Curious what can be found in a typical CSA share at Clark Farm? Check our Expected Harvest for 2014 here.
Clark Farm is dedicated to creating as sustainable a farm as possible. We use only certified organic techniques in producing all vegetables, berries, herbs and flowers. We strive to improve the health of our soils, select varieties for flavor and nutrition, and create an integrated farm ecosystem. Livestock is raised utilizing the same principles as our vegetables. The animals are rotated on pastures and through forests to benefit their health and to spread their fertility. In the event that we have a sick animal, we do reserve the ability to treat the animal using conventional medicines.
How It Works:
CSA stands for "Community Supported Agriculture". It is a financial model of running a farm where customers pay for their "share of the harvest" upfront, then receive produce "dividends" as they become available. The model was first utilized in the United States over 20 years ago and now several thousand CSA exist across the country.
At Clark Farm, we offer a Summer Produce CSA, a Fall Produce CSA, a Pick-Your-Own CSA, a Flower CSA, an Egg CSA and Meat CSAs. All shares are limited. The Summer Shares begin in mid June and end in October. The Fall Shares run from mid-October through November.
Benefits of Being a CSA Shareholder
• Certified organically-grown vegetables and berries, harvested at their peak of nutritional value
• A weekly e-newsletter containing seasonal recipes, as well as an update on the crops and notice of upcoming events
• The opportunity to learn how your food is grown
• Orientation meeting and Potluck
• Access to exclusive pick-your-own crops
• Support of the local economy, the community, and local agriculture
• Opportunity to contribute to the future of Clark Farm
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect in a typical share?
Check our Expected Harvest Dates for 2014 here.
A typical share in June might include: Lettuce, arugula, scallions, radishes, strawberries, peas, summer squash, beets, broccoli, cabbage, spinach and other greens. A typical share in September may include: lettuce, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, eggplant, garlic, onions, winter squash, and broccoli.
What is a PYO Share?
A "Pick Your Own" share includes only the items for our CSA listed as PYO. When you come to get your share, we will list the PYO crops and quantities on a board. (For example, Cherry Tomatoes: 1 Pint). This share does not include most of the vegetables that are part of the small and large CSA share like lettuce, zucchini, eggplant and onions. It does include items that we do not harvest ourselves, like cherry tomatoes, strawberries, herbs and string beans.
New for 2014 - we will do your PYO for you. For $250 extra, your PYO crops will be waiting for you when you come to get your share. Just check off the box on the sign-up form. This option is available for both Small and Large share members.
What if I can't pick up my share on my pick up day?
If you are on vacation or cannot make it to the farm for any reason, you are welcome to send a friend or neighbor to pick up your share. You are also welcome to donate your share for the week. We run a donation program and are thrilled to be able to give more.
What if I don’t like something in my share?
Clark Farm utilizes what is known as the ‘modified mix and match’ CSA distribution method. When you arrive at the farm, the vegetables will be displayed similar to a farmers market. Vegetables will be placed in groups and within these groups, you will have the option to choose what you would like to take home. For example, there might be a group of bunched Swiss chard, kale, collards and spinach. You will be asked to take one or two bunches from this group. You will decide what you want to take. Please don’t feel that you have to take everything that is in your share. We are happy to donate items your family will not eat.
What if it’s raining or I don’t have time to do my Pick Your Own on my share day?
You can come back later in the week to pick PYO crops. You are welcome to come do PYO during any other distribution time (Tues 1-6, Thurs 9-1, or Sat 10-1). We do not allow picking of tomatoes in the rain, as it can spread disease, so we actually encourage you to come back and pick your PYO crops on a sunny day.
Does everyone get exactly the same items each week?
The distributions are based on crop seasonality and availability. Some crops may be available earlier in the week but not at the end of the week, or vice versa. We substitute when one item runs out, so that members are getting a similar value each week.
What if there’s a crop failure? Do I get my money back?
This is part of the risk of joining a CSA. You are investing in Mother Nature’s cooperation and in our expertise as farmers. There is no refund if there is a crop failure. Normally, though, conditions conspire for a bountiful harvest.
Are eggs always available? Why sign up for an Egg share?
Because we sell out. The size of our farm determines how many hens we can have without overloading the soil with too much fertilizer. By signing up for an egg share, we will be able to put eggs aside for you. When you come to distribution, your eggs will be ready to go home.
What is the Sponsor a Share?
By sponsoring a share you are contributing to a fund that pays for lower income families to participate in the Clark Farm CSA program. Donations do not have to be large to help a family in need have access to nutritious, organic foods.
What is Work For Share?
There are a limited number of work for share positions. Please keep in mind that this is a barter relationship that is treated like an employment agreement. The work for share candidate will be a highly productive member of our crew. Work for share members need to work a minimum of one day a week for 4 continuous hours. The work for share season begins in mid April and ends in September. Work for shares must be in very good physical condition. The work for share position is not for everyone, however we appreciate everyone who can come and volunteer their time on the farm.
How do I sign up?
Print out the CSA sign up form (or grab one at the farm). Choose the shares you would like to participate in, and mail in the form with a check. If you are interested in investing with us, please don't wait to get your form in.
Photos by Paul Cary Goldberg