CSA Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions About CSA at Verrill Farm
What exactly is CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, which has become a popular way for consumers to purchase fresh fruit and produce directly from a local farmer. Each season, the farmer will offer a set amount of “farm shares” for sale to the general public. Each farm share serves as a “membership” for a weekly allotment of the farm’s harvest over a designated season (our CSA runs for 20 weeks – beginning in June and ending in October). Members visit the farm each week to pick up their share. The offerings in a CSA share will change throughout the season based on what crops are being harvested.
Why should I choose Verrill Farm CSA?
We take pride in growing the freshest, best tasting fruit and produce for our members to enjoy, while practicing sustainable farming practices that promote the long term conservation of our precious land base. We are proud to invite our members out to the farm each and every week so that you can understand and trust exactly how and where your food is coming from.
How much variety can I expect in my share?
The overall variety available each week will vary based upon the season. In the spring, your share will consist primarily of early greens and root vegetables (think salads). In the summer and fall months, the variety offered will increase drastically and you will often have choices of over 20 different items to fill your share with. In addition to a wide variety of crops grown on the farm, we also grow a wide range of varieties within certain crops. For crops like corn, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes, you might have the opportunity to try 10+ different varieties of each crop throughout the entire season.
When does Verrill Farm CSA Start?
Our CSA program typically begins in mid June and runs for 20 weeks, ending in late October.
What crops do your grow for CSA?
With the exception of a few limited or very labor intensive crops (asparagus, cherry tomatoes, peas), our CSA members will typically have access to the full array of crops that we grow throughout the season as they become available. Typically, CSA members will also have the opportunity to pick their own strawberries and flower bouquets a few times each season.
How does CSA pick-up work?
Depending on your share type, members will visit the farm on their designated pick-up day on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. If you have purchased a pre-packed Speedy Share, you will simply check in and be handed your pre-packed bucket of produce to take home (contact free pick-up available). Full and Bi-weekly share members will be presented with a list of items that are available for pick-up that week and will have the option to select which items to fill their basket with. We try to give members non pre-packed share members as many choices (and as few limits) as possible so that you can fill your share with items that you like to eat!
How big is a typical CSA share each week?
Full and Bi-weekly share members will receive a 16 quart wicker basket to load their share into each week. This basket serves as your share size “limit”. Once your basket is full, you have met your limit. In addition to your basket, there are additional items that will be allowed outside of the basket throughout the season (melons, pumpkins, etc.). Depending on the season, Full and Bi-weekly shares will typically consist of 12 – 20 different items each week (larger share during summer months, smaller during the spring and late fall). Speedy Shares are all pre-packed into a 8 quart plastic bucket and will typically consist of 8 – 12 different items each week.
Do CSA members receive discounts and promotions?
We have calculated that CSA members save about 25% on Verrill Farm produce versus purchasing the same produce in our farm stand. Additionally, CSA members receive access to specials (typically including some delicious Verrill Farm baked goods), pick your own opportunities and much more!
Can I split my share with someone else?
Yes, absolutely! Members are welcome to split their share with someone else. We will leave it up to manage how you would like the split your share up. We have found that it is often easiest to simply alternate pick-up weeks with your share partner. If you decide to both pick-up each week, we simply ask that you arrive/check-in together.
What if I can't pick-up on my designated day?
If you are away or can’t pick-up, you are welcome to give your share to a friend or neighbor. Alternatively, let us know and we are happy to donate your share for the week to Open Table in Maynard.
What if I don't like certain vegetables?
While CSA is a fantastic way to try some new vegetables, we understand that not everyone likes every item! For that reason, we try to give our Full & Bi-weekly shares as many choices as possible. During peak season for most crops, we try to remove limits so that you can fill your basket with the items that you like most and are not forced to take items that you aren’t interested in. During peak summer season, it is not unheard of for some CSA members to choose to fill their basket for the week almost entirely with delicious corn and tomatoes!
What does sustainable agriculture mean?
After farming the same land for over 100 years, we are committed to preserving the same land for hundreds of years more! Learn all about our commitment to sustainable agriculture.
How has Covid-19 affected CSA?
In 2020, we saw a spike in demand for CSA shares during the onset of the pandemic. As a result, we have increased our plantings and are now offering two different pick-up days to accommodate additional members. Safety remains a top priority. For the upcoming year, you can expect:
- As always, all Verrill Farm produce will continue to be harvested, handled and washed by gloved employees.
- Hand washing stations & gloves will be provided as needed for customers at CSA pickup.
- We are using a larger tented area that will allow us to space out the CSA produce better and will allow easier distancing for customers picking up their shares each week.
- We are limiting the number of people inside the tent picking up at any single time so that customers can maintain proper distancing.
- The pickup area will be set up with a one way flow which will also help with spacing.
- Contact-less pick-up will be offered for Speedy Shares.