Gator Community Support Agriculture (CSA) Program
We will have one campus pick-up location option at the UF Cultural Plaza on Hull Rd. (across from Southwest Rec Center).
In fall 2010, the Office of Sustainability launched the Gator Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. The program hosted four farms, and has been a successful way to engage the campus community on food sustainability as well as to provide a convenient way to acquire local produce. The program returns for the 2015-2016 growing season and will have three farms with us to be a part of this year’s Gator CSA: Family Garden, Frog Song Organics, and Siembra Farm.
About the Farms:
About Community Supported Agriculture
In a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, local consumers become farm members by paying a given amount of money at the beginning of the season, either as a lump sum or as installments. The cost depends on the length of the season and the variety and quantity of products provided. The up-front payment helps buy the seed and other inputs necessary for the season, gives the farmer immediate income and in many cases eliminates the need for operating loans. By committing to a price and paying at the beginning of the season, the members support the costs of production up front, as well as share in bounty and risks of the harvest. CSAs decrease the need for ongoing marketing by the producer. This allows the farmer to concentrate on land stewardship and growing good food.
In return for your membership and commitment, farmers provide fresh vegetables, fruits, and other farm products directly to consumer-members. Vegetables and fruits are available throughout the growing season, and a variety of other farm products may be distributed at different times throughout the year. As a consumer-member, you eat healthy food, know where it comes from and how it is grown, and share a connection to the land with the farmers who feed you.
How to Join
There are limited spots available and the demand is high. In previous years, almost all spots were filled. Once you read through the material and decide you want to join, act fast! You sign up for your CSA membership directly with the farmer. Some farmers are ready now and some will start taking memberships a bit later, but will put you on a list to receive notification when they are ready. If you have any questions about their sign-up process, their farming practices, or their memberships, please direct the questions directly to the farm. If you have a question about the logistics or a general CSA question, we may be able to answer it for you.
Things to Note about Gator CSAs
- All farmers participating in the CSA program must grow their own food on a farm within 250 miles of UF. If a farmer wishes to add a value-added product or a supplemental product from another local farm (also from within 250 miles), it too must meet all food safety rules for human consumption.
- Over the course of the season, weekly shares vary in size and produce type, reflecting the local growing season and conditions. Typical CSAs offer an average of 4-6 items of produce per week over the course of the season. For each item in the weekly share, you will receive a measure usually similar to the measure of an item you would get in the grocery store (ex. a bag of lettuces, a lb of squash, etc).
CSA members provide feedback to the farmer about likes and dislikes regarding produce when they sign up in order to help the farmer with a planting plan. However, CSA members do not get to pick the variety that goes into their basket on a given week. The farmers participating in the UF CSA are committed to providing a diversity of products; however, the products will depend on the growing season, weather conditions, and what can be grown in North Florida (for ideas of what grows and when in North FL, see this document – http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021).
- CSA members will receive a share of food each week, and are expected to pick it up. If you can’t make it, you should let your farmer know ahead of time so he/she can make other arrangements. If you do not need a weekly share, you could consider sharing with a friend or colleague and rotating weeks or purchasing a half-share if they are offered. You cannot miss a week and come the following week expecting to receive both shares, and you are not able to get a refund for weeks not used as the farmer has planned and planted and tended his farm with you in mind. Food not collected will be returned to the farm or donated to the St. Francis House to be used in meals for the homeless.
- UF is providing some coordination and communication as well as physical locations for pick-up to facilitate participation in community supported agriculture by UF staff, faculty and students. UF is not involved in the contractual arrangement/relationship between you and the farmer. If you have questions about payment, logistics, or your food, you should direct them directly to your farmer.
- All food supplied by the farmers is required to meet all codes and regulations set forth by the USDA, Florida Department of Agriculture, Health Department, and other local government agencies. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gator CSA Farms:
Family Garden is certified organic and located in Southeast Gainesville. Their farm is also certified by the Agriculture Justice Project, ensuring that their food is grown without synthetic chemicals, and maintaining a high standard of workers rights including their right to a living wage.
If you would like to sign up, please click here: http://www.thefamilygardencsa.com/members
By signing up for this subscription you will become a partner of our farm for the season, enjoying the first and freshest pick of what we have to offer. In addition to the value of your farm share, you will also receive discounts on U-Picks, flash sales, and workshops that we run throughout the year and will have the opportunity to visit the farm and learn more about our seasonal process.
Our CSA membership is for people who cook and love whole, fresh food. Each week members will receive what is available according to the season. It is our goal to provide delicious food in a generous amount. We stay away from products that many people are not familiar with, concentrating on things that are great tasting and yield well. We try to grow the best tasting varieties of each vegetable or fruit and also provide you with a diverse product selection. We believe that being a CSA member is not for everyone, as there are folks who do not like to cook new things, or eat with the seasons.
We offer several member types, Double Shares, Family Shares, and Mini-Shares. Our most popular membership type is the Family Share: a weekly share of 8-10 different items, depending on the week and what is growing well.
Our season will begin October 25, 2017 running 32 weeks through June 16. The Gator CSA pick-up will be at the UF Cultural Plaza on Hull Road on Thursdays from 4:30-6:30 pm.
Two payment options are available for each member type; if paying in full please do so at the time you sign up.
Double Share $1700 in full ($53/week) (16-20 items weekly)
Family Share $900 in full ($28/week) (8-10 items weekly)
Mini Share $640 full ($20/week) (4-6 items weekly)
We understand paying in full isn’t feasible for all, so we offer a monthly payment plans for those that need to pay in installments. In order to cover the administrative cost, a $50 convenience fee is added to your share for the season.
FS logo Frog Song Organics
Frog Song Organics produces a diverse range of certified organic veggies and fruits on over 30 acres of land. This is their fourth year operating a CSA program. They are located near Hawthorne, FL about 30 minutes from the UF Campus.
(All pick-ups for CSAs will take place on the UF campus, at the end of IFAS Research Drive).
Frog Song Organics plans to include at least 7 different items in each box each week. The items will vary over the season. See a Crop Calendar Here.
You can expect about 3-5 items to be the same from week to week, with 2-3 of the items changing. Fall Crops include: Eggplants, Tomatoes, Green Beans, Roselle/Red Zinger, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Radishes, Carrots, Collards, Kale, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Basil, Green Onions and more. Members should return their boxes or bring their own bags to take home produce. CSA memberships are good for people who eat a lot of vegetables and cook at home regularly.
Share Options: You may join for the seasons separately for less commitment, or for all year and save on your weekly share price. Family boxes contain at least 13 items, Individual boxes contain at least 7 items.
Fall – 10 distributions – October 6 – December 15
Individual $260 ($26 per week), Family $450 ($45 per week)
Spring – 15 distributions – January 12 – April 20
Individual $390 ($26 per week) , Family $690 ($46 per week)
Payment is due at the time you join, you may choose to pay in three installments. They accept payment by check, cash or online through PayPal. No refunds are available once the season starts. Memberships are transferable. EBT/SNAP benefits accepted, please contact the farm to arrange payment using EBT/SNAP.
Why join Frog Song’s CSA?
Watch this short farm video to learn more and see the farm!
Members like the freshness of the produce and getting to try unique varieties they don’t see in the grocery store. Members also like supporting a local business and organic farming in the community. From the member survey: “I love it. Amazing flavor – especially side by side comparison to store bought packaged stuff.”
What makes the farm special?
Owned & Operated by UF CALS alumni, John Bitter and Amy Van Scoik. The farm has been certified organic since 2012. They save some of their own seeds and avoid the use of plastic mulch on the farm. Frog Song’s goal is to improve access to healthy food and create jobs in the community, and create a sustainable livelihood for everyone who works on the farm. They currently work with a diverse team of full-time staff, including women and men from the United States and Mexico. They also employ part-time help at some of the farmers markets. Frog Song does accept student interns and work-trade members of the CSA, if you can commit one morning per week during the season to helping harvest the vegetables. Please contact them for more details.
For More information and to Sign Up with Frog Song Organics:
CSA Info & Sign Up Link Blog: http://frogsongorganics.wordpress.com/about
Frog Song Organics
4317 NE US Hwy 301
Hawthorne, FL 32640
Phone: (352) 468-3816
CSA Info & Sign Up Link Blog: http://frogsongorganics.wordpress.com/about
CSA inquiries: email@example.com
General Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
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