It brings us great joy to offer our second season of the Family CSA Project. This year we’re adding a Sunday evening harvest time and a weekly farm picnic potluck!
If you’d like to join us, please read the information below and then click this red button below to register:
It can be tough to rent a community garden plot and get out there with little ones to weed all summer. We know it's hard because we've tried it! This summer we're offering a project for families to get them into growing spaces in a supportive way.
Our farm does the crop planning, weeding, and succession plantings to keep the good stuff coming. Parents and kids, grandparents and friends come to the farm's garden July through September to do the most fun part-- harvesting! Put on your boots and collect your family’s share of delicious, organic produce each week. Soak up the beauty of nature together. Give your kids shovels so they can dig up purple potatoes while you snip a glorious bunch of cut flowers and take a deep breath. Ask gardening questions. Share stories. Experience the goodness of being outdoors together. Crunch a cucumber with your kiddo under the big blue sky.
Raindance Organic's Family CSA Project
Member-harvested. In 2019 we’re offering two opportunities each week for members to come harvest their produce shares on the farm! Bring your buckets, baskets, bags and clippers to pick your share. We’ll have a harvest list and map for you each week showing where to pick, dig, snap, and sample. You’ll go home with all the good stuff.
Certified organic produce. Our crop plan for 2019 includes over 35 different vegetables and fruits, and 30+ kinds of flowers. Among these 65 plants, there are hundreds of varieties and colors going into the soil (sixteen varieties of tomatoes, anyone?) We work hard to offer 8-12 items each week.
Choices. The farm is open for member to harvest their shares on Thursday mornings from 930-1130am and Sunday evenings from 4-6pm. Your family can come to either harvest time in any given week. (We understand that toddlers’ naps run late and summers are meant for spontaneous trips up north for the weekend!) We also do not want to burden any parents with rotting-food guilt. Choose what you’d like on the harvest list, and go pick that. Feel free to pass over anything you know your crew won’t eat.
Community & potluck. Kids are amazing, but seriously, parenting is hard. It takes incredible patience, perseverance, creativity, and endurance to raise human beings. As parents of a 5 year old and a 6 year old, we get it. This year on Sunday evenings we’re excited to host potluck dinners on the farm during the 4-6pm harvest. We’re building a few picnic tables this winter, and we hope you’ll bring blankets, dishware, and some of your favorite food! There is no pressure, but we’d love for you to join us while we slow down, eat a casual potluck dinner, and talk all things life and family while our kids run around eating cucumbers from the hoophouse.
Outdoor experiences. We are very grateful and excited to be stewards of these 18 acres of land, and we are so glad to be sharing it with your family. We have hammocks and chickens, a small play structure and play house, and an abundance of frogs, toads, caterpillars, butterflies, and earthworms.
Local. For reference, our farm is a 12 minute drive north from downtown Ann Arbor, 15 minutes from Dexter, and 20 minutes from Plymouth. We are so grateful to have found a farm near to the community we've loved these last ten years! We believe the future is local, and we want to make it easy for you and your children to personally know the farmers growing your food. We want you to see our growing practices up close and ask questions.
Our Farm’s Commitment to Family CSA Project Members:
A summer of certified organic vegetables. We’ll plant and cultivate lots of great produce and flowers for your family to harvest weekly from July 7th through September 22nd.
Weekly time on the farm harvesting your share of vegetables & flowers. We’ll be ready for you every Thursday morning from 9:30-11:30am or Sunday* evening from 4-6pm. Your family can come to either harvest time with no need to notify us. Switch days whenever you want! We get it that babies nap, children get sick, and sometimes you just need to take a spontaneous weekend trip. (*Sunday, August 25th the farm will be closed due to the Holler Fest. Please come on Thursday that week!)
Communication. We’ll communicate each week through our Family CSA Project private group page on Facebook. We’ll post the week’s Harvest List with any crucial instructions, and a farm map to help you find all the good stuff. We’ll also have hard copies of the current Harvest List and Map available at our Welcome Table each week.
Farm Education. Someone from the farm will be available during harvest times-- answering questions, helping you find a row of lettuce, and getting to know you and your family.
Our Members' Commitment to the Farm:
Feedback. We seek to provide two things for your family this summer: 1.) A good haul of local, fresh-as-can-be, organic produce each week, and 2.) A great outdoor experience on the farm. To make that happen, we need feedback on what is working and what isn’t. Every family’s needs are different, especially in relation to the age and stage of your children, so we want to hear what would help you connect with your kids, with nature, and with other like-minded grownups. We are available in-person, by email, text, Facebook, phone, and through telepathic messaging (just kidding!) to hear your thoughts and learn together.
Buy-in for better or worse. Like all farms, our harvest depends on weather conditions. Crop abundance and crop failure are both part of agriculture. We’ve been growing food for a decade, and we feel confident about raising a wide variety of great foods for members’ shares, but we also know some failure is part of the job. We ask for your support of our farm throughout this second season as we commit ourselves to the work of growing a diverse harvest for you.
Financial support. We ask for a financial commitment of $450 for the summer season (12 harvest sessions between July 7 and September 22) for this weekly family experience AND a bounty of certified organic produce. We believe this is a great value, and we hope that amount can fit into your family's budget and needs.
We also have a deep desire to right wrongs in the world and contribute to a more socially just, equitable world for all of our children. If the cost of the family membership is unaffordable, please contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we'll make a way together.
We are also piloting a limited number of Workshare this year for anyone interested in working a 4-hour shift one day a week on the farm in exchange for a full CSA share. You can read more about that program by clicking here.
If you’d like to sign up and register for our 2019 season, please click the red button below to head to the registration page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can grandparents join us?
Yes! Your grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, godparents, visiting friends, etc. are all welcome to join us at member harvests. Your family's membership means you have a designated share of produce waiting for you, and you may bring anyone you'd like to harvest with you. Parking on the farm is a limited resource, so we ask you to kindly carpool when possible.
Can we split a membership with another family?
Yes! You may absolutely split a share! We have found that it is best for share-splitting families to come on different weeks (rather than both coming every week and trying to divide up the produce-- it’s hard to divide 1 eggplant). As a small family farm we don’t have administrative resources to match potential share splitters, but last season several families were successful finding a partnering family through social media. If you’d like to split a share, please add “Split Share” to your cart when you register.
How much produce will our family harvest each week?
The crop plan we've designed for 2019 aims to share 8-12 items, including a bouquet of cut flowers, for harvest each week. If your family doesn't enjoy vegetable x, you're always welcome to pass over that item. Here's an example share:
1 bunch basil
1 quart green & purple beans
2 heads of garlic
1 head lettuce
2 sweet peppers
1 quart of tomatoes
bouquet of cut flowers
Do you have any talking points to convince my partner?
"We already spend $x on swim lessons/music classes/preschool camps/etc. for our child(ren) for a session that is x weeks long. And we pay per child. This project runs 12 weeks and the cost covers our whole family and our visiting guests and grandparents (etc!), so it's really a good deal!"
"Our grocery budget is $x per week, and this project will provide such a large proportion of our fresh vegetables from July through September! This is a great value for a heaping pile of organic vegetables and a bouquet of cut flowers."
"We could rent a community garden plot, and then buy organic seeds and transplants and fencing. And we might need to buy some tools too. It'll work out to about the same cost! But if we do this project, we won't have to worry about weeding, we'll meet some other awesome families, and our kiddo(s) might enjoy the experience more with other kids to play with, a play structure to climb, and a chance to pick flowers or dig potatoes each week."
Do you have any more details to share on things like what we need to bring, parking, absences, weather, and restrooms?
We ask all members to read and sign our Member Agreement at registration. In two pages it lays out all of the important details we need to share to make the Project safe & joyful. You can find that document here.