A free Monadnock Region CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Fair will take place at the Monadnock Food Co-op cafe on Sunday, March 10, 2019, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Seven area CSA farmers will set up informational tables and answer questions about their farms and CSA memberships.
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 provide 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.
A CSA membership supports local farms and the local economy, eliminating many of 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 compared to many large-scale commercially raised crops. Sustainable farm practices also avoid the hidden costs of pesticide residues, soil erosion, and polluted surface groundwater 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,” said Frank Hunter of Hillside Springs Farm. “Small farms are also 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, and also puts healthy and delicious food on the table!”
This year’s Monadnock Region CSA Fair participants:
Abenaki Springs Farm in Walpole offers berries, herbs and vegetables in rotational production; uses biodynamic principles and remineralizes the soil: 603-209-7100, abenakispringsfarm.com, 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, hillsidespringsfarm.com, email@example.com.
New Dawn Farm in Westmoreland produces a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, hops, and cut flowers. Dedicated to using beyond organic practices and includes a Pantry Program, which supports Joan’s Pantry in Chesterfield: 603-399-4859, newdawnfarmnh.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picadilly Farm in Winchester grows certified organic produce. Various types of CSA shares are available June-December, with share pick up at the farm or in Keene or Brattleboro: 603-239-8718, picadillyfarm.com, email@example.com.
Sun Moon Farm in Rindge provides vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers to 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 on the property: 603-899-2806, sunmoonfarm.org, 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: 603-568-6102, traciesfarm.com, email@example.com.
Village Roots Permaculture Farm in East Alstead offers spring and fall season greens and poultry shares. All birds are raised on pasture and fed only organic grains. Breeds include Freedom Ranger broiler chickens and heritage Narragansett turkeys: 603-477-5533, villageroots.org, firstname.lastname@example.org.
View event updates at monadnockfood.coop/event/csa/.