UMASS STUDENT FARM FALL 2020 CSA FAQ
How do I sign up for a share?
What is a CSA share?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Simply, it is a partnership between farmers and their local community where both parties benefit. Our “members” or “shareholders” purchase a farm share in the spring, and in the fall they receive their “share” of fresh, organic produce each week.
Who can buy one and how much does it cost?
Our shares are open to the UMass community, including faculty/staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students. For our 2020 fall share, it is $400 for faculty/staff and $350 for students. Pay before May 1st and get $25 off! You can sign up for a share until the first pickup date Sept. 11th 2020, unless we run out.
Can I use a payment plan to pay for my share?
Yes! If you are unable to pay upfront, UMass Five College Federal Credit Union offers an interest free farm share loan. You can apply on their website https://www.umassfive.coop or call 413.256.5500 .
How much food is it? How many people can it feed?
Our share averages 25 lbs per week, depending on what's in season. It can comfortably feed 2-6 people per week depending on how many veggies you eat. On average, people usually split it between a household of 3-4 people.
Can I split a share with someone?
Yes! We encourage it. You will get one bag of produce, and then it is up to you to physically split it up between your group, however works for you. It is very convenient to split a share between roommates, so only one person has to pick it up.
I don't have a car, is the share easy to carry on a bike or on the bus?
Many of our CSA members ride the bus or bike home! We will provide you with a UMass Student Farm canvas bag for you to put your share in, making it easy to transport. Sometimes putting the whole share in one bag can be kind of heavy, so you are more than welcome to bring an additional bag to carry produce in!
How long does it go for?
Our CSA goes from September 11th - November 20th (10 weeks). Our CSA program runs in the fall only.
When do I get it? Can it be delivered to me?
You will pick up your CSA share at the UMass Student Farmers Market on the East Campus Pond Lawn between 12-4 pm. We do not do deliveries
What happens if I can’t pick up my share in the allotted time or am on vacation?
If you know you will not be able to attend a market and still want your share, please ask a friend to pick it up for you. If you do not pick up a share then you will not be able to make it up in the next week.
Will I know in advance what will be in my share?
We send out weekly emails in the Fall that include information about what crops we will have available that week, recipes, general updates about the farm, and vegetable puns.
What crops are you growing this year?
Arugula, Beets, Dry Beans , String Breans, Bok Choy, Braising Greens, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Corn, Flowers, Eggplant, Fennel, Flowers, Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, Kale, Kholrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Parsnips, Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkins/Gourds, Radishes, Turnips, Rutabaga, Salad Mix, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Winter Squash.
*It is important to note that even though we PLAN to have all of these crops available, sometimes our crops fail due to unpredictable weather conditions, disease, and pest issues! :( Please be patient and flexible with us if this happens.*
Why should I buy a CSA from the Student Farm?
When you buy a share from the Student Farm, you are supporting your next generation of farmers. Our business is unique because it's not just a business! We are students learning practical skills we will use for the rest of our lives. We are so thankful for everyone that supports each crew’s journey every season. UMass started as an agricultural school and we are helping keep UMass rooted in its core values.
What does it mean that the Student Farm is Certified Organic?
Our certification means that a third party, Bay State Organic Certifiers, checks on us each year to ensure we are following the strict standards set by the Organic Material Review Institute and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These standards include using organic seeds, organic pest/weed control methods, and using naturally-derived (non-synthetic) fertility sources.