What is CSA?
"We specifically sought out a farm that promised us local foods throughout the year and Heron Pond Farm has done that and promises to do more. We're excited for next year and the possibility of an even more locally sourced diet."----------Tim Fukawa-Connelly
"Heron Pond Farm provides a share you can truly live on!"-------Jerry & Marcy Monkman
"The variety available from Heron Pond Farm is outstanding....our family looks forward to the different food each week."----Kim Englehardt
What was new for 2012-2013?
• CSA Gift Certificates
• Bread add-on
• Personalized meat shares from New Roots Farm
• On-line registration available with or without
credit card payment
• Even more greens and U-pick items
• New field house for early veggies
• Eggs available at pick-ups while supplies last
What is CSA?
CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a farmer-consumer partnership. CSA members make a commitment up front to a farm for an entire growing season by buying a share in the season's harvest. This entitles you to fresh fruits and veggies from each weeks harvest.CSA members share the rewards of a great season - and the risks that can come with bad weather and pests.Heron Pond Farm aims for a 20% return on shareholder investment over the twenty weeks that vegetables are available. However this relationship extends beyond a simple trade of money and food. In addition to receiving vegetables, members are encouraged to participate in the farm. We want you to know your farmer and we want to know you. Come, walk the farm, see your food as it grows in the field. We want you to be involved in how we do things.
- CSAs save small farms. The CSA model provides small farms the start up capital at a point in the season when they traditionally have had no income. Having money early in the season gives the farmer the ability to lock in a price for fuel, and buy materials in bulk which can mean huge savings. The CSA model has saved many small farms and has been vital to our own success here at Heron Pond.
- Locally grown food tastes better and is better for you. Food grown in your own community was probably picked within the past 24 hours. It’s crisp, sweet and loaded with flavor. Produce flown or trucked in from California, Florida, Chile, or Holland is quite understandably much older. Several studies have shown that the average distance food travels is 1,500 miles in a week long (or more) delay from harvest to dinner table, sugars turn to starches, plant cells shrink and produce loses vitality. Food that is frozen or canned soon after the harvest is actually more nutritious than some “fresh” produce that has been on the truck or supermarket shelf for a week. Locally grown food, purchased soon after harvest retains it nutrients.
- Local food preserves genetic diversity. In the modern industrial agriculture system, varieties are chosen for their ability to ripen simultaneously and withstand harvesting equipment; for a tough skin that can survive packing and shipping, and for an ability to have a long shelf life in the store. Only a handful of hybrid varieties of fruits and vegetables meet these rigorous demands, so there is little genetic diversity in the plants grown. Local farms, in contrast, grow a huge number of varieties to provide a long season of harvest. Many are heirlooms, passed on from generation to generation, because they taste good. These old varieties contain genetic material from hundreds or thousands of years of human selection; they may someday provide the genes needed to create varieties that will thrive in a changing climate.
- Local food supports local farm families. With fewer than one million Americans now claiming farming as their primary occupation, farmers are a vanishing breed. Commodity prices are at a historic low, often below the cost of production. The farmer now gets less than 10 cents on the retailer food dollar. Local farmers who sell direct to consumers cut out the middle man and get full retail prices for their food- which means families can afford to stay on the farm, doing the work they love.
- Local food builds community. When you buy direct from the farmer, you are re-establishing a time-honored connection between the eater and the grower. Knowing the farmer gives you insight into the seasons, the weather, and the miracle of raising food. In many cases, it gives you access to the farm where your children and grandparents can go and learn about nature and agriculture. By supporting local farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow, and that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful and abundant food.
- Local food preserves open space, supports a clean environment and benefits wildlife. As the value of direct marketed fruits & vegetables increases, selling farmland for development becomes less likely. When you buy locally grown food, you are doing something proactive about preserving the agricultural landscape. A well-managed family farm is a place where the resources of fertile soil and clean water are valued. Good stewards of the land grow cover crops to prevent soil erosion and replace nutrients used by their crops. Cover crops also capture carbon emissions and help control global warming. According to some estimates, farmers who practice conservation tillage could sequester 12-14% of the carbon emitted by vehicles and industry. In addition, the patchwork of fields, meadows, woods, ponds and buildings- is the perfect environment for many species of wildlife.
How the Meat CSA Works: Our summer meat share is from June to October. We also offer a winter share. At the first pickup for each month you will receive $100 of flash-frozen, vacuum-sealed, USDA inspected meats with a freezer life of over a year. Each share will be selected by You (new this year). You will have your choice of meat from the available selections at your pick-up location. This may include gourmet sausage, thick port chops, stew meats, hot dogs, and whole chickens. Each family’s needs are different, so this new system will give you more control over your menu. The once-amonth pick-up will be on your normal CSA day and location. For the first time a New Roots farmer will be present to answer your questions and hear your suggestions.
How Heron Pond Farm CSA Works
- Members sign up to purchase a share by completing the registration form. Your space is secured upon receipt of payment. There will be 400 shares offered for the 2012 season. $550 is the regular share price, but we also offer a $325 half-share or a $1100 double share option.
- When you sign up you will have the option of checking a box and paying towards a share for a families in need. The families will come from the Our Neighbors Table program in Amesbury. The families who receive a share will remain anonymous. Greg and I will match you in funds up to a certain amount to be determined by our bank account. The folks that pick up in Portsmouth will have the opportunity to have the same deal. The families there will be picked by the St. Johns Church food program and will pick up in Portsmouth.
Four pick up locations to choose from:
1. Our farm stand in South Hampton, NH (Pick up 9am to 6pm, you choose the day of the week)
2. Portsmouth, NH (Pick ups are on Wednesdays, 3pm to 7pm)
3.Dover, NH (Pick ups are on Mondays, 3pm to 7pm)
4. Newburyport, MA (pick ups are Thursday 3pm to 7pm)
Members receive enough produce to feed 2-4 people over a 20 week period starting in late May or early June and continuing through mid October. You will pick up your share once a week at your chosen location. At each pick up location a list of that weeks share will be posted. You then choose the veggies from the stand display or if you're in Dover, Portsmouth, or Newburyport from our farmers market style display. At all locations someone from the farm will be there to help with any questions you might have.
What happens if I miss my pick up?
Farm stand pick ups occur on your chosen day. If you miss your day you can pick up on another day within that shares week. If you miss your pick up in Dover, Portsmouth, or Newburyport shares will be boxed and left at the pick up location for you.
For all pick up locations, if you are not going to be able to make your pick up at all that week it is best to have a friend or relative who are interested in local food do it for you. If this does not work for you, you may “double up” on a share the following week by contacting your pick up coordinator, understanding of course that some food may not be available. All unclaimed shares are given to families in need on a weekly basis. You must contact you pick up coordinator if you do not wish your share to be donated.
What will be in my weekly share?
Unlike the grocery store our varieties are chosen from some of the tastiest around. We are always on the look out for new ones and attend conferences as well as talking with other growers to find the best seed possible. If you have a suggestion we would be glad to hear it. Another difference from the grocer is our seasons. We stretch things when we can but for the most part we grow food in season. To see a week by week list of what share holders got in 2010 look under the CSA tab and click on “What was in the 2010 share”.