Are you hungry for good food grown in a manner that sustains the earth?
Plainsong Farm offers you a Community Supported Agriculture share in the farm.
What is Community Supported Agriculture?
Farming is tough.
The way traditional farms work, there are a lot of up-front expenses for seeds and supplies. Farmers take on these costs without knowing what the weather will be or how their crops will produce. If something goes wrong, the farmer takes the loss. If crops are good, more food may be available than people to buy it. These factors have forced many small farmers out of business.
Community Supported Agriculture changes all that. Individuals or families join the farm for a season, providing cash up front for the early-season expenses. Farm members assume the risks of farming along with the farm manager, learning more about their place on earth. A diversity of crops are planted to ensure that food is delivered. If crops do well, members share in the bounty. If a crop fails, members share in the loss. Growers and eaters come together to keep small farms strong.
How does the Plainsong Farm CSA work?
We grow some luscious food on the farm. We plant, tend, and harvest. Then, each week from June through October, members pick up a share of the vegetables, fruits, and herbs that are in season that week.
What do you grow?
West Michigan offers a wide array of vegetables, fruits, and herbs throughout the growing season. That being said, not all the food we grow and raise is available all the time. We proudly confess that our food is seasonal. The beginning and the ends of the season tend to lean more heavily on greens and other cold hardy crops which grow better in those months but we attempt to bring you the greatest diversity of crops that we can.
Here’s are some samples from our 2016 Veggie Lovers share:
What growing practices do you use?
We do everything we can to grow in a sustainable manner. There are zero inputs of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Compost, cover crops (aka green manures), and rotation are the key to keeping our soil healthy and thriving. Additionally, much of our farming is done with hands and feet, not machines. While tractors and other mechanized farm equipment is necessary at times, we try our best to get our hands dirty and invite our members to join us and do the same. At this time the farm is not certified organic but we are moving in that direction.
When and where do members pick up food?
For the 2018 season our pickup locations are:
- Tuesday 4:30pm – 6:30pm: Plainsong Farm, 6677 12 Mile Road NE, Rockford MI 49341 (map).
- Wednesday 4:30pm – 6:30 pm: Fulton Street Farmer’s Market, 1147 E. Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (map)
If these locations and times are impossible for you but you would otherwise purchase a share, please let us know. We will see what we can do to accommodate your schedule. We make no guarantees, but we would rather you ask than simply not join.
Members are expected to bring a box, bag, or tote in which to bring their shares home (a medium size box or reusable grocery bag). Our pick-up locations will look like a Farmer’s Market. There will be crates and tables of produce and a board labeled with what will be in your share so that you, the member, can pick out your own vegetables/fruits/herbs.
Why do I pick out my own food?
In future years we hope to offer a full diet farm share (meat, eggs, vegetables, etc.) where members can choose what they would like each week. Starting this way helps us integrate more options as we grow.
Also, having the members bring your own boxes/bags saves us a great deal of time at the farm. Not having to sort everything into separate shares gives us more time to spend growing and raising good food. Packing your share should only take minutes so we hope this is not a huge inconvenience.
What if I don’t know how to cook some food in my share?
Each week we include recipes and ideas for your shares. We encourage you to share your ideas with us and other members as well! We understand a weekly basket full of raw foods can be intimidating, especially if it is new to you. We’re here to help. We seek to give you the best product we can and make sure you know what to do with it.
What if I’m not around all summer?
Donate a share or simply share yours. Why would you sign up for a share and be gone 1/4 of the time? Because someone else would gladly receive that food. You can purchase a share to be donated or simply allow unused weeks of your share to go to others. Our charitable food ministry includes regular donations to emergency food pantries. If you cannot enjoy every week of produce, someone else will benefit while you take a break from cooking.
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