2015 Full Season CSA
Hello Friends and Supporters
Winter, for many Nebraskans, seems sooo dreadfully long. Though we sometimes share that sentiment, it always feels like our “break” from farming is nearly non-existant. With the use of high tunnels (unheated greenhouses) and storage crops, we are somehow engaged in farming from the first of February through the end of December. In fact, we are marketing cheese and have some storage roots year round. Then, of course, there are seeds to order, equipment to maintain, high tunnels to reskin, and projects started and left in the frenetic pace of last years “busy” season to complete.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN 2015?
2015 begins our twentieth season farming in Nebraska. We will offer our ‘Market Style’ full season CSA as we did for the first time in 2010. For more than a decade, ShadowBrook Farm has been offering a “Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) style subscription. With this type of service, our supporters invest, in advance, in a “share” of our highest quality produce, artisan cheese, and garden flowers. This commitment entitles our supporters to a value of produce/cheese/flowers/meat equal to their investment over a defined period of time. This relationship has reciprocal value for farmer and subscriber. We enjoy getting to know our customers, and we hope they enjoy getting to know us and our farm. On top of that, it is truly meaningful in maintaining and strengthening the economic viability of our farm. Having an infusion of working capital early in the season allows us to purchase seed and feed, make repairs and improvements, invest in new infrastructure, and make payroll in a period of time when there is little or no income. Your upfront support helps defray these annual start-up costs and insures a strong beginning to our season.
In the most traditional style of CSAs, the farmer will assemble a basket or box with a variety of produce for CSA members to pick up at perarranged times and locations. There are many variations on the theme, but in general, the variety within the box is the farmer’s choice and all boxes are the same. Members share the succeses and failures with the farmer and benefit in the bounty of harvest. We have chosen a different model that we feel is a better fit for ourselves and our customers. In our ‘market-style’ CSA, we set up at the pickup locations much like we would at a farmers’ market. Our members shop as they would at a farmers’ market selecting produce that appeals to their own taste buds. There might be limitations based on availability but, in general, this arrangement offers the customer greater flexibility than in the traditional model.
We will offer our ‘market style’ CSA through the entire growing season (early to mid-May thru November) and build in even greater flexibility. Members will be able to pick up their choice of produce, cheese, flowers, and meat at any of the farmers’ markets that we attend, at our farm store during open hours, or at our post-season pick-up location in Omaha. We will keep track of your initial investment, your weekly purchases, and your running balance.
When you invest in the ShadowBrook CSA, you are issued a plastic card with your member number on it. Your initial investment is entered into our computer system and each time you make a purchase, your account is updated on the spot so that your current credit balance is always available. We also have in place a system to give you the opportunity to check on your account in the comfort of your home.
WHERE WILL THE PICK-UP POINTS BE?
At this time we anticipate participating in the
*Old Cheney Road Farmers’ Market in Lincoln
*Hay Market Farmers’ Market in Lincoln
*ShadowBrook Country Market (days and hours to be determined)
*Old Market Farmers’ Market in Omaha
*Aksarben Village Farmers’ Market in Omaka and at
*Soul Desires in Omaha on Saturday for the pre- and post-season CSA pick-up
We are also working a couple other possibilities and will let you know if we add other options.
As cash flow in the spring is always poor, we will offer an early investment incentive. It is a tremendous benefit to the farm and ultimately to you to have that ‘seed money’ at the beginning of the season. We will offer several levels for investment from $100 to $1000 *(See chart below). All who participate will benefit, but the earlier and greater investment will receive a larger discount.
|BEFORE MARCH 1||AFTER MARCH 1|
|VALUE||YOUR COST||YOUR COST|
Gift Cards available beginning at $25.00 and in increments of $25.00.
How do you know how much to invest in the season CSA? We believe that a family of 4 will consume an average of $20 per week. For example there are about 30 weeks in our season, so 30 X $20 = $600. A vegetarian family or a family who rarely eats out will probably spend more. Remember to consider cheese, flowers, and meat too.
What if I run out of credit? You can invest more at any time April 1st through August 31st using the “after April 1″ schedule. There is no discount for an investment made after September 1st. An investment at that time will only allow priority purchasing at the post market pick-ups.
CSA MEMBER BENEFITS
**SUPPORT our farm AND save money
**PROVIDE start-up capital for season 2015
**CREATE flexibility with multiple pick-up sites
**CONNECT with the farm by
–On farm events
–Volunteer work times on the farm
–Help organize farm events
–Provide feedback to improve the CSA
–Enjoy fresh, healthy food
If you have questions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You will promptly receive an answer from Diane.
Click here to register: 2015 Full Season CSA Registration Form
In April, we will email more more information about the farmers’ markets.