What Is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?
Farmers and community members join together to create markets for reasonably priced, healthy seasonal foods. In a community supported farm a member pays a share price in early spring to help meet the farmer's "seed costs" for the upcoming season. In return for their investment "their leap of faith in the farmer and the season", members of the CSA receive a steady supply of edible dividends throughout the growing season. Most CSAs produce a wide variety of organically grown vegetables and herbs. Weekly distributions take place at a prearranged time and location.
Besides purchasing fresh, healthy food from a known producer, members help the farmer raise interest free operating capital by paying in advance. Because there are no guarantees that any crops will succeed, they share the financial risks along with the farmer. At the same time, the chance is high that the members' investment will pay off and they will share the bounty. CSA typically offers a good value for member's food dollar.
People are recognizing the value of establishing, in the places they call home, a direct relationship with the farmer, who nurtures their food and with the land. Over 1200 CSA's (communities and their farmers) are working nationwide, reorganizing a small part of the food distribution system.
The Little Seed Gardens CSA season starts in early June and goes until October end. A weekly share contains 7-10 items/bunches. Over the season we offer over 50 different varieties of vegetables and herbs. Generally you can expect some kind of salad and one or two bunches of greens weekly through the season. The spring starts out with light tender greens, lots of salads and baby roots. As the soils heat up in early summer seasonal specialties like sugar snap peas, summer squashes and baby carrots begin to be added to the shares. High summer finds us with tomatoes, green beans, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant and fresh onions. The fall brings heavy roots, hearty greens, and winter squashes and crisp lettuces. Please feel free to call or email us if you have questions, we are always happy to speak with potential new members!
The share price is $500. We also offer half shares for $300 with pick up every other week. A few other options are listed on our CSA sign-up form. We accept members on a first come first serve basis and because we offer a limited number of shares at each site we recommend early registration. Click to download a CSA sign-up form.
Each member brings a bag or box to the distribution site and packs their share with the week's produce which is picked and rinsed. Shares that are not retrieved on the distribution date and time are donated to a local food pantry.
Chatham: at the farm
Tuesday evenings from 4-6:30pm
Rhinebeck: Thursday from 4-6pm