What is CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an alternative model for supporting small sustainable farms, a way to make farming more financially viable while building strong ties between farmers and consumers. When you join a CSA, you make an investment at the beginning of the season, and receive "shares" of produce, meat, eggs, and/or other products throughout the season. This way, the farmer (that's us!) receives capital at a critical time of year without going into debt, and the members (that's you!) receive the farm's bounty week by week, maintaining a connection to where and how their food is grown.
How does it work?
Graylight Farm will offer a variety of share options, giving members the ability to partake in all or some of our farm's products, and to select a share size that makes sense for their household. We are starting out our 2015 season offering vegetable shares; pork shares will be available later this season and eggs will be added next season, potentially alongside products from other farms in our area (fruit, honey, etc.). A member with a large family may want a full share of vegetables, which will include 7-9 items each week (an item would be a bunch of kale, a pound of cucumbers or a head of lettuce). A member with a smaller family may choose only a half share of vegetables, and receive fewer items each week.
For all share options, payments can be made all at once at the beginning of the season, or in two installments - half by May 1st and half by August 15th. We accept payment by credit card on the website (which will include a small processing fee), or members may mail us a check.
With their initial payment, members submit an agreement, indicating that they understand they are purchasing shares of the farm's products, and the quantity they receive may vary based on the farm's productivity. Farming is inherently risky, and the CSA model allows farmers and supporters to share the risk - in the case of a natural disaster or crop failure, we hope to be able to work with our members to find an equitable solution and move forward, allowing us to continue farming the next season. In the case of a bumper year, we expect to reward our members with greater quantities and varieties of produce.
Once members have committed for the season, shares will be distributed weekly beginning in June. Pickups will be at the same time each week, and members will be asked to pick up within a specific time window, or have a friend pick up if they can't make it. Vegetable shares will vary week to week - the farmers and/or volunteers will be on hand to help make sure members get the right items. We will also send out a weekly email newsletter detailing that week's share and offering recipes and farm updates.
We plan to organize member events each season - potluck dinners in the city, or a group visit to the farm if possible. We want our CSA to be our farm's community, not just a financial arrangement.
Ready to sign up? Click HERE.
Can I get a CSA in my workplace?
Yes! We are interested in delivering to one office building in Midtown Manhattan this season or next year. We would ask the CSA members in that workplace to coordinate the logistics - setting up the boxes of produce, checking off members as they pick up, and helping members get their share. Please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in setting up a CSA at your workplace.