Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a way for small farmers to directly market their produce to the community. The community, in turn, directly supports its local farmers by purchasing an annual share of the farm´s products. When you join Tantré Farm CSA, you are joining a farm community. There is a community among all the members, the farmers, and the local ecology. No labor is required of members, but you are encouraged to come out and visit the farm to help nurture your ties with the land.
Membership in a CSA is about sharing the risks, rewards, and responsibilities of growing delicious, sustainably-grown produce. In terms of risks, we never know what Mother Nature will do. We plant over 80-100 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs, so that we can have a back up, if a crop doesn´t produce as well as you or we would have liked. We also plant some crops successively (carrots, beans, corn, lettuce, greens, etc.) when possible, so that throughout the growing season, even if a crop fails due to some natural disaster, you may receive that crop a few weeks later or later in the season, although sometimes you just may not receive it at all. We also cultivate plant diversity and practice companion plantings, crop rotation, mulching, etc. We use row covers and encourage beneficial insects and pollinators, such as yellow-antennaed wasps, which feed on cabbage lupers.
The rewards of your membership may be in the taste, nutrition, and freshness of your weekly box of produce. Not only does a membership teach one to eat seasonally, it also might challenge someone to try eating a new vegetable, find a new way to cook an “old favorite”, or learn to like a “least favorite” by trying a new way of preparing it. Somewhat less obviously, we are rewarded intrinsically by participating in a movement of supporting small family farms, eating locally and seasonally, and developing a relationship with the farmer, the land, and the local community that supports it.
As a member, you basically have 3 responsibilities:
1. You agree to make a financial contribution to the farm for that season´s share of vegetables before the season starts.
2.You agree to pick up your share each week at the location, day, and times specified, unless prior arrangements have been made.
3.You agree to return your clean box from the previous week. We have a limited number of boxes, and we like to reuse them, so it is important that we get them back each week. (See below for more information)
Do I Have To Bring Back My Box From The Previous Week?
Yes, because we reuse the boxes. If you find that remembering to bring the box back is difficult, then just bring some reusable cloth grocery bags, a cooler, a box, or your own paper or plastic grocery bags to transfer your produce into, leaving the box behind. This is a great solution, especially so you don´t have to store the box for an entire week before the next distribution. Keep in mind, your produce will stay freshest and last longer if you transport it in a cooler, especially if you are not going directly home after picking up your box.
1.Someone else picks up. If someone else is picking up your share, you don´t need to let us know, just tell them to check the contact person´s name off the list.
It would be very helpful though to give them our phone number or e-mail, so that they may contact us if they are not picking up for some reason.
2.Reschedule for a different Distribution Day within the same week. Please reschedule only on regular Distribution Days. Please give us a week´s advance notice.
3.Tell us not to harvest your share, but please give us a week´s advance notice.
At the latest, we really need to know by Sunday at the beginning of each week to get an accurate harvest count for the week.
What If I´m Going To Be Late Or Find Suddenly That I Cannot Pick-Up My Share?
The shares need to be picked up by the designated times, especially at the Ann Arbor distribution sites, since we try to leave by noon so we can still use the rest of the daylight hours for farm work. If at the last minute you can´t pick up (or you forget) on your scheduled day, please call us sometime during that day, so that we know what happened. You may try to reschedule for pick up at the Farm later that day or the next day.
Please DO NOT expect to pick up your box after the second day, since the share will have been taken apart by then or donated.