For several years, we contemplated offering a winter CSA program and floated the idea by our members in order to get feedback on what they would like in a winter CSA offering. Many loved the concept and encouraged us to offer this option, especially one that would provide greens to members.
While some greens like collards and kale are not too difficult to grow later in the fall, tender crops like braising/spicy mix and lettuce mix are more challenging, so we needed to invest in farm improvements, such as high tunnels, to make off season production more feasible.
In anticipation of offering a winter CSA in 2015, in late 2014 and early 2015 Farmer Jim and other farm staff installed high tunnels, greenhouse-type structures that are installed in farm fields, that allow crops to be planted directly in soil and do not require supplemental heat, as is necessary in greenhouse production. He also obtained materials to construct low tunnels, structures roughly three feet high that cover rows of crops and protect them from frost, light snow and wind. Both high and low tunnels give farmers the ability to extend their growing seasons and harvest crops at an earlier or later harvest date than would be typical for field grown crops.
Our crop planning allows us to ensure enough storage crops, such as cabbage, potatoes, rutabaga, carrots and beets, are grown during the traditional growing season to accommodate the Holiday Harvest program. Since Farmer Jim has over twenty-nine years of production data to draw upon, these are relatively easy calculations for him! After making thses calculations, we add acreage and plant more storage crops to accomodate the Holiday Harvest program. Membership fees on the Holiday Harvest program are slightly higher to factor in increased storage and production costs.
Here is the basic idea regarding the Holiday Harvest CSA program: once the regular CSA distribution season ends in November, we begin distribution for an extended season of CSA shares to bridge the Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year holiday seasons.
Our 2016 Holiday Harvest CSA Program
For 2016, we will be offering a limited number of shares to be picked up at the Chesterfield and Pennington Distribution Centers only and applications and membership fees will be accepted through our website, via phone orders with a credit card and faxed applications with credit card payment. We will not provide membership cards, as staff checks members in and out at the door of the Distribution Centers or at the weigh stations.
In 2016, we anticipate that the produce in the program will be a combination of freshly harvested greens such as arugula, collards, chard, kale, spinach, spicy/braising mix, lettuce mix, radicchio and head lettuce, as well as storage crops including potatoes, kohlrabi, carrots, beets, rutabaga, hakurei turnips, daikon, celeriac, sweet potatoes and white turnips. There may also be some cilantro, peppers and tomatoes early in the Holiday Harvest season, as well as brassica crops like cabbage. For the first time ever, we will have our own pinto and black beans as part of the Holiday Harvest program! There will be no winter squash or pumpkins. Of course, all crops have been grown on our 100% certified organic farmland.
In 2016, we are offering three share sizes determined by weight, i.e. a 10-pound size, a 20-pound size and a 30-pound size of produce for each pick-up week. Pick-ups will be every other week. Members will be given a box in which to weigh out their total amount of produce and will be allowed to freely choose among the items in the market, with an exception being that there may be posted limits on some crops. For example, if you have the 20-pound share, you will take your box around the Distribution Center, filling it as you choose from the crops until you have taken your 20 pounds of produce; however, there may be a sign above the lettuce mix advising of a 2-pound limit on that crop. We will have scales tared for box weight in addition to the hanging scales available in the market.
Chesterfield members will pick-up their share at our Distribution Center at 258 Ellisdale Road in Chesterfield on the Tuedays of November 22nd, December 6th and December 20th from 10am-6pm, for a total of three pick-ups.
Pennington members will pick up their share at our Distribution Center at 260 Wargo Road in Pennington on the Saturdays of November 19th, December 3rd and December 17th from 9am-4pm, for a total of three pick-ups, or on the Wednesdays of November 23rd, December 7th and December 21st from 10am-6pm, for a total of three pick-ups.
Please note that if there are weather conditions that will prevent us from being open on distribution days, an email will go out immediately advising of the change in schedule.
10-lb Share $90.00
20-lb Share $165.00
30-lb Share $225.00
This Week’s Harvest
Plan your meals for the week.
Our harvest calendar indicates produce availability throughout the growing season.
The Local Harvest
Please read our newsletter The Local Harvest to connect with the farm and the larger community.
Buying A Share
Become part of our community by purchasing a share.