OUR 2013 CSA is FULL -- but you can get on our WAIT-LIST for 2014. Please read our
CSA GUIDELINES below, check out our gallery of photos & list of share contents, and if you're interested in a
share for 2014, please e-mail us. THANKS !
An Overview of Our CSA Program
for “Community Supported Agriculture.” A local farmer offers customers the opportunity to become members
of the farm’s CSA program. Customers pay the farmer in advance, entitling them to a “share”
of the farm’s harvest during the season. This "up-front" payment helps the farmer
with expenses at the beginning of the growing season. The CSA member then receives a weekly assortment
of fresh produce -- picked, packed and ready for pick-up -- throughout the growing season.
A variety of fruits and vegetables are
picked at optimum ripeness and boxed for you on pick-up day. The amount and type of each vegetable and
fruit vary with the season and the weather. You, the CSA member, pick up your produce at the farm each
week on a designated day.
If you are already a customer of Easy Pickin’s, you know we grow a wide variety of vegetables,
herbs, fruits and berries. Each week your share box will reflect this mix of fresh, tasty produce
! Your vegetable selection includes whatever is in season and available: tomatoes, peppers, squash, beans,
carrots, turnips, onions, salad fixings and more. Fruits may include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries,
plums, peaches, apples and Asian pears. Our wide variety of high quality fruit is a bonus
which many CSAs are unable to offer their members. Please check the “What We Grow” page of our website for a more complete listing of our produce, and click the "Review of 2012"
link at the top of this page to see what our most recent season looked like, week by week.
A CSA share is priced at $525.
That’s approximately 20 weeks, starting in mid-June and running through October. Your cost averages
out to about $26 per week. To reserve a share, you can make a down payment of $100 any
time after Jan. 1. Full payment must be received by May 1,
in order to confirm your share. Shares are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. A
limited number of shares is available for this our third season of CSA, so don't delay !
Please click on the link at the top of this page to print out the
CSA Membership Form, fill it in, and mail it with your payment to:
Make your check payable to Easy Pickin’s Orchard.
You must select a weekly
pick-up day for the season.
Currently, the choices are:
*at our farm*: Tuesday 4pm-6:30pm *or* Thursday 4pm-6:30pm
*or* *at Coventry Regional Farmers' Market* Sunday 11am-2pm
To contact us:
tel.: (860) 763-3276 (-FARM)
(our recorded message)
CSA - Benefits and Opportunities
Supporting Local Farming and Quality Food Production
When you join a CSA, you help to support a local farmer; you also help to maintain and protect local farmland in
your community. When you “buy local” instead of getting produce that is shipped in from great
distances, it’s much better for the environment; you are also supporting your local economy. You
meet and know the farmer who is growing your food. You know that the farmland is worked with care, to support
the farm’s production and to ensure the future of local farming for generations to come. And local,
freshly-picked fruits and vegetables have more vitamins and much better flavor than produce that may have been in the commercial
food system for days or even weeks !
A Good Value for Your Grocery Budget
CSA is a good value for you
and for us, in many ways. First, $525 for 20 weeks is about $26 per week, and
should be plenty of produce for a family of 4. The value of the produce is based on retail prices at farm
stands and farmers’ markets. This fluctuates with the supply of produce from week to week.
In the early and late seasons when variety is more limited, the value of the box may be slightly less, in order
not to inundate you with heaps of radishes and lettuce mix ! During peak season, we will be able to add
a bit more to the box, to take advantage of all the varieties of fruits and vegetables available at that time.
Your Share in the Adventure of Farming
Of course, farming
is a risky business. At Easy Pickin’s we do everything possible to mitigate this risk.
Our frost fan helps to protect our fruit from early season frosts. Our farm fencing keeps deer out
of our fields. We supply our fruit orchard and berry patches with irrigation, and plan to add irrigation
to our vegetable fields as well. We have added a new plastic-sided, solar-heated greenhouse to
extend our harvest season to colder weather.
Yet unexpected things do happen. Every
year has its share of heat and cold, drought and downpours. And you've heard us tell about the woodchucks
who love to snack on very young vegetable plants ! Members of the CSA do share in these varying risks from
year to year. We cannot guarantee how many pounds of a particular item of produce will be available, but
by growing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables we do our best to provide each member with high value for their share.
What’s So Good
About Joining a CSA ? Plenty !
Consider these benefits of
joining a CSA:
Savings: Over the course of the season,
farm stand prices are very competitive with supermarket prices. And quality and freshness make local farm
produce a better bargain for your grocery budget.
We provide a large variety of fruits and vegetables, freshly-picked at optimum ripeness. More variety,
quality and flavor, and more vitamins: better nutrition for you.
· Convenience: A generous box of produce, ready-&-waiting for you, every week from June through
Community Strength: You support your local farmer with early season funds.
The farmer employs local help, and supports other local businesses as well as the food shelf and soup kitchen.
· Environmental Quality: Your support helps to provide long-term stability and sustainability to
your local farm. Agricultural lands farmed with environmentally sound methods, and the surrounding open
space, protect both air and water quality. Your local farm is also a habitat for a beautiful variety of
birds and butterflies. And by buying local produce instead of what arrives at the supermarket by plane
or truck, you reduce the fuel consumption and other environmental costs of your food for our whole planet.
Other Questions You Might Have About CSA at Easy Pickin’s
Below are some additional questions -- and answers -- about our CSA.
If there’s anything we haven’t covered, feel free to e-mail us and ask: firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks!
1.What if I miss my pick-up ? We can't
promise to save your weekly share or give you a “make-up.” Produce is very perishable, so if you’re
not available on your pick-up day we encourage you to arrange with a friend or family member to pick up your share that week.
Shares not picked up at the designated time will be donated to our local food pantry. There are
no refunds for missed pick-ups.
2. Is the produce “organic” ? Many early CSAs began on “organic”
farms. While vegetables are somewhat suited to organic production, fruits are more difficult to grow with
this method. At our farm, we choose to use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. With
IPM, we use some of the best organic methods and limit our use of conventional pesticides, in order to grow the highest quality
and safest produce we possibly can. We are enrolled in an up-to-date IPM program with the Natural Resources Conservation
Service, which brings scientists from the University of Connecticut out to our farm on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, to
personally instruct us on the latest techniques to maintain sustainable and safe food production.
3.What kind of produce will I get ? You receive a mixed sample
of the produce ripening each week throughout the season. The produce varies with the season and the
weather. Check the “What We Grow” and “What’s Growing On’” sections of our website, and the "Review of 2012" link above, to see
the list of possibilities.
4. Can I order specific produce for my share ? No.
To make this a practical and affordable system, we pack identical shares for everyone. You
will expand your food horizons by trying something new and exciting!
5. What if I would like more of some items -- like tomatoes or beans
? You’ll be at the farm to pick up your share, so you can always pick-your-own while you’re
6. Can I pick up on a different day ? No. Sorry, but we ask that
you select a specific pick-up day so that we can pack the needed number of shares for that day.