In going over the responses to our recent survey, we found that many of our customers are unaware of what CSA stands for, the philosophy behind it, its benefits, and how it will work with our webstore.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Socially and economically, the model of the CSA seeks to connect people to a local source of food, grown by farmers they know, and where the inherent risk of farming is shared between the farm business and the CSA members. A relationship between farmer and member is established through member deposits in the spring which secure a share of produce from the farm while supplementing the farmer’s operating costs for such things as seed purchases, spring planting, and preparation of the land for the growing season. The CSA model deepens the connection between a community and its food source because each growing season has its unique challenges and uncertainties which can translate into crop shortages or abundant harvests for farmer and member alike. This model helps to ensure that family farms will remain a viable and important part of our community.
A produce delivery service like Terra Organics bears little resemblance to the original CSA model. We have removed the element of shared risk and we don’t require a financial commitment ahead of time. We operate year-round, supplementing what can be grown locally and on our farm in Orting with produce from California and beyond. Early on we made the business decision to build convenience and flexibility into our model in favor of income throughout the year and greater stability. We still strive to enhance the connection between our communities and our local farms that strengthens our understanding of where our food comes from, the region in which we live, and ultimately our health.
Since our purchase of 40 acres of farmland in Orting in 2009, and the establishment of Tahoma Farms, we have offered our members the option to support a single farm for the duration of the local growing season, and the risks and rewards that entails. For a minimum $100 contribution to the farm in the spring, CSA members this summer will have priority on crops as they become available or that are only planted in limited quantities. The risk might be getting a lot of radishes and spinach early on in the season if the darned sun doesn’t come out soon.
Those that select the Tahoma Farms CSA box for the summer (22 weeks beginning in June) will still have the flexibility of being able to customize each order through our web store. And even if you don’t want to receive the Tahoma Farms box, you still have the option of supporting the farm during this crucial time of planting and preparation for the summer’s bounty. We are most grateful for all pre-payments that you can make this time of year and we are offering a credit of 5% on payments of $200 to $999, and an account credit of 10% on payments of $1000 and up.
Please click here to sign up for the CSA or to make a pre-payment on your Terra Organics account and Thank You!
Nutrition standards and guidelines for national school lunches and meals are undergoing long awaited revisions by the USDA. The new standards and guidelines will include an increase in fruit and vegetables at breakfast and lunch; milk that is only low-fat or fat-free; a requirement that half of all grains be ‘whole-grain rich’; a reduction in sodium; and establishing calorie maximums per meal. These changes will support the health and nutrition of 32 million children across the nation. The Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) and the National Farm to School Network (NFSN), of which Terra Organics is a part, support revisions to the current standards that will include fresh and healthy ingredients. Since national farm to school initiatives have proven to increase the quality and freshness of food offered in the schools, we want to encourage the USDA to underscore the necessity of local and seasonal produce in their final draft.
The USDA is currently accepting comments on the proposed rule until April 13, 2011, and they want to hear from you. Help the USDA finalize strong standards and help schools begin to serve more healthful breakfasts and lunches. Click here to submit your own comments.
Some of the great fruits and vegetables for next week:
- Local Kale Raab at $2.00 per bunch
- Asparagus Tips at $3.75 per 3/4 pound bunch
- Local French Breakfast Radishes at $2.50 per bunch
- Local Baby Spinach at $4.25 per 1/2 pound bag
Below is a preview of the standard box contents for next week.
If you have an order scheduled for this upcoming week, you will receive an email Saturday morning at 2am notifying you that the web store is open.
If you need to make any changes to your subscription, schedule a vacation or make a payment
The Terra Organics Team