How Our CSA Works

What is a CSA?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between a farm and a community of responsible consumers.  It puts you, “the consumer” in direct relationship with the production of your food.  There are no unknown middlemen.  By paying for your produce upfront in the winter and springtime, you become the “shareholder” of the farm’s yearly harvest.  And each week during the growing season, you receive a portion of your share.

We, “the farmer”, also benefit by receiving payments at the beginning of the season, when we need them most, to buy seeds and supplies to produce the food.  This reduces the interest costs of loans to begin the season.  The CSA partnership is good for you, good for the farm, and good for the earth.

How Farmer Dave’s CSA Works

Farmer Dave’s plants a wide variety of vegetables and fruits in successive plantings to be certain of an extended harvest. By growing a range of crops that prefer and withstand different weather conditions, Farmer Dave’s ensures the harvest will provide abundant flavors, nutrients and colors for a full season. The variety of produce in the shares may include award winning tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, lettuces, cooking greens, corn, cucumbers, potatoes, squash. eggplant, romanesco, brussel sprouts and much more.

The crops are harvested at their freshest for the CSA. The produce is rinsed, arranged in crates and brought to the CSA pick-up sites. Each week a newsletter is sent out containing CSA site information, vegetable education, storage tips, recipe and video links as well as information about what is happening on the farm. We include a list of what we hope
to harvest.
Mother Nature always has the final say, so that list may vary.

Why Join Farmer Dave’s CSA?

The Food
You get a wide range of fresh, delicious, healthy produce the whole season long.

Seasonal Eating 
Connect to the local agriculture cycle by eating and cooking what is in season.

It’s Locally Grown
All of the vegetables that come in your CSA share are grown on our farm or when needed are obtained from a local farm with similar growing practices.

Convenience
We have pick-up locations in 20 different communities.

Your Carbon Footprint
Your produce is traveling far less than grocery store produce, which travels an average of 1500 miles!
(National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service)

The Environment
We are committed to growing produce sustainably and keeping the farmland ecosystem healthy.

The Farmland
“America is losing 1.2 million acres of farmland annually.” (American Farmland Trust) By investing in a CSA, you are investing in preserving
our local farmland.

The Economy
Farmer Dave’s provides many jobs and recycles money locally by purchasing supplies from local businesses.

Hunger Relief and Food Justice
Over the past 15 years, Farmer Dave has donated well over a million pounds of produce to area food banks and pantries including The Open Door, Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Catholic Charities, Greater Boston Food Bank, Lazarus House, Project Soup and the Zinberg Clinic at CHA.

Saves Money 
On average to buy the same quality and quantity product received in the CSA, you would need to spend 20-50% more than the cost of the share.

Member Benefits

Add-Ons
Members are offered bulk order discounts during the season when we have a crop surplus during peak season.  Perfect for long term storage, canning and freezing!

Discounts on Farm Experiences
Twenty-five percent off pick your own apples as well as strawberry & blueberry pick your own specials.

Community
Members find a broad range of support and community through other members, volunteers and staff at farm stands and CSA pick-up locations.  We provide support and ideas through Facebook, Pintrest and our Vegisodes on YouTube.

Variety
Our crops on the farm are rotated often, creating excellent growing conditions for all of our vegetables.  This allows us to distribute a wide sampling of produce for our members to try and enjoy.

Freshness
The majority of our CSA vegetables and fruits are harvested within 24 hours of being delivered to any one of our 20 convenient locations. 

Quality
We take great pride in what we do and CSA shares are always our first priority for harvest and distribution.  From our fields to your table, every person on Farmer Dave’s team keeps an eye on quality control.

Value
The dollar value of our CSA shares has always exceeded what members pay.  Giving back to our members is our way of thanking them for their support.

Support and Accessibility
Donations from members and organizations make it possible for families in need to receive subsidized shares through Groundworks Lawrence.  We also accept EBT/SNAP/HIP benefits to purchase shares.

Flexibility
Our office staff will work with members in setting up payment plans and pro-rating payments. 

Member Responsibilities

Your CSA Share
The CSA member is responsible for picking up their CSA share during the scheduled time. The member may have a friend, family member or neighbor pick up for them. Your name just needs to be given at the pick-up. Any shares remaining at the end of the pick-up are donated to one of our hunger relief partners. We are unable to replace shares that have been donated or keep shares past their distribution time.

CSA Crates
Please return your CSA crate each week or empty the share contents into reusable bags and leave the crate at the pick-up.
If you receive home or office delivery, remember to place your CSA crate out for the delivery driver.
If you forget your CSA crate, you will be asked not to take another and transfer your share into reusable bags.
We appreciate your help with our sustainability efforts.

Moving your CSA share pick-up location
We will work with members to the best of our ability to make changes to pick-up locations. We ask for 2 business days (Monday through Friday) at minimum. Office hours are Monday through Friday. Scheduling, harvesting and deliveries are all part of the equation of delivering the shares. The more in advance we know the easier it is. Please contact the office via phone or email and we will send you a confirmation once the change has been made.

Vacation Policy
A friend, family member or neighbor can pick-up your share for you while you are on vacation. Love your share? This is a great way to give someone an opportunity to try it.  Your share can be moved to another pick-up location that week on a different day.

Your share during your vacation week can be put on hold and a double share sent the following week.
Please give the farm 5 business days (Monday through Friday) notice for this. This is important information for harvest planning.

Exception: If the vacation hold needs to occur in the last week of a share season, the double share cannot be sent the following week.  The double share would need to occur the week prior to the hold.

CSA 101

Add-ons
Add-ons are any products or produce that can be ordered and delivered with your CSA share.  Available add-ons are updated in the CSAware store.  Weekly produce is updated depending on harvest availability. 

Add-ons must be purchased with a credit card through the CSAware store and can only be attached to the current seasons share. If you attach the add-on order to a share that is not current in error, the add-on will not appear on our weekly orders and will not be sent.

For example: if you are ordering during Spring, and had multiple shares on your account – you would choose the Spring share during the check-out process to attach your order to.

Add-on Order Deadlines

Pick-Up Day   —>   Add-on Order Cut-off
Monday —> Sunday – noon
Tuesday —> Sunday – noon
Wednesday —> Monday – noon
Thursday —> Tuesday – noon
Friday —> Wednesday – noon

All orders must be placed online before your order deadline listed above. If you are past that time, CSAware will attach the order to the following week’s share.

To place an order online, please make sure you are logged into your account. If you don’t know your log-in information, send us an email, and we will send you an invitation to reset your password.  

Creating an account on the spot won’t help; because there is already an existing account.

If you do not pick up your add-on order, it will be donated, we do not offer refunds for missed add-ons.

Newsletters

Each week you will receive a newsletter the day before your scheduled pick-up. 
The newsletter is sent via Constant Contact and contains your pick-up information, recipe links, storage tips, educational write-ups on produce and farm projects, and often Farm Notes from Dave . 
Also included is what we are planning to harvest for your share.  Please keep in mind, harvest conditions change so the content of your share may change.  As much planning as we do, Mother Nature always has the final say.

An additional newsletter will be sent the week before highlighting any available add-ons and possibly a sneak peek of some items in the share.

Moving Your Share

If you need to pick-up your CSA share on a different day, please email farm@farmerdaves.net.  Let us know the name on the account, your pick-up location and where you would like to move your share.  Please give us 48 hours’ notice (Monday Through Friday) to make this change. Once the change is made, you will receive a confirmation email.  If you do not receive a confirmation email, the change has not been made.  Please follow-up with the office.

Office hours for CSA support are Monday through Friday 10am to 6pm.

What if I forget to pick-up my share?

The amount of produce harvested, rinsed and prepped each day is specific for the number of shares going out that day.
This process begins in the fields and greenhouses early in the morning. Each CSA member is responsible for remembering to pick-up their share or arranging to have it picked up.
Any CSA shares that are unclaimed at the end of a CSA pick-up are donated to those in need and cannot be replaced.

What if I forget my CSA crate?

The farm has a limited number of CSA crates and asks that the members return their crate each week.  We suggest that members keep a few re-useable bags handy in case the crate is forgotten as we urge you not to take an additional crate.  If you share a share or alternate who is picking up, many members transfer the share into bags to eliminate the crate return all together.

We thank you for helping in our sustainability efforts.

Vacations

A friend or family member can pick-up your share when you are on vacation.  Or let us know and we can put a hold on your share and double the share the following week. Please give the farm 5 business days’ notice. This is important information for harvest planning.

Exception: If the vacation hold needs to occur in the last week of a share season, the double share cannot be sent the following week.  The double share would need to occur the week prior to the hold.

Farm Resources

Vegisodes: links to our tutorial videos that contain cooking and storage techniques.
Produce Availability: A handy chart that gives you a general idea when items should be available depending on harvest conditions.
Produce ID guide:  Not sure what the mystery green is?  Check out our photo ID guide, ask our staff and volunteers, call the farm office or email us a picture.  We are happy to help!
Produce Storage Tips:  How to store your produce to keep it fresh for a longer period of time.
Recipe Blog: New feature! Search for recipes by produce item.  Have a recipe you would like to share?  Email us at farm@farmerdaves.net.
Favorite Blogs and Cookbooks:  The produce we grow is amazingly tasty when prepared at its simplest.  However, inspiration is always helpful when the excitement of the first tomato begins to wane by the 100th tomato.  This is a list of our favorite blogs and cookbooks.  Have one you love? Let us know!