AT MONTEVIDEO IN THE SENECA VALLEY
Plow and Stars Farm
Can I buy one adult share for my whole household?
No, we ask that each individual who is going to eat the food sign up for a share, including each person in a household. This enables us to provide the free-choice option and to make CSA our main marketing outlet.
Can I sign up month by month instead of for the whole year?
No, we ask our shareholders to commit to the farm for a whole year so that we can make a similar commitment to you. We make a plan in the winter based on shareholders who are bought in for the entire year. That enables us to focus on sustainable growing and animal production rather than marketing year round!
Do you offer a separate share for people who don't eat meat?
For 2019-2020, we are offering a very limited number of veggie and egg shares for non-meat-eaters. We ask that you think hard about whether anyone in your household might want to eat meat before purchasing a veggie and egg only share; meat will be available only to those who have purchased meat shares. If you have a family in which some members eat meat and others do not, we ask that you purchase meat shares equal to the number of meat-eaters in your household. Meat is the most expensive item for us to produce on the farm. If people eat our meat without purchasing a share, it undermines the trust we place in our shareholders to take and pay for what they will use.
What happens if I go on vacation?
If you go away, you can have a friend pick up your share for the duration of your vacation, or you can ask us to donate your share.
What if I need to miss a pickup?
Every once in a while our schedules get away from us! Send us an email or text if you need us to box your share, and we'll pack it up for you to pick up after hours.
What should I bring to my CSA pickup?
Bring yourself, family members and friends, bags and a cooler to carry home your CSA share, sturdy footwear for all weather conditions, and a picnic or snack if you'd like to enjoy it on the farm. The farm is also our home, as well as the private residence of our landlords. While we encourage you to enjoy the beauty of the landscape, we also ask that you respect these boundaries while you're on the farm.
We currently have a waitlist for our meat, vegetable and egg shares. To be placed on the waitlist, sign up here. To sign up for our vegetable and egg shares, fill out this interest survey. We'll get back to you with an invoice for the shares you're interested in purchasing. To finalize your signup, send a check for at least 50% of your total!
The CSA at Plow and Stars Farm is a free-choice, year-round model of community-supported agriculture. Shareholders pay at the beginning of the year for their share, which will include vegetables, eggs, and meat (for meat shares only). This enables us to use your up-front payment to purchase seeds and other inputs at the beginning of the year, a time when our expenditures are high and traditional farm income is low. We're also able to use some of the income to invest in long-term structural improvements and soil fertility on the farm.
CSA is a direct relationship between farmers (us) and eaters (you) -- there's no middleman and there are no pretenses. We make the CSA the vast majority of our focus on the farm, and your support allows us to farm without all the guesswork of seasonal marketing; all of our products have a home even before they are planted, laid, or born. By purchasing a share, shareholders agree to share the risk inherent in farming. Farmers agree to do their utmost to produce a bounty of food for their shareholders. The mutual trust and respect essential to CSA is the foundation of many powerful farm-to-consumer relationships around the country and the world.
What You Give
At Plow and Stars Farm, shareholders pay according to how many individuals are in their families. In 2019, we ask each adult in a household to pay $1500 for the year, which amounts to $125 per month. Children 6-12 pay $750 per year, and children 5 and under join the CSA for no cost. For veggie and egg shares, each adult pays $600 per year, children 6-12 $300 per year, and children 5 and under are no cost. Payment is up front, at the beginning of the farm year, at the time when we have the most expenses. You pay half of your total share cost when you sign up, with the balance due by June 1. See our discussion of 'Investment' for more on the costs and pricing of our shares.
What You Get
Shareholders pick up food at the farm once a week mid-June through mid-December of 2019, and one a month January through May of 2020. Pickups are Thursdays from 4-7 PM. When you arrive, you'll select what your family will eat that week from the array of seasonal vegetables that have been harvested for you, eggs laid by our chickens, and meats available in the freezer.
You'll be able to take whatever your family will use that week. We encourage you to take enough to process and put by when vegetables are at their peak. Some products may be limited by availability and season -- for example, the first tomatoes are precious commodities! -- but you will usually be able to pick and choose exactly what you like from whatever we have to offer.
Vegetables will vary by the season, from tender greens and radishes in the spring to the mouthwatering tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant of summer, and hearty squashes, roots, and greens through the fall and winter. Meats will also vary seasonally. In 2019, pork, lamb, and turkey will be available in the fall as young animals are processed, while we plan to raise several batches of broiler chickens throughout the year. We hope to have eggs year-round.
Take a look at our newsletters from the 2017-2018 CSA season for a sense of what might be in the shares at any given time of the year.
Questions about our CSA? Ask us!
Vegetables and Herbs: 60 types year-round in 2019
Pastured Meat: Pork, lamb, chicken and turkey in 2019
Fruit: We offer an add-on fruit share via a partnership with our neighbors at Kingsbury's Orchard. Fruit shares include about a peck the very best local IPM cherries, peaches, apples and pears each week and run from mid-June through Thanksgiving.
Plow and Stars Farm is excited to offer year-round CSA shares for the 2019-2020 season! Distribution of shares begins in June of 2019 and include vegetables, eggs, chicken, pork, lamb, and Thanksgiving turkeys, all raised on the farm.