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CSA/ Community Supported Agriculture
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between a farm and its community of shareholders; sharing both the benefits and risks associated with farming.
The Shareholder buys a “Share of the Harvest” up front, which helps the farmer cover early season operating expenses (i.e. seed, greenhouse heating expenses, labor, etc.). In return, the shareholder receives a weekly share of the harvest on a regular pick-up day throughout the growing season.
The CSA model encourages the involvement of the community and promotes the understanding of farming -how, when, where does my food come from? The shareholder money goes directly to the farm, the shareholder benefits without the costs associated with traditional marketing of produce. (Trucking, packaging, middlemen etc.). CSAs encourage environmentally safe, sustainable , local food production.
For 20 weeks the shareholder receives their “share of the harvest”. It is enough to feed a family of four. The share varies weekly depending on what is in season and weather conditions. A full size paper bag is filled with approximately 5 to 15 lbs of the produce being harvested that week.Alternate Shares
Many families find our shares too large. Therefore, we are offering an ALTERNATE SHARE. How does this work? Alternate share holders will pick up a share every other week instead of every week. There will be 10 pickups instead of 20, beginning in mid June and ending at the end of October (the same as a full share). The cost of an alternate share is $350. Half shares/Split shares
If you have a smaller family or if it is just you, then a regular share might be too much produce. If you have a person to split a share with then you can do this by just buying one full share and splitting it between you. You and that person will be responsible for splitting the share between yourselves.
Other Info on How it Works
We grow approximately 185 varieties of produce! Because of the great variety we offer, some of your share is pre -bagged for you and some of it is laid out for you to choose your favorite variety. For example, we grow 13 different varieties of eggplant; you may want to choose Oriental rather than Italian. We grow many types of lettuce; you may prefer Romaine over red leaf.
Pick up day is EITHER Tuesday from 10am to 7pm OR Friday from 10 am to 7 pm at our farm stand at 20 Nixon Road in Framingham. Once you choose you pick up day you MUST stick with it for the season.
There are certain items that are Pick-your-own. This season they will be peas, beans, cherry tomatoes, flowers and certain herbs. These items can be picked during their season during regular farmstand hours (everyday 9am-6pm, Sunday 9am-5:30 pm). This allows you to come when it is most convenient for you (if your children are in school or if it is raining or very hot on your pick up day). You are will be provided with a container for the picking (i.e. 1 pint of peas etc.), but you may also bring your own. The U-pick flower share is a separate share, see below.
The Full Season Share is a 20 week share beginning in mid June and ending at the end of October. The cost is $675. The Alternate Share is a 10 week share beginning in mid June and ending at the end of October. The cost is $375.
You-Pick Flower Share
This share starts in mid-July and ends with the first frost. It is for 20 stems of flowers per week. At times when for instance gladioli are in bloom, we restict the number of stems of those flowers because there is a limited number of them available. You would pick 20 stems, including 3 glads, for example. Some weeks you would pick 20 stems including 6 sunflowers. We will always tell you what is in bloom to be picked. Please bring your own clippers and a bucket for water. The cost is $100.
Other Important Information
As always, our farmstand will be open seven days a week from Mothers Day through Halloween. In additon to your share, you can obtain any of produce there for your BBQs, unexpected guests and parties everyday at regular farm stand prices. We will be happy to set aside produce for you and help you choose fruit, produce and flowers any day of the week. There are items that we do not grow, but purchase wholesale from other local farms, that are not included in your share that are available in the stand - apples, plums, peaches, pears etc.
We will be attending our regular Farmers' Markets as well throughout the season. You can find us on the Village Green in Framingham on Thursdays (12-5:30pm), and the Town Common in Winchester on Saturdays (9:30 - 1:30pm). The prices are generally the same as the farm stand and we bring everthing we possibly can with us.
FAQ’s about CSA’s
Is Hanson’s Farm organic?
Many of you are intersted in how your food is grown and if it is organic or not. Hanson's Farm is not a certified organic farm. To be organic takes loads of paper work and costs a large fee each year, but that does not mean we do not have organic produce. Approximately two-thirds of our crops are raised using organic methods. This list includes: lettuce, Swiss chard, beans, peas, carrots, basil, parsley, kale, many perennial herbs,rhubarb, peppers, pumpkins, winter squash. However, under federal regulation we are not allowed to call these vegetables organic. For other produce we use a system called IPM - Integrated Pest Management- which is a low spray method of growing. It involves monitoring insect traps, scouting and crop rotations that allows us to spray when the threats are high. This eliminates the need for excessive spraying and sometimes eliminates spraying altogether. When we do need to spray, we use the newest and safest materials the market has to offer. An example is potatoes. We had not grown potatoes in 25 years; the materials available for controlling potato beetle 25 years ago were simply not the safest so we stopped growing them. However, for the last 4 years we have started growing about 6 different varieties of potatoes on over one and a half acres using an organic method called BT and it has worked great!
We work everyday to ensure the quality and safety of our fruits and vegetables. We are always looking into new and safer ways to grow. If you have more questions feel free to contact us and we will be happy to answer them for you!
Can we purchase other products through the CSA?
We offer apples, plums, peaches and pears and other items that we do not grow at our farm but are local in the farmstand. We also have our own eggs in a very limited supply that are available - usually self serve in late winter/early spring in front of the stand.
What crops are grown?
We grow more than 185 varieties of produce. 13 varieties of eggplant, 26 varieties of tomatoes, 12 types of summer type squashes, 13 kinds of hot and sweet peppers, 3 types of radishes... Almost everything has its own season - you will be amazed at the variety and how quickly the seasons change. Naturally, weather plays a large role in what and when a crop is available or if a particular crop is in short supply.
What does a typical share consist of?
Week 3: Radishes, lettuce, beets greens, scallions, peas, rhubarb.
Week 10: Corn, Italian eggplant, Oriental eggplant, basil, summer squash, zucchini, peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley
Week 14: Corn, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, carrots, beets, eggplant, kale, potatoes
U-pick this week: Beans, cherry tomatoes, flowers, herbs
Week 20: Beets, butternut, buttercup, acorn, sweet dumpling squashes, potatoes, Indian corn, kale, sugar pumpkins
****All dates and produce offered are subject to change at any time****
Hanson's Farm has had a very successful CSA that has operated out of our farm on Nixon Road in Framingham for several years now. In 2015 we are looking to expand our CSA to folks in the Boston area who are not able to get out to our farm. We are looking for businesses, groups, or individuals interested inproviding a place for a CSA dropoff. If you can get 10 shares together of people who would like to pick up their share at your location (business, church,home etc.) will will give you your share for free!