What is a CSA?
CSA is Community Supported Agriculture.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) refers to a model of farming in which farmers sell harvest shares (vegetables, flowers, meat, etc.) directly to people in the local community. It was adopted in America from Japanese and European models, largely as a response to the disappearance of the small farm.
CSA farmers support the community and the community supports the farmers.
CSA membership offers you a connection with farms and farmers in exchange for a steady supply of seasonal, local, organically grown produce for your family.
CSA represents a shared commitment - shareholders commit to the farm for the season, providing farmers with a secure customer base, and farmers commit to doing their utmost to provide their shareholders with the best-quality, most nutritious food around. This direct connection between farmer and consumers bypasses middlemen (e.g., marketers, long distance shippers), benefits the farmer by increasing farm revenue in the early part of the season when many of our expenditures take place, benefits the environment by decreasing packaging and pollution, and benefits consumers by providing fresh, high-quality produce at competitive prices. CSA brings together community members, farmers and agricultural land in a relationship of mutual support based on an annual commitment to one another.
How does Pennypack Farm’s CSA work?
Pennypack Farm's CSA is set up to provide high quality, local food, value, choice and an on-farm experience to its members. Both summer/fall and winter/spring shares run for six months. Members purchase a large (summer/fall only), regular or mini share a few months before the season begins according to their needs and eating styles. All food pickups occur at the farm.
Most of the food is presented on tables, similar to what one would find at a farmers market. Members select the vegetables to make up their share for the week. Some crops are offered as a "U-pick", in which members have the option of going out in the fields and harvesting their own.
Pickups for the summer share at the Horsham site are on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 2:30-7:30 pm., from late May to early November. Pickups for The Highlands site are Mondays and Thursdays 2:30-7pm.
Winter shares run from mid-November until late May at the Horsham site.
For the summer/fall season, there are 3 share sizes:
Mini: 4 units
Regular: 6 units
Large: 10 units
A 4 unit share is ideal for a single person. There are very limited quantities of 4 unit shares...please reserve them for singles!.
A 6 unit share feeds a couple or a small family that does not cook every day.
A 10 unit share is for veggie eaters!
A “unit” is what you typically get at a supermarket, like a bunch of carrots, a bag of lettuce. Value of the shares is approximately equivalent to the same local organic produce in grocery stores, but members receive significantly more value through U-pick opportunities and bumper crops.
Likely Share Items in the summer/fall season
Summer Squash & Zucchini
What's in a 6-unit share? Here's a photo album of a member's choices in 2014
Produce will be laid out “farmers market” style and members will be able to select vegetables (in units) according to individual tastes and menu needs. Units that are limited in quantity will be limited to one per share. You will be able to pick from items harvested, and as much or as little of any particular crop as you want according to the number of units you paid for, as long as quantities last. Every effort is made to rotate crops so that there is equal variety throughout the pick-up time.
In trying to maintain sustainable practices, we do not supply bags or boxes to members at pickups.
Our farmers harvest the majority of crops for our shareholders. However, a few crops, including peas, beans, strawberries, raspberries, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, fresh herbs and flowers, are exclusively harvested by shareholders for themselves. With the exception of herbs and flowers, U-Picks count in the unit total.
Share Duty -
Four hours of share duty are required of all Summer/Fall CSA member families each year.