CSA- Community Supported Agriculture
The CSA model connects folks who are interested in fresh, local, seasonal food to a farm. In this case it is the Sankanac CSA, part of Camphill Village Kimberton Hills. A member of the CSA commits to purchasing a share at the beginning of the season and then receives the bounty of that year’s harvest. This gives the farmer a chance to focus on the health of the farm and soil, and produce the best quality crops.
In the “off season” or the slower part of the year, the farmer prepares a plan for the next season. In this process the farmer figures out a running budget, which is an approximation of the amount of money that is needed to run the farm. That number is figured in to the available land space and a projection of possible yields which helps to define the number of members and how much a share would cost. A member pays before the season starts and accepts a small portion of the risk that any farm and farmer face. The diversity of produce helps reduce the amount of risk the farmer and shareholders are taking. For example, if the potatoes fall to rampant late blight (like the blight that covered the east coast in 2009), sweet potatoes may have an exceptionally high yield and so in a sense make up for the loss. With so many varieties of vegetables as well as successive plantings, a large number of crops will always do well, and the farmer is always working to limit the amount of crops that don’t.
A membership to the Sankanac CSA specially connects the share holder to the farm because the weekly pick-up happens only at the farm. It creates a social experience and a chance to “get to know the farmer”, walk in the fields where your food comes from, and even harvest certain items from our U-Pick section.
We offer a 24 week share. Members can choose to purchase either a Full or a Partial share depending on their personal needs. A Full share is designed to feed a family of about four; a Partial share to feed a couple, or a veggie loving individual. The cost for a full share in the 2019 season is $786.00 and a partial is $450.00. We mostly provide vegetables, along with some berries (blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries), watermelon and cantaloupe, flowers, and herbs. The pickups are once every week for 24 weeks, beginning the first week of June. When you sign up you choose to do your pickups either on a Tuesday or Friday, and stick to that day throughout the season. You can pick up your vegetables between noon and 8pm. Sometimes there are U-Pick items such as strawberries, peas, or flowers which will be offered for you to gather yourself from the garden if you wish. We also offer a bread and baked goods share through our CSA, as well as a raw milk share from our dairy.