Bring the entire family to visit Charlton Orchards Farm in Charlton, Massachusetts

CSA 

(508) 248-7820

CSA  2014 Charlton Orchards Farm CSA Program.

 

For 2014, we are now offering shares of farm fruit and vegetables.

 What is a CSA Farm?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farms as defined by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.

Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a way for the food buying public to create a relationship with a farm and to receive a weekly basket of produce. It is a relatively new socio-economic model of food production, sales, and distribution aimed at both increasing the quality of food and the quality of care given the land, plants and animals – while substantially reducing potential food losses and financial risks for the farmer. CSA’s focus is usually on a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables, sometimes including flowers, fruits, herbs and even milk or meat products.

Community supported agriculture is a relatively new idea in farming, one that has been gaining momentum since its introduction to the United States from Europe in the mid-1980s. The CSA concept originated in the 1960s in Switzerland and Japan, where consumers interested in safe food and farmers seeking stable markets for their crops joined together in economic partnerships.

By making a financial commitment to a farm, people become "members" (or "shareholders," or "subscribers") of the CSA. Most CSA farmers prefer that members pay for the season up-front, but some farmers will accept weekly or monthly payments. Some CSA farms also require that members work a small number of hours on the farm during the growing season.
 


Our Charlton Orchards Farm Share Program

 

Vegetable and Fruit CSA (35 shares)

 

Each program can be purchased separately or combined.  Shares are limited and are sold on a first come first serve basis.  Annually, our farm produces approximately, 10 tons of vegetables, 20 tons of small fruits, including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries, 90 tons of large fruits, including apples, peaches, pears, and plums, 3 tons of beef  and our wine production is approximately 2000 gallons per year.

Our goal with this CSA is to afford purchasing benefits to our community, sharing our harvest with those who are interested in direct contact with our farm and those interested in directly supporting our farm. We have purposefully limited the number of shares sold so that we can maintain the highest level of quality and variety within each share. Our goal, by maintaining a small share size, is to provide consistent and uniform share distributions.

 

 Vegetable and Fruit Shares (35 shares for 2014)

Our Vegetable and Fruit Season share runs from June 21 to November 1, 20 weeks. Share Pick-ups will be on Saturday or Sunday afternoon each week, at our farm during this period. The shares are  not pre-packaged and include 7 pounds of vegetables and/or fruit each week, what ever is available, your choice.  The full share cost is $430.00 for the season.   

Here is a list of what you can expect to find in your share:

June

Vegetables:  Our tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces, summer squash, zucchini squash, radishes, spinach, and broccoli.

Fruit:  Strawberries, Raspberries, and Sweet Cherries

July, August

Vegetables:  Carrots, beets, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, sweet peppers, melons, potatoes, greens, broccoli, lettuces, cabbage,

Fruit:  Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Peaches, Plums, Apples, and Pears

September, October

Vegetable:  Winter squash, cabbage, potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes

Fruit:  Apples, Pears, fresh apple cider

 Please note:  At any time during the week, throughout the season, you may trade your CSA pickup for 7 pounds of pick your own fruit.  Apples we will give you a peck bag (10lbs)      

 

 

Disclaimer:

 Farming is not an exact science. As we diversify and change our farming methods in an attempt to control the uncontrollable, we have managed to have some sort of crop. Some years are strawberry crop is diminished but we still have a full blueberry crop. Other years we lose our lettuce crop to extreme heat but later that fall have a wonderful crop of broccoli. We have been in the farming business for more than 50 years, so we have the experience to roll with just about anything mother nature throws at us. We have irrigation for drought and extreme heat years, greenhouses for crops in the cold weather, and practice rotational and double cropping to accommodate short-term disasters.

 Although, we believe we have good controls in place to support our farming system, and accommodate the needs of our wholesale retail and CSA customers, we have to acknowledge the possibility of situations beyond our control interfering with our best intentions. 

Vegetable and fruit crops can be destroyed or reduced by weather, insects or disease. As such, some vegetables planned may not be available either in part or in their entirety and must be substituted by a crop that grew and produced well. 

 Cattle is a vibrant and ever-changing livestock venture.  Due to breeding problems, the nature of slaughterhouse schedules, the possibility of death and disease within our cattle stock, we may run out of the best cuts of meat and have to substitute lesser cuts.

 Wine like apples, is our most stable crop. Our major limitation, within our wine operation, is the fruit crop itself. Over the years, this has caused a limited quantity of certain wines.  The shortages for the most part, are short-lived, and replaced within a few months, so all varieties of all of our wines, are not always readily available. We may have to substitute your preference to another of our fine wine creations.

 Payments:

For 2014, The fruit and vegetable CSA will begin on the 3rd weekend in June; June, 21, 2014

Payments for full shares; may be paid over two installments, the first due by May 1, 2014 and the second payment is due 30 days later, no later than June 1, 2014. Joining after June 1, requires availability and full payment with enrollment.  Shares are sold on a first come first serve basis and are only active if payment has been received.

Accepted forms of payments: cash, check, credit card.  We can enroll you over the phone with a credit card beginning Monday April 7, 2014.  If no one answers leave a message and we will call you back later in the evening to answer your questions and enroll you.

Enrollment:

Enrollment in our program is quick and easy. We will need your name, address, the program you are interested in and your method of payment, to enroll you in any one of our CSA programs.

 You may contact us, directly, by phone with any questions or concerns you have about our CSA program, by dialing

508 - 248 - 7820.

 If you wish to contact me by e-mail, my direct e-mail is nate@charltonorchard.com.  Please type CSA in the subject line.

 Special notice:  We will prorate the fruit and vegetable CSA if you missed the beginning, and if our program is not full.  We are so proud of our produce that we want everyone to enjoy the flavor of great fresh food once again.  Call us and we will explain how you can join our CSA, even Late.  But once we reach 35 shares our program ends.