2014 CSA Shares Available

There will be no changes to our pricing or share structure for our 2014 CSA shares!  Thanks to the support of our members and a good growing season in 2013, we are in a position to maintain the same pricing as last year, as well as offer an additional work share.

We will continue to offer 3 different CSA shares. All shares are sized for a 2-adult, or 2 adult + 1 child family, depending on your veggie consumption rate.  If you have a larger family, have teenagers, or eat a large quantity of fruits and veggies, we suggest ordering additional shares.  We’ll package them together for you, so you won’t have to deal with additional packaging materials.

  • Spring Bookend Share- $40, begins as soon as the weather allows, ends May 17.  Likely 3 to 7 weeks, but spring weather is fickle.  Mostly salad greens, radishes, peas, and other cool-weather crops.  Pickup will be at the farm Saturdays from 8:00-noon, or via other special arrangement until the Culver Farmer’s Market opens, when the location will change to the Farmers’ Market.
  • Main Season Share – $275, a summer-only share, running 16 weeks, from May 24 through September 6 (Memorial Day weekend through the weekend after Labor Day).  The share will consist of a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs designed to support all of your fresh, local, seasonal produce needs for each week.  Pickup will be available at the Culver Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from 8:00-noon, or at our farm on Tuesday evenings from 5-7.
  • Fall Bookend Share- $100,  begins September 13, and runs until weather and supplies end the harvest, most likely around Thanksgiving.  The fall bookend share will consist of more salad greens, radishes, kale, cabbage, any fall cool-season crops that we succeed with (tends to be iffy in northern Indiana), and late-season staples and storage crops like potatoes, rutabaga, turnips, pumpkins and winter squash, etc.  All the things that make fall yummy.  Pickup for will be on Saturdays, at the Culver farmers’ market until the end of  the market season (usually the second Saturday in October), and on our farm after the market season.
  • Work Shares- 2-3ish hours of help at the farm per week, running any week in which you work and there is a harvest available (ie, spring, main, or and fall).  This year we are offering 2 work shares – one on Friday afternoons/evenings, and the other on Tuesday evenings.  The work will mostly consist of weeding and harvest help, but exact tasks will be negotiable and depend on our needs in a given week.  We’ll do our best to make the work varied and interesting.  Availability will vary, and be offered only via interview.  Share size will be the same as a regular purchased share.

Payment can be made via check, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover or PayPal (yes, you can use a credit card via PayPal).  If  you can pay in person, cash is also acceptable.  A 10% discount is available for shares paid for before January 13.  A 5% discount is available after January 13 for 2013 CSA members who are continuing in 2014.

Contact us via the contact us page to order your share!

2012 CSA Shares Available

For 2012′s CSA, we are restructuring our offerings quite a bit, based on feedback from 2011, and things we learned in our first year of CSA farming  (in which we pretty-much scrapped the announced plan, in favor of what we learned from folks’ questions about our shares).  More description and reasoning below.  For now, we’ll get right to the offerings.

Continue reading “2012 CSA Shares Available” »

2011 CSA Shares Available!

The eventual plan for Hole in the Woods is for 50% of our produce to be available via Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares.  We aren’t really ready to jump into that with both feet, but we need some enterprising families to begin the journey with us.

For those new to the concept of a CSA, it is a unique distribution method for agricultural products (usually food) that has been growing in popularity over the last 20 years or so.  Basically it works like this: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” of the produce of a farm.  A member of the CSA purchases his share in advance, much like a subscription. 

A typical share consists of a container (box, basket, bag, etc.) of produce each week throughout the growing season.  In our case, we plan to offer a share sized to provide all of the fresh produce a family of 4 would need for the week. The variety of produce will vary throughout the season, from snap peas and salad greens in the spring, to new potatoes, garlic, zucchini, and cucumbers in early summer, through heirloom tomatoes, gourmet fingerling potatoes, peppers, and melons in summer/fall (and, at least a couple of pumpkins per share!), and ending with some hardy greens, can-able quantities of tomatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, etc. to prepare for winter.

A CSA provides multiple advantages for both the farm and the member.  For the farm, it is much easier to plan how much produce to, well, produce, when it is sold up front, and the marketing time selling that produce is done before the 16-hour days of the growing season begin. Not insignificantly, since the members purchase their share in advance, the income comes in when the money is being spent – a great cash-flow advantage!  This also means that the members share in the risk – if a late July hailstorm destroys the whole tomato crop, the farmer is out all of his conventionally-sold tomatoes, and the CSA members won’t be canning spaghetti sauce. Meanwhile, an extended cool spring means members get that many more yummy snow peas, and the farmer doesn’t have to compost as much of the bumper crop. But, most importantly, the farmer gets to know who is eating his food well, and over time can tailor produce selections to the members of the CSA.

For the member, the advantages are just as appealing.  They get the freshest available produce, and prime picks, too (most CSA farmers give the best of the best to their CSA members first, sell the “seconds” at the farmers’ market, and eat what’s left themselves). They also get an opportunity to be exposed to new fruits and vegetables they might not otherwise experience. Of course, there is also a cost savings – most CSA members save 20-30% over what they would pay for the same produce at the farmers’ market. Most importantly, they develop a relationship with their “personal farmer,” not only really learning where their food comes from, but influencing decisions about that food, too.

Moving to a CSA model is a big step for Hole in the Woods, even if it has always been our goal.  We realize that we still have a long way to go in soil improvement and the capitol-intensive  tasks of building hoop houses, a green house, and much fencing that it will take before we can do CSA on a large-scale. It’s a big responsibility feeding multiple families! And, much of our future plans involves perennial crops such as asparagus, apples, peaches, and kiwi that will take years to begin to bear. Thus, the risk-share part of the model is a bigger piece of the puzzle starting up. So, we want to start small and slow, and throw in a few sweeteners for the deal.

So, the short version (too late)…  We are offering 3 CSA shares for the 2011 growing season.  Shares will be available for pick-up at the Culver Farmers’ Market, or, if you live en route, we may work out a delivery/hand-off system (a sweetener). They will begin when the market opens and continue every week (except June 18, when we get married…) until the market closes.  Weather permitting, shares will continue after the market closes, with pickup plans yet to be made, until the weather decides to end the year.  It should work out to at least 25 weeks of fresh produce. The price? $350 until 10 January, $400 after.  Yup, act now, and it’s $14/week!  As an additional sweetener, the first 3 members will receive a price no higher in 2012 (we’re projecting $400/450 per share pricing, plus adjustments for inflation). <a href=”/contactus/”>Contact us</a> to arrange for your share and payment via cash, check, or PayPal!