The Family CSA Project
Raindance Organic Farm offers this project as a way to connect parents & kids, grandparents & friends with their food, with organic gardening, and with each other. It’s Community Garden meets Community Supported Agriculture.
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 the ones you love under the big blue sky.
What is the Family CSA Project?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a popular way for small family farms such as ours to partner with local communities. A farm grows a wide variety of porduce, and community members who love local and organic make a financial commitment to the farm and receive a regular share of produce. We created a project specifically for families to be outdoors together and to share in the joy of harvesting & eating great organic food. Our 2019 season runs 12 weeks from Sunday, July 7th through Sunday, September 22nd.
Member-harvested. Bring your buckets, baskets, bags and clippers to harvest your family’s share of produce and flowers each week. We’ll have a Harvest List and Map for you showing where to pick, dig, snap, and sample. You’ll go home with all the good stuff.
Certified organic produce & flowers. Our crop plan for 2019 includes over 35 certified organic vegetables and fruits, and 30+ kinds of flowers. We work hard to offer 8-12 items to our members each week. We are happy to share this lifestyle of eating the freshest, most nutrient dense food seasonally.
Choices. The farm is open for members 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. If your plans change at the last minute, just come next time! (We understand that toddlers’ naps run late and summers are meant for spontaneous trips up north for the weekend!)
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 and to build the village we all need. We hope you’ll bring blankets, dishware, and some of your favorite food! There is no pressure to stay and you’re welcome to harvest and dash, 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.
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 producing food at farm scale since 2017. 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 season as we commit ourselves to the work of growing your food.
Financial support. We ask for a financial commitment of $450 for the summer season for this weekly family experience AND a bounty of certified organic produce and flowers. Your financial contribution covers the cost of seeds, irrigation, farm supplies, tools, etc. We believe this is a great value, and we hope that amount can fit into your family's budget. We also added a payment plan option to help ease folks’ budgets (see FAQ below).
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
The CSA financial commitment is not within my budget right now. Is there a payment plan to spread out the cost over time?
Yes! When you register for the CSA on our registration page, you can choose to pay for the full share ($450), a split share ($225 ), or a full share payment plan (pay $150 deposit now, $150 by March 15th, and $150 by April 15th).
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 each week during our 12 week season, 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.
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. We have an example of a Harvest List & Map posted here. 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
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). At this stage in farm building, we don’t have administrative resources to match potential share splitters, but last season several families found a partnering family through social media. If you’re splitting a share with another family, please add “Split Share” to your cart when you register.
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.
Is there a way to do a work-trade in exchange for a membership in the Family CSA Project?
This year we are piloting a limited number of Workshare Memberships for anyone interested in working a 4-hour shift one day a week on the farm in exchange for a full CSA share. Shifts are available Tuesday or Friday mornings from 8am-noon. You can read more about that program by clicking here.
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 baskets of organic vegetables and bouquets 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."