As we head into spring, CSAs are continuing to take sign-ups. If you’re considering joining one, The Wire explores some of the new options available from local farms this year:
Way to grow: still more options at CSAs
There’s still time to sign up for a community supported agriculture share at many local farms, and this year, there are even more options to choose from.
Farms are offering more variety in the food and products available, as well as in the size and seasons of shares.
In addition to vegetables, some shares include fruits, herbs, flowers, plants, seafood, meat, dairy, eggs, grain, bread and other homemade goods. Some farms are also starting to allow shareholders to customize their choices.
At Brookford Farm in Rollinsford, the four-season CSA includes local grain, raw milk and other dairy products, eggs, pasture-raised beef and pork, and organic vegetables. New this season are broiler chickens.
Also new at Brookford is the option of a build-your-own share featuring a quarterly signup system, a la carte registration, and more affordable prices. Shareholders pick two of three base groups—dairy, vegetables, or grains, then can supplement their shares with additions depending on their diet and needs during the season.
At Meadow’s Mirth, a certified organic farm in Stratham, one share costing $400 entitles you to $440 worth of vegetables, herbs and flowers throughout the season. Shareholders choose the products at farmers’ markets or at the farm stand. They are also offering a pick-your-own blueberry share.
There is a similar, flexible option at Wild Miller Gardens in Lee. Shareholders can get credit for $330 worth of produce, eggs, pork and garlic for $300 up front.
Eastman’s Local Catch, a community supported fishery based in Seabrook, lets shareholders decide how many pounds of fish they would like each week for the six-week summer share starting in mid-June. This year, they have added a lobster option that can be substituted for one week.
Carolyn Eastman said a representative from the fishery will be available to talk to shareholders about their food at every pickup location this year.She said people are interested in maintaining a relationship with their food providers and she has seen a 95 percent renewal rate as a result. This is their third season offering a CSF.
She said as demand for their fish grows, they’ll add more fishing boats, which is good for local fishermen, like her husband, in a challenging climate…
Continue reading about CSAs, including Heron Pond Farm, Riverside Farm, and Two Toad Farm, among others at www.wirenh.com.
For more information about CSAs currently offering shares > mm