Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) comes to the Lakes Region!

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Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a model for growing and distributing food that connects growers and consumers through a shared risk and reward system. This is how it works -Instead of paying for x pounds of produce at a fixed price of $x/lb, individuals or families buy a “share” of a farm’s harvest in advance and receive a weekly basket of what is seasonally ripe on pickup day. G.A.L.A. is promoting a CSA offered by two local farmers – Paul Swegel and Katie-Doyle Smith. Paul and Katie will be growing for an 11-week Summer CSA (June 24th-Sept 2nd) and a 5-week Fall CSA (Sept. 23rd – Oct. 21st). Only 30 “shares” are available for each so sign up today! Keep reading to learn more about the work-share opportunity, bread option, prices, and theory behind CSAs. Download these links to download a complete broschure and a crop chart.

The CSA model is designed to eliminate the marketing risks and costs for the producer, which frees up more time to focus on quality care of soils, crops, animals, co-workers — and on serving the customers. The concept is to develop a cohesive consumer group that is willing to fund a whole season’s budget in order to get quality foods. Additionally, there is little to no loss in the CSA system, since the producers know in advance who they are growing for and how much to grow, thereby reducing food waste and financial loss. While all CSAs are run a little differently, members are often actively involved in the growing and distribution process, through shared newsletters and recipes, farm visits, farm work-days, advance purchases of shares, and picking up their shares. The number of CSAs in the United States was estimated at 50 in 1990, and has since grown to over 2,200. Meet the Farmers paul1 Paul Swegel has been working with plants for the past five years. From native landscape design in New Mexico to organic vegetable farming in Maine and New Hampshire, Paul has spent a wealth of time creating sustainable, productive, and community-oriented land and foodscapes. One of his most recent accomplishments was the design and installation of “The Alley Gardens” project in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Here Paul turned abandon alleyways into community garden space rich with vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, and native plants which were fed by harvested rainwater. Each year, Paul renews and deepens his commitment to community and local food and is extremely excited about developing a CSA program for the Lakes Region community to enjoy.

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Katie Doyle Smith has been involved in organic vegetable farming and gardening for the past ten years. Katie was trained as an organic vegetable farmer at the Community School in Tamworth, NH for three years before moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico to start an urban farm alongside The Alley Gardens. On the farm, Katie grew vegetables on 1/20th of an acre in the middle of the city. Here she produced food for farmers’ markets, a CSA program, restaurants, and a local food pantry. Through this experience, Katie learned the deep value of bio-intensive growing – producing more food using less space. Katie has continued this practice and passion since she moved back to New Hampshire to live and farm. Katie enjoyed a productive growing season last summer where she farmed with Cat Brennan of Cold Brook Gardens. Katie and Cat took their harvest to weekly farmers’ markets and provided for a small CSA program. Like Paul, Katie is also very excited about growing for this CSA program and becoming more involved with her community and with the land.

The Bread Optionsunnyfieldbakerylogo In order to add a little variety to your box of veggies, we have partnered with Sunnyfield Brick Oven Bakery to offer a fresh loaf of bread with each weekly box of produce. Sunnyfield’s Master Baker, Peg Loughran, bakes only the finest bread that is 100% vegan, organic, and naturally leavened with wild and native yeasts and “good” bacteria. Learn more about Sunnyfield Bakery at http://sunnyfield.us/

The Summer vs. Fall CSA Difference We are offering a Summer and a Fall CSA. Here’s the difference: the Summer CSA is an 11 week share focusing on diversity, where customers can expect a variety of vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers weekly. The Fall CSA is a 5 week share focusing on storage crops (winter squash, onion, cabbage, etc.) as well as bounteous amounts of summer staples (like tomatoes and basil) for freezing. Refer to the “CSA summary” insert for a more detailed description of anticipated crop availability by date.

Payment and Pickup We are able to accept cash or checks only. The Summer and Fall CSA shares must be paid for separately. If you are interested in a payment plan or work-share discount, please contact us right away for more details. It will be each customer’s responsibility to pickup their CSA share on Wednesdays between 3-7pm at the farm located on 365 Water Village Rd., right over the Wolfeboro/Ossipee line. This is at the end of Pork Hill Rd. off of Rt. 28, or a few miles past the Carroll County courthouse on Rt. 171 (see map on back page). In an effort to keep the scene green, we ask that you BYOB (bring your own bag).

Prices

Summer CSA-

  • Regular Share Price – $440.
  • Add Bread for an additional $59.40
  • Work-share Discount – $200

Fall CSA –

  • Regular Share Price – $200
  • Add Bread for additional – $27
  • Workshare Discount – $100

Frequently Asked Questions

Is your food certified organic? No. We are working toward organic certification, however, a farm only becomes eligible for organic certification after at least three years of recording site specific farming techniques and land practices. That aside, we are trained as organic vegetable farmers and vow to never use chemical pesticides or fertilizers. We will raise our seedlings organically and try to use heirloom, organic seed varieties. All of our inputs into the soil will also be organic and local when possible. Still not satisfied? Come check it out for yourself! We encourage farm visits and are happy to give tours to explain our growing practices in more detail.

How did you come up with the price for a CSA share? We spent a lot of time crunching numbers to arrive at a price of one CSA share that gave customers a savings on fresh produce while also paying their farmers (us!) a viable wage. The price for one Summer CSA share (11 weeks of fresh produce) totals $440. This boils down to $40 per week. The Fall CSA share is priced similarly. These prices are much lower than what you would pay for the same quantity of organic produce at a supermarket. Nevertheless, we understand that quality food is not cheap and are accepting payment plans to help offset the financial burden. Finally, we sincerely believe this is a fair price and remind our customers that in addition to financial savings, they are making a priceless larger investment toward a sustainable Lakes Region food system.

Can I reduce my price if I volunteer at the farm? Yes. We are offering five work-share opportunities that discount the Summer CSA by $200 and the Fall CSA by$90. The work commitment consists of 4hrs/week for the duration of the CSA. Work will include everything from weeding, harvesting, washing vegetables, hoeing, and planting. Participating in the work-share option requires a short application and interview – nothing painful – just enough so we can understand your commitment and availability.

Can I buy selected weeks or do I have to buy the full share? Our CSA is modeled after the traditional CSA theory that shows the more a farm embraces whole-farm, whole-budget support, the more it can focus on quality and reduce the risk of food waste or financial loss. This means that we are offer full shares only. If you anticipate a full share will be too much food or too costly, we recommend sharing the service with a friend,neighbor or family member. Dividing a share would especially makes sense for individuals or small families. Learn more by contact G.A.L.A. directly or downloading a complete brochure.