"Whatever you can do or dream you can do--begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."

This post, it might be said, is what it's all about for us here at the farm. To me, there is no better marketing approach than one that puts the producer and the buyer together. That is the idea at the root of the CSA movement.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) links farmers directly with consumers. CSA “shareholders” purchase part of the season’s produce before it is even grown. This shifts some of the farm’s annual income to the winter and early spring, when the farm incurs most of its costs. The start-up money allows for investments, from seed and tool purchases to equipment repairs and upgrades. These components, and others, are as critical to the survival of the farm as the soil itself. By providing some income during this important time of the year, you help to balance the expenses and workload, which ultimately increases the productivity and sustainability of the farm.

What follows here is the detailed outline of our CSA. My hope is that we have addressed the main issues. There are still some group decisions to be made once our shares have been sold. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me.

Frontwards Farm 2010 CSA

The weekly cost of a Regular Share for the 2010 season is $30.00. The season will run for 22 weeks, totaling $660.00. In return for this early commitment to the farm, you will receive an average of 12-20 lbs. (6-12 different veggies, fruits, & herbs) per week. This is enough for a family of four, or two adults who love “five a day”. At this time, we do not offer half shares, but we encourage you to find someone to split a share with if you feel it will be more than you want.

Everything is grown using bio-intensive methods, without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, with the long term sustainability of our land in mind. We add new varieties and experiment with new techniques every year. A list of varieties will be available here shortly, as our seed orders have been made,and filled for the most part. Questions and comments regarding specific produce and practices are encouraged, as are farm visits.

Furthermore, you will always have the first opportunity to take advantage of other offerings as new products become available. This is a life-long venture for us, and our hope is for you to stay with us as the farm grows. One of the most exciting parts of this growth is sure to be our focus on season extension structures, as we strive to offer produce year-round.

What is expected of members?
Be Vocal--As mentioned above, feedback is encouraged, as it is vital to the development of the farm. We want to know if you want more or less of a certain item, or a different variety or type of produce all together. We can’t improve if you don’t tell us how.

Be Flexible--Growing food is unpredictable. Every year brings variations in pest and climate pressures. A bad year for tomatoes may mean a bumper crop of peppers. Our search for the best method for growing the best varieties is met with success and failure.

Be Reliable- Timely payment is critical. Pick up your box as scheduled or arrange for a friend or neighbor to pick up your share if you will be unable to. Shares that are not picked up will be donated to a local family.

There are some things to think about when considering participation in CSA.
Among those:
--How do you like surprises? Each week the contents of your box will vary based on
the season. This not only allows us to enjoy the true bounty of our region, but keeps the menu interesting.
--Do you like to cook? There are many items that are best eaten raw, but we would not suggest eating butternut squash this way. Preparing meals presents a great opportunity for family time, and is the final step in bringing the food to your plate.
--Are you a creative cook? Some items may be new to your kitchen. This could lead to variations in favorite recipes or new ones all together. With the internet, a world of ideas and experiences is at your disposal, and if you are like us, experimenting a little will bring out the artist in you.
--Do you support local, sustainable agriculture? Your membership in our farm makes this a reality, and will hopefully be as rewarding for you as it is for us.

What still needs to be determined?
--Delivery location-Deliveries will be made to a central location, most likely in Carbondale. This will be determined as membership fills up, based on convenience for all involved. Farm pick-up is certainly welcome, but this will increase overall fuel consumption, which is always a factor to consider when striving for minimal environmental impact.
--Delivery time-The preferred time would be mid-late afternoon. This would allow same day harvest of all produce, which could be done during the coolest part of the day. With regard to the day of the week, our participation in a farmer’s market will be our deciding factor. Saturday is not an option, and other days may be ruled out as well. Members should consider delivery prior to the main shopping day of the week to allow for meal planning based around available produce.

If you would like to become a member of Frontwards Farm C.S.A. for the 2010 season, please follow the link to our Sign-Up Form.

Any items of concern can be addressed in the comment section at the bottom of the sign-up form, or via email.

Thank you.


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