CSA Frequently Asked Questions
What is Community Supported Agriculture?
Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a unique partnership between a specific farm and an individual or household. As a CSA member, you share in the risks and benefits of local, organic farming. You receive a weekly share of farm-fresh produce, get to know the life of the farm, and share in a sense of community around food, farming, nature and nutrition. By receiving payment before the growing season begins, farmers are able to buy seeds and supplies, plan what to grow, and offset some of the risk inherent in farming, like extreme weather and crop failures. We do our best to mitigate these risks and fill any gaps that occur during the season. Through the CSA model, we commit to the close connection between farmer and eater and to growing healthy, nutritious food in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible. For even more information about our CSA program, visit our website.
Hawthorne Valley Farm has a 300–member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and supplies organic and Biodynamic® produce to Columbia County residents and to three New York City communities (Garden City, Inwood, and Riverdale). Over 40 varieties of vegetables are grown on 12 acres, and fruit shares from local farmers are also available. We offer a variety of CSA options from June through February:
• Growing Season Vegetable Share (Every week from mid-June to late October)
The Growing Season Vegetable Share feeds two vegetarian adults or a small family. Each week you’ll receive a variety of seasonal vegetables and herbs to take home. With every pick-up we send a newsletter with stories from the field and cooking ideas to help make the connection between the farm, the food, and you.
• Local Fruit Share
(Approximately 18 weeks, from mid-June through late October)
Add to your Vegetable Share and receive fresh, local, organic fruits throughout the growing season! We partner with Thompson-Finch Farm, Grindstone Farm, and Hepworth Farms to bring you the best seasonal, organic fruit our region has to offer. Expect strawberries in June, blueberries in July, peaches in August, and apples and pears from September through October.
• Winter Share
(6 weeks, every other week, November - January)
Hawthorne Valley Farm offers a 6-week Winter CSA, Saturdays from early December through February, with pick-up locations at the farm in Ghent, and at the farm stand at the Inwood Market in New York City. Deliveries are every other week.
What does a CSA share cost?
The price of a CSA share depends on the pick-up site and may vary from year to year. Pick-up sites are organized and run by a core group of Hawthorne Valley Farm CSA member volunteers. A small part of your CSA price goes to help manage the pickup sites. Vegetable shares range from $300 to $610; fruit shares cost $205. Fruit shares are only available with the purchase of a vegetable share.
Because paying for an entire CSA share at once can be challenging, you have the option to join the CSA with up to six recurring monthly payments. Payments must be completed before the season begins in June, so if you can, sign up early! We will drop payment options with each consecutive month, and orders placed after May 1st must be paid in full at the time of signup.
If cost of the share is an obstacle to joining our CSA please contact Lucy Marston (Co-Director of Farm Operations/CSA Manager) to discuss alternative options.
What vegetables are in my CSA share through the season?
We grow over 50 types of vegetables and 120 different varieties! Read below to see what a sample week would look like.
What does a typical week’s share look like?
Each week we try to harvest a balanced variety of produce to feed two adult vegetarians, or a small family. Amount and diversity within each share changes throughout the 22 weeks (and from year to year), but here are some sample shares from this year that will give you a sense of how much of which vegetables to expect.
Week 1: 2 lettuce heads, 1/2 pound arugula, 1 bunch beets, 1 bunch swiss chard, 1 bunch scallions, 1 bunch dill
Fruit: 1 quart strawberries
Week 5: 1 head lettuce, 1 bunch kale, 1 bunch onions, 1 bunch beets, 1 bunch radishes, 2 zuchhini, 1 patty-pan squash, 1 cucumber, dill, parsley
Week 10: 1 head lettuce, 1 bunch swiss chard, 3 leeks, 1 bunch beets, 2 fennel bulbs, 3 pounds potatoes, 2 zucchini, 3 peppers, 5 pounds tomatoes
Fruit: 2 pints blueberries and 1 quart peaches
Week 16: 1 head lettuce, 1/2 pound arugula, 1 bunch kale, 2 delicata squash, 1 bunch salad turnips, 1 bunch broccoli raab, 2 heads broccoli, 3 pounds potatoes, 1 bunch celeriac, 3 peppers, 2 eggplants, dill
Week 20: 1 head lettuce, 1 bunch kale, 1 head bok choy, 1 green cabbage, 3 pounds potatoes, 2 leeks, 1 pie pumpkin, 3 peppers, 1 bunch turnips, 3 pounds carrots, dill
Fruit: 1 peck bag apples or 2 quarts pears
Where can I pick up my share?
We currently have pick-up sites at:
Inwood, Isham Park, Thursdays
Riverdale Neighborhood House, 5521 Mosholu Avenue, Bronx, Thursdays
Garden City, The Waldorf School of Garden City, Thursdays
Rudolf Steiner School, Manhattan, Thursdays
Hawthorne Valley Farm, Harlemville, Fridays
Winter CSA pick-up is on Saturdays at Inwood (Isham Park), Garden City Waldorf School and at Hawthorne Valley Farm.
Can I split a share?
We do not offer half shares at our Garden City or Inwood sites, but you can split a share with a friend at pick-up, or alternate weeks. Your site coordinator may be able to help pair you with another member looking to split a share.
What if I go on vacation?
Contact your site coordinator to let them know that a) you’re giving your week’s share to a friend or b) would like the food donated.
Do all the shares come from Hawthorne Valley?
The same way that water in a watershed flows from diverse sources to the ocean, food in the foodshed flows from the farm to your family. Hawthorne Valley Farm actively works with a number of other growers to insure that you receive the highest quality and widest variety of vegetables in your weekly share. Often, we turn to other local farms for vegetables that we find difficult to grow in the soil at Hawthorne Valley. For carrots, we often partner with Red Fire Farm and Ironwood Farm. Potatoes may come from Thompson-Finch Farm (who is one of our growers for your fruit share) and string beans from Markristo Farm. Corn (non-GMO) is provided by Kinderhook Creek Farm, a neighboring grower – although not a certified organic. In all cases, we can assure you of the high quality of the produce and production methods. These farmers are friends and, in most cases, neighbors of ours. In this way, as CSA shareholders, you are helping to support farmers within a whole growing region – farmers using sustainable growing methods. Community Supported Agriculture is not like shopping at the supermarket – it’s about growing our foodshed, building relationships, and enjoying a diverse array of farm-fresh produce.
How can I help?
At Hawthorne Valley Farm, we believe that fresh, sustainably grown food is a vital part of a creating healthy people, healthy communities and ultimately a healthy society. We hope to be able to provide this food to everyone, regardless of income. Your contribution to the Hawthorne Valley Farm Long Table Harvest Program or the Good Food for Hudson Program will help to increase access to wholesome, Biodynamically-grown produce by reducing the cost of a CSA share for those in need. Thank you for your generous donation! Click on the button below and you’ll be directed to our donation page. Select HVF Food For All Program in the dropdown Designation menu. If you need any assistance in making your donation, please email our Development Office or phone 518-672-4465 x 224.
Visiting the Farm
Our farm is located only two hours north of NYC and urge you to come visit us during the season! There will be a few CSA field days throughout the season (usually on a Saturday or Sunday) where members are invited up to help out in the fields either planting, weeding or harvesting. These dates will be listed in your CSA Member Welcome Packet sent out via email at the start of the season.
In addition - we have a number of seasonal festivals each year. Our Spring Fair in May, the Fall Festival in October and our Yule Tide Fair in December. These are great events with food, music, vendors and other farm-related activities. Keep an eye on the newsletter to get specific event details.
You are always welcome to visit the farm on your own throughout the year. If the farmers are available, we may be able to show you around. To arrange a guided tour, please give us a call at least a week in advance of the date you’d like to visit at 518-672-4465 x 222, and we will do our best to accommodate you. Otherwise, you can pick up a self-guided walking tour pamphlet at the Hawthorne Valley Farm Store any time.