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Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, provides a direct link between the production and consumption of food. A farm supports the community’s needs for fresh, nutritious food, while the community support allows the farmer to devote his energies to sustainable farming practices. Community members purchase a “farm share” for the growing season, entitling them to a weekly share of the harvest throughout the season, delivered by a farmer they know and trust. This commitment implies a willingness to share with the farmer the bounty of the land, as well as some of the risks of production.
Our members receive a wide variety of produce grown on our farm and either packed in a box and delivered to
a location near them or brought to the Uptown Waterloo farmers market
(for the full choice model).
CSA members have the joy of knowing where, when, and how their food is produced and become connected
with and participate in local agricultural cycles.
The 2017 summer season begins the week of June 13. You can sign up at any time beginning the second last week of the previous season (e.g. for the 2017 season, signups began in mid-October of 2016). We generally do offer pro-rated shares for late-comers, although depending on production there may be a one or two week wait between when you sign up and when we can start providing you with vegetables. The full choice model has limited availability.
We offer two models of CSA: a full-choice model at two of our farmers’ market locations, as well as a more typical box model at all of our farmers’ market locations, on-farm, and at selected neighborhood locations. As a member, you pay in advance for the season, and then pick up your vegetables each week at either market for the full-choice model, or at your specified pick-up location for the box model.
While boxed shares contain (our) selection of seasonal produce, the full choice shares are more flexible, containing whatever from our selection you expect to eat that week. There will be limits on some items that are scarce (e.g. early tomatoes) or high labour (e.g. beans) but otherwise you may take all you expect to use. It is understood that this is for use in the season, not for canning, freezing or giving to friends. Bulk quantities are sometimes available for canning and freezing at a 20% discount off regular bulk prices to full-choice CSA members.
All our products are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. As of late 2016, all but carrots, beets are certified organic. And that was due to a technicality - we could have certified the beets as it turned out. Certification requires that the land not be conventionally farmed for 3 years; as we transition more of our land, more and more of our products will be certified. We expect to have all of our vegetables certified by the end of next year's certification cycle.
The full-choice model is priced according to household size (over 16: kids eat free). Prices range from $18/week for a single senior citizen to $43/week for a family of two adults, plus children, with a $14 increment for additional adults (or children 16 and over) under the same roof. Click here for details.
Do you know ten others who might want to pick up in your neighbourhood? Become a location host, and get a small share free! We are looking to add locations in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and possibly Guelph. Or suggest a location within a 30 minute drive of the farm. For details see our CSA Locations Host guide (pdf).
We accept cash (in person), cheque, and Interac® eTransfer. For Interac® eTransfer, please use the address CSA@nithvalleyorganics.ca.
The winter season fills the gap between the end of one summer CSA season and the beginning of the next. It is broken into two sessions of 8 bi-weekly pickups each. The first session begins the 8th of November. For the winter season, we only offer one size of box. If you've found the box size to be too much (or are concerned that you might) you might want to split it with someone else.
Every week there will be something green (most commonly spinach, but also kale, arugula, asian mix and likely lettuce). Other than that it will be storage vegetables - things that keep if chilled: winter squash, carrots, beets, onions, potatoes, turnips, and so on. We might have a few late hold-outs from the main season the first week, and we should have asparagus, and possibly radishes, peas and strawberries in the last pickup or two. - more information on winter shares at this link.
Every week, our selection will be a little different. Below is a list of what crops we expect to have each month; all of this is subject to change based on weather conditions and/or crop failures due to disease, insects, or human error. We will do our best to mitigate these risks, but as a CSA member, you agree to also take a share in the risks of the farm season.
Asparagus (if the season lasts long enough), assorted greens (spinach, lettuce, Asian mix, baby kale, arugula, mesclun, bok choi), beets, garlic greens, Jerusalem artichokes, peas, radishes, herbs, cucumbers (probably)
Assorted greens (all of the above, plus curled kale), beans, beets, cucumbers, garlic scapes, peas, patty-pan squash, tomatoes (late July), zucchini, herbs
Assorted greens (but probably not spinach), beans, beets, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, onions, shallots, peppers, potatoes, winter squash, tomatoes, herbs
Assorted greens, beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, garlic, onions, shallots, peas, peppers, potatoes, squash, tomatoes, herbs
Assorted greens, beets, cabbage, carrots, garlic, jerusalem artichokes, mixed greens, onions, shallots, pumpkins, winter radishes (black, daikon, and watermelon), winter squash, turnips, rutabagas.
Find out more about local CSAs at csafarms.ca
The season begins the week of June 12th, 2017
If you forget to pick up your box it will be in the fridge in our garage for at least the next day. If you don't contact us, we will probably contact you about it (no promises, though).
If you know you won't be able to pick up, you can (preferably) send someone else in your stead or let us know and we just won't pack a box for that week.
Yes. Just let us know, preferably one week in advance.
As soon as we have pricing for the season, which is generally two weeks before the last summer season ends. In other words, for winter 2016-2017, it was mid-October 2016(ish). And for the 2017 summer, it was also mid-October 2016.
We really don't know yet, other than to say that it will be different every week, and depend on the season. When we have garlic, there's usually a bulb every week. When we have tomatoes, there will likely be cherry tomatoes, or larger tomatoes, or both. Cucumbers, depending on availability, may appear multiple weeks in a row. Here is what appeared in two somewhat representative weeks in the past.