WHAT DOES CSA MEAN TO US?

whatdoesCSAmeanWHAT DOES CSA MEAN TO US?

Community
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and in our relationship with our members we stress the community aspect.  We believe that people all over the country are unbelievably disconnected from their food and that America has an extremely impersonal agricultural system.  We, like many other CSA farmers, hope to change that relationship by bringing a face, a story and a friendship along with the food you purchase from us.

The basic premise of CSA is to create a relationship between farmer and consumer, on that is largely economic.  A member pays in the spring for a summer’s worth of produce.  The produce is delivered weekly in boxes to be picked up at an agreed-upon location (aka drop sites).  There are many sizes, styles and prices of shares, but overall, this is the general idea.

But we want much more than just the economic relationship. We want to create a community on our farm.  CSA members are invited to drop by, help in the fields, and then sit together with their farmers around a long table to share a meal as the sun sets.  We want to teach you about your food and help you know how to use it. Weekly newsletters will include recipes, vegetable descriptions and storage recommendations.  We want to provide not only food but also information so that our members can enjoy food and cooking just as much as we do.

We are happy to host on-farm brunches and dinners throughout the season to help members get to know each other (and enjoy the food from the fields in new fun ways!).  We hope to educate our members on all the wonders of produce, but we also hope our members share information with one another freely and form their own friendships around food.  To that end, we are happy to lend supplies or donate produce for canning and preservation workshops led by our members.

Shared Risk/Shared Bounty
We believe whole-heartedly in shared bounty/shared risk, the reigning ideology of CSA when it first began.  This means that members are purchasing a share of our farm regardless of how well it produces.  By signing up for a share with Raleigh’s Hillside Farm LLC, you are saying that you trust in your farmers and you want to invest in them.  Everyone remembers the summer of 2012, when drought left most vegetable farmers with lower-than-average yields.  When you invest in CSA, there is always a chance that a drought (or flood or tornado or disease) will destroy whole crops.  This would result in smaller boxes for a few weeks (or maybe all summer).  There is with that also an equally likely chance that your farmers will produce more than expected and your boxes will overflow all summer long.  This is the chance you take when you decide to purchase your vegetables in a CSA-style system.  We will always communicate with you in times of trouble or bounty.  As a CSA member, you are part of our farm.  With us, you will experience the realities of farming.

Our first couple years, this shared risk/shared bounty will be a bit more loosely defined as we learn how to grow vegetables well.  We will overplant everything so that if we lose a crop or two to disease, etc, we can fill in with other vegetables.

 

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