bouquet that you can use during the 2016 season.
  • Payments can be made by check or credit card. Payments by check must be received within one week of signup to reserve your share.
  • To be eligible for the produce CSA, each participating household must hold a 2016 LexFarm membership at the Basic-Household level or higher. If you aren’t sure of your membership status, feel free to email [email protected] to inquire.
  • If you need to renew or you are not already a 2016 LexFarm member, you can fill out the membership form here after you fill out the CSA signup form.  If you are paying by check, don’t forget to send us your membership payment. A confirmed and paid 2016 membership is required to reserve your share.
  • If you are paying by check, please mail your check to: LexFarm, P.O. Box 554, Lexington, MA 02420.

Lexington Community Farm considers your registration complete when:

  • You have completed the CSA registration form on-line.
  • You have paid for your 2016 LexFarm membership at the Basic-Household level or higher.  LexFarm membership is not included in the cost of the CSA share.
  • If you are splitting your share with another family, the other shareholder must also have paid for their 2016 LexFarm membership at the Basic-Household level or higher.
  • If you are paying for your CSA share by check, we must receive your first payment (half or full payment-see above, under “to sign up”) within one week of registration.
  • We will let you know if your registration is incomplete, but if you do not take prompt steps to complete it, you will forfeit your share.

Email is our primary mode of communication with our shareholders. You will receive an email when you sign up and another once your registration is complete. The email will come from [email protected] If you do not receive the expected emails, please check your spam folder.

CSA Flower Shares

The Basics:

Zinnia field at LCF

  • CSA Flower Shares consist of two pick-your-own bouquets per week for 10 weeks. Start date will be announced later, but last year flowers were ready to pick in mid- July.
  • There will be 50 flower shares available.
  • You can buy a CSA Flower Share only. You do not need to have a Produce Share to sign up for a flower share.
  • Once the flower season starts, it runs for 10 consecutive weeks.
  • Note that if you also sign up for a 10 week produce share, this means you come to the farm to pick flowers on weeks you are not picking up your produce share.  We do not offer an every-other-week flower share.

The Cost:

  • Summer CSA Flower Share Cost: $100
  • The flower share is subject to 6.25% state sales tax.
  • If you wish to pay online by credit card, a small fee will be added to cover the processing costs.

To sign up:

  • Complete and submit the signup form.
    You must fill out the signup form regardless of how you are paying.
  • Full payment for Flower Shares is expected at signup.
  • Payment can be made by check or credit card. Payments by check must be received within one week of signup to reserve your share.
  • Flower CSA shareholders must have a 2016 LexFarm membership. If you aren’t sure of your membership status, feel free to email [email protected] to inquire.
  • If you need to renew or you are not already a 2016 LexFarm member, you can fill out the membership form here after you fill out the CSA signup form.  If you are paying by check, don’t forget to send us your membership payment. A confirmed and paid 2016 membership is required to reserve your share.
  • If you are paying by check, please mail your check to: LexFarm, P.O. Box 554, Lexington, MA 02420.

You will receive an email when you sign up and another once your registration is complete. The email will come from [email protected] If you do not receive the expected email, please check your spam folder.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does this year’s CSA differ from last year’s CSA?

This year, we will also be offering a limited number of 10-week shares with every other week pickup throughout the season.

While continuing to focus on improving the health of our soil through cover cropping and soil amendments, we plan to bring more land into production this year.  As a result, this year’s share will include more LexFarm produce with the remainder supplied by Picadilly Farm in Winchester, NH.  In addition, the share includes additional “Pick Your Own” (PYO) crops grown on the farm in Lexington. We are excited to continue providing a high-quality CSA in partnership with Picadilly Farm.

Because of the logistics of bringing in produce from off-site, this year you must again select your pickup option at signup. We will be offering a total of 200 CSA shares. 100 shares will be available for each pickup option.

We encourage you to harvest the PYO portion of your share on your assigned pickup day. However, if needed, you can do PYO during any of the scheduled CSA distribution periods.

What is a CSA?

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a model of farming in which farmers sell harvest shares directly to people in the local community. Some people think of it like a subscription. The model has roots on small farms in Europe and Japan and has been adopted and adapted by many farms in the US over the past three decades, largely as a response to the disappearance of the small farm. The model is based on a shared commitment: the shareholder commits to the farm for the season and the farmer commits to providing the highest quality, most nutritious food possible to their shareholders. It is a model that allows a farm operation to be capitalized during the winter, traditionally a time when cash flow is meager on farms and many purchases and repairs need to be made.

CSA is an opportunity to develop closer ties between farm producers and consumers and to give shareholders a chance to experience the harvest in a new way. CSA creates a partnership between the community and the farm, a partnership that supports the sustainable production of healthy food and the preservation and stewardship of healthy agricultural soils.

How does the CSA program work at Lexington Community Farm?

A share is purchased before the growing season begins. A portion of the share will be grown at Lexington Community Farm.  We are not currently operating at full production, so the remainder of the share will be grown by Bruce and Jenny Wooster of Picadilly Farm in Winchester, NH. More information about Picadilly Farm can be found here. In addition, the share includes “Pick Your Own” (PYO) crops that will be grown at Lexington Community Farm.

When the CSA season begins, shareholders will come to the farm stand each week (or every other week if you choose a 10-week share) on their assigned day (chosen by shareholder at signup) to find their share contents displayed in a designated area of the stand. The share will be displayed “market style” along with a list of what’s included in the share for that week. Shareholders will pack their share into their own bags or boxes, like shopping at a market. The PYO portion of the share will be listed on a blackboard with an accompanying map and available containers for measuring harvest amounts.

The CSA operates on the “Share the risk, share the reward” principle. The farm commits to distributing a set amount of food to its shareholders, in the event of a crop failure or unforeseen circumstances that projection may not be met. In years when the harvest is bountiful, shareholders may enjoy some of the excess.

How Much Produce Will I Get Each Week?

The harvest changes as the season progresses, from tender spring greens and crisp carrots, to mouthwatering summer melons and tomatoes, to crisp autumn broccoli and potatoes, to robust winter squash, sweet potatoes, and leeks.

From the first distribution week in early June, you can expect something like: a bunch of arugula, a bunch of kale, a bunch of radishes, a bag of spinach, a head of lettuce, and a head of bok choy.

Around the middle of the distribution weeks in August, you can expect something like: a bunch of beets, a cantaloupe, two cucumbers, 2-3 green peppers, a pound of red potatoes, and a quart of saladette tomatoes.

By seasons end in late October, you can expect something like: a cabbage, a bunch of leeks, sweet potatoes, a butternut squash, a pound of carrots, a bunch of kale, lettuce, and a few turnips.

How does the size of the share compare to other CSAs in our area?

Each CSA program is different. Compared to the size of other CSA shares available to our area, the Lexington Community Farm share is designed to provide a little less than the full-sized shares for a four-person households, but more than the small or half share sizes that work well for one or two people. Couple that with the Pick Your Own experience, at Lexington’s very own community farm, and it’s a great deal!

Will there be half-shares available?

We will be offering full shares only. See the question “How Much Produce Will I Get Each Week?” to get an idea of how much food this is.

This year, we will also offer a limited number of 10 week shares, picking up your share every other week.

If the full share seems too large for you, you could split your share with someone. See the question “Can I share my share with someone else?” to evaluate whether splitting might work for you.

What about the Flower Share?

The flowerbeds at Lexington Community Farm will be available for picking via purchase of our Flower Share. A Flower Share consists of two “Pick Your Own” (PYO) bouquets per week for ten weeks. Our flower plantings will include a rainbow of color including sunflowers, zinnias, celosia, snapdragons, and marigolds.

What is a shareholder? What is a member and what does my membership fee pay for?

Lexington Community Farm shareholders are those that participate in our CSA program. All CSA shareholders are required to be members of the nonprofit organization LexFarm at the Basic-Household level (or higher). This tax-deductible membership fee is used to support the operation and charitable programs of the nonprofit organization, including our food access, education and outreach programs.  LexFarm membership is not included in the cost of the CSA share.  Not all of LexFarm’s members are CSA shareholders.

Can I share my share with someone else? The share seems too large for my family.

If the following guidelines will work for you, you are welcome to split your share with someone else. This option is slightly less expnsive than if two households each purchasing their own 10-week share.

The signup form includes a way to indicate all participating shareholders. The guidelines for splitting shares are:

  • Each participating household must maintain a LexFarm membership at the Basic-Household-level (or higher).
  • Each participating household must attend an orientation session at the farm to become familiar with the pickup process.
  • The sharing will have to be managed by you. This means a single payment to LexFarm for the CSA share.
  • You must pick up the entire weekly share in one visit 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. For any given week, we will not be able to manage one party picking up half their share at one time and the other picking up their share later that day.

What are your growing practices?

Lexington Community Farm is committed to building a farm that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable and to employing organic methods to meet those goals.

Produce in the CSA share grown by Picadilly Farm is certified organic.

For PYO and other crops grown at Lexington Community Farm:

  • We do not use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilizers in the fields or greenhouses.
  • Pest and disease controls are addressed through variety selection, crop rotation, scouting, manual removal and crop management techniques. Organically approved sprays will be utilized as a last resort and when established thresholds have been reached.
  • We do not use GMO or chemically treated seed.
  • The potting soil used in our greenhouses is compost-based and does not contain the synthetic fertilizers and wetting agents typically found in conventional potting mixes.
  • Cover cropping, crop rotation, soil testing, composting and field scouting are all integral to the farm management plan.

This farm serves an important ecological niche in a neighborhood that includes a town reservoir and vital wildlife habitat, which makes us stewards of the land beyond the farm borders. As a community farm, we are committed to responsible and thoughtful growing practices to produce nourishing food, build biologically rich soils and provide a safe and healthy place for our neighbors to learn about sustainable agriculture.

What else will be available for sale at Lexington Community Farm this season?

We expect to offer a spring seedling sale of vegetable and bedding plants for your home garden. In addition, we expect to have some locally produced specialty food items as well as Dennis Busa’s corn when it is in season.

What if I’m on vacation?

If you are on vacation, you have a couple of options. One option will be to offer your share that week to a friend. This is a good way to introduce more people to the farm. If you do not pick up your share, it will be donated to those in need through our food access program. There is no need for you to tell us what you plan to do with your share while you are away. You will not be able to arrange for an “extra” share during another week when you are not away.

What if I need to pick up on a different day than I selected at signup?

Because a portion of the share is being delivered from off-site, we will only be able to provide your share on the days included in the pickup option you signed up for. We plan to set up a Google group where shareholders can communicate to try to arrange pickup day swaps.  For 10-week CSA shareholders, this group can also be used to find someone to swap between odd and even weeks.

Will there be an orientation for new members?

Yes. As we get closer to the start of CSA pickups, we will schedule orientation sessions to explain the logistics of your weekly pickup experience. All shareholders are expected to attend an orientation session. Once these are scheduled, shareholders will be notified.

Do you offer work shares?

This year, we will offer a limited number of full CSA shares in exchange for one morning or afternoon of work per week during the CSA season.

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.  Shopkeeping 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.  To learn more about how to apply, please email us at [email protected].

Further Questions?

Please direct any further questions to [email protected].