CSA: Community Supported Agriculture

I’m pretty passionate about food and farming.  I’m also a deep believer in the strength of community for health, for awareness, for keeping all of our senses open to how we might best live together.  An idealistic full circle of thinking, perhaps, but I think resetting the links between agriculture and community can help to strengthen our human and environmental selves.  We take care of the soil, grow carrots in the soil, distribute them amongst us, and then eat these wonderfully sweet and alive roots.  Simple?  Yes.  Essences of land, energy, and community?  Yes?  All good things tied up in a single carrot.  This is what Community Supported Agriculture is all about.

It takes a community. Barn raising, Fall 2011.

The down and dirty:  Here at Dandelion Spring – Straw Farm in Newcastle, we grow good food on a piece of land in Newcastle, Maine, one hour east of Portland along the coast.  This summer an ariel view of the farm would show:

6 acres of vegetable production (Certified Organic)

40 Jersey Milk Cows (Certified Organic)

50 sheep and their lambs

10 pigs

and several hundred laying hens

vegetable land and pasture are dynamically checker-blocked through-out our 50 acre home property.    often our animals, and sometimes vegetables, over flow onto neighboring land

   The vegetables are redistributed at farmers’ markets in  Rockland and Portland, and to many small stores and restaurants in the Mid-Coast and Southern Maine.  The Rosemont Markets, Fore St., Aurora Provisions, 40 Paper, and Duckfat are some of our most loyal community businesses.

Our CSA works as a credit at the farmers’ markets.  You purchase $100 and we give you $110.  A file card records your balance.  You pick-up what you’d like to eat, when you’d like to eat it.  The CSA tab of this page will give you all the details.

We want you to get to know our products, vegetable, meat, and dairy through the seasons, as well as us, the farmers of the products.  Likewise, we enjoy getting to know you, our loyal community members.  You bring meaning to our work.  Knowing your names, perhaps what catches your eye at the farm stand today, or what you brought home last week that you particularly enjoyed, helps us to do a better joy on our end of the farming circle.  For example, last year we heard you, and this year we will try to grow even more Tom Thumb lettuce and perhaps not offer individual Ruby Streaks salad greens.  Every time I return home from a farmers’ market, I’m excited to get back to work to grow more food.

Growing food and selling food is wild and poetic and simply a lot of work.  It also costs a lot of money to raise a carrot these days.  CSA models help in the real accounting of food – this time of year my daily expenses far exceed the gains of our current weekly sales.  By purchasing a CSA share, you are paying for your food in the real time expense cycle of when it costs the most money to produce your food.  In the winter, us farmers pay dollars for food.  In the summer, we labor to produce food.

Please consider joining our CSA share today!

If you have questions, we’d love to hear from you: DandelionSpringFarm@gmail.com, or call Beth at 380.4199.


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