Announcing our First Pick CSA Program for the Hazeltons & Smithers!
What is a CSA? Standing for Community Supported Agriculture, a CSA is a mutually beneficial commitment between customer and farmer, where the farmer commits to growing a weekly share of vegetables for a customer that has committed to purchase upfront, simple as that.
Why a CSA? As the farm and markets ebb and flow through the seasons, we strive to achieve a balance between providing the care and attention this living ecosystem that is the farm and homestead demands, while finding some time to enjoy and appreciate this incredible region we call home. As Jolene continues her work with Young Agrarians, growing farmers across the North, and Jonathan continues to tend to the ever evolving farmstead creatures and structures, we are excited to welcome back Willow and a new farmhand, Emily, so we can maintain the capacity to grow food for the small – but devoutly supportive – communities of the Hazeltons and Smithers. While farming doesn’t have the reputation as the easiest path in life, market gardening these past 10 seasons has been incredibly fulfilling, but also at times exhausting. We are reaching out this season for your committed support to allow us to sustain our level of quality production so we can continue to grow food for our communities, while also growing and nurturing the farm’s human inhabitants as well.
What’s the benefit to the shareholder? CSA shareholders receive first pick! Never miss out on those first harvests of spinach or broccoli that disappear so quickly at the farmers’ market, our best crops each week will be freshly harvested and selected for you in your share. At pickup your share is already packed and paid for, just grab and go!
What’s the benefit to the farmer? Certainty! In crop planning, harvesting and cash flow. Farmers’ market sales are highly speculative and uncertain, after all the work that goes into growing our vegetables each week we harvest in the hope that enough customers will turn out to buy them, because what goes unsold at the end of a market is a loss to our business. But the success of each market is very much dependent on such vagaries of the weather, holidays, other events in town, etc. A CSA replaces this reliance on hope with certainty on harvest day.
What’s in my share? At least $20 worth of our best pick of certified organic vegetables each week, revolving throughout the season as new crops come on to ensure maximum variety and peak quality and flavour. Here’s a taste of the 4-7 items you may find in your share each week:
Spring: Spinach, Arugula, Greens mix, Strawberries, Hakurei, Radish, Lettuce, Kale, Chard, Rhubarb, Broccolini, Snap peas
Summer: Tomatoes, Basil, Peppers, Carrots, Beets, Cucumbers, Basil, Kale/Chard, Zucchini, Dill, Delicata, Beans, Garlic, Onions, New potatoes, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Broccoli, Fresh herbs, Cherry tomatoes, Raspberries
Fall: Tomatoes, Peppers, Cucumbers, Carrots, Beets, Kale/Chard, Zucchini, Zucchini, Winter squash, Beans, Garlic, Onions, Brussel Sprouts, Potatoes, Fresh herbs, Greens, Parsnips
How many people will a share feed? Depends on how much you love your organic vegetables! One share is about paper shopping bags worth, and a reasonable amount for a single person or a couple. If you are a larger family or really love your fresh veg, you can consider purchasing multiple shares. You can also gift the bounty of a share!
When is the 2020 CSA season? Weekly from June through September, there will be 16 weekly shares over 17 weeks which includes a one week share ‘holiday’ – simply let us know when you will be away and we’ll cancel for that week.
Where and when do I pickup my share? Your choice when you sign up, either at the farm in the Kispiox Valley on Fridays between 2-6, at the BV Farmers’ Market in Smithers Saturdays 8:30 – 12:30, or at the Hazelton Farmers’ Market Sundays between 10-2.
What if I can’t pickup my share one week? You have one share ‘holiday’ per season, just let us know by email by the Wednesday before your pickup day. If you are away additional weeks, you can gift or sell those weeks to a friend or neighbour, who are welcome to pick up your share on your behalf. It is your responsibility to make arrangements to have someone pick up your share (so that we can go about the business of growing the food).
What if I don’t get my share picked up? This is where the mutual commitment part of a CSA comes into play, your share of vegetable were grown and harvested just for you, and you are responsible for making sure they are eaten and enjoyed! If we do not hear from you, and your share does not get picked up by Sunday, it will be donated at the end of the market.
Can I make substitutions in my share? CSA programs operate on a ‘Chef’s Choice’ basis, shareholders put trust in their farmers to select their best, fresh, in season crops each week and provide maximum variety throughout the CSA season. We will offer an exchange box at pickup where customers can exchange one non-preferred item for a similar valued item that better suits their preferences. (E.g. Kale may be exchanged for chard, but not tomatoes).
Is my share of the harvest guaranteed? Yes, with the caveat being to the extent that anything can be guaranteed down on the farm! Your share of any given crop is proportional to the amount harvested; in the event of a crop failure the risk is shared with the shareholders. However, we are a diverse market garden with 10 years under our belt, and a lean year in one crop usually means a bounty in other crops. We guarantee there will be on average at least $20 worth of our best vegetables each week in your share; if some weeks are on the lean side we will make it up in subsequent harvests. And if we have a bumper season, our shareholders will share in the bounty above and beyond the guaranteed amount.
The CSA season ends in the fall, then what will I eat? Our CSA shareholders receive 10% off orders of our bulk storage vegetables, see woodgrain.ca/vegetables
What’s the value of a share for the season? $320 payable by May 1st gets you your share of the season’s bounty!
If a single pre-payment represents a hardship, please request payment by installments in the Comments section of the sign-up form.
I support local farms, sign me up as a shareholder!
Payment – Please send an e-transfer for $320 per share to email@example.com
Cheques must be made payable to J. Knight and can be mailed to: WoodGrain Farm, 490 Swan Rd, Hazelton BC VOJ 1Y5
Community Supported Agriculture is a direct customer/farmer relationship akin to a shareholder agreement. Purchasing a share at the beginning of the season is an investment in the farm, and CSA shareholders receive a share of the harvest every week throughout the season for their commitment. This allows farms to plan the growing season with more certainty, and give shareholders first pick of the freshest, highest-quality produce harvested. CSA programs are a great way to build communities around local food!
Any questions, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for considering us to be your farmers this season!