We have 2013 CSA shares still available for pick-up at our farm in Hutchinson.
Chanhassen, Long Lake, and Minneapolis are sold out for 2013. E-mail or call to reserve a share in Hutchinson or to get on our waiting list for Chanhassen, Long Lk, or Minneapolis. Wondering what those CSA boxes are like? See photos of the weekly full share 2010 boxes on our blog.
WHAT IS A CSA FARM?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and links the farmer to local community members who pay a sum upfront in exchange for a “share”—a weekly supply of fresh, in-season, certified organic vegetables. CSA members are directly involved with the farm and farmers, receiving weekly newsletters from the field, great recipes featuring each week’s produce, as well as other opportunities to visit and tour the farm, if desired.
We think that the CSA relationship between farmer and member is especially rewarding and important. As farmers, we know that we have a market for our produce at a fair price, as well as having an early farm income to buy seeds and supplies. For the shareholder, they know exactly where their food is coming from and are guaranteed that it is fresh, local, and organically grown. There is a mutual commitment between the farmer and the eater: the farmer pledges to grow a variety of organic, high-quality crops for the members and the CSA members pledge to share the risk of farming (weather, pest, and disease) with the farmer. The CSA model also offers an opportunity to form a weekly connection between the farmer who grows the food and the members who eat and enjoy it! It puts a face on the produce, both for the farmers and the members. This mutual commitment and weekly connection makes the CSA relationship unlike any other venue for purchasing food. By belonging to a CSA you are actively participating and promoting good land stewardship and the simple but powerful act of local farmers growing good food.
A note about risk: As a CSA member, you are sharing the risk of farming (i.e. weather/pests) along with the farmer. Every season poses different weather conditions and challenges, and it can reflect in the contents of our CSA boxes. However, we take our job of providing food to CSA members with the utmost seriousness and do our best to mitigate those risks by growing some crops in a protected hoophouse structure, as well as growing a diversity of crops that are resilient to different conditions. CSA members always get the best product we have first, before we sell it at the farmers market or to wholesale accounts. In the case of a complete crop failure, we would do our best to obtain high-quality, organic product from another local farm to supplement our offerings.
LOON ORGANICS CSA SHARES
Our CSA shares are a wide assortment of popular stand-bys and heritage/heirloom vegetables and herbs. We are excited to offer everything from gorgeous butter lettuce and broccoli in June to sweet corn and watermelons in August to winter squash and potatoes in the fall. (Please check our product availability below for a full list of vegetables we grow.) The only fruits we offer are watermelons and canteloupes, and strawberries for 1-2 weeks in June. Produce is fresh, pre-washed, and certified organic, the majority of it being picked within 24 hours of box delivery. The CSA season runs 18 weeks, starting early-June and finishing mid-October, and members receive either a weekly or bi-weekly box of produce.
Free U-pick: Free u-pick flowers and herbs at our farm are available whenever members pick-up their shares on the farm or come for a visit. Flower bouquets are not included in the pre-packed boxes.
We offer two share sizes: Full and 1/2. One full share should be enough for a family of four, or enough for two hearty vegetable eaters. It is a 3/4 bushel box containing 8-15 different produce items. 1/2 shares are a full share size box delivered every other week. The perfect share size for you depends on many factors: how many vegetables you eat, how much time you have to cook, and how often you are at home to eat. Our CSA members tell us that participating in Loon Organics’ CSA increased the quantity of vegetables they eat, and it also increased how much they cook and eat at home. Because the produce is often picked within 24 hours of receiving your box, it is extremely fresh and will last several weeks, if stored properly. Many CSA members split a full share with another neighbor or friend and either receive a box every other week or split each week’s box in half. See photos of the weekly full share 2010 boxes on our blog.
Additional Canning & Preserving Shares: Tomato Shares, Salsa Shares, Greens Shares, and an Extended Fall CSA Share are available to CSA members as well. Local, organic, and pastured meat products and eggs are also offered to members through several neighboring farms. Info. will be provided to members when they sign-up.
PRODUCE AVAILABILITY and AMOUNT
Typical June Box (full share) : Head Romaine Lettuce, 8 oz. Spring Mix or Arugula, 1 bunch of Green Garlic & Garlic Scapes, 1 lb. Snap Peas, 1 head Broccoli, 1 bunch Baby Beets, Baby Pac Choi, 1 bunch Radishes, 1 bunch Herbs
Typical August Box: 6 ears Sweet Corn, 1 small Watermelon, 5 lbs Tomatoes (Heirloom, Slicers, Romas, Cherrys), 1 lb. Green Beans, 1 bunch carrots, 3 Cucumbers, 3 Summer Squash, 1 Italian-Striped Eggplant, 4 oz. Basil, 2 Sweet Bell Peppers, Hot Peppers, 3 Walla-Walla Onions, 1 Head Garlic
Typical Oct. Box: 3 Assorted Winter Squash, 2-3 lbs Potatoes, 1 Head Broccoli/Cauliflower, 8 oz. Spring Mix/Spinach, 3 Sweet Bell Peppers, 1 Head Cabbage, 1 Celery Root, 6 Beets, 6 Parsnips, 1 bunch Carrots, 1 Head Garlic, 3 Onions
Here is a product list of everything we grow for the CSA boxes. Due to the nature of farming, we can never guarantee that we will have every single crop every year, but try to at least give you everything once. More popular crops like green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, onions, and garlic are included often (nearly weekly) from July-September. Potatoes are usually spread out between early summer (new potatoes) and fall (storage potatoes). We include salad mix or other salad greens throughout the season, usually with a gap in late July and August due to the heat.
Spring/early summer: (June to mid-July) head lettuce, salad mix, arugula, green garlic, garlic scapes, green onions, sugar snap peas, snow peas, hakurei turnips, radishes, baby bok choi, chinese cabbage, broccoli, beets carrots, chard, kale, collards, fennel, kohlrabi,spinach, cilantro, basil, parsley, sage, mint, thyme, oregano, potted herb plant.
Mid-late summer: (mid-July to mid-September) broccoli, carrots, beets, green beans, cabbage, canteloupe, celery, chard, sweet corn, slicing cucumbers, European cucumbers, slicing tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, fennel, garlic, salad mix, kale, head lettuce, onions, peppers, potatoes, scallions, summer squash, zucchini, watermelons, basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, assorted herbs.
Fall: (mid-September to end October) broccoli, carrots, beets, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac, garlic, salad mix, spinach, kale, leeks, onions,peppers, potatoes, romanesco, rutabaga, winter squash, tomatoes, assorted herbs.
We also have free u-pick flower and herbs at the farm and offer free u-pick strawberries in June at our CSA farm tour. Again, due to weather, pest and disease, we can never guarantee we will have every crop every year. But we try our darndest!
Hutchinson pick-up is at our farm on Wednesday afternoons from 3 – 8 p.m. & all day Thursday. E-mail us to sign up for 2013.
Chanhassen/Chaska pick-up is at the MN Landscape Arboretum’s Summer House/Apple House on Tuesdays from 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. The Summer House is located at Highway 5 and Rolling Acres Road. 2013 Shares are sold out. E-mail to get on the Apple House waiting list.
Long Lake/Orono pick-up at Harvest Moon Co-op on Tuesdays from noon - 8 p.m. Harvest Moon is located on the west end of Otten Bros. Nursery building. 2013 Shares are sold out. E-mail us to get on the Long Lake waiting list.
Minneapolis pick-up is at our Saturday booth at the Mill City Farmer’s Market from 8 a.m.- 1p.m. 2013 Shares are sold out. E-mail us to get on the Mill City waiting list.
Please let us know what pick-up site you prefer when e-mailing inquiries.
The cost for a full 18-week, 3/4 bu. box CSA share delivered to Minneapolis and Chanhassen for 2013 is $585. 1/2 shares are $315 (a 3/4 bushel box every other week).
Shares picked up at our farm are $510 for a full share (18 weeks, 3/4 bu. box) and $275 for a 1/2 share (a 3/4 bushel box every other week).
We price our shares to be more economical than if you purchased the same local, certified organic product in a retail grocery store. Over the course of the growing season you should get a better value for your money (as long as you are eating those veggies of course!), especially in the summer and fall months when high-value crops are in abundance (heirloom tomatoes, basil, melons, corn etc.) However, in farming there is always risk and we cannot guarantee that it will always be a better value. In previous years though, our shares have been at least 10-20% below retail price for the same local, certified organic product. The CSA shares are a fair amount of food to deal with each week. It seems to work best for people who have the time and enjoy to cook, love the surprise of getting a pre-packed CSA box, and will eat a wide variety of vegetables.
Each share includes a weekly newsletter of farm musings, recipes, and tips for handling and preserving your produce. Payments need to either be in full at time of registration, or half can be paid at time of registration, along with a pre-dated July 15 check for your 2nd half payment. If these payment plans pose a hardship for you, let us know and we will work to set something else up for you.
WORK SHARE OPPORTUNITY
No work on the farm is required of members. We do offer limited work share opportunities–please call or e-mail us about our 2013 workshare positions. A work share requires 4-5 hours of work/week on Tuesday afternoon in exchange for your CSA box. Workshares need to be able to work from approximately 1 p.m.- 5 p.m., on a consistent weekly basis, in all types of weather (that includes rain, snow, shine, and heat!). Workshares also need to be able to lift a minimum of 40 pounds and be able to perform manual labor weeding and harvesting tasks. We are only able to accomodate adults over 18 years of age. Please contact us if you’re interested to set up an interview.
All CSA members are welcome to visit the farm at any time–we ask that you contact us before you come to make sure that we are home. We will offer three farm tours and potlucks throughout the season. A srawberry u-pick event in late June, a potato dig in July, and a fall harvest festival with a pumpkin pick allows members to see “their” farm, harvest some free u-pick crops, meet the farmers, and get to know other CSA members!
Questions? Comments? Want to join? E-mail us: email@example.com