Farm-ily, did you notice that it’s fall? In Virginia, it sometimes feels like the new season is a houseguest that parks in the driveway and makes a few phone calls from the car before coming inside for dinner. We’ve had a few mornings with the crisp bite of cooler weather, but the forecast for CSA pickups this week still shows temperatures in the 80s. We’ll take our autumnal moments where we can find them, in the subtle chill after sunset and the sudden wealth of winter squash. The beginnings of change in our crops also mean that our three-season CSA is in the home stretch, and it’s time to share our plans for Winter!
As promised, online sign-ups for Winter CSA are now available at the following link:
If you’re new to our CSA software, you’ll see that the first selection you’ll need to make in setting up your account is your pickup location. Just like our main season, Winter CSA will be available at both the Farm Stand and the Boat House. Due to the smaller scale of the winter program, we’ll be offering one pickup day (Thursdays) with a time frame designed to accommodate diverse schedules. Our first pickup will be Thursday November 29th, continuing through Thursday February 14th. The farm will close briefly during the holidays, with no CSA distribution on December 27th or January 3rd. This schedule gives you 10 weeks of shares spread over 12 weeks.
After you choose your location, you’ll be prompted to add subscriptions to your shares. We’re so happy to be able to offer new shares this winter alongside our Willowsford veggies! For 2018-2019, you’ll have the option to bring home Willowsford eggs, our South Mountain Creamery milks, Whiffletree Farms whole chickens, and pastured meats from both Whiffletree and Willowsford’s livestock operations.
Our pride and joy from the farm will always be our vegetable CSA, and winter is no different. We work through all seasons to nurture vegetables in hoop houses and cure storage crops for you to enjoy year-round. Naturally, our production changes in the winter and our CSA shares at this time are especially weather-dependent. You can expect shares to include a variety of both fresh and cooking greens, roots and tubers, alliums, hardy starches and squashes, and cole crops, all brought to you in our usual market style. We’ve also “put up” some of our favorite summer produce into value-added products like strawberry jam and tomato sauce to include in winter distribution.
The “Farmer’s Choice” Pastured Meat Subscription is new this winter, and offers you access to the same products you currently enjoy from the Farm Stand freezer. We’re offering it in your choice of weekly (10 distributions) or biweekly (5 distributions) options. Each distribution is a pre-selected combination of high-quality frozen meats from both Willowsford Farm and our partners at Whiffletree Farm. Possible items for the bag each week include Whiffletree’s free-range chickens and grass-fed beef, wild caught salmon, and Willowsford’s Farm’s own pork. You can expect to receive 7-12 lbs of meat per week. An example of a weekly bag could be: a 4.5 lb whole chicken, 1 lb of chorizo sausage, 1 lb of bacon, 1 lb pork tenderloin, 2 lbs beef stew cubes, 1 lb salmon filet. Just like our vegetable shares, the CSA contents are set each week by the farm. Although we cannot accommodate substitutions to the weekly shares, for those of you who eat a variety of meats, this is an amazing, convenient opportunity to keep your freezer stocked throughout winter with products that are locally sourced, humanely raised, non-GMO, chemical and antibiotic free.
After you choose your veggies, meats, and milk, you’ll decide between payment in full or in two installments. The same Member Agreement applies to all our CSA seasons, which means that we cannot accommodate refunds or membership cancellations. Your sign-up reserves a spot in a limited program that could otherwise have been sold to someone on our waiting list. We like to think of CSA as a reciprocal relationship, where your membership purchase is met by our promise to provide you with the very best the farm has to offer. One reason we offer the CSA model is because pre-selling the farm products in shares allows us to focus our efforts on growing, which will always be the heart of our business.
Additional FAQs on our Willowsford Farm CSA can be found here:
If there’s anything else we can do to help you through the sign-up process, we’re always available at email@example.com. We look forward to seeing you over the winter and showing off our insulated overalls!