Our CSA is a great way to support beginning farmers and challenge yourself to eat seasonal and locally this year.
C.S.A. stands for Community Supported Agriculture. These programs are a way for community members to invest in local farmers by purchasing a “share” of their farm business for the growing season. In exchange, the farmer returns that investment by providing a vegetable subscription box of produce weekly back to the customer throughout the growing season. The customer shares in the risk (you don’t know the exact variety and timing of when crops will be available due to weather and production schedules) and the rewards (delicious, in-season produce straight from the farm). It’s a great way to support local farmers while pushing yourself to eat more veggies and try new produce items!
The Community Crops CSA program is designed to help the beginning and refugee farmers enrolled in our training program as they learn how to grow their businesses and explore what markets are the best fit for them. Our hope is to let them try out the CSA model with our support so that they can choose to someday start their own CSAs as they graduate from our program.
Our CSA also features products primarily from refugee farmers in the Yazidi community. This means that while we’ll have a wide variety of produce items, there will be a particular emphasis on produce found in Middle Eastern cuisines. We will share background information and recipes on how to use this produce with our customers week-to-week.
Finally, this CSA is designed to fulfill a need we saw in Lincoln to serve low-income communities. Two-thirds of our CSA shares will be reserved from SNAP-qualifying customers. These customers will have the opportunity to pay week-by-week to meet the requirements of public food assistance programs, making this program accessible and affordable to as many families as possible.
Timing: This year’s CSA will be 18 weeks long. CSA begins May 15th and runs through September 18th (with a few pre-scheduled weeks off). All members are expected to participate for the entire CSA season.
Cost: We have a single share size this year, although we welcome families to purchase multiple shares or consider joining with a friend to split a share. Total cost is $330 per share for the entire 18-week season. This is roughly $15-$20 per week (6-11 produce items).
Market rate customers will purchase their full share up front (cash, check, or card). Households qualifying for SNAP (food stamps) will have the option of paying week-by-week and can use whatever combination of SNAP, Double Up Food Bucks vouchers, and cash/check/card that works best for them.
Pick-Ups: CSA shares will be picked up weekly at one of two pre-scheduled locations: