What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?
Over the last 20 years, CSA has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a bag of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (or a bag or basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.
What are the advantages for the consumer?
There are lots of benefits for you! Eat ultra-fresh food with all the flavor and vitamin benefits, get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking. Kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat. You develop a relationship with us, the farmers who grow your food, and you get to learn more about how your food is grown.
And with our CSA, you get the luxury of having the produce delivered to a location near you. View our main CSA page for drop-off locations throughout Omaha.
Are fruits and vegetables the only foods included in my weekly bag?
CSAs aren’t confined to produce. We also offer the “Extra Goodies” option for members to receive eggs, meat, bread, cheese, herbs, and other farm products. This is available for an additional $230.
What is the risk associated with signing up for a CSA?
CSAs used to have a much different setup than today. When originally conceived, a group of people pooled their money, bought a farm, hired a farmer, and each took a share of whatever the farm produced for the year. If the farm had a tomato bonanza, everyone put some up for winter. If a plague of locusts ate all the greens, people ate cheese sandwiches. Very few such CSAs exist today, and for most farmers, the CSA is just one of the ways their produce is marketed. However, the idea that “we’re in this together” remains. We still ask that CSA members sign a policy indicating that they agree to accept without complaint whatever the farm can produce, in the rare event that crop failure could occur.
Many times, the idea of shared risk is part of what creates a sense of community among members, and between members and the farmers. If a hailstorm takes out all the peppers, everyone is disappointed together, and together cheer on the winter squash and broccoli. Still, it is very rare that produce is completely unavailable – usually as a result of abominable weather.
How do the pricing levels work?
We offer a basic share (which generally feeds a family of two or three) and a large share (which feeds four to six). There are also other add-on options to enhance your weekly bag. A basic share is $220, which breaks down to little over $12/week, and a large share is $410, which is about $23/week. We throw in a few extra dollars worth of produce over the regular retail price each week, so you’re getting a fantastic value for what you pay.
Is it possible to visit the farm?
Of course, we love having visitors! July through October, we’re open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 7 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm, and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. In addition to produce, we also have eight greenhouses on the farm in April, May, and June that house bedding plants, vegetable plants, hanging baskets and other flowers. Come pick out some plants for your summer gardens!
And if you’d like to pick your own produce in larger amounts than what is provided in your weekly share (for canning and preserving), you can purchase tickets to use at any of our Harvest Events.
Is the CSA produce organic?
We are not “organic” in the strict, USDA-defined term, however we do strive to maintain a balance with our environment. Many of our items are pesticide-free. However, when pests become unmanageable, we practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques, using the least amount of chemicals necessary. Click here for more information on this growing technique.