What is a CSA? It stands for Community Supported Agriculture. This concept along with “slow food” was started to put the people and their food in close proximity….not 2000-6000 miles from each other. The way it works is that the shareholders (you) and the farmer (us) act in partnership to grow locally grown healthy food for our families. Then we go to work! You accept the natural risks of raising crops, and we try our best to eliminate the risks. You support the farmers, they support you.
Sign up now for the Fall season with 15 weeks of naturally grown produce, picked and in your refrigerator within a few short hours. The benefits of buying a share is to ensure you’ll get a wide variety of vegetables (sometimes at a farmers market the selection is limited), you’ll help the farmer get operating funds to grow the produce, and you get to have a voice in what is grown.
What is the difference between naturally grown and organic? Even though organic has high standards, they’re not high enough. They still leave room for a percentage of spray to control pests. Our garden is as natural as it gets! We hand squeezed pesky bugs and applied fish emulsion for the fertilizer. We are always searching for ways to improve the soil so the plants are healthier – healthy plants attract fewer bugs!
What a share is: A share is enough produce to feed a family of four for one week. As the vegetables come into maturity, they will be harvested and put in your basket. More specific information will be emailed along with your receipt. There are three share options, all will feed a family of four:
Full shares for each season will be $450…which equals to $30 for a basket share each week of a 15 week season.
Half-shares are every other week for a total of 8 baskets for $240 for the season.
Working shares are $150, are required to work from 7:00-10:00 a.m. every Saturday, and receive a basket each week for the combination of payment and work. They help with the harvest cleaning, packing and doing various garden jobs. It’s a great way to learn more about gardening and get fresh produce too!
Pick-up information: Your pick-up time 10:00 a.m. -12 noon on Saturday morning. If you are unable to come, please send someone you want to enjoy your basket for the week. Baskets cannot be held overnight, so those left at the end of the market (noon) will be donated to the local food pantry.
Where is the CSA located? The Diamond P Ranch is where you will pick up your share. It is East of St. Cloud on Hwy. 192, about 3 miles out of town, across from the Serpentarium. It is surrounded by a white vinyl fence, and the farm market will be out front.
What if I don’t like some of the produce? We’ve had purple beans which turn green when they’re steamed, and tasted some funky looking squashes. We’ve shared recipes for kale and cucumbers and have learned the unique tastes of a variety of produce that we wouldn’t have ever tried. Searching the site (upper right of page) for recipes that have been posted on the CSA Blog page is easy and there are links to some of our favorite recipe sources on our Recipes From the Garden page. You broaden your tastes….and if you still don’t like it, then next season you vote for less of that vegetable!