Community Supported Agriculture
Welcome to the Provider Farm CSA. You'll find information about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) , shares and share logistics, and information about vegetables and recipes to help you make the most of your CSA share. You can also find information about our growing practices.
- What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?
- What's in a share?
- What are the share prices?
- When and where is share pick up?
- Terra Firma Farm pick ups
- Winter share
- Tools for shareholders
What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?
A CSA is a partnership between farmers and their customers. When you buy a membership or a "share", you are investing in the farm for one season and receive the dividends in the form of a weekly portion of the vegetable harvest. CSAs are great for you because you receive a full season's share of the best vegetables you can find at an affordable cost. CSAs are great for us, the farmers, because paying up front makes it easier for us to plan the season. CSAs guarantee the shareholder the best prices around since we sell shares at the cost of production.
As partners in this farming endeavor, we share the risk of farming so you as a CSA shareholder agree to share in the ups and downs of farming. Every year, some veggies will do great while others will not do so well. Maybe there will be a storm that knocks out the winter squash or maybe we luck out with an incredible tomato harvest. It's all part of the experience of being a CSA shareholder. Fortunately, we grow over 150 varieties of vegetables so there is always a bounty of vegetables. Eating the harvest does mean that that our shares are seasonal. The good thing about eating seasonally is that you are getting your vegetables when they taste best! Gone are the days of cardboard tomatoes in November! Imagine a salad with the sweet crunch of spring lettuce and the delicate spice of radishes, or a rich juicy slice of an August tomato with some aromatic basil. Food has never tasted better, and we bet your kids will notice it too!
At our Provider Farm on farm pick up, we strive to give you the freedom to choose your own share, so we distribute our vegetables using the "mix and match" method on the farm. This means you get to pick and choose what is in your share, based upon what is in season of course. Kids hate rutabagas? Get more carrots! It's your choice!
Terra Firma Farm shares are packed boxes of the best of the weeks harvest. These are farmer's choice boxes and we do our best to balance a selection of a wide variety of our crops that includes the staples that most people love while including a few more unusual crops that may be new to you. Almost every box will include a cooking green and lettuce plus whatver "hard" vegetables are in season at that time, barring a shortage.
CSAs also enrich the community, becoming a vibrant meeting place for community members. It is not uncommon for CSA members to linger over baskets of veggies while they exchange cooking ideas for turnips and their children watch the cows graze our fields. We firmly believe in the CSA as a place for our neighbors to get to know each other as we share in this experience.
What's in a share?
A share is a portion of the week's harvest of vegetables and herbs. We have three different share sizes to fit everyone's needs.
- Small provides about 5-10 lbs of produce a week and is good for folks who eat out a lot or are cooking for one or two. We do not reccomend splitting this share size.
- Regular is suitable for a small family and provides about 10-15 lbs of produce a week and is good for shareholders who eat in mostly.
- Large is great for a bigger family or folks who eat a lot of vegetables. It will provide you with 15-20 lbs of produce a week.
Share quantities, of course, vary on the time of the season. In the spring, we have lots of greens so the share is lighter and as we progress towards the fall, they get heavier with root vegetables, fruiting crops, and squash. Learn more about the seasonal availability of our crops.
Is a CSA right for you?
So, how do you figure out if a CSA share is right for you? A CSA share can be great for so many different types of people and for different reasons. Our shareholders come to the farm for a diverse amount of reasons. Some never thought they would like it and turn out to be our most ardent supporters, while some who though it was right up their alley found it wasn't right for them.
Are you someone who cooks at home a lot, is willing to try new things, and prioritizes eating well in life? Then you are a prime CSA candidate. If not, perhaps your doctor recently told you you need to eat better or you are looking to make a lifestyle change. You are also a great candidate but may just need to put a little more effort into learning how to use vegetables in your diet. We are here to help you!
If you do not cook often, have very picky eaters in your house, live very far from the farm, and only like specific vegetables, you may just want to shop at the local farmers market.
Provider Farm pick ups
What are the share prices?
On farm Salem share pricing is as follows:
- Small $505
- Regular $630
- Large $755
When and where is share pick up?
Tuesday 2-7pm or Friday 2-7 PM
Share pick up runs from early June to the beginning of November. Starting in mid-October, the share will close at 6:30 PM as the nights get colder and darker
Terra Firma Farm pick ups
What are the share prices?
Shares will be a boxed selection of the best of the harvest of the week and two share sizes will be available:
Small $475($450 + $25 delivery fee)
Regular $655 ($630 + $25 delivery fee)
When and where are share pick ups?
Pick ups will be Wednesdays from 3-7 at the Terra Firma Farm farmstand at 564 Norwich Westerly Rd. North Stonington, CT.
Please note that Terra Firma Farm can not store shares overnight. Shares that are not picked up by 7 will be forfeited and donated to the local food bank. Feel free to send a friend, family member or neighbor to pick up your share if you can not make it.
To keep you eating locally through the cold winter months, we also offer a winter share.
What is the duration of the Winter Share?
There will be 6 bi-weekly distributions from December 2 until February 17, with a two week break during Christmas and New Years.
When and where will the pick up be for the Winter Share?
We will be offering shares at our farm in Salem and at Terra Firma Farm's creamary in North Stonington.
Salem pick ups will be Friday afternoons from 2pm until 6pm. If you can not make your pick up we will gladly pack up a share for you that will be available to pick up Saturday morning after 9am.
Terra Firma Farm pick ups will be Friday afternoons, 3-7 pm.
What can I expect to get in my share?
Your Winter Share will include lots of delicous mix and match of root crops from our root cellar including: carrots, potatoes, beets, turnips, sweet potatoes, rutabagas watermelon radishes, and kohlrabi in additon to cabbage, winter squash, leeks, garlic, as well as kale and spinach from our high tunnel!
Will there always greens in the share?
We are confident that we will have greens at the first three distributions of the Winter Share. We hope to also have greens available for the last three distributions but we can not guarantee this.
How much does it cost?
The Winter Share is $335 for Salem shares and $350 ($335 plus $15 delivery fee) for Terra Firma Farm shares with the entire balance due at sign up.
What are those dates again?
The Dates of the Winter Share are:
12/2, 12/16, 1/6, 1/20, 2/3, and 2/17
What happens if it snows on the Friday of a distribution?
We reserve the right to postpone distribution due to inclement weather. This will be done at the discretion of the farmers. Cancelations and make up dates will be announced via email. So please make sure we have your correct email!
Tools for shareholders
As a shareholder, you receive an email newsletter updating you on what is going on the farm and our crop outlook. The newsletter includes what is in your share every week along with cooking tips and recipes. The current newsletter and all of our previous newsletters are available on our website.