What is a community supported agriculture?
Community Supported Agriculture is a partnership between a farm and the community it feeds. Neighbors sign up to become "members" of a farm at the beginning of each season and in-turn receive a share of the harvest — fresh from fields they know and love and picked by hands they trust.
The model originated in Japan and Europe as a way for people, in a changing world, to maintain a face-to-face relationship to the land and the farmers that provided their tables. By becoming member-owners of a single farm, consumers share in the experience, the risks and the abundances, of eating from a local farm.
In California, CSA farms are commonly box services and the produce is shipped off the farm. Green Valley Community Farm's goal is to bring the original spirit of CSA to West County and to connect members to the farm. We offer free-choice, on farm harvest pick-up, season long u-pick crops and gardens, and an open invitation to visit the land and participate on the farm.
What does membership look like?
Members sign up to join Green Valley Community Farm at the start of each growing season when we, your farmers, are busy planning the year ahead and seeding your first crops. Members are welcome to come enjoy the farmland and open space on the property, or to lend us a hand as we prepare for harvest season. The real fun begins in June...
26 week free-choice harvest PICK-UP
The heart of our CSA is a 26 week peak harvest season of over 100 varieties of vegetables, flowers, herbs and berries. From June through November (variable, depending on rains) on Tuesdays from 1pm to 6pm and on Saturdays from 8am-12pm we set out the morning's harvest in the barn. Members come and fill a canvas tote with whatever they desire from rows of cool, glistening produce set out in the barn. Selection changes with the seasons. There are anywhere from 15-20 crops to choose from each week: Heads of lettuce, salad mix, arugula, kale, baby bok choi, varieties of carrots, Armenian cucumbers, basil, assorted heirloom tomatoes (Aunt Ruby's German Green, Cherokee Purple, Ruby Golds), scallions and onions, cauliflower, fennel bulbs, Galia melons... Some skip the beets, some line the bottom of their bags with them. You might even find some wild harvested natives in the mix — roasted Bay nuts anyone? And that’s not all…
A large portion of the diversity we offer are U-Pick crops, meaning members harvest these crops themselves directly from the fields — pints of strawberries, sugar snap peas, and cherry tomatoes in the summer, a pumpkin patch and ornamental corn in the fall. The raspberry patch is particularly festive; kids whiz by giggling and popping berries off their fingers. We also maintain an herb and flower garden for members where you can pick a bouquet for the table – dahlias, snap-dragons, black-eyed Susan's, salvia, bells-of-ireland — and gather common and exotic herbs — thyme, oregano, chives, cilantro, lemon-balm, chamomile, or tulsi — to name a few. Members are welcome to come harvest U-Pick crops, flowers, and herbs 7-days a week, sunrise-to-sunset. Bring a friend.
By reducing the amount of time we farmers must spend harvesting, U-Pick crops also allow us to offer a diversity of crops that other CSA farms cannot and to select for beautiful and unique varieties. (If you really need some sorrel for that recipe on Monday evening, we've got you covered.) By regularly visiting the farm and spending time in the fields, members develop a lasting relationship to the farm that provides their table.
Members are welcome to come and enjoy the farm sunrise-to-sunset to gather U-Pick crops flowers and herbs; to volunteer; or to just watch the seasons change in the fields and listen to Green Valley Creek.
Members have access to our Farmstore where we'll offer produce from other farmers on the land and nearby. We hope to stock eggs, meat, herbs, and grain. Selection will vary with the season and as our farm grows. Our goal is to provide members with as much variety as possible, so your trip to Green Valley Community Farm is as practical as it is fun.
Milk: We’re extremely lucky to be land mates with Aubrie Maze, Scott Kelley and the incredible Jersey cows of Bramble Tail Homestead. Bramble Tail’s milk pick-up location is about 25 yards from our barn. If you are interested in getting the most humanely produced and delicious milk you've ever tasted along with your fruits, veggies, flowers and herbs, please contact Aubrie at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Seasonal celebrations and workshops
We'll host workshops and celebrations to mark the seasons together as a community:
- Late May: CSA Orientation
- June: Pizza party
- October: Pumpkin Patch & Fall Harvest Potluck
small work requirement
We ask each adult member to give two-hours of their time per year to help out on the farm. This is not about labor. Rather, it's about getting know each other while working together on the land. Fulfillment of the two-hour work requirement can come in many forms: By helping out in the barn on a harvest pick-up day, by helping with the garlic planting or potato harvest, or by lending a special skill to the farm such as coordinating with a food-bank, welding a broken farm implement, or helping us prune our fruit trees.
- August: Onion Harvest
- September: Potato & Squash Harvests
- September: Wine Grape Harvest
- October: Garlic Planting
Affordability and diversity
Because our model is based on a direct relationship between our farm and our costumers, an abundant bag of organic, local, freshly picked produce costs less than a bag of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables from Safeway. And as we said above, U-Pick crops allow us to offer a vast diversity of crops not found in most markets or CSAs.
Fees: We offer three types of shares. Payment can be made in installments to spread the cost. And reduced rate shares are available.
- Single adult household share: $700
- Two-adult household share: $800
- Three-or-more adult household share: $900