When and Where is FarmShare Pick-Up? Summer pick-up is each Monday from 3:00-6:00 in the Little Red Barn @ Full Heart Farm in Ledyard.
What are the Pick-Up Dates for Summer FarmShare 2020? Coming Soon!
What happens if I miss a share pick up? 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.
Unclaimed shares will be donated at the end of the evening and members of our local community are always grateful for the donation!
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 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 smaller shares than planned (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 FarmShare, instead of just purchasing food from somewhere else? First, the FarmShare program is the best way to ensure you have access to fresh, seasonal food each week. The easiest way to eat healthy is to surround yourself with fresh produce. It's a great way to learn about what's in season, gather new recipes, and be part of a growing community.
Second, the FarmShare program is one of the best ways to support local farmers! It provides us with the money we need upfront at the beginning of the season and spreads out some of the risk of growing food for others. Your investment in our farm directly supports our young family and our local community.
Third, FarmShare 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. Through our weekly newsletters you learn about our life and local agriculture, as well as new recipes and menu ideas.
How does the FarmShare program differ from other CSAs? 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. We recognized the diverse array of preferences in our members, we saw a need to expand selection. Our FarmShare pick-up is set up like a farm stand. Members follow instructions on a board and select the items they prefer (with limited choice) from the table.
It is our hope that our FarmShare 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 FarmShare 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, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, eggplant, greens, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, peas, peppers, potatoes, onion, strawberries, swiss chard, tomato, turnips, winter squash, zucchini, and so much more!
Can I buy extra items at the market? Yes! For the 2020 season our farm stand will be open during share pick up hours and our extra harvest will be available for sale.
Can I shop at the market if I’m not a member of the FarmShare? Yes! We will have our extras available, however, our priority is always harvesting for our members and the vast majority of our harvest is set aside for them.
How do I know if the FarmShare 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? 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 Food 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 FarmShare be set up? Inside our little red barn there will be signs indicating what is available as part of the share each week. Members can then “check out” their selections as they exit the barn, as well as purchase additional produce to supplement their share.
Members are asked to bring at least one bag with them to pick-up each week to bring their share home in.
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. In the past, we have been able to match up traveling members so that they can participate in the share, but so that there are no lapses in harvest on our end.
What about the AutumnShare and WinterShare? We will have more info coming late summer 2020, once we have an idea of how the growing season is shaping up.
Are your raising meat this year? Or offering a meat share? For the 2020 season we have chosen to not raise livestock for meat or offer locally raised meat for sale. We are excited to focus our efforts on raising quality produce and beautiful flowers for our local community.
We are sure this news comes as a disappointment to some, but we hope you can understand that in these difficult economical times (especially as a small farm), we must continue to evolve to stay afloat. We are happy to connect you with some of our farmer friends for the purchase of your protein.
Do you offer payment plans? Our hope in offering shorter FarmShare 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.