What is a CSA?
The basic idea of Community Supported Agriculture is that a farmer grows for a group of members who have purchased “shares” in the harvest. Members pay at the beginning of the season in March, when the farmer most needs the money. When the crops start coming in, in June, the farmer delivers a weekly assortment of vegetables, herbs and some fruit. This is not a co-op, there are no wholesalers or distributors. 100% of your food dollars go to the person who is growing it. You support sustainable local agriculture and get freshly picked organic produce at reasonable prices. In addition, you know the farmer growing your vegetables and can visit the farm – establishing a personal connection with your food supply.
Members pick up their share at a distribution site one afternoon a week. Everyone contributes a few hour shifts during the season to help with set-up and clean up. The site looks a little like a farm stand with vegetables in crates and in coolers. Members weigh and bag their own shares. Kids can help or play while you chat and swap recipes. The pick-up becomes a place to bump into friends and meet new ones, a chance for kids from different schools to say “Hi” and an opportunity to compare notes on roasting eggplants.
What does it cost?
A share costs $600 minus a $25 discount if paid in full before March 15.
There is a $10 site fee payable in cash at the first pick up.
Is the food organic?
Yes! John's farm and food are certified organic by NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association). Not all CSAs can boast organic certification, be sure to ask.
When/Where is pick up?
Pick up is from 3-7pm on Thursdays in Westfield.
What will I get in my share?
A typical share includes 6-10 varieties of produce. The amount and types of produce delivered will vary by season. For a detailed list of exactly what we received in the past please see our Weekly Share Documents page.
Does my share include fruit?
The only fruit Farmer John grows are a variety of melons. These are usually available during August. Farmer John does offer a fruit share for 14 weeks during the season. This share is optional and has an extra cost. Each week you get two varieties of in season fruit weighing a total of about 7 lbs. The fruit is not organic but "Eco-grown". It is near impossible to grow organic tree fruit in the Northeast. This is the best you can get locally.
Do I have to volunteer my time?
YES. The Westfield Area CSA is completely volunteer run. All full member shares are expected to put in 5 hours of volunteer time. This can be done in two ways.
1. Work two shifts of 2 1/2 hours each during pick up. Shifts are 2:30-5 and 5-7:30. You can work both shifts the same day, or on different days. Members can sign up for shifts before the season begins.
2. Attend a Volunteer Farmer Day or Work Party at the farm. Dates and details can be found in our Calendar.
Can I purchase a half share?
We do not sell half shares. You may split a share with a friend. If you want to split a share but don't know someone to split with we can try to pair you up. This pairing is done as a favor and is not guaranteed.
You can split the share however you like. Some people alternate picking up and keeping the full share every other week. Some people prefer splitting each week. The only thing you MAY NOT do is bring a knife to pick up and cut your produce in half there. If you prefer to split the food each week, please do it at home, not at pick up.
What if I can't pick up my share?
Feel free to have a friend pick up your share if you can't make it one week.
All food left over at the end of the night is donated to a community in Elizabeth.
Can I visit the farm?
YES!!!!!!!!! There are many scheduled work days at the farm. Just about anyone is capable of doing the work required. This is a great way to see the farm and meet Farmer John. There is also an annual pre-season picnic in June each year. This is a fun family event. Please see our Calendar for dates.
How can I join?
Please print and fill out an application found Application here. Then mail it to the address specified. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or for more registration information.
What do I do with these vegetables?
If you are at a loss with what to do with a particular veggie, try asking someone you see at pick up. One question is all it takes to get everyone talking. You can also view our Recipes and Storage Tips.