How is this different from shopping at the farmers market? If you support us at the market we thank you. At the same time, committing to a CSA program gives us a more secure income stream. Everything we bring to the farmers market is based on speculation, so a rainy day, or a less than busy market, equals lost sales and wasted labor, not to mention wasted food. A year long commitment from a member allows for more confident planning, fewer loans, and greater stability. Choosing CSA is the best way to fully support a small scale organic vegetable farm. Plus, we build stronger and more personal connections within our food community.
What and how many veggies? Members will have access to a full selection of all the farm has to offer, including season extension (early and late season hoop house production) and bulk amounts of strong crops for canning/freezing/preserving (during the regular season). In addition to the classic vegetable offerings this can include items such as mushrooms, microgreens, popcorn, wild foods, and more. Members will take as much as they need for the given week.
What and how much meat? LotFotL farm will raise pastured, heritage breed, organically fed pork. In addition we will bring in 100% grass fed steers, organically raised or non-gmo fed chickens, and pastured organically raised lamb. According to our calculations if each adult member (for these purposes kids are counted as 1/2) chooses $15-20 worth of meat each week, the farm will have enough meat for everyone all season long. For example if you have 2 adults and 1 child in your family, we ask you to keep a budget of around $45-50/wk for your meat portion. Each week we will have a variety of different choices and we encourage members to make special requests if they want to try something specific.
What fruit? We budget a set amount of your purchase for fruit and provide some when in season and of high quality. Larger quantities can be pre-purchased on our online farm store. Fruit will come from local fruit producers mostly in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois or Indiana. We strive to source certified organic when it is available, but will work with smaller family farms and producers that practice IPM methods. We hope to bring in cherries, blueberries, peaches, and apples. In addition we will look for some berries, like raspberry and strawberry (these particular fruits don’t hold or travel well, making them challenging to manage, so will not be a large part of fruit availability). Winter shares can include items like frozen blueberries, and apples, and pears when and if we can get them.
Can I really take unlimited quantities of everything? Yes and no. Most of the time veggies will not have any restrictions on the amounts you take. Keep in mind this program is not designed to be shared with non CSA members, to be used for heavy juicing, or to provide for a house full of party guests. Depending on what the farm produces or brings in, sometimes items will have suggested quantities/person posted to help members gauge how much the farm has to offer and how much to take while still leaving enough for others.
What if I don’t want delivery for one week? Although the program is designed to feed folks on a weekly basis, we understand that occasionally members are gone or unavailable on the delivery day. Alerting us of your pending absence will help us plan. Most times we will be in a position to let you take extra items either the week before you are gone or the week after you return. Some items like fruit or bread may be limited in their supply. There are no credits or makeups in this program, only a pledge to keep you well fed throughout the season. Communication is key to making that happen when things go off schedule.
Bulk/Canning and preserving options: (Not available for winter) In short, extra veggies will be included in the cost of the program and larger portions of fruit will need to be purchased separately. Depending on availability, vegetable items like tomatoes and cucumbers for preserving and canning will be available as part of the program. Our fruit program will bring in allotted amounts of fruits for members, for example, 2 pints of blueberries/member. For those interested in bulk fruit, larger quantities will be available for purchase on our online farm store.
What if I am the last person to get food? Will I still have choice or will I be stuck with what is left? We will bringing plenty of food each week throughout the entire season, so that even the last member to get delivery will still have a wide range of options. We will also carefully monitor our inventory so that everyone has equal access to what the farm has produced.
What if I need to drop out of the program? We understand that life does happen. In addition, joining a CSA is making an investment in and commitment to your farmer. The farmer is then able to plan accordingly; hire, purchase seed and equipment, and plant. In the “Choice” CSA program the cancellation fee will be 1/6 of the total cost of your member program (i.e 1 months worth). Winter share will be 1/4 the cost of the program.
Can I work for my food? Yes, please visit the worker share program tab on our website for more details.