Community Supported Agriculture Membership Program
We are now accepting enrollment for the 2017 season!
What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and is a system that allows members to purchase a share of the season's harvest before the season begins. CSA members share both the risk and the reward of the growing season by investing in their farm. This arrangement is mutually beneficial for the farmer and CSA members by providing the farmer with necessary capital for supplies and labor to ensure a successful growing season, and by providing the CSA members with a consistent supply of fresh local vegetables. CSA members also enjoy the added satisfaction of a deeper connection to the land that sustains them by supporting local agriculture with their purchasing power.
How does it work?
Each share will include between eight to twenty different vegetables, fruits, and culinary herbs every week that reflect the seasonal abundance of the farm. There is a strong emphasis on greens and vegetables, although we do grow some fruits and are working on establishing more. In addition to fresh produce, members may also be provided flowers, ornamental pumpkins and other fun extras! CSA members may also have the opportunity to engage in tours of the sustainable agriculture operation, potlucks and other events catering to members.
Part of this connection to the farm through your CSA subscription includes recognizing the inherent risks of agriculture due to unpredictable weather or other environmental circumstances. The CSA is a platform for teaching and learning on the farm, and much of your produce will be grown and prepared by apprentices, students and volunteers under the supervision of the CSA coordinator. Our farmers are dedicated to producing an abundance of healthy and nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables, but as a member of our CSA you are agreeing to accept the consequences of crop loss or damage due to environmental conditions, learning opportunities or other unforeseen factors.
Each week members will receive between eight to twenty different vegetables and herbs, which reflect the seasonal availability of the farm's bounty. We have added the option of a half share this year! Half shares will encompass the same diversity with half the quantity and price. A full share is great for families of 4-5, or 2 serious veggie consumers. A half share is ideal for a family of 2-3 or 1 serious veggie lover.
If everything goes as planned the twenty week season will begin around the last week of May and continue until the second week of October. There will be fewer items during the first part of summer and more items towards the end of the growing season. This year we are planting over 120 different varieties, comprising 40+ different crops! This includes all of your mainstay vegetables, from carrots and greens, to tomatoes and cucumbers. You may also receive vegetables you have little familiarity with including pac choi, fennel, kohlrabi and a number of unfamiliar varieties of common vegetables (white eggplants, purple tomatoes, yellow carrots!).
Location and Distribution Time
Members can pick up their fresh produce at the MSU Tollgate Farm in the pavilion on Wednesdays between 4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. At this time we do not have any other pick up or delivery options.
I'm interested, but not sure if it is for me.
Being a CSA member is a definite commitment. You will receive pounds of produce every week, some of which you may have never encountered. A CSA requires someone with cooking experience and dedication to prepare and eat twenty weeks worth of veggies, as well as someone who enjoys trying new things and going with the flow. If you don't have substantial cooking experience, you might try shopping regularly at farmers markets before embarking on a CSA membership. This might also be a better choice if you travel often or don't have much free time during the summer. We don't want to scare you away, only make sure you are engaging with local, organically grown produce in the way that best works for you!
Please read the complete application, complete and mail it along with your deposit or full check to:
Michigan State University
Tollgate Farm and Education Center
28115 Meadowbrook Road
Novi, MI 48377
You will receive a notification once we have received your application.
For more information: mailto: TollgateCSA@anr.msu.edu
Testimonials from the 2016 season:
"Great program. We loved it! Thank you for all your hard work!"
"With the unending exhausting heat of Summer 2016, the work you all did was extremely impressive! Thank you & Congratulations!"
"Everything was wonderfully delicious, fresh and I enjoyed the students and Will each week."
"Thank you for being such a warm and friendly crew!"