The Sustainable Agriculture Program at Central Carolina Community College offers our students the access and opportunity to participate in opperating their own farm. The farm grows food year-round, aligning it’s peak production times with the Spring and Fall semesters, giving students plenty of hands-on time at the farm and with the crops they cultivate. If we can grow it here in the Piedmont, we’ll give it a try on the Student Farm! That being the case, we always have plenty of fresh produce that needs to be eaten; enter the Student Farm’s CSA.
The CS What?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a business model used by many farmers to help them market and distribute their produce. In a CSA, farmers sell ‘shares’ of produce they intend to grow to ‘share holders’, customers who want to support that farmer throughout the season. As a share holder, customers will recieve a box of fresh weekly produce for as many weeks as is specified by the CSA agreement. The CSA model is very flexible with variances in length of commitment, price of shares, pick-up or drop-off arangements, volume of produce included, and methods of payment. These details are determined by the farmer based on what system best fits their individual opperation.
The Student Farm grows a wide variety of crops all year, so the CSA model fits our opperation very well in that we always have smaller quantities of many different types of crops to offer our share holders. The produce in our boxes is always different week to week based on what’s in season.
Eligibility for the Student Farm CSA
As an educational program, the Student Farm’s main goal is to train future farmers and agricultural enthusiasts enrolled in the program. Many of our students go on to start their own farms or work on established farms in the surrounding community. As such, we limit our CSA enrollment to Students of the program and Faculty/Staff of the College so not to compete directly with our graduates! Other factors limiting the size of our CSA is the amount of space we cultivate. Our farm is a little under 2 acres fenced. Of that, about 1 acre is managed for annual crop production, and of that, approximately 1/4 of an acre is in active production per season. That might not sound like a lot of space, but we are able to offer up to 30 CSA memberships from the beginning of March to mid-December, in addition to supplying CCCC’s Culinary Program with as much as we can.
CSA Membership Information
Boxes will be ready for pick-up at the farm on Thursdays. Members may get your weekly share from the pack shed’s cooler any time Thursday or Friday. You may pick up as late as 9:00 am Tuesday of the following week. After that, any unclaimed shares will be cleaned out of the refrigerator to make room for the current weeks’ harvest.
You will find a clip board attached to the cooler door. Please check off under your name indicating that you have recieved your box for the week. On the check off sheet, there is a column asking if you want to continue on for the next session. Let us know there if you wish to stay on. Keep in mind each session is an 8 week commitment unless otherwise noted.
We charge $20 per week for a total of $160 in one or two payments. Members may make payments in the front office of Building 1. Linda or Carla can take CSA payments and will have a list of members and account balances. We request that each session be paid for in full before members sign on for another session.
We like to use our waxed boxes as many times as possible. Please return your previous weeks box when you pick up your current weeks share. You can drop them off above the bath tub-sink or on the table in front of the cooler. Please avoid ripping the flaps on the bottom of the boxes when you collapse them; once the bottoms are ripped, we can no longer use them.
Eggs from our Layers are available for sale during normal farm business hours. They are $3.00 dozen and we will take back clean egg cartons for reuse.
Our weekly CSA Newsletter will be posted on the Student Farm’s Blog Site, https://thestudentfarmcccc.wordpress.com . Here, you will find the weekly “What’s in the Box” list, recipes, cooking and produce storage tips, and farm updates. Also members, you can communicate with us by posting comments, feedback and questions. We will post renewal reminders here as well.
How to Recieve the Weekly Newsletter via E-mail:
- Click “Follow” under the sidebar caption ‘Follow The Student Farm’s Blog via E-mail’.
- You will recieve an e-mail to your prefered account. Click “Confirm Follow” in that message.
- A new WordPress window will open. Underneath the WordPress.com logo in the upper left corner you’ll see a menu bar with ‘Sites’, ‘Comments’, ‘Settings’ tabs. Click “Settings”.
- To choose when you’d like to recieve the CSA Newsletter, go to ‘Delivery Window’ and specify the day and time of day you prefer to have it delevered. Click “Save Changes”.
- Go back to (# 3) ‘Sites’ in the upper menu bar.
- Check the box next to The Student Farm at CCCC and move the mouse over the blue underlined title of the blog. A menu underneath the blog title will appear. Click “Follow”.
- This opens another window that allows you to choose a delivery frequency. You can recieve posts as soon as they are posted, daily, or weekly. Make your selection and click “Save Changes”.
- Congratulations! Now you’ll recieve the CSA Newsletter each week at the same time. If you miss a week or want to review old CSA Newsletters, just go to the blog’s ‘Home’ page and click “CSA Newsletters” in the left-hand side bar menu under ‘Categories’.