Community Supported Agriculture
What is Community Supported Agriculture?
Our CSA program will span 16 weeks starting in June and running through September.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a relationship between our farm and you as our customer. By selling membership in advance of the growing season, CSA’s reduce the burden of up-front costs for the farmer. Your membership fees provide a degree of cash flow to purchase seed and fertilizer, repair buildings and equipment & pay weekly labor bills before the season starts. This is a huge benefit to farmers, especially those growing produce, who otherwise have no cash flow & need to work on a budget dictated by the previous year’s harvest during the winter & spring months. This is difficult enough without considering the many unknown expenses that occur each year, especially in terms of equipment maintenance. Your commitment to a share of the upcoming growing season cannot be appreciated enough; as we will strive to provide ultra-fresh produce with all the flavor & vitamin benefits, exposure to different produce items & interesting ways to prepare them, designated farm visits & tours to see how your produce is grown and the development of a relationship with the farmers growing them.
Seasonal farm grown produce planned for the 2018 growing season includes:
Dutch Variety Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, English Cucumbers, Mini Cucumbers, Basil & other Herbs, Beets, Kale, Arugula, Lettuce, String Beans, Sugar Snap Peas, Cherries, Strawberries, Summer Squashes, Blueberries, Blackberries, Peaches, Plums, Nectarines, Sweet Corn, Carrots, Peppers, Apples, Pumpkins, various Winter Squashes & more!
CSA’s are something that many farms offer, but don’t always cater to the participants (i.e. – loading a weekly pickup with excess produce that would otherwise end up in the compost pile). We aim to change that by maximizing the diversity of our produce offerings each & every week!
How does the March Farm CSA work?
After purchasing a ‘share’ members visit the farm once a week starting in June to pick-up their freshly picked box of seasonal berries, fruits & vegetables.
Members choose either Wednesday or Thursday as their pick-up day & are asked keep that day through the season.
Why Join the March Farm CSA?
- Guaranteed weekly fresh picked produce packages through the summer & into the fall (especially considering some of our offerings sell out quickly before replenishment – something a CSA member would not have to worry about).
- Members only specials & crop surplus privileges.
- Increased knowledge of how your food is grown & the development of a relationship with the farmers growing it.
- Group tours of our growing areas/facilities exclusively available to CSA members beginning with greenhouse tours & followed by field & orchard tours through the spring & summer as various crops are planted, maintained & eventually harvested.
- Two family outing days at the ‘Pond Side Pines’ event venue – pick your own berries or fruit, meet with other member, and enjoy the space!
- Keeps a portion of your food budget local, provides for local jobs & promotes the continuation of agriculture & a family run farm today, tomorrow & for generations to come.
- Extra incentive to plan & prepare healthy meals since you’ve already paid for the food!
We are proud of the significant efforts we employ to minimize our environmental footprint while balancing the need to be economically viable. We have achieved this using a sound, structured Integrated Pest Management Program. IPM is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of scouting, timely action steps & overall knowledge – in regards to both the life cycles of the crops & the pests that prey on them. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
Conventionally grown produce items in accordance with our IPM include:
Strawberries, Peaches, Nectarines, Sweet Corn, Apples & Pumpkins.
Although not 'Certified Organic' a number of our produce items are grown Completely Chemically Free. So what's the difference between growing organically & chemically free? Allot of paper work for one thing. But more importantly produce grown chemically free (at March Farm) is meticulously maintained which lowers the risk of disease & infection to the plant due to human pruning/training errors. The growing area itself is also kept in immaculate condition - no weeds are allowed to grow that can harbor pest insects & no plant material/pruning’s are left behind that can harbor disease. Even the environment itself is controlled (for our greenhouse grown offerings) in terms of heating, cooling & humidity to create an ideal growing environment for plants - not insects or disease - many of which thrive in high humidity conditions. Extensive daily scouting is performed to identify any potential issue before it becomes a serious problem with many types of beneficial insects released on a weekly basis to keep pest pressure in check.
Chemically Free grown produce items in accordance with our IPM include:
Dutch Variety Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, English Cucumbers, Mini Cucumbers, Basil & other Herbs, Beets, Kale, Arugula, Lettuce, String Beans, Sugar Snap Peas, Cherries, Summer Squashes, Blueberries, Blackberries, Carrots, Peppers & Winter Squashes.
Members will be notified of any changes to a particular practice due to unforeseen environmental damage or pest pressure.
We appreciate everyone's interest & feedback since our first CSA season in 2014. Many people have asked whether or not the March Farm CSA will feature organic produce. As explained above, March Farm does not grow 'Certified' organic produce - we grow produce both conventionally & chemically free in accordance to strict IPM programs developed in cooperation with the University of Connecticut's Agricultural Extension Program.
When it comes to growing organically consumers should always keep in mind that organically grown produce doesn't necessarily require the time and labor that goes into growing something chemically free - sometimes leaving the consumer paying a premium for a low crop yield due to inadequate plant & growing area/field maintenance. During guided CSA tours of our growing facilities/areas members will see first hand just how meticulously farming must be performed to grow not only chemically free but also conventionally using the least amount of spray materials possible. We can't wait to show you around!
$525.00 (approximately $33-$35/week)
Full Share with Bakery Option
Enjoy a variety of baked goods including breads, brownies, cider donuts, cookies, fruit pies, muffins, pastries, pound cakes & scones baked fresh the morning you pick up
$735 (approximately $45 - $47/week)
The produce in either share option is perfect for a large single family or multiple families/friends purchasing a share together.
Our CSA season will only feature a ‘Full Share’ option providing a variety of produce to feed 4 to 5 people (whether that is one family or multiple families/friends going in on a share together) on a weekly basis. Great effort will be taken to provide the maximum seasonally available diversity of berries, fruits & vegetables in each weeks share.
Members will always receive the full value of their share over the course of the season; likely by quite a bit more as each weeks share will always be generously weighed/bunched & any crop surplus will be shared with members free of charge.
Please view the March Farm CSA Member Agreement for additional information regarding our shared commitments, picking up shares, membership fees & how to communicate with us!