Friday, February 27, 2015

2015 CSA Share Commercial and FAQ

First, for the important stuff, I'm a film maker, ya'll. Well, if using iMovie on my girlfriend's laptop makes me a filmmaker anyway. So I made this commercial:

Check it out and marvel at all of the vegetableness. Then, give me a call and set up an order and find out how you can get an extra two weeks free!!!! I will do a CSA FAQ after the break...

Call Mike at 502 354 8438 or email to order or with any questions that aren't answered below. You can also pay online using the paypal button on this page.


When/Where are pick ups?

As of right now, you can pick up on Saturdays between 9am and 2pm at my house, 4152 Dover Rd. This is the best option because if there are extras (flowers, herbs, peas, beans, other stuff that I don't want to pick more of), you can pick them yourself for free if you want. 

You can also pick up at the Belknap Farmer's Market on the U of L campus (on Brandeis between 3rd and 4th St) on Thursday between 3 and 6. Last year there were vendors selling fruit, bread, canned items, pastured lamb and chicken and kettle corn. I am sure most of them will return, so if you want to do some additional shopping, that might be the place.

If 5 or more people agree to an alternate pick up that is closer to home/work for a group of you, I am open to adding another pick up location.

What is a CSA Share?

CSA stands for community supported agriculture, and it is kind of like a subscription service to my garden. Each week, you receive a share of the produce from the garden for a determined period of time. My CSA is 20 weeks, from the first week I have Broccoli in the spring (late May) until the end of the summer season. So each week you will get stuff that is in season in the garden.

Why is your share so much smaller than other farms?

Because it is $15/week instead of $22 or $25 or $30 like some other farms around here. I eat lots of vegetables, but I know that not everybody else does. I don't see the benefit in selling you food that is going to go bad in your refrigerator. If you don't think my share size is large enough (if you are vegetarian family of four, or something) then buy two shares. I like a smallish sized share because it seems more approachable. Keep in mind that sometimes, you will end up with something more comparable to a share from another farm when I get a big harvest of something (particularly keeper items like garlic, potatoes, winter squash and sweet potatoes).

Is your produce organic?

Yes, I grow using organic methods. That basically means I don't use any artificial herbicide/pesticide/fungicide. In my case, I also do not use the organic approved treatments. Instead, I try to grow things in their season and try to keep nutrients available during the growing life of my plants so that they can naturally combat any potential problems that pop up. 

I am not certified, and I will not pursue certification because I suck at paperwork and I am never going to grow an acre of radishes for Whole Foods, which would make certification more of a necessity. In Louisville, certification by local farms doesn't seem to be a big priority for local consumers. I have actually only been asked once after two years worth of farmer's markets why I am not certified. It isn't important, and it is costly, and it would prevent me from buying Sun Gold tomato seeds (because the breeder of the best tomato on the planet isn't certified either, and if you are certified you have to buy an organic option). So yes to organic and no to certification.

Is the full share price due at the beginning of the season?

Yes. The share payments help me to finance the work I do during the season, so it is important that I get that money up front. I realize $300 all at once might be a lot for some people (it would be for me), so I would be willing to work out a payment structure that would work for both of us if you are interested. We could break it up into three payments due throughout the season, for example. I try to avoid accepting weekly payments, when possible.

Can I pick what comes in the share?

Yes and no. If you pick up from my house, you will have a little wiggle room (if you don't want squash but you want extra cucumbers and there are extras available, that's fine). I would like to have a "leave and take" basket for people to trade from if there are enough people picking up to make it worth doing. I try to put lots of variety in the shares from week to week, so you won't get oodles of the same thing week in and week out, other than salad mix, which you will receive most weeks. If you flat out don't want something, I won't include it in your share, but I may not have enough of something else to compensate for the lost value.

Can I visit the garden?

Absolutely. Every Saturday from 9am to 2pm you can come and look around. If you bring children, make sure they are always under your supervision. I may have a hoe-down at some point when all CSA members are welcome to come over and crack a beer under the river birch tree in our back yard and hang out. 

Do you take volunteers/interns?

No. Regarding volunteers, I value my time, and I am opposed to having someone else come and work for me when their time is not valued similarly. I also have a pretty small operation (around 1 acre), so I don't need a lot of the hands that larger operations might take on during volunteer days. 

Regarding interns, I am not as opposed as volunteers, but instead of interning, I would rather include you in my work/share program. I have done this for a while and kind of know what I am doing, but I don't really feel like I am ready to teach the next generation of farmers by having an internship program.

What is a work/share?

Instead of paying the $300 every season to be a member, you instead exchange your labor for a share. I love this aspect of CSA farming. This way, people that can't otherwise afford to participate, can. In my case, the member works one half day (4 hours) every fourth week (a total of 5 shifts throughout the season) in exchange for veggies. Work/shares pick up at my house only, they will not be delivered to pick up locations. I picked this because $15/hour seems like a fair wage for unskilled labor, so I will compensate you in trade for that value.

This is also a good way for someone that is interested in gardening but isn't sure about the time commitment. You will pick, plant, transplant, run the tiller, tie up tomato plants, spread compost tea, pack shares and help me get ready for my weekly market and wholesale orders. Plus you'll get to hang out with me, and I'm pretty cool.

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