“It’s amazing how much variety we can continue to get even as the temperatures drop!”–Shared Harvest CSA shareholder for 4 years
What is Shared Harvest?
Shared Harvest CSA is a multiple farm Winter CSA that connects local, small-scale farmers with people who wish to eat well while supporting local family farms. Our primary vegetable growers are Picadilly Farm and Riverland Farm, both are certified organic. Cider Hill Farm grows our apples and Charley Baer provides our dried beans. Each of these farms conducts its own summer season sales; Shared Harvest then pools produce from all of them to provide shareholders with fresh food for the late fall and winter months. Check out the farm website links for more information on their summer offerings.
How do I sign up for this year’s Shared Harvest winter CSA? You can choose to signup for 5 months or fewer, as needed for your convenience. (For example, you could signup for the Nov and December shares to be stocked up for holiday meals, skip January while you are away, and then get the February share to last you into the spring.)
Send me an e-mail with any questions you might have: Jane [at] sharedharvestcsa [dot] com
or go directly to our online signup form:
Payment can be made by check in the mail or by credit card online through Paypal. Details are on the signup form.
To encourage signup at the beginning of the planting season, we are offering a “Farmers’ Peace of Mind” early bird discount on share prices for shareholders who signup and send payment by May 15. See below for details under “How much does a CSA share cost?”
What’s in the share?
Our CSA share plans includes apples, beets, broccoli, bok choi, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (green, red and napa varieties), cauliflower, carrots, celeriac, collard greens, dried beans, escarole, fennel, garlic, kale, lettuce, leeks, onions, parsley root, parsnips, pie pumpkins, peppers (green and red), potatoes, popcorn, rutabagas, salad turnips, purple top turnips, Gilfeather turnips, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, spinach, two kinds of winter radishes and butternut squash. Of course, Mother Nature has a hand in what actually ends up in the share.
Follow the link to a summary and sampling of previous years’ winter CSA share contents. You can read more about what was in past Shared Harvest shares by looking through the blog archives for the months of October, November and December.
How many people will one Winter Share feed? Can I really eat my farm fresh produce through the winter?
Each monthly share weighs, on average, 40 pounds. If your goal is to completely eat all the food in each distribution within a month, that’s about 10-15 pounds of produce per week. Much of the produce stores well – winter squash, potatoes, onions, shallots, carrots, parsnips, celeriac, turnips, beets, and cabbage can last months if stored at the right temperature and humidity. See the Storage Tips page for helpful info about storing and preserving your produce. Shareholders often make the produce last even longer by cooking and freezing it (soups are great for this), pickling it (pickled beets – yum!) and fermenting it (cabbage, turnips, radishes and more) for a convenient fresh accompaniment to hearty mid-winter meals. Other shareholders use up the share more quickly by juicing some of the produce (carrots, beets, apples) or serve it to family and friends at holiday meals and parties. See what past shareholders have to say by reading their reviews of the past years’ shares.
Do you sell half shares?
No, there’s just one size. Some people like to split a share with someone else.
How much does a CSA share cost?
The regular share price is $95 per month, for approximately 40 pounds of a variety of fresh, certified organic produce. You can choose to signup for 5 months or fewer, as needed for your convenience. (For example, you could signup for the Nov and December shares to be stocked up for holiday meals, skip January while you are away, and then get the February share to last you into the spring.)
To encourage signup at the beginning of the planting season, we are offering “Farmers’ Peace of Mind” 10% discount for signups up through May 15 (details on the online signup page).
Can I buy Extras even if I don’t buy a share? Is there a way to participate without buying a share?
Each month, members have the option to pre-order Extras from selected local producers including bulk organic garlic and other veggies, Win-gate Farm eggs, Warm colors Apiary honey, Chase Hill Cheese and Pasture raised meats, and much more. Anyone can pre-order Extras, in any month, even if they have not purchased a share for that month, or for any month. To be notified of this opportunity for each month’s pickup time, please sign up for “Extras Only” via the online signup page. Most months, we also have Extras items available for sale the day-of on a walk-in basis at Wright-Locke Farm, much like a small curated pop-up farmers market. Payment for Extras is by check or cash the day you get them, i.e. Extras are not pre-paid.
When and where do I pickup my share and Extras?
For this year’s pickup dates, location, times, and more info please see the CSA Program page.
Can I pay for my share in installments? Yes! We are offering this installment payment option to make it easier for you to sign up early for your share (when the farmers most need the support for their planning and seed and supply purchases). To pay in installments, please send 2 checks in the mail: 1 dated now for $90 to reserve your share and 1 postdated for any date prior to September 1 for the remainder of your share price. Both checks are sent in with the sign-up, but we won’t deposit the second check until the date specified on it. The early bird “Farmers’ Peace of Mind” discount is available for this option as well, for anyone sending in their signup and 2 checks postmarked by May 15.
I am interested in a winter share but am concerned that I may be away on a distribution day. Is there any provision for picking up during the week?
CSA shares must be picked up on distribution days and during the regular distribution hours. We don’t have any place to store shares that people don’t pick up. We’ve arranged to use the distribution sites for a few hours each distribution day. Picadilly and Riverland farms store their crops in coolers, greenhouses, barns, etc. and pack them up the night before the share distribution. The share boxes get delivered in the mornings and taken home by shareholders the same day.
There are several options when shareholders aren’t able to get their shares. The option that’s been most successful in the past involves using the Ride Share map to find a neighbor who can bring the share home. Sometimes a non-shareholder friend or neighbor can be recruited with the promise of some vegetables.
Do you offer a summer CSA?
No, we don’t offer a summer CSA, however, some of our partner farms do. Contact Picadilly Farm for information about their Arlington, Belmont, Bedford, Watertown, Newton, North Reading, and Winchester sites for delivered summer shares. Summer CSA shares go on sale early in the year and these farms usually sell out in April.
Why do Shared Harvest Winter Shares go on sale so early?
The multi-farm Winter CSA is a fairly traditional CSA. The primary farmers really do count on supporters to prepay for CSA shares. This prepayment allows seeds, supplies, tools, labor to be bought or lined up. A good number of winter CSA crops are begun in the greenhouses in February (celery, celeriac, leeks, onions) and most supplies have been purchased by then. Labor has been arranged and in some cases farm workers are already being paid. Equipment and tools are in the process of being bought or fixed so they will be ready to go the first of April. The CSA model, with it’s prepayment and shared risk/bounty elements, allows these farmers to focus on growing healthy food and tend to soil health rather than worrying marketing and administrative chores in the middle of the farming season.
We offer an installment payment option to make it possible to sign up early but spread the cost of the share out over time. For this option, shareholders write out two checks, one covering a down payment of $90 and the other covering the remainder. The first check is dated for the day that you are signing up and sending in your checks; the second check is postdated for any date up to Sept. 1 for the remainder of your share price. Both checks are sent in with the sign-up, but we won’t deposit the second check until the date specified on it.