Posts Tagged ‘CSA Shares’

veggiesThis afternoon, as I came in from the greenhouse, Brittan was on the phone with someone who was asking about our CSA.  She found us on a Google search and had some questions.  We like questions.

The conversation reminded me that we’ve had several questions lately about our CSA that I thought I should answer here.

1. What IS a CSA?  Excellent question. Sometimes, we who have been around the movement a while, forget that we have a lingo and not everyone understands it. CSA means, Community Supported Agriculture.  Essentially it’s a partnership between a farmer and his/her customers.  Instead of going to Grocery Stores or Produce Stalls, a customer will purchase a ‘share’ in a harvest. Share prices vary depending on the region, the length of the arrangement and the amount and varieties of produce the farmer is growing.  The upfront cash provides cash flow to the farmer so she/he can purchase seed, etc to get the season going.  In return, the customer gets a weekly or bi-weekly basket of vegetables and/or fruit for the duration of the arrangement.  Some CSA programs are a whole year, but most are 20 to 24 weeks.  Some also include eggs, dairy and meat or have those as add ons.  The risk to the customer is that weather, illness or disease can cause the harvest to be small or even non existent.  On the other hand, a harvest can be plentiful and the customers may have more vegetables than they know what to do with.

2. How long does East of Eden Farms’ CSA program run?  Technically, 20 weeks; From June 1 to October 31, because that’s the number of weeks for those on a payment plan.  For those who get in early, baskets will begin as soon as produce start getting ready.  Examples: Some things, like lettuces, salad greens, radishes, beets and sugar snap peas will be ready in April and May. Those members who are paid up by then will receive early ‘bonus’ weeks.  In those very early months baskets will be sparse. In July, August and September they will be larger,maybe very large. October will be a bit smaller.  If the harvest continues into November, which is likely for things like kale, cabbage, beets and turnips, we will continue to add ‘bonus’ weeks at the end.  There is no set amount of food each week, it depends on the harvest.

3. Where do we get our baskets? They will be available on Saturdays (times and locations to be announced later).  Obviously, one of the locations will be here at the farm.  On Thursday or Friday each week, we will email all members and let them know what will be available that weekend.

4. How much is a 2014 membership and how do I pay?  First, there are a limited number of shares available this year and since its our first CSA program we are offering an incredible price. Therefore, the earlier people sign up, the better the chance of taking advantage.  The 2014 membership is $400.  Members who pay in full by March 25 will receive a $50 ‘earlybird’ discount  ($350 total).  After March 25, the membership reverts to the $400 price, while they are still available.  There is one other option. Memberships can be reserved with a $100 deposit and paid in 20 weekly installments of $17, from June 1 – October, making the total $440.  If you have questions, use the ‘contact’ button or email sam@eastofedenfarms.com.

5. What are you growing this year? That’s an awesome question.  Who knows what the weather will do, but here’s what we’re planting:



Gourmet blend of leaf lettuce

Red romaine

Red Swiss Chard















Green Beans

Sugar Snap Peas

Lima Beans


Dutch Flat Cabbage

Early Wakefield Cabbage

Baby Bok Choy




Yellow Squash


Butternut Squash

Acorn Squash




Sugar Baby Watermelon

Honeydew Melon



SLICING AND CHERRY TOMATOES (by color rather than variety)










Colored Bell

Mini (Lunchbox) sweet Bell

Sweet banana

New Mexico (Medium)





Habanero (Yellow, Red and Chocolate)

Moruga Scorpion (Red and Yellow)

Butch T Scorpion

Jolokia/Ghost (Red and Yellow)

Carolina Reaper (Hottest pepper in the world)





Sweet Potatoes

Green Onions

There may be some last minute additions, but I know we’re planting these.  Please tell your friends, and do let us know if you have questions.  We’re excited about this and can’t wait to share our harvest with you.

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Summer has faded, fall colors are past their peak and winter looms.  Its a relief to have the work load lightened, but it’s sad to see the garden bare and pastures losing their green.  We’ve decided to make a few changes in our emphasis for the coming year.

First, we are not planning on doing broiler chickens in 2012.  We actually lost money on them this year.  Between rising feed costs and predation, we lost quite a bit.  We are, however, going to increase our number of laying hens.  We intend to offer CSA shares this coming summer and will include an egg option in the package. We may make the occasional stewing hen available at the end of a season.  Older chickens make great chicken and dumplings as well as chicken noodle soup.  We’re not sure about that option yet.

We are going to increase the number of turkeys we raise.  We like them a lot. There is certainly a market.  What I find unfortunate is that they are only thought of as Holiday bird.  Sure, they’re larger than chickens and cost considerably more, but when you think of all the meals you can make from a single turkey, they are a real bargain.  I’ll do a ‘turkey versatility’ article sometime.

We’re selling the sheep.  We like them, but they just don’t fit our model.  We’ll miss them, for sure.

We won’t be doing beef.  Chuck and Diane go to the processor on the 30th of this month.  That will leave only Butter.  We will keep her for dairy and if she has a heifer calf, we’ll keep it for dairy.  Dexters don’t produce a lot of milk, but it will be good quality and they do well on less than lush pasture.

We are increasing the number of Alpine goats.  We love the quality of milk as do those who get it from us. We will sell the males as wethers for weed control or for BBQ.

We will hold steady on Nigerian Dwarf goats.  They don’t produce as much milk as the Alpines, but we are crazy about them.

Pig numbers are on the increase.  We brought home a young sow yesterday.  Her name is Patty.  She will be a wife for Link. The pigs have been an awesome addition to the farm. The eat the garden scraps and all the surplus milk and whey. Apart from certain ethnic communities, most people love pork, so the market for sausage, ham and bacon is there. Besides, pork is our favorite meat here.

Finally, we are adding the Tilapia and Giant Red Claw Crayfish.  The only thing holding us back is the cash to build the greenhouses.  Since we don’t do debt, we have to wait until we have the money saved up.

As regards veggies for 2012, we are planning to offer a few all season CSA shares, featuring potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, herbs, beets, turnips, greens, bell peppers and jalapenos.  There will be a little broccoli and cauliflower. A lucky few might even talk me out of some habanero and jolokia peppers.  But you’ll have to be really good talkers. 🙂

Lest I forget, we still have rabbits. We will continue to breed our meat rabbits, but have added American Chinchilla rabbits for the pet market and for those who want to start breeding rabbits. They are a rare breed and have awesome personalities.

I think that should get you up to date on our forward look.  Please stay in touch.  It’s not too early to let us know if you’re interested in a CSA share.  Also, drop us a line and tell us if you have interest in a CSA share that includes meat, dairy, eggs and fish.  We are looking at a package that we call “The Omnivore’s Delight”.

Have a great week.


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The weather and product availability have conspired to cause us to change our plans a bit for the fall garden.  We were not able to get any seed potatoes and couldn’t get seed for short season corn.

With that in mind, we are planting beets, zucchini, squash, green beans, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collards, snow peas and risking some late season leaf lettuce and radishes.  We have transplanted some cherry tomatoes from cuttings which may or may not produce, but the plants seem to be doing ok.

The fall garden is always a risk.  I’m quite nervous.  With risk in mind we are offering 5 shares at $75 each.  This could be the bargain of the century or it could be an investment in futility.  If you buy a share before the end of August, there will be a hand full of late bell peppers, some basil and a couple sprigs of thyme and oregano  and jalapenos as a bonus to keep you going until the October harvest and make you crave the full season CSA next year.

It’s first come, first serve.

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It’s July, so it’s time to wind down the summer garden and begin work of the fall version.   We are now planning on beets, potatoes, squash, zucchini, corn, green beans, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, lettuce and maybe a few late season tomatoes.  Most of this will be for farmers market/vegetable stand.   Who wants in on some pre orders?

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