CSA Frequently Asked Questions
What is a CSA?
CSA stands for "Community Supported Agriculture." A CSA is a true partnership between the farmer and consumer. Since the 1980s many farms have begun to offer various versions of CSA programs. The first CSA farm was started right here in New England! Traditionally, shares are purchased at the beginning of the growing season. The purchase of a share is an upfront investment in the farm, helping the farmers buy seeds, compost, equipment, etc. in the beginning of the season. In exchange, you the member, receive a weekly share of the harvest during the growing season. It’s the perfect symbiotic relationship. The farm has the security of an advance commitment which helps us to plan our yields, and the funds to pay for it. The member has the satisfaction of knowing the integrity with which your food is being raised and sharing in the risks and rewards that are inevitable in food production. Together we create our own local food system.
Is a CSA at Tilth & Timber right for me?
We understand that this is an important question, especially if you have not been part of a CSA in the past. We want you to be as excited about picking up your share, as we are providing it. When considering a CSA ask yourself the following questions:
: : Do you like to experiment and try new foods?
While we certainly offer some traditional staples, we also grow a wide variety of food. In this abundance, you may see some things offered at our CSA that you are not familiar with. We hope to show you how abundant local produce can be. Of course, we are always available to answer questions on preparation and cooking, as well as to offer recipe ideas. If you have a willingness to try new things and explore local foods in season, then our CSA is sure to meet your expectations.
: : Do you love to cook?
Willingness to prepare raw foods is inherent in being a CSA member of Tilth & Timber. We have a love for creating a locally sourced dinner, and if you do too, then being a member is probably right for you!
: : Do you value local, fresh, high quality food?
Our focus at Tilth & Timber is quality. Our commitment to the land naturally creates healthier, vibrant, and quality food. We strive to provide the freshest produce of exceptional quality to our members. If quality and freshness are important to you, then our CSA is the place for you.
: : Do you desire to develop a relationship with the growers of your food?
We are passionate about knowing our consumers. Troy and Cindy are partners, sole employees, and stewards of the land at Tilth & Timber. We have a personal, vested interest in working with our land's natural systems to provide food resiliency for our community. We aim to build our local community around food, creating lasting relationships for the health of our future. If you are interested in building a relationship with your food producers, getting farm updates, and being a part of the local food movement, then a CSA at Tilth & Timber is surely a good fit.
What does a CSA share look like?
Our flexible, free-choice CSA means that you get to choose your produce from everything that is available at the farm stand. We like to provide our members with a variety of choices, however your share size dictates how many items you may choose each week. The share changes as the seasons change. As the spring sun begins to warm the soil you can expect to see cold-weather crops in shares, such as spinach, arugula, lettuce, radishes, and peas. In the height of the summer, there will be more variety with peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and more. Then, as summer turns to fall, the shares turn to heavier crops such as squash, potatoes, carrots, and onions. While we strive to provide our members with the above, and more, keep in mind that sometimes mother nature dictates otherwise, and things do not always go as we have planned. It is difficult for us to promise certain crops, or specific timing of availability. While we are able to give you an idea of what may be available, you know your diet and cooking habits best.
We encourage members to consider a “Large Share,” as it is the most inclusive option and provides the most value. The large share offers up 10 items each week, with a free-choice style pick-up.
We understand that a full share may simply provide too much produce to some households, so we also offer a “Small Share.” A small share offers up 5 items each week, with a free-choice style pick-up.
What if I don't like something offered in my share?
We try to provide staple vegetables, along with some more unusual or new things for you to try. With our free-choice style pick up, you get to choose your items from what we have available for the week. If there is an item you are unfamiliar with, we do encourage you to try it and explore new recipes. However, you may simply choose to not take that item, and instead take something you know you'll eat.
How do I sign-up for a CSA membership?
You may sign up for your share by printing and mailing our CSA sign-up form with a check, or choose your CSA option online. Please note that we offer a sign-up discount to members who choose to mail their sign-up form, or deliver in person. (Please mail to Tilth & Timber, 165 Castine Road, Castine, ME 04421.)
Why choose to be a CSA member at Tilth & Timber?
On average, CSA members receive a 5-10% discount off our produce and get first priority if there is limited crop availability. You are also supporting a small, sustainable family farm for a more just and reliable local food system.
What if I miss a pick-up?
You may always send a friend or family member to pick up your share of produce if you cannot make it to the farm. If you are unable to pick up, you may also request we donate your share that week. Shares not picked up will be forfeited.
When are payments due for the share?
We recommend that folks sign up early to reserve their share and ask that members pay the full share price when signing up. However, we understand that this may difficult for some folks, please contact us and we may be able to arrange a payment plan under some circumstances (ie. 3 installments, due prior to the start of distribution).
Where do I pick up my share?
You will pick-up your share here at the farm! You can find us at 165 Castine Road, Castine, ME. We will contact you with more details prior to the first pick-up.
What is a Thanksgiving Share?
This is a one-time share picked up the week of Thanksgiving. It includes a majority of fall root and storage produce for you to share with your family. We have not yet opened sign-up for the 2022 Thanksgiving Share.