Beautiful picture of Dawn Thomas picking up the very first CSA share we ever packed in 2005!

 


Dear Friends,
Thank you for your interest in our upcoming 2012 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. We are looking forward to our 8th growing season!

In order to help us plan our growing season better we ask that your membership form be sent in no later than May 1st. This year we are going to make 100 vegetable shares and up to 20 additional cut-flower shares available. So the earlier you subscribe the better chance you have of getting a share. We will send a membership confirmation with your payment receipt. Because of variations in weather we have not set an exact date for the first distribution in May but are targeting for the 28th. The summer and flower share’s target start date is July 7th. We will contact you via email at least a week in advance for the first distribution.

If you have any questions or concerns especially about the payment and distribution options offered, please don’t hesitate to call us at the farm (517-263-5912) or email us.

We hope to hear from you soon! And we are looking forward to growing some delicious food, flowers, and herbs for you soon...


Sincerely,
Beverly Ruesink and John Williams
Owners
Needle-Lane Farm

 

 


 

 

 

Community Supported Agriculture
Needle-Lane Farm’s is pleased to invite you to participate as a member in our eigth season of our CSA program. Community Supported Agriculture or CSA was started by people over 25 years ago who wanted to put a “face on their food”. They were tired of buying food that they didn’t know how, where, or by whom it was produced. CSA provides a direct relationship between you and the farm that grows your food. In this age of multinational and international food corporations with no loyalty to anyone or anything but their bottom line and producing cheap food, we are offering you a chance to reconnect with and strengthen the local economy. Supporting your local farmers is a vital first step to reclaiming our food production system. By becoming a CSA member you are placing your vote for an agricultural system that is based on organic, sustainable methods which can provide a socially just living for farmers rather than the big-business chemical revolution. Robyn Van En, the founder of CSA North America probably said it best:
 
food producers +food consumers +annual commitment=
 
CSA and untold possibilities

Being Partners
 CSA members are “farming partners” at Needle-Lane Farm. Paying for your share early in the season helps purchase seeds and finance the high amounts of labor required to plant and care for the plants. Being a member also means sharing in the risk and the bounty along with the farmer. As much as we would like to be boss, in truth Mother Nature is. So if the weather is unfavorable and the plants don’t do well, there will be less food to go around, if the weather is wonderful and the plants grow great, there will more than we can eat! To help minimize this weather risk we plant a large variety of vegetables and utilize various horticultural techniques, so that we can guarantee that at least something will have perfect weather and produce well. Unlike some other CSA’s, we are not requiring members to work as part of their share, because we believe that, just by being a member you are already involved in a community farm that is an affirmation of the kind of world we want to live in and a positive choice for the future. However for those of you who want to contribute more we certainly could use your help!
The Benefits
The great tasting vegetables and herbs are the most obvious benefits to being a CSA member. In addition to improving your health by eating fresh seasonal vegetables, you are helping to strengthen the local economy by keeping your food dollar in the community in which you live. By being a member of our CSA you can be assured that your membership money will go directly to the people who plant, care for, and harvest your food. There are no middle people (retailer, distributor) and you will be receiving the freshest, highest-quality, nutrient-rich, flavorful produce you can buy. By supporting local food production you are also reducing our country’s dependence on oil, because less fuel is used in transportation and production.
Share Information
In order to offer something for everybody we have multiple selections for shares. There are two share options; full season or summer season. Full Season shares run for 20 weeks, from the end of May to the middle of October and include cool-season vegetables (Swiss chard, broccoli, green onions, etc.) as well as the summer favorites (corn, tomatoes, peppers etc.). Summer Season shares run for 12 weeks starting in July and ending in September, this shorter season share is good for first time CSA members and/or for folks who prefer the summer vegetables (zucchini, tomatoes, beans, peppers, etc.) to the cool season ones. The summer share will include some cool season items but the majority of the produce will be the summer favorites. Both shares include will include some culinary herbs (parsley, basil, dill, etc.). 

Then there are two sizes to select from: family size or single size. Family size shares are packed into a 1 1/9 bushel sized box and include enough vegetables (10-20 items) to feed 2 adults and 2 children for one week, or 2 adult vegetable lovers. Single size shares are packed into a 1/2 bushel sized box and include enough vegetables (5-10 items) to feed 1 adult and 1 child for 1 week, or 1 adult vegetable lover. Of course these estimations depend entirely on how many vegetables you really do eat! Both sizes of shares are always great to share!

The cut flower share is for those who enjoy beautiful cut flowers! The share will provide a quart-sized jar of either fresh-cut or dried flowers once a week for 16 weeks from June till September that can be picked up with your vegetable share. You do not need to buy a vegetable share to buy a flower share and vice versa. At Needle-Lane Farm we grow a variety of excellent cut flowers like asters, sweet peas, gladiolus, dahlias, statice, sunflowers, and zinnias. Plus a huge variety of other perennial and annual beauties. Flowers are a part of the farm’s biodiversity mission and not only ad beauty to our farm but also to your house. Flowers also provide habitat and food for beneficial insects and companion planting benefits.

Something new we are going to try this year is offering “Market Shares”. Over the years we have had a lot of people tell us that they would love to join the CSA. But they are out of town a lot, or they are just a single person and even the single size share is too much for them, or they really just like certain things and not a variety. From this feedback the idea was born of how people could still support the farm financially when we need it most, but not be tied to a weekly CSA share.

Our Market Shares will work like this: There are two levels to buy in at, either the small share for $150 or the large share for $300. This credit can be used all season at any of the farmers market we participate in (Ypsilanti and Tecumseh) for produce as well as anything else we sell like flowers, honey, eggs, etc. And since we value your support early in the year, we will give you 5% more in credit for your money, which will make the value of the shares $157.50 and $315. The Market Share must all be used by the end of the season and there are no refunds.


Important Details
The CSA season typically will run from end of May to the beginning of October for the Full season and from July to September for the summer season. Each week you will receive a box of clean freshly harvested seasonal produce from our farm. Depending on your pickup location, distribution will either be on Saturday, or on Tuesday of each week. You will also receive the weekly farm e-newsletter containing that weeks share information, recipes, farm news, volunteer information, etc.

We strongly encourage members to come visit the farm with your families. Having the opportunity to visit the farm and getting the chance to participate in growing the food that you eat is truly a special experience that we are happy to be able to share with you!