Celebrating the Meaning of CSA!
What does CSA stand for? C-ommunity S-upported A-griculture!
Those three words mean a lot to us at Ripley Farm...
They mean local people coming together from Greenville to Hampden to Lakeview Plantation to Corinth and everywhere in between to support our farm.
They mean friendship, smiles, warm hugs, and uplifting conversations week after week, year after year.
They mean sharing good food with people who appreciate the hard work that goes into producing it.
They mean a positive financial base for our farm year after year, helping us make a living doing what we love.
We started our farm with only a few years experience farming and have built it from a very small business in 2009 to one that now supports our family in 2017. We were only able to acheive this dream with the amazing support of our friends, family, and customers. Over half of our business in 2017 comes from our wonderfully loyal Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members. In recent years, over 100 local families choose to support our farm each year in a meaningful way by paying the money upfront for a farm share allowing us to buy supplies and put seeds in the ground. Our members' investment is to be repaid in what we produce throughout the growing season for 16 weeks July through October. That community support for agriculture on our farm is the foundation for our success as a small family business.
It is CSA season again at our farm. And I don't mean that there are fresh tomatoes pumping out of the frozen ground, somehow. Or that we have green grass growing all around, all around. Nope, it is still winter here, too. But, nonetheless, the CSA season has begun again at Ripley Farm.
We have just opened up registration for the Summer CSA 2017 and are beginning to plan for our ninth growing year. Here on the farm, we are pouring over seed catalogs and laying the ground work for another successful season of fresh vegetables. Meanwhile most everyday in the mail a membership arrives from Medway or Glenburn or Dover-Foxcroft to remind us of all the families that are counting on us to provide them beautiful healthy veggies again in 2017. We are welcoming more families to our farm's Community Supported Agriculture club in 2017, and hope you will consider joining us this year!
Now it is picture time!!! I want to share with you images from last year's CSA farm share season. It was a great season full of changes (a baby), challenges (drought), successes (full shares every week), and of course lots of hard work, dirty knees, and delicious fresh goodies to fuel us. Enjoy a journey back through what had us busy dawn 'til dusk May through October in 2016.
Here's Carmen getting our first harvest of 2016 ready to go...
She is using one of our innovations for the season, a hands-free bunch washer! Go fun farm hacks! Thank you, Carmen and Gene.
Carmen came back for her second year working at Ripley Farm which made all the difference for us in the transition to farming with a baby. Thank you, Carmen!
CSA share #1: July 6, 2016 (grean leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, kale, 'tatsoi' summer spinach, beet greens, garlic scapes, radishes, bok choi, and dill)
Best year on broccoli ever!?! Both spring and fall plantings were great! Despite the drought!
CSA Share #3: July 20, 2016 (broccoli, snow peas, salad turnips, carrots, bok choi, kale, green lettuce and garlic scapes)
CSA flower gardens were bursting this year! Echinacea (Purple coneflower) pictured below...
Mary Margaret wrote all of the newsletters this year, thanks to the baby's nap times :)
CSA Share #4: July 27, 2016 (broccoli, snow peas, basil, carrots, summer squash, baby chard, salad turnips, green garlic, and green leaf lettuce)
CSA Share #5: August 3, 2016 (Red summer crisp lettuce, purslane, cucumbers, fresh sweet onion, summer squash, carrots, green and yellow beans, cabbage and tomatoes)
Busy time of year and lots of pictures got missed this year! Not as easy for me to take the share photos when I'm not up there working on packing them... alas!
CSA Share #11: September 14, 2016 (Green summer crisp lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, green beans, summer squash, carrots, peppers,
Beautiful cut flower gardens with PYO basil in the foreground...
CSA Share #13: September 28, 2016 (Bok choy, romaine lettuce, buttercup squash, sweet peppers, scallions, tomatoes, carrots, and broccoli)
Sara, the lettuce queen, washed and packed all of the CSA's lettuce every week of the season! Thank you, Sara!
Farmer Gene and Kohlrabi buddy are happy on the last harvest day for the 2016 CSA! Thank you to Gene for keeping it real at Ripley Farm this season without me to help manage the farm. You did a great job! :)
CSA Share #16: October 19, 2016 (delicata squash, kale, leeks, romaine lettuce, rainbow carrots, parsley, red and yellow onions, kohlrabi, garlic, and potatoes)
The whole Ripley Farm crew is looking forward to another CSA growing season! Here's to just the right amount of rain and sunshine in 2017!