Often known as a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or Farm Share or Veggie Box, it's a program where a customer subscribes into receiving a "share" of the harvest. When produce is ready, it's harvested, prepared and divided-up, then picked up by the customer. Subscribing into the program before the season begins lets the farmer know how much to grow and for whom. Planning is important! A share is an investment in the local food supply.
*The 2023 Farm Share is now full
For 2023, six different packages will be available
Subscription payments are possible in one, two, three or four instalments.
*Cheques, cash or e-transfer
As well, there are items that can be added onto a share:
*turkeys are raised on an organic farm
**chickens are raised on a free range farm
***microgreens come in several different varieties
^eggs are not available at the end of the season due to the hens molting
Produce grown for the shares includes: asian greens/cabbages, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic (and scapes), kale, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, rutabaga, rhubarb, salad mix, spinach, summer squash, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and winter squash.
Cut herbs and cut flowers are added when they are season.
New for 2023 will be cauliflower and kohlrabi.
The goal for the start of the Farm Share is the end of June, but Mother Nature sometimes has other plans. A typical CSA/Farm Share will run from late June to early November.
Pick-ups will be Tuesdays from 4 to 6 pm at the farm.
A wooden box is provided at first pick-up for the season's use to carry the items in a share. At the end of the season, the box is returned.
The produce is harvested close to the date or on the date of the pick-up. It's then prepared and set up in containers at the pick-up site. A whiteboard sign lists which items and their amount for each share. Once harvested, the farmer knows how much to divide the produce up evenly. Customers then fill their boxes with the amount of produce allowed to them. Early arriving clients get first choice of the produce.
Unwanted items can be traded for another in the swap box.
To support other area businesses and to include non-vegetable items to shares, items are sourced from other farmers and food producers throughout the season. Such as maple syrup, honey and strawberries at the beginning of the season, sweet corn in the mid to late summer and pie pumpkins in time for Thanksgiving. In 2022, preserves was added to the list.
Contact us for an agreement form.
Sign-ups before St Patrick's Day (March 17) get a bonus of rhubarb and asparagus. These plants are ready to harvest before the CSA/Farm Share begins. Clients are contacted when they are ready.
No, we don't deliver. Pick-ups are on farm for a reason, to see how produce is grown and to understand where food comes from. Farming is not easy and it is one of the most mis-understood professions in North America. Most Canadians have never met a real, live farmer or been to a working farm. This is a chance to learn, be informed and come face to face with the beginning of the food system. We all eat, but what do we know about our food that's true?
In 2020, the County of Wellington instructed CSA/Farm Shares to not let customers touch the produce. That meant the farmer put the share items in everyone's boxes. In 2021, clients were asked to wear a mask and hand sanitizer before touching/leaning over the items on the pick-up table. Safety is an important concern. What will be be best practices will be better understood closer to the start of the CSA/Farm Share season.
Knowing what will be in a share isn't always easy. Sometimes plans of planting get pushed back because of cold/wet spring. Sometimes insects eat enough of the plants to leave them unable to bare healthy fruit. Sometimes disease comes to the farm and ruins a species of plant. Sometimes seeds don't germinate or germinate very poorly. Sometimes there is a bumper crop. Sometimes a plant produces fruit early. We try to estimate what will be ready for each week's pick-up day. Below are some examples.
It's very early in the season, so only cold tolerant and quick growing plants are ready, plus some other products from nearby farms.
It's early in the season, so most plants are still growing.
Plants are starting to come around.
Some plants have seen their peak and are slowing down. Second or third plantings of some plants are happening.
The weather isn't as warm and sunlight hours has decreased. Plants that took the full season to bear fruit are ready.
Are you interested in a share but I'm not sure it's for you? Would you be interested in trying out a share for a week, maybe two? During the peak of harvest the gardens will be yielding lots, enough to make a few more share boxes. We can't accommodate everyone, but can for a few (depending on weather, pests and such). Contact us in the Spring.