Red Shirt Farm CSA
What is a CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an alternative model of local agriculture that creates a direct relationship and mutual partnership between the farmer and the consumer. The farmer grows food for the people; the people support the farm and both share in the inherent risks and potential abundance. By joining our CSA you are directly supporting us, your farmers, and promoting locally grown food. In exchange you will receive the highest quality, most nutrient dense, most flavorful produce that is harvested on the day that you receive it.
How we grow your food
We are committed to health and sustainability. We believe that “real” food is essential to health and that how food is produced truly matters. We employ ecologically based organic farming practices such as the use of compost, crop rotations, cover cropping, green manures and mulch to build healthy soil and grow healthy plants and animals. No chemical fertilizers or pesticides have ever been used on Red Shirt Farm.
On-Farm Market-Style Pickup
Red Shirt Farm has members come to the farm to pick up their produce to build a connection with the land, to realize the seasonality of the crops and to see the methods by which the food is grown. Moreover, we have seen that on-farm pickup develops friendships and builds community and gives members a time to relax and enjoy nature.
Our Pick-ups are "market-style" which means you get to select the vegetables that you want—we don't pre-box your vegetables. Prefer smaller tomatoes? Select just those. Not a fan of kohlrabi? Leave it for another member.
Pick-ups are Wednesday evenings from 5:00–8:00pm and Saturday mornings from 9:00am–Noon. We ask that you choose one of these times to help us plan our harvest.
We offer multiple varieties of over 35 different herbs and vegetables.
*Those with an asterisk are Pick-Your-Own
Peas (Snap and Shell)*
We know that joining a CSA and learning to eat a more healthful diet can be daunting. We're here to help! We'll be at the distribution area as you select your vegetables to answer questions and share cooking tips. We'll show you how to pick the various pick-your-own crops like peas, beans and herbs. There will also be recipes and a weekly newsletter to keep you up to date and help you make the most of your share.
Red Shirt Farm is a great place to bring the entire family! The kids see how their food is grown and they enjoy their vegetables so much more when they pick them straight off the vine. Everyone can watch the chicks, the turkey poults and the piglets as they grow up from week to week. Picking beans becomes a family event.
Food Access for ALL
We accept SNAP and HIP benefits and offer subsidized shares. If you need assistance or know someone who does, please contact us directly.
Don't miss out!
More than Veggies
In addition to a plentiful supply of vegetables, your weekly share includes access to our flower and herb gardens. Also available for sale each week are fresh organic eggs from our pastured laying hens, pastured heritage chicken and raw honey from our own bees.
2017 CSA Season
Our Summer-Fall Season distribution will run 20 weeks from early June to late October.
This year we will also be offering a Summer Only Season that will run 13 weeks and end just before Labor Day for $275.
When it comes to eating veggies, everyone's concept of quantity is different. We offer two share sizes to accommodate a range of preferences:
- Full Share for $625
- Partial Share for $425
A Full Share is perfect for a small family who eats a normal amount of vegetables or a couple who enjoys a vegetable-centric diet.
A Partial Share will meet the produce needs of 1-2 adults.
If you put food by for the winter and want more vegetables for canning, they will be available for sale if we have a surplus.
Frequently Asked Questions
+ What are the benefits of CSA participation?
There are numerous benefits to being a CSA member at Red Shirt Farm:
- You have the privilege of eating vibrant, just harvested nutrient-dense produce. Say 'goodbye' to wilted greens and tasteless tomatoes.
- You will be exposed to new varieties of vegetables including heirlooms and enjoy learning to cook with them.
- You will be feeding yourself and your family chemical-free produce.
- You will get to know your farmers and make new friends with other CSA members who share your interest in eating healthy.
- Your choice to buy local reduces the environmental impact of "food miles" when produce is shipped thousands of miles to grocery stores.
- You will experience substantial savings over buying organic produce in the supermarket, from farmers' markets or from high-end boutique markets.
- You will be supporting local farmers and ensuring that the farm will be economically sustainable to keep providing you food year after year.
+ How does the CSA pickup work?
On the day and time frame you have chosen (either Wednesday from 5:00-8:00pm or Saturday from 9:00-noon), you come to the farm and park up by the house. The distribution area is under a shed roof off the side of the barn. Annie or Jim will be there to greet you. On a chalkboard you will find a list of the vegetables that are available for the week with a column showing the quantities for a full and partial share. You may take up to that quantity but do not need to take more vegetables than you think you can use. The vegetables are attractively displayed in bins beneath the chalkboard. You select the vegetables you like and place them in your bag. Feel free to cut flowers and herbs as they come in season. Enjoy the animals and the beautiful surroundings. That's it!
+ What type of produce can I expect in my CSA share?
Your share will feature a variety of produce that grows seasonally in our climate. The quantity of produce will be smaller at the beginning of the season and abundant in mid and late summer. In the Spring you should expect lots of greens (kale, spinach, mustard greens, lettuces, tatsoi, and bok choy), spring turnips and radishes, scallions, herbs, as well as the first peas, carrots, and beets. In the Summer you can expect the fruiting crops like peppers, eggplant, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes, as well as new potatoes, garlic, fresh onions, lettuce, bunched greens, carrots, beets, radish, turnips, melons, and more! In the Fall we offer winter squash, leeks, onions, potatoes, garlic, carrots, storage radish, turnips, beets, rutabaga, cabbage, broccoli and more.
+ Are there any risks involved with being a CSA member?
By becoming a CSA member you are doing more than purchasing a weekly share of fresh produce; you are contributing to the sustainability Red Shirt Farm. You are committing to support the farm through good times and bad to ensure that we will be here to grow food for you for years to come. We promise to do our best to provide you with a bountiful share each week. We use irrigation, row cover, integrated pest management and other sustainable practices to minimize the risk of crop loss. Despite these efforts, the quantity of produce may vary from week to week and season to season due to extreme weather, insects or other production factors. As a Red Shirt Farm CSA member your agree to share the risk of crop failure with us and your fellow members.
+ Does the farm provide a money-back guarantee if the crops should fail?
No. We do not refund your money if there is a crop failure. Please read the answer to the previous question if you have not already done so.
+ Do I get to choose what type of produce I receive each week?
Yes. We offer a "market style" CSA distribution of all the vegetables that are ready for harvest that week which means that you get to select the vegetables that you prefer. All of the vegetables are displayed in bins and on a chalkboard above the vegetable bins is a list of the maximum quantities that you may take for the week. If cauliflower is offered and you don't like cauliflower, you don't need to take it. If you can take 2 lbs of beans, but you only need 1 lb, then leave the rest behind. Vegetables you don't take may be left in the "share" bin for other CSA members. Anything not taken at the end of the distribution will be donated to a food pantry or fed to the chickens or pigs if it's just a small quantity.
+ Do all of the CSA members receive the exact same items in their share?
Yes, for the most part. We strive to provide equivalent shares to everyone whether you come to the pickup on Wednesday or Saturday and whether you have a Full Share or a Partial Share. Occasionally, certain vegetables may be in short supply and we reserve the right to allocate them as we see fit, but everything balances out in the end.
+ What happens if I can't make it to a CSA pickup one week?
Please notify us at least 24 hours in advance if you will be unable to come to the CSA pickup on your chosen day. There are a several options:
- You may have someone else pick up your share. Again, let us know at least 24 hours in advance who will be coming in your place.
- If you can come the following day, we will put your share in a bin in the walk-in cooler and you may pick it up then. We can do this on occasion but prefer not to make it a habit.
- With at least 24 hours notice, you may switch your pick-up day to the alternate day (either Wednesday or Saturday). We prefer that you pick one day and stick with it, but we can accommodate occasional changes.
- You may pick up a "double share" the preceding or following week; however, members often find that they cannot use all of the vegetables.
+ Is pickup ever cancelled due to inclement weather?
No. Pickup happens rain or shine. The vegetables are under a large shed roof attached to the barn, so you'll be dry during your pickup. If it's raining hard, bring an umbrella for your walk from the parking area to distribution area.
+ Can I change the day that I pick up my share?
Pickups are on Wednesdays from 5:00-8:00pm and Saturdays from 9:00am-noon. We ask that you pick a day and try to stay with that day throughout the season. If you need to change your day one week, we ask that you give us as much notice as possible, but at least one day in advance. If you realize that the day you chose is not working out and need to change your pickup day permanently, just let us know and we'll make the switch. What we want to avoid is frequent changes back and forth between days.
+ May I share a CSA share with someone else?
Yes, you may with some stipulations. First, CSA shares represent a substantial portion of our farm income and we encourage you to purchase the share size that meet your household's needs. A Full Share is perfect for a small family who eats a normal amount of vegetables or a couple who enjoys a vegetable-centric diet. A Partial Share will meet the produce needs of 1-2 adults. We ask that two separate households each buy a Partial Share rather than splitting a Full Share. However, if you are a single person who can't eat all the vegetables in a Partial Share, by all means, split the share with another person. If you do split a share, we need to know who you are sharing with. You are responsible for how the share will be divided and we prefer one payment for both parties.
+ I have a large family who loves vegetables. May I combine a full and partial share?
Yes, you may combine shares in any permutation you choose—multiple Full shares, multiple Partial shares, or a combination of Full and Partial shares.
+ What can I do if there is a vegetable I don't like?
One of the nice things about a CSA is that you are exposed to vegetables you may not have had before. Alternatively, you may find that you actually enjoy the just-picked, perfectly ripe version of a vegetable you don't like when you buy the wilted, frozen or canned version of that same vegetable from the store. That said, you're never expected to take something you don't like—just leave that vegetable in the bin or put it in the "Share Bin" and another member will be thrilled to get "extras."
+ Do I need to work on the farm as part of my membership?
No. Unlike some CSA's, we do not require that you work as part of your membership. However, some members love to get their hands in the dirt and volunteer occasionally to assist with weeding or other tasks. We welcome volunteers but ask that you call ahead and schedule so we are available to work with you or get you started.
+ Should I bring my own bags?
Yes. We encourage you to bring your own bags, boxes or cooler to carry your vegetables home. However, we do supply recycled plastic shopping bags in case you forget your own.
+ Are there any payment options available?
Yes. We request a payment to reserve your membership. If you cannot pay in full at the time of registration, you may make a $100 deposit and pay the balance by May 1, 2017. We don't want to turn anyone away because of financial need. We can work with you on a payment plan. We are also working with Share the Bounty to provide subsidized shares. In addition, we accept SNAP and HIP benefits. Please contact us with any questions.
+ Can I bring my vegetable scraps to put in the compost pile?
Yes. We make our own compost and would welcome your vegetable scraps. Complete the cycle by turning Red Shirt Farm vegetables into Red Shirt Farm compost.
+ May I bring my dog to the farm?
We love dogs and have one of our own. However, there are many animals on the farm as well as other CSA members and their children who may not be as comfortable around dogs. We ask you to assess your own dog—if s/he is very well-behaved around animals, adults and children, you may bring him/her to the farm. Your dog must be on a leash and restrained by you at all times. If s/he he gets overly excited by all the farm stimulation, we ask that you return your dog to your car.
+ Can I come early on my pickup day?
You are welcome to come early and enjoy the farm—visit the animals and pick flowers and herbs or just relax in the shade. However, the distribution area will not be ready for you to get your vegetables until the appointed start time: 5:00pm on Wednesday and 9:00am on Saturday. We are usually rushing around getting vegetables out of the cooler or arranging the distribution area, so, we don't mean to be rude, but we probably won't be able to chat until distribution gets under way.