CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture.” By joining Zenger Farm’s CSA community, you are joining with people who believe in and support Zenger Farm’s values:
- We believe in Social Justice. Everyone has a right to good food and members who can afford it donate to our CSA Scholarship Fund. Help make the same Zenger food that you enjoy available to your neighbors who otherwise would not be able to participate.
- We believe in Knowledge. Every year, when we grow food for you, you help us demonstrate sustainable farming to over 10,000 visitors and you help us train four interns who have little to no experience in farming. We are proud that 80% of our farm interns since 2010 are currently farming.
- We believe in Stewardship. We ask for your support and understanding when we provide you with good food that doesn’t look like grocery store produce. We embrace farming practices that don’t eradicate pests, but instead we seek to balance the needs of both nature and our CSA community.
- We believe in Nourishment. Beyond growing good food, we share food traditions and healthy cooking techniques through community workshops and events that CSA members are encouraged to attend and support.
Six things your farmerS want you to know before you join our CSA community…
- CSA is about building community and a connection with a farm. If Zenger Farm isn’t in your neighborhood, join a CSA near you, because we want you to enjoy getting your vegetables instead of fighting traffic across town. When you visit the farm, we want you to meet your neighbors. We want to learn about your favorite recipes, share cooking ideas, and catch up with each other when you get your vegetables. We want you to visit with the chickens or walk around the farm fields to see for yourself the challenges and successes we have while farming.
- CSA is a commitment between farmer and member. You get to rely on your farmers to provide your family with healthy, delicious vegetables for an entire CSA season. Your farmers get to rely on you for emotional and financial support for an entire CSA season. If you can’t make this commitment, consider a Choose-Your-Week Custom CSA Share or visiting the Lents International Farmers Market.
- CSA is an adventure and a learning experience. You will get plenty of delicious, common vegetables, like orange carrots. But you will also get unusual varieties of common vegetables, like Jimmy Nardello sweet peppers, and you will get uncommon vegetables, like kohlrabi. We will help you, your family and your kids learn how to prepare and eat them. You’ll discover new vegetables that you love and new vegetables that you have trouble loving. You will waste some of your vegetables on your adventure, and that is OK. CSA requires you to embrace the adventure and the learning experience.
- CSA challenges you to be flexible with your menu planning. We email you a forecast of what we think will be in your share by Tuesday, but you won’t know exactly what you get until Thursday when you pick up your share at the farm. You will enjoy CSA if you love spontaneity and, if not, consider supporting the Lents International Farmers Market.
- CSA is an amazing way to change your eating habits and improve your health – that’s why we provide discounted shares to patients who pick up their vegetables at the Midcounty Health Clinic. But it takes time to learn how to cook with so many fresh vegetables and it takes time to change eating habits. Go easy on yourself if you waste some vegetables or if you haven’t found a way to prepare fennel that you enjoy. Learning a new skill takes time. Improving your health without taking a pill takes time too. And if you’re new, consider a Half Share or Choose-Your-Own Custom CSA Share.
- CSA is about community, not capitalism. You will be disappointed if price is the only way you compare CSAs and grocery stores. In a CSA, you join your neighbors to form a community, you have an authentic relationship with your farmers, you learn new cooking skills, change your eating habits, develop a deep understanding of farming, and help care for land in your neighborhood. In a CSA, you get locally grown vegetables harvested the same day. None of that happens in a grocery store. The reality is that most CSA farmers barely pay themselves minimum wage. At Zenger Farm, despite growing $110,000 in income from produce sales in 2017, we needed additional funding from donors and grants to cover the cost of growing vegetables for our neighbors. CSA farming is about far more than money.
Does Zenger Farm’s community CSA sound like a good fit for you?