CSA or Consumer Supported Agriculture, a model for connecting consumers to local farms, originally started in nearby Great Barrington, MA in the 1980’s. CSAs invite consumers to share the risks and rewards of their local farm who in turn provides fresh, and in our case, organically grown vegetables in exchange for an upfront membership pledge & payment.
CSAs are truly a win-win arrangement for both consumers and farmers! Consumers conveniently obtain a wide variety of freshly picked vegetables over an extended season (June – October) at an affordable price, know where their produce is coming from and how it was raised; while the farmer knows how much to grow to deliver the right amount directly to her customers, while cutting out the middleman to make a reasonable profit! This allows the farm to continue being a farm – rather than becoming just another tract of houses!
Today, there are over 13,000 CSAs nationwide which has led to a resurgence of small family owned farms throughout North America, reversing a decades long trend of decreasing farm ownership. CSAs also lead as producers of more nutritious, organic and sustainably raised food, as opposed to industrially raised food lower in nutrients and laden with pesticides and insecticides.
Yellow Stonehouse Farm CSA members not only receive an abundant share of many types of vegetables (we may have over 15 different items in a share) they also get access to the farms Pick Your Own (PYO) vegetable, flower and herb gardens. This includes vegetables such as peas, cherry tomatoes, beans, flowers, and herbs such as basil and parsley! We also grow garlic, ginger, turmeric & horseradish as part of our healthy food activities.
Some CSAs provide additional benefits. At Yellow Stonehouse Farm, for example, we find that connecting families & children with the land, demonstrating how food is grown and how delicious it is when it’s really fresh, is an important part of our mission. We host school groups for on-farm learning and lead nature walks to our certified Vernal Pool and Turtle Nesting area. We also make sure our members know what to do with all the different vegetables they receive by providing weekly recipes.
We still have a few Every Other Week Shares available for most pick-up days – but the sign-up period is closing soon. Please call us or stop by the farm Tuesday through Saturday. We also are selling fresh organic Asparagus!