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A free Monadnock Region CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Fair will be held at the Monadnock Food Co-op’s cafe on Sunday, February 15th, 1-4 p.m. Six area CSA farmers will have informational tables and be on hand to answer questions on their farms and CSA memberships:
Foggy Hill Farm is a family-run organic farm located in Jaffrey. With over 20 years of farming experience, Andy and Christine have a deep-rooted passion for raising high-quality, nutrient-dense foods in a manner which helps unite our community: 603-593-5325, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hillside Springs Farm and CSA Garden, a hand and horse powered farm in Westmoreland, offers vegetables, herbs, apple cider, pick-your-own flowers. 603-399-7288. www.hillsidespringsfarm.com, email@example.com
Picadilly Farm in Winchester offers vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers through full season, summer season and winter shares. 603-239-8718. www.picadillyfarm.com
1780 Farm in Chesterfield offers vegetables, berries, eggs, and meat. 603-363-4476, www.the1780farm.com
Sun Moon Farm in Rindge provides vegetables, herbs and cut flowers to our members. Located at “The Meeting School,” a property that has been continuously farmed since 1783, the farm grows over 75 varieties of old and rare Dahlias and offers members artisan breads that are baked here on the property, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tracie’s Community Farm in Fitzwilliam, offers Spring, Summer and Fall Shares including a wide variety of vegetables with a home delivery option, as well as options to add herbs, flowers, fruit, bread, eggs, and more. 603568-6102, email@example.com, www.traciesfarm.com
Although each local CSA farm is unique and individually run, each offers “shares” of locally grown food to community members. There are variations in the price, share size, distribution, choices, pick-up sites, payment plans and variety of food offered. Some CSA farms concentrate on vegetable production, while others offer eggs, meat, flowers, berries, maple syrup, honey, raw milk, cheese, yogurt, or other local products.
The commitment from community members to join a CSA implies a willingness to share with the farmer both the rewards and risks of small-scale farming. Weather, pest damage, and crop failures affect both the farmer and the shareholder. The entire community absorbs the costs of raising food in sustainable ways, and farmers receive consistent appreciation and financial support for their efforts. The shareholders know when, where, and how their food is grown, and are assured of high-quality and nutritious produce, grown without the use of any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
A CSA membership supports local farms and the local economy, eliminating the environmental and food quality costs of marketing, packaging, and shipping food long distances. Freshly picked, locally grown fruits and vegetables are a good value because they have superior flavor and more vitamins and minerals than many large-scale commercially raised crops. Sustainable farm practices also avoid the hidden costs of pesticide residues, soil erosion, and polluted surface ground water often associated with large scale conventional agriculture.
Local farmland in CSA use becomes healthier through crop rotation, composting, cover crops, natural fertilizers, and periodic resting. In addition, small farms are able to grow heirloom or little-known varieties of fruits and vegetables, which helps maintain the diversity and vitality of the world’s seed bank. Some CSA farmers chose to receive organic certification for their produce, other farmers use organic and /or biodynamic techniques exclusively but do not choose certification.