What Is CSA And How It Can Help You, Especially Now

Are you feeling the same way I am?

Has your whole world been turned upside down in the matter of a few weeks??

Is the thought of going to the grocery store for your vegetables terrible to you at this point?

But let's face it.  You've got to eat.  Farm fresh food is essential.

Your number one goal right now is to maintain your health and minimize your exposure, right?

A CSA farm share, aka a subscription to a weekly box of organic vegetables grown safely with care at our family farm, is a solution to consider ESPECIALLY at this time.


Plus, participating in a CSA program can bring you some of the positive feelings that we need to focus on right now...

Abundance, Hope, Love, Community, Support!


But, what is a CSA?

Our farm’s primary and most important source of income is our CSA farm share program.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.

Sounds like a bunch of jargon, right?

In a nutshell, we provide Central Maine families and couples an alternative to the wilted, boring, and over-handled produce at the grocery store with weekly beautiful organic veggies grown on our farm and seasonal recipes to inspire them to safely eat more veggie variety and love every bite!


How Ripley Farm's CSA works

When you buy a CSA you are essentially buying a farm share. A share in what is produced on the farm. (In our case, that’s organic veggies!)

Members pay in advance for a growing season so farmers like us have the necessary operating funds to get the season going.

During the growing season, members receive a box of produce from the farm on a regular schedule (once per week July through October).


How Ripley Farm's CSA helps you maintain your health and minimize your exposure

Q 1: How are the CSA veggies packaged?  How much has the produce been handled by other people?

Great question!  Our CSA veggies are harvested fresh from our organic farm fields, carefully washed, and pre-packaged for you by our small crew of farmers! 

They are all held in a large single-use plastic liner bag that completely covers the veggies from outside contact. 

That bag is then held inside a reuseable wax produce box that simply contains them.

Here's a picture of Farmer Gene holding up a CSA share for you to see exactly what I'm talking about.  No germs getting on those veggies, folks!




Q 2: How does the CSA pickup work exactly?  How much social interaction is there?

Those are the questions on everyone's mind right now, right?  

The CSA pickup is extremely fast and easy!  It's "grab and go" style because we take the time to pre-package everything as shown above.  It's just about as easy as curbside pickup!  (Plus if you live in Bangor we offer home delivery straight to your door.)

There is no money that changes hands (because it's all pre-paid!).  No need to have a conversation (if you don't want to!).  Just lift the bag out of the wax box and leave it right there and you're on you're way back to your vehicle!

As little as NO social interaction necessary!


How a CSA farm share is different than the grocery store and farmers markets in a time of uncertainty

Ideally you would grow all your own veggies, right? Especially this year when the grocery store is even more unappealing.

But realistically that may not happen for you for whatever reason, so having a Summer CSA farm share takes the pressure off of you from feeling like you should be doing it all yourself. You can trust that the veggies you get from us are grown just the way you would in your own garden!

Imagine, you get garden fresh produce without all the work! 

Plus I want to share with you the top 10 benefits to joining a CSA that are especially relevant during this time, including...

    You really support your local farmers

    You know who we are! You can greet us in person (wave from a distance, if need be), call us, email us, Facebook us, whatever way you choose to be in touch with real live farmers! We always get back to you!  CSA is THE BEST WAY to support your local farmers.
  2. TRUST:
    You really know where your food comes from

    It comes 100% from our farm! You can visit the farm and shake the hand of your farmers (or wave, if need be).  We can show you exactly where our romaine lettuce grows!
    You're choosing true food safety

    We’re MOFGA/USDA certified organic for your peace of mind AND our food is grown right here on our farm with love. No unanswered questions.  Plus, our vegetables are all pre-packaged for you so you won’t feel icky reaching into bins of handled produce.  Our farm is small and our vegetables are grown and handled by a small crew of farmers.  Our vegetables are never handled by anyone else! Rest assured your products are safe.
  4. HOPE:
    You feel more inspired and push yourself to eat more and different veggies

    With a CSA share you're guaranteed to get a selection of vibrant, interesting, beautiful vegetables that taste delicious and FRESH in each box.  Everyone likes a challenge, right?  Because you make a commitment to the farm, you also make a commitment to yourself. You are GOING to eat better and it WILL be more interesting. By signing up, that’s what you promise yourself!
    You try new recipes and experiment in the kitchen

    With our newsletter, cooking tips, and recipe ideas, you’ll never be at a loss for what to do with your veggies or forget to have fun doing it!  Plus you get to share all of your successes with the private CSA member Facebook community group.
  6. LOVE:
    You learn new kitchen skills, a little self-love that's in great need right now

    Like freezing extra veggies! Or fermenting! There’s always something to learn and try and you can be sure to want to do at least one new thing per season with your CSA veggies. We’ve got tons of free tutorials on our website to help you and free live classes you can come to and learn from, too!  Learning new things can make you feel confident and happy!
    You get the freshest taste and produce that lasts a lot longer

    Your precious veggies aren’t sitting out at grocery stores or farmers market getting limp and wilted. Yours are harvested especially for you at their peak of flavor!  CSA is what we do and our customers get the very best!  Other CSA's give out market leftovers to their members-- Not us!  We pick out the best quality veggies for you, harvest them fresh, and package them in a way that keeps them fresh, resulting in produce that lasts way longer than what you can buy at the store.
    You're a part of a like-minded food community

    Whether you pick up on the farm, at a drop site, or get home delivery, you are part of our farm’s family. As a CSA member you’re always welcome here anytime to pick your own flowers and herbs from our free members-only gardens, on Open Farm Day, for monthly classes, as well as in our private Facebook CSA member community group. It’s nice to be part of a like-minded group of people, especially now, don’t you think?
    You get a pile of veggies faster, easier, and safer than going to the farmers market or grocery store

    No lines, no exchange of money (did you know you can sign up online and pay with a credit card??), no one else sifting through your veggies, all direct from the farm!  Driving to the farm or other quick pickup location may be far less risky than exposing yourself in the grocery store.  We even offer Home Delivery in Bangor/Brewer!  Don’t even need to leave your home!
    You feel relaxed and renewed after spending time in nature visiting our FREE CSA PYO gardens--
    Spending time in nature is incredibly grounding, especially during this time.  Our small farm is a beautiful, safe place that you can call your own when you become a member.  If you’re going stir-crazy from cancellations and schedule disruptions, remember that members no matter where they pickup can come to our farm to pick-your-own flowers and herbs for the duration of the Summer CSA (July-October) at any time!


Why does it matter to us?

To cut to the chase, we care because the connection to the people who eat our food matters just as much to us as it does to those who eat our food.  

Knowing that people care and get enjoyment out of the food that we grow with our hard work is what makes that hard work all worth it.  Getting an email from you saying how much you love the sweetness of the kale or the spinach from that week provides us the motivation to keep going.

Farming is hard work.  The relationships that we have made and continue to make through our CSA member family are what make farming sustainable for our farm.  We wouldn't be here doing it after over 10 years without you.


CSA is good for the farmers because:

  1. We are provided with the upfront money to get the season started off right
    Your dollars help the farm buy seeds and supplies and hire the crew when the farm needs it, BEFORE the season starts!  Having the veggies that we grow pre-sold is literally what keeps our farm in business.
  2. We get to know whom we are feeding!
    Believe it or not, it matters to us, too. We know from experience that knowing the people who eat our food makes us strive to be the best farmers we can! The connection is so important to us!  We care about you!
  3. We are able to focus on farming!
    Knowing that our veggies are presold gives us the needed time during the growing season to focus all of our energy on what’s important; growing and harvesting the best tasting veggies! We’re not off running in a million different directions with farmers markets and whatnot. We’re your farmers as our top priority.


We are open for registration for our flagship 2020 Summer CSA farm share program. 

We'd love to have you join us and know that you'll love the experience!

If you're ready to make a change in your life that will be meaningful, read more about our 2020 program and sign up today!


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