Friday, December 4, 2009

Do you CSA?

I am quite certain that a CSA is the route I want to take my future farm. Offering all organic chicken eggs, heirloom vegetables, herbs, fruit, garlic, potatoes, cut flowers, mushrooms and perhaps artisan cheeses. I'm thinking that shares containing mushrooms, flowers and cheese will be a higher share price and/or available separately. I am still probably at least two or three years away from owning a farm but It's never to early to start my research.

I want my farm to be extremely diversified, sustainable, organic and educational. Along with the CSA I have about six other business ideas that can be implemented on the farm.

The mushrooms and cheeses will probably not be available the first year or two since it is a lot to take on at the beginning. I suppose it will depend on $$$ and the amount of friends and family that can help at the beginning.

I also want to offer some work shares to help with weeding and harvest through the season. I love this idea! I found another CSA that uses it in MI and seems to work very well. They have around five work shares each year and have 100 paid shares each season. They also have four donated shares. These are given to families or single mothers that cannot afford fresh food or the time for working on the farm.

So, are any of you involved in a CSA? I would love to hear about your experiences, likes and or dislikes and anything else you have to say about it.

CSA sites: www.csafarms.org and www.localharvest.org

Thanks for any and all information you can share!

7 comments:

Erin @ The Impatient Gardener said...

We were members of a CSA two summers ago. We bought a share, but they offered a lot of work shares as well, and also did a half-work share which I thought was a neat idea. If I didn't work full-time I would have definitely done the half work share because I think I would have learned so much.

We got a variety of vegetables, eggs (for an additional cost) and recipes with each box.

I thought that I was going to love being forced to try new vegetables, but, even though I'd try anything, I admit that a lot of kale and a few other things ended up being fed to the dogs and the compost pile.

We actually split a share with my parents.

I didn't do it a second year because I got into growing my own vegetables. But the CSA had a couple of neat things, including a salsa making party where all the members were invited to come make salsa and take some home.

I think CSAs are awesome and it's great that you're aspiring to start one.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

I am participating in a CSA as a work share. It is great. Love the farmer and the work

Gail said...

Not this year~but, there are several that I want to try. We need to share one with another couple...there is usually more food then we can eat. I would so sign up for a CSA you offered!

gail

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I am researching this subject. My concern is that we could get more vegetables than we can eat. I grow my own tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. I am very interested in berries. So, will see next summer.

Di said...

Hi Michelle, found you via Thomas of Mass. Lovely blog and I love your vision of self-containment and gardening.

TC said...

Lots of work Michelle! I hope you can make it happen though. If I didn't grow my own stuff, I'd definitely be in a CSA. They're sprouting all over the country.

Good luck and it's great that you're doing the research now.

Randy Emmitt said...

Michelle,
CSAs are a lot of work though it should be rewarding. We did one this year actually three CSAs produce, meat and cheese. Don't know if we'll do it again next year as we got a lot of stuff we did not want, 4 weeks of fennel.

Look on my blogs list for Bluebird Meadows they run a CSA in Durham and Chapel Hill and they are your age. They both did apprenticeship sat another farm before starting theirs.