Button Farm Living History Center
2009 Community Supported Agriculture Membership
Terms & Conditions
How Community Supported
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a concept that began in Japan, jumped to Europe, and has become increasingly popular in the United States. It is a means to bring consumers and farmers together, for the benefit of both.
Members of CSAs pay a farmer up front for a share of the farmer’s crop when it comes time to harvest. Think of it as a subscription for fresh produce. Fresh, organically produced fruits and vegetables not only taste better than industrially grown produce (which is often picked prematurely and shipped hundreds, even thousands, of miles), but is more nutritious too. Adding vegetables to your plate is a great way to improve your health, including achieving or maintaining a healthy weight.
And because we grow all of our
crops organically, there are no artificial chemicals in your food, in the
soil, or in our water supply. That’s good for you, but it’s also good news
for beneficial insects, birds, animals and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Proceeds from our CSA project will be used to buy seeds, plant stock, deer fencing, gardening tools and other items associated with the farm. We plan to start with about three acres this year, but look forward to expanding the farm operations using CSA money.
A successful CSA program will also enable us to fund the ongoing renovations and programs of the Button Farm Living History Center. This includes refurbishing the 1927 Button House and restoring our civil-war era barn.
What We Plan to Grow:
What you will receive in your share will vary throughout the season. In May, for example, you will get cool weather crops like lettuce, peas, mustard greens, etc. Summer means warm weather crops like tomatoes, corn, summer squash, beans, melons and the like. As summer turns toward fall, cool weather crops will reappear, as will other seasonal produce like butternut squashes.
Here’s the lineup of what we intend
Arugula, Basil, Beans, Green (Snap), Beans, Shell (Dry), Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Chives, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant,
Gourds (ornamental), Leeks, Lettuce, Marjoram, Muskmelon, Okra, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Peppers, Hot Peppers,
Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkins,
Radishes, Spinach, Winter and Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips,
Of course, nature—in the form of drought, pests, diseases and storms—will decide which crops make it to the harvest stage.
Unfortunately, we cannot allow
members to pick and choose what vegetables they receive each week. Our
suggestion would be to gift your unwanted produce to family, friends or
neighbors, or better yet, experiment! Maybe you didn’t like eggplant the
last (or only) time you ate it, but prepared differently, you might surprise
yourself. Fresh, organically-grown produce
tastes better than commercially grown varieties (which are often harvested
pre-maturely and shipped hundreds or even thousands of miles).
What Constitutes a Share?
One share should provide enough produce for one or two persons who eat at home and prepare food often. It may be enough for up to four people who eat in less frequently.
The size of a share will vary throughout the season, depending upon how well the crops do. Keep in mind, however, that a CSA member shares a farmer’s risks. Bumper crops mean fuller shares, lean times mean less in everyone’s basket.
When and Where Do I Pick Up My Produce?
Shares will be ready by noon on Saturdays and can be picked up as late as five o’clock that day. If you want to help in the harvest, drop by the farm any time on Saturday morning.
If you are unable to pick up your share, let us know in advance if a family member, friend or neighbor will be coming in your place. Because our food is fresh and perishable, we cannot hold it nor can we refund for missed pickups. Unclaimed produce will be sold (with proceeds going to the living history center) or donated to a charitable organization.
Is a CSA Membership Right for
We want you to be happy with your CSA membership, so you will want to ask yourself some important questions before you decided to join us. Do you enjoy cooking and preparing home made meals? While some of our produce can be eaten right out of hand, most of it will need to be sliced, chopped, cooked and so forth. If you do not like cooking, or have no time for it, a CSA membership might not be right for you—or perhaps a half share might better suit your needs. We hope that members will experiment with recipes and share them with the rest of us, either in person or through our web site.
How Much Does it Cost?
A full share for the 2009 season
costs $600. Your
membership will entitle you to a weekly share of produce during the growing
season—22 weeks from May until October.
Half-shares are available for $300. Half-share members will pick up produce every other week on a regular schedule.
Membership is paid in advance. Because this is our first year, we will offer only a limited number of shares. Shares will be sold on a first paid, first served basis.
Checks or money orders should be made out to the “Menare Foundation,” the nonprofit organization that runs the Button Farm Living History Center.
Complete this FORM and send along with your payment to:
The Menare Foundation, PO Box 1366, Olney, MD 20830
Questions or Comments?
If you would like to know more about the Menare Foundation and the Button Farm Living History Center, visit our website at www.menare.org.
If you have specific questions about the CSA, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our farm manager, Steve Gillick, at 240-393-9873.