Q: A year-round CSA in New England? What does that look like?
A: 2018 will be our twelfth growing season as a CSA farm. Five years ago, we challenged ourselves and our customers to take our farm and CSA program to the next level: year-round Farm Shares. With careful use of our 1500 sq. ft. root cellar and 3000 sq. ft. greenhouse, we’re able to deliver weekly Farm Shares for 48 of 52 weeks each year (for our four, twelve-week seasons).
Our Spring Pantry Farm Share is a combination of our own produce, both storage crops out of the root cellar in the early spring plus fresh field crops later in the spring (such as spring-dug parsnips, baby salad greens, radishes, rhubarb, sorrel, etc.), as well as local produce and pantry items sourced from our favorite farmers, chefs, and producers across New England. These products include favorites such as Four Star Farm flours and grains from Northfield, MA; Karma Coffee beans roasted right here in Sudbury; fresh-baked bread from local bakeries; preserved and pickled summer vegetables from local farms, and more. As a “pantry share,” it is inspired by the many talented purveyors who have been supplying their artisanal foods to our farmstores in the South End and at the Boston Public Market. Local farm products from the region include such treats as dry beans from Maine, local honey and maple syrup, fresh spring crops such as asparagus and wild nettles, and so much more to satisfy our spring cravings for eating local food, grown and prepared with love.
During the Peak Season (summer and autumn), our Farm Shares showcase our field crops, from fresh fava beans to heirloom tomatoes, baby arugula, etc. – a wide array of specialty crops balanced with more traditional, “staple” vegetables from our fields. See our Summer/Autumn/Peak-Season FAQ for more details.
Our Deep-Winter Farm Shares are highlighted by local pantry items that you may have tasted in the Spring Share, but are composed primarily of our own winter vegetables, picked fresh in November and December when they have reached their peak quality from repeated autumn frosts, and then stored carefully in our root cellar. Our winter crops include such stars as bolero and rainbow carrots, watermelon radishes, kohlrabi, celeriac, leeks, beets, turnips, potatoes, cabbages, kale, parsnips, winter squash, and more. The winter shares also include beautiful baby salad greens from our greenhouse, as well as apples from local orchards when available.
Q: If there are food allergies in my family, should I think twice about signing up for the Four-Season Farm Share?
A: Maybe, particularly because of the spring share. Just as our summer and autumn Farm Shares are truly a “surprise” box of our own vegetables every week, the Spring Pantry shares will be a surprise box of the region’s best specialty foods and agricultural products, along with our own produce. The Deep-Winter share will be mostly our own vegetables, but will also have a non-vegetable surprise item certain weeks. We’re hoping in the future to develop CSA options that can accommodate specific dietary restrictions for individualized weekly shares, but we’re not there yet.
Q: Can I change pickup locations for different seasons/portions of a Four- or Peak-Season Farm Share?
A: Yes, no problem at all. For example, you could pick up your Peak-Season Farm Share at the Copley Square Farmers’ Market all summer and fall on Tuesdays, but pick up at Siena Farms South End all spring and winter on Wednesdays, (or choose home delivery for those seasons). The “CSA Pickup Locations ” column to the left lists the pickup and delivery choices for our 2018 Farm Shares. Feel free to call us to register by phone for such an arrangement or include a “note to merchant” with your online purchase.Other questions? Check out the other “More Info” links on our CSA page, chat with us at our Copley stand or farmstores, or call us at 978-261-5365. Cheers and Happy Eating!