Vegetables / CSA

Example of one of our Large size CSA baskets
What's a CSA? CSA stands for 'Community Supported Agriculture' or 'Community Shared Agriculture'. It is basically a 'partnership' between grower and consumer, where a weekly package of vegetables is delivered/picked-up, which will include a variety of whatever produce is in season at the time. Deposits made near the beginning of the season provide stability for the grower, and eaters know that they will receive a regular supply of fresh, local, healthy veggies for themselves and their family throughout the season - along with recipe ideas and perhaps other farm products, such as honey. Basically, everyone wins!
We grow lots of tomatoes for our valued customers!
Last year (2012), we had our first year of offering the CSA program, and were completely blown away to have 33 eager families who wanted us to deliver food to their home! Feedback was very positive, and most of those families will be joining us again in the program, this year. Of course, we are always trying to continue to improve our practices and quality of service, and have the following exciting changes for the upcoming season in 2013:
  • More staples, more often! - Customers will be glad to see the familiar veggies (potatoes, carrots, onions, lettuce) each week for every week that we are able to harvest them. As always, we spread the harvests of every crop out to offer it for as long as we can.
  • New delivery day! - This year, we will delivery on Tuesday afternoon/evenings, instead of Thursdays. We found that many people would be better suited to use their produce (and be around to receive it) throughout the week rather than closer to the weekends, when they like to head to the cottage or other holidays.
  • New delivery vehicle! - With the help from our CSA subscription proceeds in 2012, we were able to purchase a 'swanky' new delivery van, ensuring to keep produce cooler and fresher en route to your home!
  • Introduction of e-newsletters! Customers this year will have the option of receiving all of our weekly informative newsletters, providing helpful information like ideas on how to use the accompanying vegetables, nutrition and health, tasty recipes, and of course updates from Fresh Roots Farm on what we're up to that week! Those who wish to receive paper copies with their package may still do so.
For a better idea of the particular veggies we offer and when, click here to view our Harvest Calendar from 2012.

Where? Fresh Roots Farm CSA boxes will be delivered within 30 miles of the Cartwright area - We are offering deliveries to Cartwright, Mather, Clearwater, Crystal City, and Pilot Mound. People wanting home delivery cannot be more than a few miles off of our regular delivery route path; however alternate arrangements can be made at a friend or family member's house in or near town. On farm pick-up can also be arranged for anyone that wishes to (and can save on delivery costs).

When? Customers will have the option of receiving a package once a week. See the 2 different options for package sizes below.

Why? We want to work towards this model of vegetable marketing for many reasons: we will be able to get to know our customers better, we can more efficiently grow vegetable crops that we know people will buy, we will have some economic stability in a livelihood that doesn't provide much, and we will be happy to know that we are supplying fresh, healthy, chemical-free food to those who might not otherwise be able to grow their own. These days, even here in rural areas, we know that many families are busy with work, parenting, or simply do not have the physical capacity to garden any longer. 

It just makes sense to us to give people the option of buying and eating food that was grown close to home (less food miles means less environmental impact), and for parents not having to worry about the safety or nutrition in the food their child eats! For senior citizens, having a weekly delivery of vegetables to your door means not having to make the trip out to the grocery store, as often.

How much, for how long? 

2013 Dates & Early Bird Pricing*:

We hope to do our deliveries on Tuesdays this year, beginning mid-June and extending into late September, 16 weeks (weather permitting).  We will be offering only a limited number of bi-weekly shares this year, providing the opportunity for any of last year's bi-weekly members to take that spot again. We would encourage you to find a size of vegetable basket that works for you and your family, and also encourage the sharing of a larger package between one or more households/families. Share prices for 2013 are as follows:

Large (family size) weekly basket:    $480.00
On average, this size is intended to feed 3-4 people, or 2-3 vegetable lovers. Average produce value: $28/week

Medium weekly basket:                      $275.00
On average, this size is intended to feed 1-2 people, or 1 vegetable lover. Average produce value: $15/week

We hope that you will notice how reasonable our prices are, when compared with many other producers offering a CSA-style program in Manitoba. We hope that you can also appreciate the unique advantages in being a Fresh Roots Farm CSA member, with deliveries brought right to your door, and the quality of produce we provide. (We are the only ones offering this type of service in your area!) As a CSA member, you will also continue to get first notification of other food products when they become available from our farm (i.e. eggs, preserves, sauces, etc.) As we gain more experience, we continue to improve our program's methods, as well as our growing methods, including our care of the soil, its nutrients, and the plants it nurtures. Also, like any other business trying to be sustainable, we have raised our prices somewhat from last year. This time, we have included our costs for delivery mileage and administration costs into the total, on top of the value of produce. For us to continue to be able to offer this program, we need to ensure that our expenses are covered, and that the many hours spent trying to make it all happen are fairly compensated, so that we may continue to build our farm business sustainably and keep bringing you and your family great food!

Remember that we do ask for payment in the Spring, to help us cover some of our up-front expenses at this time of the season, though this may be done in installments, as listed below:

Early Bird Prices (total pd before Feb. 28):
Large basket: $470
Medium basket: $265
Bi-weekly Medium basket: $135

Prices after March 1:
Large basket: $480
Medium basket: $275
Bi-weekly Medium basket: $145

To pay in installments:
#1 (before March 31); #2 (before May 31)

Large: $240 ea.
Medium: $137.50
Bi-weekly Medium: $70
Farmers' Markets
Cartwright Farmers Market: Fridays 5-6pm, Merrymakers Club
Killarney Farmers Market: Saturdays 9-11am, greenspace next to the Co-op C-Store
We enjoyed meeting and serving our customers at these markets in past seasons, and hope to attend more and offer more - this is part of our reason to move towards CSA delivery on Tuesdays, instead of Thursdays. We hope to see you there!

Special Orders
Not interested in the CSA model, but still like those fresh, local veggies during the season? No problem - just give us a call, and let us know what you and your family want. On-farm pick-up is encouraged for special orders. Send us an email and let us know whether you'd like to be on our regular e-newsletter mailing list for general farm and product updates!

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