We’ve heard from a few of you who are looking for more clarity about what our new Farmer’s Choice share will look like. I’m going to try my best to provide that here!
I’ll begin by saying that rather than thinking of the Farmer’s Choice share as a fraction of a Classic Harvest share, it’s more helpful to think of it as a stand alone product. Designing a share that is well-balanced and useful week to week is an art! The same way that you have purchased a share in the past and trusted that the produce you’ll receive will be useful, diverse, and delicious (barring major weather issues and personal tastes, of course!) you’ll have to take a bit of a leap of faith in purchasing a smaller share, and trust that all of the same qualities that you have valued in your share will be present in this new product. See my answers to some FAQs below.
Is the Farmer’s Choice Share a half share?
No, it’s slightly larger than half of the full share. Our goal is to have approximately 8-14 items in the Classic Harvest Share and 6-9 items in the Farmer’s Choice Share each week, depending on what time of the season it is.
Will I only receive half bunches? Will I only receive half of the quantity of most things under the tent?
With a few exceptions (such as high volume crops like tomatoes and summer squash, and occasionally PYO crops) you will not be likely to receive partial quantities of most units of produce.
Here is what the two shares could look like side by side, at the peak season in late August, when shares are at their largest:
|2 heads lettuce||2 heads lettuce|
|1 bunch greens|
|1 lb onions||1 lb onions|
|1 lb tomatillos||1 lb tomatillos|
|3 green peppers|
|1 lb eggplant||1 lb eggplant|
|6 lbs tomatoes||4 lbs tomatoes|
|1 bunch scallions|
|1 bunch radishes||I bunch radishes|
|1 lb carrots||1 lb carrots|
|2 lbs potatoes|
|1 lb cherry tomatoes||1/2 lb cherry tomatoes|
|1 head bok choi|
|2 lbs cucumbers||2 lbs cucumbers|
|25 blooms PYO flowers||13 blooms PYO flowers|
|1/2 cup PYO raspberries||1/2 cup PYO raspberries|
When you look at the above table, you might be asking “but what about the other crops that the Classic Harvest sharers received? I want those, too!” We know that! In this example, we’d make sure to include potatoes, green peppers, and bunched greens in the following week’s share to ensure that you are receiving a broad diversity of crops. This is where the “art” of curating a share kicks in!
I really love some of the “weird” and less desirable veggies. Will they be included in the Farmer’s Choice share?
Yes, you will still receive those oddball veggies, though with less frequency due to the smaller number of items included in the share. For example, we probably wouldn’t give you tomatillos, green peppers, bok choi, eggplant, and purple top turnips all in one week in a Farmer’s Choice share.
With the new share offering, do I receive root vegetables?
Absolutely! What is a CSA farm without root veggies?!
Has any farm ever offered small shares before?
Yes! Small or “half” share offerings are common at most area CSA farms! In recent years, they have become even more popular. This is because they are a great way to continue to get weekly farm veggies, with less of the potential waste of the full share. Smaller shares are perfect for small families, for families that don’t eat as much produce as is included in the Classic Harvest share, or for those who prefer to have the flexibility to supplement their shares with store-bought or market-bought produce.
I really prefer receiving the alternate week share so that I don’t have to be at the farm every week! Why aren’t you offering it?
There are several reasons that we are not offering the alternate week share next year, the primary one being admin and communication time and costs. We want you to know that you can split a share with a friend or neighbor and thus in effect create your own “alternate week share, ” but you must coordinate that on your own.
Do you have more questions about the share? Come and join us this Saturday at the farm from 12-2! Bring some food-we’ll be enjoying a potluck and talking about some of the changes we are making! Or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And stay tuned for details on garlic planting, happening Saturday, October 29th!