2013 Indian Ridge Farm
Community Supported Agriculture
What is a CSA? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a concept in farming that began in Europe and Japan in the 1960s. In basic terms, CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farm becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or “shareholders” of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer’s salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season — distributed in a weekly “basket of goods” — as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. This is an important point: Quantities and items in baskets of goods cannot be guaranteed. The shareholder, like the farmer, is accepting some of the risks inherent in farming. By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing.
What can I expect in A BASKET of goods? The CSA at Indian Ridge Farm & Bakery is unique in that members will receive, over the course of the season, not only 100 hundred different varieties of FRESH organically grown vegetables and herbs, but also pastured poultry raised and processed on the farm, organic bread and granola from the bakery, and eggs laid by pastured, grass fed layer hens. Included in the membership are weekly pick-your-own-flowers. We also offer a special “tomato share,” fifteen weeks of fresh organically grown, heritage tomatoes. Please be aware that quantities of veggies and fruits in baskets will vary depending on what’s “in-season.” Baskets are generally lighter in the spring and get larger by mid-season and throughout the fall. The core of every share will be the vegetable share, with meat, egg, bakery and tomato shares added on. Each week you’ll receive a diverse mix of crops that are in season. While no two weeks are the same, here is an example of a typical regular share in August: One bunch carrots, two summer squash, two cucumbers, one red onion, one head of garlic, three beets, one head lettuce, one bunch swiss chard, two green peppers, and large bag of basil. Value-added products, meaning additional products offered by the farm for sale apart from the weekly basket, will be available for sale at the farm and through our web store.
When are baskets available? Baskets are available weekly from the week of Tuesday, May 28 through the week of October 1, a 19-week season. Sign up for an eight-week fall share beginning the week of October 8 will happen in September.
What are share sizes? We offer two share sizes: a Standard Share and a Standard Plus Share. All baskets will have a commensurate amount of fresh, organically grown vegetables. Pastured eggs, bread, granola, tomatoes, and for meat lovers, varying amounts of chickens and an end-of-season turkey can be added to your share.
What about the tomato shares? After almost 10 years of trying to grow tomatoes at 7,000 ft in an unheated hoop house, we decided to call it quits and let someone with more know how and a better infrastructure, do the job for us. To that end, we are partnering with Sherwood Jolley (Woody) and his girlfriend, Fumie Hiromitsu, a previous intern, of Juniper Gardens, right here on Wrights Mesa. They start their tomatoes inside in February and transplant them into a heated greenhouse in March where they are tended like royalty until bearing fruit that graces your taste buds like candy. For an extra $195 you will receive 15 weeks of heirloom tomatoes, including beefsteak varieties of Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, and Brandywine, as well as cherry tomatoes and paste tomatoes. You can plan on about 3 (three) pounds of fruit per week, to be included in your basket of goods. Robin Lewis, previous Indian Ridge intern, said, “My little secret as a farmer is that I never liked tomatoes. Then I tried one of Woody’s, it was like the sun rose and angels trumpeted their trumpets.”
How do I go about getting winter storage chickens, grass-fed beef, pork or lamb? Our meats will be available through a “Web Store” on the Farmigo web site. The “Web Store” should be up and running sometime early March, 2013. We also accept bulk chicken orders in the fall for winter storage. Cuts of grass-fed beef will also be available at the farm.
Do I have to volunteer for my share? Each adult member must work two hours on the farm at some point in the season (you can always volunteer more if you wish!). This assists the farm with labor and helps members to understand the process by which they receive their produce. We will need help on a weekly basis with distribution, harvesting, and weeding. We are also looking for someone to help coordinate and plan our workdays and celebrations. These are wonderful community gatherings where we work on larger projects as well as planting and then harvesting, our potatoes. Our two workdays are scheduled for Saturday, May 18 and Saturday, Sept. 14. We are more than willing to accommodate any special needs or restrictions you may have, just let us know.
Are work shares available? Yes. We offer a very limited number of “work shares.” At a minimum, members are required to work one day a week, four (4) hours per day for the 19-week season. Members have a choice of working in the garden and with livestock, or on Wednesday mornings from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help process chickens and turkeys. The work share includes a small vegetable share with chicken, eggs, bread and granola. Workers will also share in a communal lunch at the farmhouse on their workdays. Please contact us before signing up for this season if you are interested.
How will i be kept informed? We communicate through a weekly newsletter. Part of your commitment to us as farmers is your responsibility to read the weekly newsletter. This is how you can stay informed (that makes our lives easier)! Communications include the newsletter, a weekly recipe idea and various announcements about your CSA. Also look for some updates on our web site, www.indianridgefarm.org, esp. “fresh” content provided by our interns.
When do i get my basket of goods? We strongly encourage pick-up of baskets of goods here at the farm. Pickup is on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (noon). Please designate your preferred pickup on the CSA signup sheet. By picking up here at the farm you can also take advantage of “pick-your-own” flowers and herbs. We will help members coordinate cooperative pickup schedules for neighborhoods so that households may only have to do the pickup every four or five weeks. We will be emailing a list of other CSA members at the beginning of the season to help you be in contact with other members and facilitate the formation of pick-up groups. We strongly recommend that pickup groups be no larger than five (5) households.
What if i want delivery? For a seasonal fee of $150 we will deliver baskets of goods to the Farmer’s Market in Telluride on Fridays. Fees will cover our gas, mileage and extra labor costs.
Is there an installment plan for CSA payment? Of course, we prefer full payment at time of registration. However, we do offer an installment plan. One-third of the balance is due at time of registration. The remaining balance will be split into two payments, due May 1 and June 1.
What happens if I’m away on vacation? You have two options: 1) Donate your basket to a friend, or 2) Donate your basket to a needy family, through the WIC program (we will arrange that). Either way, please let us know through email what you want to do with your basket for a given week.
What other activities are planned at the farm? Apart from the weekly pickup, CSA members are welcome here at the farm (Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-noon, and 3 p.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-noon). We will have a spring workday on Saturday, May 18, and a fall harvest festival on Saturday, Sept. 14. We also plan to hold workshops on canning and freezing this year and will let you know when, THROUGH THE NEWSLETTER!
Will Indian Ridge Farm & Bakery still attend regional farmer’s markets? Yes, we will still be at the Telluride Farmer’s Market on Fridays.
Donations to needy families: Over the years, because of generous contributions from members, we’ve been able to offer a weekly basket of goods to several needy families in the region. Please let us know if you want your contribution to go to a particular family or if you know of a family in need. San Miguel County’s WIC program has always given us names of families with young children in our region.
Our pledge to members: To grow and make available to members wholesome and healthful produce, meats and baked goods, free from chemicals and other harmful substances, at a fair cost; to care for the natural resources of the land — water, air and the soil —upon which members rely; to offer the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the farm and to share in the community of the members who help sustain it; to help preserve agriculture in San Miguel County’s West End; to help educate adults, children and young people about the importance of knowing where your food is grown, and how.