What is a CSA?

 

 

Be a part of your local food movement.

 

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.

 A CSA is a type of relationship between farmer and consumer, where both are tied to the land and the act of farming.  The customer or "member" essentially pays in advance for the vegetable, typically in the winter and spring, and then receives a delivery or pick-up ofa "share" which is a portion of veggies from that season grown on the farm.

The member then gets a box of seasonal veggies delivered or picked-up through the whole summer.  The box is full of what is ready on the farm at that time, and the veggies are selected by the farmer based on what's ready to come out the field that week.   This means you get a complete assortment of standard veggies and the occasional unusual one to mix it up and try something new.

 By joining a CSA, you become a member of our farm, seasonally or year-round. Because the "sharer" purchases their share before the seed is even in the ground, agreeing to purchase the veggies before they're grown, the farmer is able to offer the sharer a great price for the veggies.  This payment and delivery arrangement allows you to share in the risks and rewards of farming and gives the farmer the capital they need early in the season when most farm purchases are made.

The act of connecting with local growers and sharing the risk of farming as a consumer has a multitude of benefits, the most simple of which is that vegetables are generally sold at below market prices, meaning you receive more for less.  You also get the benefit of knowing exactly where your produce comes from and a more intimate knowledge of the practices used to grow it.  This means supporting a small business and in return getting peace of mind and the warm and fuzzies.  

At Harvest Tide Organics, we are committed to organics and sustainable environmental principles.  We also believe that ethics and sustainability in agriculture extend beyond organics to fair treatment of employees, ethical sourcing of farm supplies and inputs, and always offering the best value to our customers as well as striving as growers to be sure healthy, whole foods are available to all who want them.  

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A Year as a CSA Share Member

Early in the year:

January - April

To become a member, you begin to pay for your share before the season starts and the seeds are in the ground.  You can pay in full or in installments, and this early payment allows the farmer to have capital that can be used to purchase seed, fertilizer, and other early season expenses, alleviating some of the pressures of the early season.


Spring into early summer

March-June

 

 

At the start of the season

May -June

 

 

 

As the season continues...

July-September

 

 

 

Things begin to cool down

September-October

 

 

Things freeze over

November - Winter

 

 

All Year-Round

 

 

 The farm begins coming alive and putting all of the capital that you've loaned us to use.  We till, plant, weed (and weed and weed and weed some more), and ready the farm to start handling all the produce to come.  You wait anxiously for fresh, crunchy veggies.


Once the vegetables for that season are ready for harvest, the eating begins!                      In Maine, the season usually starts slowly as the weather and soils warm to support plant growth; mostly greens are available in the earliest distributions, but as your farmers we try to bring some exciting veggies to you early on.


 Vegetables abound!  The warmer weather leads to more diverse vegetables in your box.  More and more are added as the Maine weather allows, and because you paid the farmers in advance and are a "sharer" in the farm, you are now getting fresh, local, organic produce at lower price than you would purchasing retail.  By sharing the risk with the farmer, you share the reward of a bountiful season.


We've got you covered on late season veggies - as fall steals its way in, we will keep summer's bounty going as long as possible, but we begin start seeing more storage and root crops. It's time to start to sign up for your winter CSA so you can continue to be a sharer with the farm and keep receiving veggies through the winter.


Let the snow come.  In the winter, our job is to store the produce for you so that it lasts all winter long.  You'll keep getting deliveries regularly with items that we grew all summer and store in the our facilities and high tunnels.


Enjoy fresh, local, produce for you and your family delivered right to your work, or a convenient location in town.