When and Where is the Market? Each Monday from 2:30-6:00 in the Little Red Barn @ Full Heart Farm in Ledyard.
What are the Pick-Up Dates for Autumn MarketShare 2017? PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDAR! October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 November 6, 13, 20
What happens if I miss a market day? We encourage our members to visit the farm each week during market hours to pick up items for their share, but understand that commitment is not always possible. Members are encouraged to send a friend or neighbor to pick up their share on weeks when they cannot make it to the farm.
If members cannot make it to market and notify us at least 48 hours in advance so that we can plan our harvest, members can “roll-over” their points from one week to another (limited to three times per Autumn MarketShare season). For example, a member holding a large produce share (8 points) taking a planned vacation during week 3 of the season can utilize those 5 points through weeks 1-2 + 4-8.
Unclaimed MarketShares will be donated at the end of the evening and points from that share cannot be rolled over.
What happens if there is a terrible storm this season or bad disease? As members of the farm community, shareholders assume the risk of farming. In cases of bad weather (drought, floods, storms), disease, pests, and other unexpected challenges, there may be shortages in farm products or a lack of diversity. The farmers will do their VERY BEST to deliver high-quality farm products in their full value each week. We are part of a large network of local growers that we are happy to work with to fill in gaps in our growing schedule, to the best of our ability.
There are no refunds for missed shares (on the shareholder's part) or small shares (on the farmer's part). The farmers also reserve the right to reschedule a market day during weather situations where it is deemed unsafe to harvest or travel to the farm for pick-up.
Why should I join the MarketShare, instead of just purchasing food from somewhere else? First, the MarketShare program is one of the best ways to support local farmers! It provides them with the money they need upfront at the beginning of the season and spreads out some of the risk. Second, the MarketShare program is the best way to ensure your family has access to fresh, seasonal food each week. It's a great way to learn about what's in season, gather new recipes, and be part of a growing community. Third, a commitment to the farm is a commitment to yourself. It is always easy to prepare locally grown, healthy meals for yourself and your family when you have the ingredients in your fridge and the recipes or menu ideas on your phone/computer. Our MarketShare members play an ACTIVE role in the local food movement as they spend a season learning about how food on our farm is grown, prepared, and enjoyed.
How does the MarketShare program differ from a traditional CSA, or the MemberShare program you offered in the past? In a traditional CSA program, members sign up for a share of a farm’s harvest and receive a pre-packed box of vegetables selected by the farmer based on season and growing conditions. In the past, our MemberShare program expanded on that further to include protein (chicken + pork + eggs), designed in a way to create meals. As our member families evolved and we recognized the diverse array of preferences, we saw a need to expand selection.
It is our hope that our innovative MarketShare Program allows our members to tailor their share experience to best suit their needs, while still allowing the farmers the upfront infusion of funding needed to start the season without relying on debt or outside funding. That money is used to purchase things such as seeds, potting soil, equipment, and other farm infrastructure. The upfront sign-ups also allows us to get an idea of WHO we are feeding, so we can grow more of the things that you like and develop a recipe selection that best suits your cooking interests.
Unlike shopping at a traditional farmers market, the MarketShare allows members to be truly connected to a small farm. The weekly newsletter includes anecdotes of life on the farm, recipes, meal planning ideas, and even tips on preserving the harvest to add diversity to your winter meals. Visiting the farm each week gives our members an indescribable sense of place.
What types of vegetables are included in the share? Full Heart Farm grows over 100 different varieties of vegetables, berries, herbs, and flowers throughout the calendar year. A short list includes; beans, beets, bok choi, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, eggplant, greens, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, peas, peppers, potatoes, onion, strawberries, swiss chard, tomato, turnips, winter squash, zucchini, and so much more!
Our autumn share is focused on cool season crops, particularly lettuce + greens, roots, and squash, as well as some treats from the summer harvest season that we have preserved.
Can I buy extra items at the market? We are not currently planning to set up a separate area in the market for items available to purchase separate from the share. This allows us to focus our efforts on the MarketShare and improve customer service by removing the cash-exchange from the market. That being said, we can nearly always accommodate orders made in advance (if you need extra produce or protein for a specific recipe or for a large family gathering). Just email or text Allyson in advance of the market and she will be sure to set items aside.
Can I use all my points in one shot? While one could TECHNICALLY visit the farm only twice a month and redeem their entire share of points, we certainly don’t recommend it. There will be limits on certain items in high demand, making it difficult to receive a bountiful produce share this way. A member could not, for example, visit the farm the first week in October to pick up 25 heads of lettuce. The same follows for the protein share. A member could not utilize all of their points for the month, unless they made prior arrangements with the farmers.
Can I shop at the market if I’m not a member of the MarketShare? Unfortunately, no. For the 2017 season, Full Heart Farm will largely be closed to the public while we focus building a deeper connection to the small community of members in our MarketShare program.
How do I know if the MarketShare Program will be a good fit for me? Our members come to the farm from a variety of backgrounds and stages in their lives, but they all value good food, enjoy trying new foods, and set aside time each day to cook. They value learning about the farm and testing out new recipes. They value their health and recognize the importance of nutrient dense foods in their diet. They value developing a relationship with their farmer so that they can become more informed consumers. In our experience, people that have very busy schedules or enjoy only specific foods usually prefer to shop at the grocery store or farmers market.
What if I can’t use my entire share/points for a given month? You are always welcome to send a friend or neighbor to pick up your share or a portion of your share. We also maintain a list of families in need and regularly make donations to the ood Pantry, if you would like us to donate your unneeded share items to someone in need. Fresh food is ALWAYS appreciated by those in our local community and nothing at the farm goes to waste.
How will the MarketShare be set up? Inside our little red barn there will be signs for both the Produce Share and the Protein Share indicating what is available each week, and how many points each item is. Members can then “check out” their selections as they exit the barn. Points will be kept track of on-farm, but we are happy to update members throughout the month if needed.
Members are asked to bring at least two bags with them to pick-up each week to bring their share home in.
Can I trade my produce points for protein points (or vice versa)? Unfortunately, you cannot. For farm planning purposes we maintain separate systems for managing the produce share and the protein share and the points are not interchangeable.
Can I sign up for just a produce share or just a protein share? It is our mission to provide our members with the highest quality ingredients to make full meals. With that in mind, we ask that all members sign up for BOTH a Produce Share and a Protein Share, best sized for their family’s anticipated eating habits. Large families or those relying heavily on the farm for the majority of their food needs are welcome to sign up for multiple shares.
If you are interested in signing up for a large share of just one option (either Produce or Protein), please email us indicating your choice and your name will be added to a waiting list. We prioritize waiting list members interested in either a large produce share (ie, vegetarian members) or a large protein share (ie. members that grow their own garden) because it has been our experience that members fully invested in eating locally and committing to the share program are the ones that have the best experience with our MarketShare. A small share of just produce or protein does not provide a substantial portion of one's diet, even for those living/cooking alone.
Can I sign up for just one month? In following the spirit of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), we ask that all members commit to the entire share season. This allows us, the farmers, to best plan the farm. In our experience, members that commit themselves to the farm for several months at a stretch are the ones that have the best experience overall, because they are able to immerse themselves in the experience and develop positive changes in their cooking and eating habits.
If you are moving or traveling for a large portion of the season, you are welcome to email and add your name to a waiting list.
What about the WinterShare? We are taking a break from offering the WinterShare for the winter of 2017-2018 as we spend time with our family and work to double our winter growing area. Our WinterShare program will return in December 2018, bigger and better than ever!
Do you offer payment plans? Our hope in offering shorter MarketShare seasons is to make the upfront cost more easily affordable for a larger number of families. It is also our hope that members will make a commitment to the farm in advance of the season and budget to pay the remainder of their deposit before the share season.
That being said, we are always happy to work with families to make our food accessible to all. If you are in need of an alternate payment plan, please contact Farmer Allyson at allyson (at) fullheartfarm (dot) com, and we will do our best to develop an arrangement tailored to your needs.