The Hickories CSA Connecticut
BECOMING A CSA MEMBER:
All are welcome to sign up each year on a first come first serve basis. Sign ups are going on now for 2013! Please join us for a great growing season and get to know your local food and your local farmers!
You must be a registered member on our site to purchase a share. To register, please go to this page.
Once you have registered, to purchase you share, please visit our online store by clicking here.
WHAT IS CSA? - COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE
CSA means precisely what it says: a community of people who come together to become direct supporters of a local harvest. Some of you may know the CSA model as the "you get a box of vegetables every week" model. What is a CSA? How does it work at The Hickories? Why is it a good idea? How do I become a shareholder? Here in a very small part are some answers to those questions. If you have more thoughts or questions, please register on our website and visit the messageboard where there will be a forum to ask questions and develop the CSA model at the Hickories.
What is a CSA? With CSA, you, as a consumer, "buy in" in springtime to our farm's summer harvest. In essence, you buy a share of the harvest and then the land and farmer pay you back with vegetables all summer. During the summer, once a week, shareholders will come to the farm to pick up their boxes of vegetables and fruits. You will get a mixed box of whatever is being picked, and the food will change as the harvest changes over the growing season. In addition, you as a shareholder take on the risk of the harvest, as well. (More to come on that below, but also check out the messageboard on the website for other frequently asked questions.)
How will it work at the Hickories? Shareholders sign up during March, when we farmers are planting seeds. We plant in April and May. The harvest will start in the beginning of June and we hope to run until the beginning of October. Once a week, on a set day and a set window of time, you will come to the farm to pick up your box. One share is a box that should feed a family of four. (Questions about sharing shares and half shares etc. should go on the farm website messageboard for further discussion.) The cost of a summer share is $625. Of course, the Table will remain open on Lounsbury - anyone can drop by other times in the week as well. But shareholder boxes will get "first pickings" (as they are guaranteed a part of the harvest) and shareholders will be part of more actively engaged group on the farm.
Why is it a good idea? Many small farms are moving to the CSA model, and I think it is for several reasons. First, it guarantees a fresh, local harvest with as few "food miles" as possible. Food is grown for you, picked for you, and it all happens on a farm and by a farmer you know. Second, the CSA model is a way to ensure the continuance of small locally owned and operated farms, an increasing rarity these days. The reason for this is the shared risk mentioned earlier. With unexpected bumper crops and unexpected crop failures, farming is extremely risky business. (No wonder there are so few farms left.) The CSA shares the risk and the rewards of farming. The shares are non-refundable; some years you get more than you expected, but there is always a chance you might get less some seasons. In essence, the idea is that the community makes a commitment to the farm and the farmer to stick it out through thick and thin.
How do I become a shareholder? Just register on our website with a username and password. At CSA signup time, you will receive a newsletter announcing the online store is open to purchase your shares. Visit our online store and click on CSA Shares and Add Ons. You must order your share through the store for us to count you into the program (and include you in the CSA newsletter updates) so be sure to complete the check out process. For payment, please send a check payable to The Hickories to 136 Lounsbury Road Ridgefield CT 06877. A summer share is $625. You have the option to pay in two installments, one now and one in April.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call: 203-894-1851.