Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family

Community Supported Agriculture

Photo of greenhouse through gate

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)?

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 thought 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. A CSA is not  a grocery store! We only have crops when they are in season.  Sometimes there will be limited amounts of crops, or we will have a total loss due to environmental conditions.

Provider Farm pick ups

What are the summer season 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 - discontinued for 2020

What are the share prices?

Shares will be a farmer's choice 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. Feel free to send a friend, family member or neighbor to pick up  your share if you can not make it. If not one can make it, shares can held and picked up any day after delivery 10-7. Please notify Terra Firma Farm if this is needed.

 

Winter shares

We want to help you to keep eating locally through the cold winter months, so we also offer a winter share. While winter local offerings are a little less diverse then the main growing season, our winter crops are the sorts of vegetables perfect for winter cooking to warm you and your kitchen. Picture soups and stews loaded with potatoes, rutabagas and other roots bubbling on the stove, with sweet potatoes baking in the oven, and a spinach salad waiting on the table for friends and family to convene. These are the kinds of meals that bring people together in warm kitchens while the snow flies outside.

Your Winter Share will include a 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 head lettuce, kale and spinach from our high tunnel!

We expect to have greens at least at the first three distributions of the Winter Share. We hope to also have greens available for the last three distributions (and always have) but we can not guarantee this since it is weather dependent.

What is the duration of the Winter Share?
There will be 6 bi-weekly distributions from December 6 until February 15.

How much does it cost?
There is one size for winter shares. The Winter Share costs $335 for the season.

What happens if it snows on the day of my share 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!

When and where will the pick up be for the Winter Share?
We have 2 pick up locations for our winter share:

Salem winter share pick up location

Salem pick ups are at our home farm. The address is 30 Woodbridge Rd., Salem.

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 at an agreed upon time if you let us know but text, email or phone.

The dates of the Salem winter share pick up are:
12/6, 12/20, 1/3, 1/17, 1/31, and 2/14

Get Salem winter share sign up forms here

NEW! Mystic winter share pick up location

We are thrilled to announce a new pick up location in Mystic hosted by Coogan Farm of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center. We are excited to be partnering with this wonderful organization. They have beautiful facilities, great events and miles of trails so you can pick up your share and take a trail walk all in one trip. Read more about them here.

The address of the pick up is the Coogan Farm Welcome Center at 162 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic.

We will deliver farmers choice packed boxes to Mystic for pick ups Saturdays from 11 am-4 pm. If you can not make your pick up, we encourage you to share in the joy of winter local eating and have a friend or family member pick up you share since there is no refrigeration at this location to hold over your share. Alternatively, if you can not pick up and you notify us in advance, we can hold your share to be picked up at our Salem location at an agreed upon time.

Get Mystic winter share sign up forms here

 

Tools for shareholders

Guidelines

CSAs are based on a  relationship between farmer and shareholder.  We make every effort to grow an abundant variety of vegetables for the full season, be prompt with communications, annd provide you with an enjoyable share experience. To facilitate the relationship, we have some basic guidelines that we ask shareholders to adhere to.

Communication:

All communication about the share is done through email. Shareholders agree to make sure they are receiving the newsletter or are reading them on the website.

Shared Risk:

Shareholders understand that they are sharing the risks and rewards of farming by signing up for the CSA. This could include total crop loss due to environmental conditions or pests.

Share pick up:

Shareholders will pick up their share within the hours and days listed for their partiular pick up location unless an alternative time has been prearranged with the farmer. If a shareholder can not pick up that particular week, please share your share with a friend, coworker or neighbor and have them pick up the week's harvest.

Share payment:

Shareholders will pay for share in full by the designated date for the season unless an alternative plan has been arranged with the farmers.

Newsletters

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.

Recipes

We also have lots of recipes right here and always encourage shareholders to submit their favorite recipes.