Greetings from Willowsford Farm,
Did you know there’s a farm here in Willowsford? There is – and we grow and sell food, all kinds of it. Dreaming of fresh greens? Want to know where your eggs come from? Ever have chicken that tastes like, well, chicken? You’ve come to the right place and are reading the right email.
If you’re ready to get to and want to skip the rest of this email, you can sign-up directly here:
Use these coupon codes for a free week of weekly vegetable shares: VEGALLYEAR (for large vegetable shares) and HOORAYVEG (for small vegetable shares).
There is a lot of information in this email, including:
- About the Farm
- CSA – what, how, where, when, how much; is it right for you; and how to sign up.
- 2017 Willowsford Farm calendar
- CSA and Farm FAQs: including, can we visit? Is it open to the public? Do we pay for it in our HOA dues? (yes, yes, and no).
- How to register for CSA and Farm Stand Debit
About the Farm
Willowsford Farm manages three hundred acres of Willowsford’s two thousand acres of open space, and is a part of the Willowsford Conservancy. We grow vegetables and fruit, and raise animals for various products, including eggs, meat, and their landscape management services. Our crops are grown organically, without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, and our animals raised outside and on pasture. In addition to what we grow, we sell prepared foods made by Willowsford Kitchen, and as well as other products from local producers that we know and trust. The farm is growing into our three hundred acres over the next several years, and in 2017 will operate in the Grange, the Grant and the Greens.
There are three ways to enjoy farm products:
- Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): a weekly share of vegetables, eggs, chicken, milk and more.
- Farm Stand: a variety of our own and locally-sourced products, including veggies and fruit, meats, cheeses and dairy, honey and pantry goods, prepared foods and more. Open May through Thanksgiving. Check out the new Farm Stand Debit program, information below.
- Willowsford Kitchen: the Kitchen utilizes our seasonal produce in cooking classes, demonstrations and events. They also make prepared foods using our veggies, eggs, and chicken. You can find these for sale at the Farm Stand and through our Dinner-to-Go CSA program.
What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a mutually supportive relationship between farmer and family, where the farm and your family invest in and commit to each other. Think of CSA as a food subscription: you pre-purchase a “share” of the harvest for the season and then pick up your food every week. We have shares of vegetables, eggs, flowers, milk and chicken in 2017.
You Pay the Farm --> Farmers Then Grow Food --> You Pick Up Fresh Veggies Each Week --> See Your Neighbors and Farmers, Know Who Grows Your Food
Joining the farm’s CSA helps us plan our production and provides us cash flow early in the season – literal “seed money” to pay for the months of production that a required before a single vegetable is ready to harvest. In return, we grow food for you and commit our first and freshest vegetables, eggs and chicken. We share recipes and cooking ideas, news from the farm and access to cooking classes and demonstrations.
Knowing our produce is sold, we farmers can spend our summer months cultivating our crops rather than marketing our products. We also deeply appreciate knowing that you trust us to grow food for you. Our favorite part of CSA: once the season begins, there is no more exchange of money, just food and greetings each week.
This year, we have a new way of participating in the CSA relationship: Farm Stand Debit. This flexible program allows you to purchase what you want, when you want it at the Farm Stand, while still investing in the farm relationship.
Questions and Answers:
- Is the vegetable CSA right for our family?
- What about egg, chicken, flower and milk shares?
- What size share?
- How much does it cost?
- Payment plans and work-shares
- What is a Farm Stand Debit?
- Pick up locations
- How to Register
- Is the Farm and CSA open to the public?
- Can we visit the Farm?
- Do we pay for the Farm with our HOA dues?
Which CSA right for our family?
Do you want to ensure a share of fresh, local, delicious food from the farm?
Do you like to cook or want to learn to cook more creatively?
Are you adventurous, do you like to try new things?
Do you eat out often or not like to cook?
Are you away on vacation for many weeks during the season?
Do you like to eat just a few kinds of vegetables, like corn and tomatoes?
What about Egg, Flower, Milk and Chicken Shares?
As with vegetables, the CSA program helps us plan our production for the year, and though we are growing there are limits to our production capacity. Ordering shares of these items ensures their availability throughout the season, particularly eggs and chicken. CSA registration helps us plan production in a given year – we raise enough laying hens, for example, to provide eggs to CSA members, and sell through the Farm Stand in times of abundance. Signing up for these in winter locks in your price for the year, and share prices are generally lower than retail at the Farm Stand and elsewhere. If you like and trust Trickling Springs milk, and know you go through bottles every week, joining the CSA ensures you a good price and a regular, weekly supply.
This year, shares of our partner products - milk, flowers and cheese - are “add-ons”, available with the purchase of a Willowsford Farm CSA share (veggies, eggs, or chicken).
What size share should we get?
8-12 items can be a lot of food! But it's very hard to say just how many people that feeds, that depends on how big your household is, much you cook (how much you cook, not how much you'd like to cook!) and how much you use vegetables in your cooking. If you are an occasional cook or have a small household, we recommend sharing a “large share" with a friend or neighbor,* or starting with a “small share.”
We offer two size shares: Large (our standard box) and Small (4-6 items).
Try this quick survey if you're not sure what to order. Add up the numerical value of your answers when you've finished. Don't take the numbers as gospel, these are just general guidelines:
· How many people are in your household?
· How many nights a week do you cook?
· How many vegetarians in the house?
· How many of you hate vegetables (these are negative numbers)?
*You are responsible for dividing shares for yourselves - the farm does not do this for you. Some share members divide their vegetables each week and others alternate weeks picking up the full box. Our vegetables are harvested fresh and with proper storage can last far longer than store-bought veggies.
How much does it cost?
- Vegetable Share, Large (8-12 items/week). More items and some in larger quantities than the small share. Shares are $30 and tax per week, with a week on us for residents
- Vegetable Share, Small (4-6 items/week). Shares are $20 and tax per week, with a week on us for residents.
- Eggs. The price for a dozen eggs is $5/week. We raise a limited number of birds each year, and a share ensures you eggs from our farm.
- Chicken. Pasture-raised whole chicken. Birds average 4-5 lbs. Like our laying hens, they are supplemented with a non-GMO feed. Available weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly (24, 12 or 6 birds for the duration). A weekly price of $19 is based on a 4.5 lb chicken.
- Flowers. The price for flower shares from Greenstone Fields is $13/week and $260 for the twenty week flower season. These are beautiful bouquets made of seasonal local flowers; they last a week or more, and are a great value!
- Milk. We sell an organic and a grass-fed milk at very competitive prices. See the website for the cost of each.
Payment Plans and Work Shares
We know that paying for a full season upfront can create turbulence in your family’s cash flow. As in years past, CSA shares can be paid for all at once or in three monthly payments. We can also create an alternative plan to suit.
We are looking for several members to host or co-host drop sites including the Farm Stand and the Boat House on Wednesdays or Saturdays, and trade portions of shares for your time.
Contact us for more information.
What is Farm Stand Debit?
Farm Stand Debit is a new way to participate in Community Supported Agriculture, flexible for you to use on any item at the farm stand, any day we’re open. Joining before April 1, you receive a savings of 10-15% at the register. Every time you make a purchase, we will deduct the amount from your card. This is a nice complement to a CSA share, but also great for those of you who prefer to choose your vegetables or who go away several weeks through the season. You don’t need to be a CSA member to participate in this program.
Farm Stand Debit cards can be used at the farm stand to purchase almost everything we sell: our veggies, eggs and meat; prepared foods from our kitchen; ice cream and many other items. In exchange, you purchase your Farm Stand Debit card in advance. The Farm Stand Debit program lets you choose from our locally grown fruits and vegetables. Your investment helps us with, literally, seed money. Purchase before April 1, 2017 and receive a discount of 10-15% with your card.
Farm Stand Debit cards are purchased in increments of $100 all season long though our website. Farm Stand Debit cards purchased between Jan 1 and April 1, 2017 receive the 10-15% discount and will be mailed to you the first week in April. Debit cards can also be purchased after April 1, 2017 and may be picked up at the farm stand, or mailed to you upon request.
- Farm Stand (Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 3:30-7 pm; Saturdays, 9 am – 2pm)
- Boat House, Willowsford Information Center (Wednesdays, 3:30 – 6 pm; Saturdays, 10 am-2 pm)
- Broadlands Nature Center (Wednesdays, 3:30 - 6 pm)
- South Riding Town Hall (Wednesdays, 3:00 - 6 pm)
- Kelly’s Boot Camp, East Gate Shopping Center (Saturdays, 7:45 am-8:15 am)
- May 6: Farm Stand Opens
- May 16, 17, 20: Vegetable, Egg, Milk shares (expected) begin
- June 6, 7, 10: Chicken, Flower shares (expected) to begin
- August 22, 23, 26: Spring/Summer Veg Shares end (egg, milk, flower, chicken continue)
- September 5, 6, 9: Fall Veg Shares Begin
- September 17: Fall Farm Day and Potluck
- October 17, 18, 21: Last week of Flower shares
- November 14, 15, 18: Fall Veg, Eggs, Chicken, Milk shares end
- November 21: Thanksgiving Market
- December 6: Winter Shares Start (veg, egg, chicken)
- January 31: Winter Shares End
Where can I learn more about the Farm and CSA?
Is the Farm and CSA open to the public?
Yes, we are. We have a broad customer base and appreciate everyone who thinks our food is good and chooses to purchase from us.
We are committed to growing food for you, residents, first – and we hope you will buy all that we produce!
We are a fairly large farm and it is our responsibility to operate a viable farm business to keep these 300-acres of open space productive. We are not yet supported entirely by the Willowsford community and we rely on all of our customers to make the farm a success. Willowsford is a grand experiment in neighborhood, food production, recreation and conservation, and it is an ambitious goal to be supported entirely by the Willowsford community – it will give new meaning to the idea of Community Supported Agriculture, and maybe to the idea of Agriculture Supported Community. Let’s do it!
CSA registration is open first to Willowsford Residents and returning CSA members. If CSA looks right for you, sign up now. Registration will open to the public in February.
Can we visit the Farm?
Yes. We give tours the first Sunday of each month, April - October. Learn more about visiting here, on our website.
Do we pay for the Farm with our HOA dues?
No. The Farm is an enterprise of the Willowsford Conservancy, an independent 501(c) organization that manages over 2,000-acres of open space at Willowsford. The Farm is intended to be a viable farm operation, supporting itself through sales on- and off- the farm.
How to Sign Up
There are two coupon codes for Willowsford residents: VEGALLYEAR (for large vegetable shares) and HOORAYVEG (for small vegetable shares).
If you would like to register by hard copy or snail mail, contact us by email or by phone: 571-297-6900.
We hope you’ve had a good, healthy start to the new year. This sunny week there is much reason for optimism. We are here, we are together, and we have good food. We look forward to farming with you again this season.
Mike, Deb, Al, Lex, Anya, Jennifer, Bella and Radish, Goats x 11, Police Geese x 6, winter Camillas x 160, dinner chicks in the freezer, piglets to come, Roscoe RIP, and Popcorn, last seen tanning at the Farm on Wednesday.