We will try to answer your questions about this new opportunity for you to share in our bounty and we hope that you will join us as we continue to invest in the best of local agriculture.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a CSA? CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture”. It is a financial model of running a farm where customers pay for their “share of the harvest” upfront, then receive produce “dividends” as it becomes available. We, the farmer, benefit by receiving payments at the beginning of the growing season, when we need them the most, to buy seeds and supplies to produce 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 our earth.
Why join Marshall’s Fenway Farm’s CSA?
· To receive fresh locally grown delicious vegetables and fruit.
· To connect with your local grower. By investing you are helping to preserve one of the most well-known farms on the Northshore.
· To allow you to try a full variety of fruits and vegetables
· To reduce your carbon footprint. Local produce travels far less than grocery store produce (an average of 1,500 miles less!)
· To buy the same quality product received in the CSA, you would have to spend 20-50% more than the cost of the share.
Does CSA mean organic? No. All of the fruits and vegetables that are grown on our farm are IPM (Integrated Pest Management). We practiced IPM on our farm and consider it the safest method of producing crops. IPM ensures the consumer safe produce while also protecting the environment. We have also introduced biological controls, which use beneficial insects to control unwanted pests, reducing the use of pesticide.
How do I apply? Fill out the application form provided on our website and in our stand and drop it off at the stand or mail it back to us. Upon receiving your information and deposit, we will add you to our e-mail list. This is how you will receive up to date information regarding your membership in the CSA.
What is the cost of the CSA program? There are two share types - large and small. The large share costs $600 and the small is $350. A $50 deposit is due at registration to secure your spot in the CSA. Large share holders may choose to pay in full on March 1st or choose to make two payments: $275 by March 1st and $275 by May 1st. Small share holders must pay $300 by March 1st.
What are the share sizes? The Large share will provide produce for 4 people and will have a weekly average value of approximately $35. The Small share will provide produce for 2 people and will have a weekly average value of approximately $20.
Distribution of Shares: Shares will be distributed on Mondays and Wednesdays from Noon – 7:00 PM and Saturdays 11:00am - 3:00pm You will need to choose a day upon your registration. If you are unable to pick up your share, you may designate someone to pick up for you, by sending an email to us or calling us the day before your scheduled distribution.
Can I sign up after the last payment on May 1st is due? Yes, if space is available. When we receive your application, we will contact you to work out a payment plan to get your membership started as soon as possible. However, since we pride ourselves on quality and customer service, if your application is received and our membership for the 2011 growing season is full, we will put you on the list for the 2012 growing season.
Will all the produce come from Marshall’s Farms? Some CSA’s do not grow anything, just market local farm products. It is a personal challenge for us to be the majority producer of the produce you will receive from our CSA. When necessary, we will work with other trusted local growers that we have cultivated partnerships with to bring you the freshest high quality produce.
What if I receive something I do not like or want? Our CSA will initiate what is known as a swap system. You will receive your share upon your arrival. If there is something you do not want, you may put it in our swap bin and choose something else that is in the bin. The swap bin will be filled with excess produce from the fields and stand. For example, on that day we may have an excess of carrots in the stand but not enough carrots to provide for the entire CSA so it is placed in the swap bin. The swap bin is on the honor system, so you will put back into the bin approximately what you take out. This will allow other CSA members to enjoy the swap bin throughout the day.
Why would I want to join a CSA if I can shop anytime in the store? A CSA enforces a commitment and relationship with your local farm. You become committed to buy and eat local all season. It also allows you to try new things that you normally might pass up just because you have never been introduced to it before.
Is the CSA less expensive than getting my vegetables elsewhere? You can always find produce cheaper somewhere else, but we have found that for the same quality vegetables grown with similar growing methods, the CSA can save the shareholder a lot of money.
1345 Boylston Street • Boston, Massachusetts 02215-3909
© 2009 - 2011 Marshall's Fenway Farm Stand