Plow and Stars Farm
AT MONTEVIDEO IN THE SENECA VALLEY
One of the hardest things about farming is making a living doing it. Americans spend less than 10% of their household budgets on food. In conventional models, less than 10% of that goes back to the farmer. By joining the CSA at Plow and Stars Farm, you are ensuring that 100% of your food dollar goes directly to the farm family. Your relationship with us, your farmers, means that you have a direct link to the methods of production -- and a chance to impact those methods.
At Plow and Stars Farm, we ask you to pay up front for your CSA share; you pay 50% of your total share price when you sign up, with a final payment due June 1. By paying at the beginning of the year, you provide a guaranteed market and a guaranteed income for the farm so that we can focus our efforts on growing food, rather than marketing or financing, during the growing season. Up front payment also ensures a mutual commitment -- you trust us to do our utmost to produce the highest quality food for your family, and we have a single-minded goal to do just that.
Many people want to know how the cost of joining a CSA like ours compares to buying comparable food at the grocery store. Some folks want to know if joining a CSA is a "good deal." After all, we are asking you for a $1500 per adult up-front payment -- not small change! -- and the price of the share will rise each season as we bring additional products into the mix. We know that you'll still have to buy additional foods to round out your diet, including grains, fruits, and dairy and any processed or convenience foods you can't live without (we all have them). The answer is that CSA is a good deal for everyone -- the shareholder, the farmer, and the land.
Our goal at Plow and Stars Farm is to provide you with the best food we can grow for the best price we can charge to build a thriving and sustainable farm business that supports our family. You won't see prices on our items on a weekly basis like you would at a store or farmers' market, but we will keep track of the average value of our shares based on comparable prices at local farmers' markets and farm stands to ensure that you are getting your money's worth and that we are creating enterprises that work for the farm financially. Each winter, we build a detailed plan for a full farm share that will provide an excellent return on your investment -- we strive to give our shareholders farm products worth 110% of what you invest.
Because you choose a share for your family based on your own preferences, the volume of food you'll take home each week will vary based on the season and the needs of your household. One week you might take home 20 pounds of tomatoes to can or freeze; the next you might decide you never want to see a tomato again. During the winter, you might stock up on winter squash one week because you have room in your pantry, while your crisper drawers are still full of carrots and parsnips from previous weeks.
Although CSA isn't for everyone, we believe that the free-choice CSA model is one that can fit the needs of many different types of families, and we hope that your investment in Plow and Stars Farm in 2016 will be the beginning of a long-term relationship with our farm, our family, and the land where your food is grown. We hope that you'll find that you feel like your food dollars go a long way -- and that your relationship with the land, our family, and your own family's health is strengthened as an added benefit.
Plow and Stars Farm is a work in progress that has come to be in part because of the extreme generosity of our friends and family. If you'd like to make a larger investment in the farm than just a CSA share, we have several large infrastructure projects still in the works, including significant equipment that we can use to expand our farm's offerings. Contact us for more information on how to make a long-term investment in the farm.