What is a CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a simple relationship between a farm and its community. Families and individuals become members of the farm by purchasing a share of the harvest. This fee supports the costs of growing over 50 different crops, which the farm then distributes back to the shareholders in abundance each week from June through the end of October.
The CSA Experience at Crystal Spring Farm
While you will technically be picking up your “groceries” when you bring home your produce each week, being part of our CSA offers a unique experience. Each week your fresh organic produce will become part of your weekly ritual as your family eats local. Even the kids are excited to see what vegetables are in each week, and some parents have complained that the kale has disappeared in the back seat on the way home. Visiting the farm, whether you are a Brunswick shareholder picking up your share or a delivered share member coming to enjoy our Upic field the farm becomes a part of your whole eating experience. Seeing the veggies growing in the fields or visiting with our ewes, lambs, cows, chickens, and pigs connects you with your food and the process of producing food. In the Upic field members have fun creating flower bouquets while others search for bugs, all the while snacking on peas. We also offer events such as cooking demonstrations and field walks with the farmers to see the crops up close and in action. Like to weed? We can always accommodate those who like to weed, and we also organize a few volunteer work days for bigger jobs like potato harvesting.
When you join our CSA you get value for your investment in our farm. Your membership fee goes to buy seeds, pay farm help and heat the greenhouse in the spring months, among other costs, before we actually harvest a crop. Your investment and your trust in us to be your farmers is our livelihood. Every week we offer the best quality produce in amounts that will provide your family with incredible meals.
Healthy Field to Healthy Table
The support of CSA shareholders enables the farmers at Crystal Spring Farm to focus their efforts on producing organic vegetables that are often harvested and distributed to you on the same day. The most flavorful varieties are chosen each season knowing that they won’t need to be shipped or stored before they arrive on your table.
Linking Small Farms and their Communities
By becoming a shareholder of Crystal Spring Farm, you are supporting local agriculture and ensuring that a working farm will continue to be a part of your community landscape. Shareholders also have the opportunity to know who grows their food and how it is cultivated.
Shared Bounty, Shared Risk
Part of the pleasure (and sometimes frustration!) of farming lies within the season’s variability and uncontrollable forces of nature. Shareholders join the farmer in sharing the risk associated with food production. Every season some varieties may not yield as expected — but many others always exceed our goals. We plan every year to grow more than we need, ensuring a plentiful and diverse bounty to enjoy each week.
What is in a share?
Each week’s offering of vegetables is different. As the season allows, we will strive to bring as much diversity and quantity to your weekly share as possible and will constantly push the envelope of what is possible during the growing season.
A single Brunswick share is designed to meet the fresh vegetable needs of 2 – 3 non-vegetarian adults or 1-2 vegetarian adults. Depending on the season, the contents will vary between 4 and 18 pounds of vegetables every pick up (11 pounds average). Members will also be entitled to visit our “U-Pick” field which features herbs, flowers, and vegetables, all included in your share price. The field is open to Brunswick members during weekly distribution hours distribution hours and all day on Sundays.
The cost of a Brunswick CSA share is $565 per season (early June through late October). A payment plan is available. Click the orange “Join” button to the right for payment options and to sign up.
Portland Area Delivered Shares
A single Delivered share is designed to meet the fresh vegetable needs of 1-2 non-vegetarian adults or 1 vegetarian adult. Depending on the season, the contents will vary between 4 and 10 pounds (8 pound average) of vegetables every pick up. Delivered shares are boxed and brought to drop off locations in the Portland Area every Wednesday from June through October. We have several established drop off’s that new members may join. New drop off locations can also be formed with as few as five shareholders. Offices, churches, private homes and community centers are great drop off locations. Members will also be entitled to visit our “U-Pick” field all day on Sundays which features herbs, flowers, and vegetables, all included in your share price.
Call or email for more details, 729.1112.
The cost of a Portland area CSA share is $345 per season (early June through late October). Double shares are also available at at discounted rate. Click the orange “Join” button to the right for payment options and to sign up.
Weekly Farm Newsletter
The newsletter enhances each week’s share. (Sent out electronically to all members) The farmer takes valuable time each week to give a report to the members about the various weekly developments through the ever-changing farm season. We also include recipe with each newsletter. For past newsletters and recipes, see the links to the right or click on the “blog” menu about for the latest posting…
Add Value with Add-on Shares
In addition to our own fresh organic produce you can also add great local foods from Maine to your weekly pick-up. Organic eggs, farmstead yogurt, maine mushrooms, artisan cheese and fresh bread are all available and we are working on a fresh flower share as well as a pastured meat share for 2017. Follow this link for more info on our current add-ons.
What if I’m on vacation?
Members are welcome to have neighbors, coworkers or friends pick-up their share at the farm if they are not able.