What is community supported agriculture?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between a farm and the community it feeds. People sign up to become "members" of a farm at the beginning of a growing season and in-turn become shareholders of the harvest, receiving a share of it each week — fresh from fields they know and love and picked by farmers they trust.
The model originated in post-war Japan and Europe as a way for people, in a changing world, to maintain a face-to-face relationship to their food, farmers, and farms. By becoming member-owners of a single farm, people share in the lived experience — the risks and the abundances — of a season on a local farm.
In California, CSA farms are commonly weekly box services and produce is shipped off the farm. Green Valley Community Farm's mission is to bring the original CSA experience to West County and to connect members to this farm. We offer free-choice selection and on-farm harvest pick-up, abundant u-pick crops and gardens, and an open invitation to visit the land and participate.
What does membership look like?
Members sign up in the winter and spring when we are busy rolling out the season and seeding the first crops. This early support helps us with spring expenses and plant out the best season possible. Immediately upon signing up, members are welcome to come enjoy the farmland, watch the fields take shape, and pick some perennial herbs or early strawberries. The real fun begins in June...
The heart of our CSA is a 26 week peak harvest season of over 200 varieties of vegetables, flowers, herbs, berries, preserve crops and specialty crops. From early June through Thanksgiving, members come to the farm (at 13364 Green Valley Rd. in Sebastopol) on Tuesdays from 1pm to 6pm or on Saturdays from 9am-1pm to fill up a canvas tote with whatever they choose from rows of freshly harvested produce set out in the barn. Selection changes with the seasons and you decide what goes in your bag!
Each week there are anywhere from 18 to 22 pre-harvested crops to choose from: Crisp head lettuces and salad mixes; arugula, mustards, and chicories; spinach, kales, specialty Asian brassicas, dandelion greens and nettles; rainbow carrots, colorful beets, heirloom potatoes, succulent radishes and turnips; striped Armenian cucumbers, summer squash, a cornucopia of heirloom tomatoes, rich eggplants, and hot and sweet frying peppers; four varieties of garlic, scallions, storage and specialty onions; robust heads of cauliflower, crisp kohlrabi, sweet broccolis, heirloom cabbages, Brussels sprouts, and cool fennel bulbs; juicy melons, tangy raspberries, mouth-watering strawberries, and crisp sugar snap peas; in the Fall, we enjoy rolling out nine varieties of winter squash including pie-pumpkins and Jack-O-Lanterns, and we mill our own polenta and flour corn. You might even find some wild harvested natives in the mix — roasted Bay Laurel nuts anyone?
Because we don’t ship our food you get it the same day it was harvested, allowing for unparalleled freshness and nutrition. Our model also enables us to plant smaller batches of heirloom varieties selected for taste, beauty, and novelty rather than mass marketability. Even seasoned foodies will discover something new in the harvest. Below are sample shares from 2017:
Each week, the farm is speckled with seasonal u-pick crops which members harvest themselves directly from the fields. Pints of strawberries, raspberries, sugar snap peas, frying peppers, and cherry tomatoes in the summer... Jack-O-Lanterns, green beans, and ornamental corn in the fall.
By regularly visiting the farm and spending time in the fields, members develop a relationship to the land. And there is nothing quite like a summer strawberry straight off the plant.
The farm is open for u-picking 7 days days a week, sunrise to sunset.
flowers & herbs
We maintain an extensive flower and herb garden for members to enjoy. The garden is a place to picnic with friends, to unwind, to spot a migrating Monarch Butterfly, to pick a big bouquet for your home, and to gather herbs for the week. We grow over 20 varieties of perennial and annual herbs — basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, various mints, thymes, sage, sorrel, lemongrass, lemon verbena, culinary lavender, chamomile, tulsi, etc. — and over 20 varieties of edible and cut flowers including dahlias, snapdragons, cosmos, zinnias, love-in-a-mist, ornamental amaranth, bachelors buttons, calendula, and sunflowers.
The garden is also open 7 days a week. Bring a friend!
Preserves, specialty crops & add-ons
Throughout the harvest season, there are ample opportunities for members to make preserves such as dill pickles, pickled beets and green beans, cabbage krauts and kimchis, basil pesto, canned tomatoes, dried herbs, and more. We also grow and mill our own heirloom corn into polenta and flour and are constantly experimenting with bringing native foods into the share.
U-pick crops, flowers bouquets, herbs, and special crops like preserve cabbages and cucumbers, and large melons and squashes, do not have to fit in your bag and all are included in your share at no extra cost.
While at Green Valley, members can also opt to purchase exquisite, agro-ecologically produced meats, dairy, bread and other add-ons from collaborators here on the land and from other local producers. Options include Green Valley pasture raised dairy and beef and herbal products from our landmates Bramble Tail Homestead, Hands Full Farm eggs, Parade the Land pastured chickens raised down the road in Graton, and small batch organic sourdough breads by Gaby Tiradani of Hawk Hill Microbakery. Add-ons make your trip to Green Valley Community Farm as practical as it is fun.
Our mission is to create a place where people can develop a meaningful, lasting relationship their food producing lands.
While Tuesday and Saturday harvest pick-up days are often festive — with children playing and neighbors chatting — the farmland and gardens are open to members everyday, sunrise-to-sunset, to gather u-pick crops, to visit the calves, to enjoy the open space, to watch the seasons change in the fields, or to listen to Green Valley Creek. This is your farm!
We welcome volunteering and host work parties around major seasonal farm tasks like the potato, corn, and squash harvests and garlic planting and harvest. Working on the farm is a great way to get to know the farm and add an enriching note of satisfaction your produce!
Members receive a weekly newsletter outlining each week's harvest share and u-pick crops. They also contain recipes, farm news, and musings, observations, and stories of the farm written by your farmers. These entries are intended as a window into the farm and the season, because, as Wendell Berry once wrote, "A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one's accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes." Read 2017 newsletters here.
Because our model is based on a direct relationship between the farm and members, the farm saves labor on boxing, packing, shipping and marketing. This frees us farmers up to do what we do best — farm — which means we can grow more of a greater diversity of crops at less cost to you. When you compare our sample shares to Farmer's Market or conventional grocery store prices, our CSA is a great value.
Dues are calculated based on 1.) how many bags of produce the individual, group, or household wants to take home each week and 2.) how many adults are in the group or household. (Each adult in a household or group is counted regardless of their participation in the farm or vegetable consumption.) Kids ride free.
COST: $500 a season for one bag a week + $250 PER ADULT
- Single adult + one-bag share (1 adult + 1 bag per week): $750 ($28.85 per week)
- Two-adult + one bag share (2 adults + 1 bag per week): $1,000 ($38.50 per week)
- Three adult + ones bag share (3 adults + 1 bag per week): $1,250 ($48 per week)
- Two-adult household + two bag share (2 adults + 2 bags): $1,500 ($57.70 per week)
The share price includes all u-pick crops, flowers, herbs, preserve and big crops like large melons and squashes, all of which do not have to fit in your bag.
Sharing a share: Households are welcome to share-a-share (for example, two families alternating weeks or two individuals alternating weeks). Please specify if you will be sharing a share in the sign-up form.
We believe sustainably grown local food and farmland access should be available to everyone. To request Share Price Assistance, please indicate so in the sign-up form below. Alternately, please consider making a contribution towards our share price assistance fund when signing up. This fund goes directly to families in our community who would like to join the CSA but are in need of a reduced price share.