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CSA FAQ – Rehoboth Homestead

What is the value of a  vegetable share?

I aim to give you a 20% discount off farmers market and non-sale store prices. More importantly,  you get first choice of our best. I am told our taste is much superior to supermarket food (and I agree), and your value is good.  And most importantly, you don’t need to worry about the effects of soil fumigation, systemic pesticides, chemical sprays, GMOs, and diluted nutrient content in your food. My challenge, particularly in September,  is to not overwhelm you, and to find the balance between value for you and financially supporting our farm.

What are the benefits of the CSA?

The benefits for you are great tasting, garden fresh vegetables, grown without poisons and grown in a manner to produce high nutrient content, at a reasonable price AND supporting the farmer who is working hard to provide your food. If you come to the farm you get to see your food growing and learn more about how your food is grown.  If you bring children or grandchildren it is a great way to show them that food is not manufactured in the back of a supermarket.

The benefits for us are that our produce is “pre-sold” and we don’t have to deal with prices and money during the busy distribution. We do need a baseline income for personal needs and to reinvest in the farm. It needs to be a “win-win” arrangement.  Though we usually bunch things like chard for you and bag salad mix, you fill a quart from the bins or choose four of something, saving us a lot of time.

What vegetables can I choose from?

We try to provide good basics, such as potatoes, broccoli, salad mix, orange carrots, and round red tomatoes, with a sprinkling of the less usual – heirloom tomatoes, savoy cabbage, fennel, golden beets, purple carrots, etc. for variety.

I snapped cell phone photos of most things at a couple of pick-up days: July and August

What if I don’t want something?
We make sure you have at least ten (usually 15 or more) items to choose from. Over the years we have learned that few folks take the unusual, so we are refining our crop list to doing a great job with more basics and fewer exotics.

What if I can’t come one week?
We send weekly email reminders out to help you remember to come. If you won’t be able to come, you can have a family member or friend come get your share, either for you or for them to enjoy that week. If you do miss an occasional day we let you go to the farmstand and pick out veggies.

What guarantee do I have?
We plant about 20% more than we think we will need, to provide a safety net and we have the farmstand for our extras. We can give you names of some previous years’ members to see how well satisfied they were. One of the tenets of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement is that the farmer and the consumer partner together. The farmer does his/her best and the consumer encourages the continuance of the farm by accepting that nature can make farming unpredictable and even risky at times.

We have made investments of time, energy, and money to reduce the risk to a minimum. We paid over $5,000 to have three acres tile drained. This means we can continue field work within a day or two of rain. We have had a second well drilled to provide adequate irrigation to protect against drought. We are upgrading equipment to be more time efficient. But, there are no guarantees of a particular vegetable at a particular time or of a certain amount of vegetables.

Things happen. There might be a hailstorm. In 2009 late blight, a serious disease of potatoes and tomatoes, was spread throughout the northeast. Our hoophouse protected the tomatoes inside,  so everyone had tomatoes through September though we lost the outside tomatoes, and we mowed our potatoes down early to protect them. In 2011 we did OK through the wet spring, but had times during the extremely dry summer when we could not seed and when transplants did not grow well.  We had “enough”, but not as much variety as we would like. In 2012 we had an incredible infestation of squash bugs/squash vine borers in the squash, which greatly reduced our supply of summer and winter squash. There are no guarantees that something won’t damage a crop.

You do have our reputation and word, which are good, that we act responsibly.

More questions?  Email us.