Our 2017 CSA Subscriptions are now available! Please mail in a 2017 CSA Registration Form now or Subscribe Online .
What is a CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a partnership between farmers and their customers. When you purchase a CSA subscription, you connect with and support the farm by paying up front for produce you will receive throughout the season. This up front payment helps to cover the initial capital investment required of the farm each year, allowing the farm to focus on its operation and plan for the season. Having bought in to the farm for the season, CSA subscribers get great produce at a great price, while also sharing in the risks and rewards of farming. Read on to learn how our CSA works here at Massaro Farm, and to find out more about CSAs in general, visit Local Harvest, which does a great job of explaining this concept.
How our CSA works: By purchasing a CSA subscription from Massaro Farm CSA, you are helping to provide the working capital needed prior to the start of the season. In return, CSA subscribers receive our best quality, freshly-harvested, certified organic produce each week throughout the growing season. Massaro promises 20 weeks of distribution, beginning in early/mid June and ending in October (exact dates vary each year based on seasonal fluctuations). Massaro subscribers feel the satisfaction of being connected to our beautiful farm and our trusted Farm Manager Steve Munno, fondly known as Farmer Steve, as well as our Farm Staff and volunteers, who are available during pickup hours to say hello or answer any questions you may have. Subscribers will benefit from knowing exactly where their produce is coming from: grown on historic farmland and freshly harvested, right here in Woodbridge, CT. And by purchasing your produce locally, you’re also helping to lessen the environmental impact of our food system as a whole. Farming protects valuable farmland and provides an interesting glimpse into New England’s agrarian past. These are all wonderful things, but what makes Massaro Farm CSA truly special is the sense of community our members feel with each visit to the farm. We invite you to join us, eat well, share ideas and make a friend!
CSA subscribers naturally share in the risks and rewards associated with farming. Every year, some crops will thrive while others will struggle depending on the weather conditions, severe storms, pests and plant diseases. We mitigate risks in many ways; most important of which is having a diverse crop plan — we grow over 50 vegetables and hundreds of varietals — so that we should always be able to provide a good bounty of produce. “Shared risk” and “shared reward” are essential elements of any CSA. The farm can distribute tremendous bounty during a good growing year, and may distribute less in a more difficult season. The community provides security that the farm may need to make it through a difficult growing season; and the community benefits from knowing that the farm is secure and will remain viable in the community. At Massaro Community Farm, Farmer Steve manages a knowledgeable team of farmers who are prepared to capitalize on an ideal growing year while minimizing the impact of a less desirable season.
Are you Certified Organic?
Yes, we are! We have always followed organic practices, and in 2012 we became officially Certified Organic by Baystate Organic Certifiers.
When does the CSA start and finish?
We plan for the CSA to begin in early or mid June and end in mid or late October after 20 weeks of CSA distributions. Exact start dates vary each year based on conditions. We will confirm the CSA start date by the end of May.
How much produce will I get?
All harvests depend on conditions of the season. As such, the amount of produce you receive varies week to week, throughout the season, and year to year. Generally speaking, each distribution will have 7-14 items, weighing between 6-20 pounds. The first few weeks of the season are typically lighter in weight as there are more leafy greens in the harvest. The weight of the harvest increases in the middle of the season as we bring in more fruiting crops and root crops.
How many people will this feed?
This depends entirely on your eating habits. You may find that there is too much produce one week, just the right amount of produce another week, or perhaps not as much as you may want. There are many ways to handle an excess of product, such as freezing produce to be consumed another time, making sauces, pickles, or preserves, or sharing with your family, friends, and neighbors.
Do you offer half shares?
We do not offer half shares. However, you are welcome to split a share with a friend or another family. If you do plan to split a share, please sign up under only one name, and if paying by check, please send in only one check for your group. Only one name will be on our distribution list (though we can send our email newsletter to multiple people) as only one person/family will serve as the main point of contact. Who picks up the produce and how you divide it will be up to you.
Can I change my pick-up day?
The pick up day you choose is yours for the season. If you need to switch a pick up day a few times during the season, please let us know a week in advance and we will do our best to accommodate you. *Please Note: Since we have limited capacity for delivery, switching from on-farm pick up to the pick up site in New Haven is not possible*
What if I miss a week?
If you are not able to make it to the farm to pick up your produce on a given week, you are welcome to have someone else pick up it up for you. Just have them come to the farm and check off your name. Any produce that is not picked up will be donated, so no need to feel badly about that! If you do miss a week, please understand that you are not entitled to extra produce any other week.
Do you donate produce?
Part of the farm’s mission and obligation to the community is to donate produce to local hunger relief organizations. In 2016 nearly 10,000 pounds of produce was donated from the farm. To make this happen, we harvest additional produce for donation on CSA distribution days. Any produce not picked up by our CSA members is added to that donation. Thus, if you can’t make it one week to get your vegetables, know that your produce will go to people in need and is never wasted.
What about bags?
Please be prepared to bring your own bags for produce. Canvas bags, paper bags and plastic bags can all be used to take home your produce.
How can I help at the farm?
Volunteers play an important role on the farm. Volunteers have helped with farm programs and events, distributing produce to CSA subscribers on pick-up days, as well as field tasks such as harvesting, planting, weeding, and more. If you are interested in volunteering, please let us know and we’ll find the job that’s best for you!
Still have questions?
We’d be happy to answer them. Please contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Thanks for taking the time to learn about Massaro Farm CSA. We hope you’ll join us!