The CSA concept is simple: crop “shareholders” join the farm and the fee, paid up front, helps to cover the cost of running the farm for the whole season. In return, members receive a share of the fresh produce every week. Yummm!
The Holcomb Farm CSA includes two seasons: Summer and Winter shares. Each season is purchased separately.
CSA shareholders receive a large seasonal variety of produce each week. We grow approximately 3 dozen crops and about 200 crop varieties, including vegetables, berries, flowers, and herbs during the twenty week growing season from June through October. We generally have 6-10 items each week. What shareholders receive in any given week depends upon the season and the weather. Produce will be fresh – usually picked the morning of distribution – and grown without chemicals.
Share Price and Size
2017 Summer Full Share – $625 per share ($31.25/week) – provides one bag of produce (roughly equivalent to a large paper grocery bag) each week, plus the Pick-Your Own crops, for 20 weeks. One share is adequate for most households. If your household is large, you may want two shares.
2017 Summer Full Box Shares – $625 per share ($31.25/week) – similar in size to our on-farm full share, but pre-packed and delivered to locations in the West Hartford area. For more information, visit our Box Share page.
2017 Summer Half Share – $350 per half share ($17.50/week) – roughly half the amount of a full share, which can be just too much for some households. Pick-Your-Own crops are also included. Half shares are ONLY available as an on-farm pick up option. We do not delivery half shares to our remote box share locations.
We have not increased our prices for 2017. The costs for our inputs continue to do up, especially labor – our primary expenditure. The CT Minimum Wage will continue to increase in 2017 and we will again increase our worker’s wages to stay ahead of it. Even at the full cost of $625, we are right in the middle of the pack as to what other area CSA’s charge on a weekly basis. Whatever the price and whatever the size of the share our job is the same: to replay your confidence in our farm by giving you so much fresh, delicious produce you’ll say, “Wow – I got my money’s worth! When can I sign up for next year?!”
2017/18 Winter Shares. Enrollment for the winter season will be available in early October.
Summer – 20 weeks from early June through October.
Winter – Monthly pickup from November into February.
We offer on-farm pick up at our barn in West Granby, CT Pick up times in West Granby are Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10am – 6pm. You may come to our West Granby farm once a week anytime during those hours. You do NOT need to come at the same time each week. Many members enjoy pick-up day as a highlight of their week! Children are welcome and seem to especially enjoy the Pick-Your-Own experience which is included in your on-farm share . Please keep an eye on your children and remain in the designated areas, as we are a working farm with active farm equipment.
CSA pick up is at 111 Simsbury Rd, the big red barn at the north end of the property. (The other Holcomb Farm buildings are located at 113 Simsbury Rd, where Day Street South intersects with Simsbury Road.)
How Distribution Works
Most weeks of the summer season, we will have something for CSA shareholders to harvest in easily accessible fields. The PYO crops include strawberries, basil, cilantro, other herbs, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, hot peppers, cut flowers, green beans, edamame soybeans, snap peas, and raspberries. We have signage inside the barn in the announcing what’s ready to pick and where it is.
The Pick-Your-Own crops are available Tuesday through Saturday, from 10am to 6pm. Please be aware that this is a production farm and there are tractors, trucks and other serious equipment in use. Please be watchful of your small children! Also, if you find the deer fence closed when you come, please make sure it is closed when you leave.
What’s in a share?
Your weekly share will usually consist of a bountiful bag of 6-10 crops. Most weeks, you may select the items you prefer from the crops available. Items in short supply may be individually limited. As an example, for a week in July, a share may include carrots, beets, lettuce, summer squash, cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli, scallions and new potatoes, with green beans, hot peppers, basil, nasturtiums, and cutting flowers in the Pick-Your-Own fields. Later in the season, early fall crops might include arugula, squash, watermelon, brussel sprouts, and pumpkins.
What we grow
We grow multiple varieties of all of the following: lettuce, summer squash and zucchini, cucumbers, watermelon, carrots, beets, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, peas, beans, okra, kale, chard, basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, potatoes, onions, winter squash, fennel, brussel sprouts, leeks, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, rutabaga, kohlrabi, arugula, parsnips, radishes, and sweet potatoes and more.
Our methods are chemical free. Each year, we sign the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s Farmer’s Pledge (ctnofa.org) verifying that we do not use synthetic chemicals in our farming, and that we employ management methods that protect and build soil health, provide a good environment for our workers, and have little impact on the surrounding ecology. We are dedicated to providing outstanding nutrition through our farming. Read more about our growing methods here.
What’s the Risk?
Technically, members share the risks and rewards of the growing season. In reality, we’ve gotten pretty good at ensuring plenty of good produce for all members. In the last few years we’ve been through both extremely wet years and extremely dry years, and we still had abundant harvests and plentiful variety. Of course, major weather related catastrophes could cause a setback. Each year, certain crops do better than others, but we hedge our bets in many ways: with multiple plantings, 200 plus varieties, dozens of crops, seven different fields with soils that behave differently in different conditions, greenhouse crops, good irrigation, and more lessons learned every year about how to manage crops for abundant, healthy yields.
The spirit of Community Supported Agriculture is that consumers and farmers work together to contribute to a resilient and healthy local food system. The understanding is that CSA shareholders provide consistent support to the farm, and the farmers do our best to provide a plentiful, consistent, and varied supply of farm-fresh produce. Please recognize that farming incurs much of its cost early in the season for seeds and plants and fertilizer and labor and fuel and equipment. Farming skill is involved to produce a bountiful weekly harvest, but so is rain, sun and a dose of luck. CSA shareholders can expect that some weeks will be leaner than others (particularly early in the season). Although cancellation of a weekly distribution is possible, it is rare that there would be a confluence of factors that would prevent a steady flow of produce each week.
What if I miss a week?
If you are out of town one week, or know that you will not be able to pick up your share, you are welcome to have a friend or neighbor pick up your share and enjoy the produce themselves! Any excess produce not picked up is donated to various food banks and food distribution systems. We cannot provide a credit for missed produce throughout the season.
We stock a Farm Store with products from other local farms, including apples, peaches, grass-fed beef, honey, maple syrup, goat cheese, and more. The Farm Store is open to all members of the community, not just CSA shareholders. Farm Store hours are the same as pick-up hours. The Farm Store accepts cash, checks, debit and credit card payments.
Do I have to Work on the Farm?
No, we do not require shareholders to work on the farm. We do, however, have a few work days each season when we ask CSA members to come help out with a big harvest or other task on the farm. This happens only a few times a year, and it’s great to get many hands together, working and having fun in the fields while accomplishing a culminating yearly task (like of the haying scene in Anna Karenina, but less physically intense!)
A few workshares are available each season. A workshare requires a 60 hour commitment over the course of the season, in exchange for a CSA share. Work will include helping with greenhouse seeding, transplanting, weeding, and harvesting. You must be available for 7am – 12pm shifts during the week. We are very selective about who we choose for workshares since we depend on them the way we depend on our regular paid staff. For more information, please Contact us.
113 Simsbury Road, West Granby, CT 06090