CSA – the way of the future (partly)…
The snows of Nemo linger still, the air temperature fluctuates between bitter and balmy, and the ground hog said to look for spring a little later then usual. So what does that mean we do at the farm to pass the time, you may ask. Answer: lots! From machine work, greenhouse prep, creating marketing material(s), seed ordering, the list is endless. And how do we pay for such things when the fields are barren and we are coming to the end of the storage crops from the previous season? One answer is the CSA program which we have done for 24 years now at the farm. In fact we were amongst the earliest CSAs in CT and they are popping up all over as people more then ever want to identify and support who grows their food and how it’s produced.
So what is a CSA program and how does it work? The CSA model hails from Japan originally, and has been in the US since the late 50’s. It is a unique investment model in which client invests in the farms harvest and shares the risk(s) of the farm. This capital allows us to make the seed orders, pay staff, fix machinery, and so much more. The return is (usually) a bounty of produce which is picked up each week from early June till the end of the fall harvest. From sugar snap peas and early lettuces in the spring to summer tomatoes, to autumn classics like winter squash and fingerling potatoes, the diversity and seasonal approach will open your eyes and stomachs to your regions food supply. We offer pick-ups at our farmers markets, our farm stand, and a drop off spot in New Milford CT – and most CSAs last from anywhere from 15 to 25 weeks depending on the area and type of farm. In urban areas their are CSA drop spots all over delivering fresh farm food to the cities nearby, too. So cool. At Waldingfield we offer a 20 week season with extensions should the fall harvest be robust and this is usually enough to keep people happy deep into the winter.
When someone invests in a local farm by participating in a CSA there are many rewards besides just great, healthy, and super fresh food. There is the investment in the land and how it is tended. We are a certified organic farm and apply no synthetic chemicals to our fields and orchards. We care about the water table below, and we care about our neighbors, too. There is the investment in the preservation of rural character and integrity, as well. Before too long those pristine fields of the past are parking lots, mini-malls and McMansions. Ugh.
Is a CSA for everyone? Probably not but there are many people who will attest to the fact that being part of a well run CSA brought them closer to the land, closer to their community and reconnected them to food they had not eaten in a long time. Check Out this link which has all of the organic CSAs in CT, and if you are errreading this from further away, google CSA farms in your area. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.