The Summer CSA was again a huge success. Our producers stepped up to the plate to help accommodate more customers, offer a better selection, and more new products. They did just that. I’m still working on tallying up the number of different products, number of producers, and dollars spent with local farmers, but it is safe to say that we surpassed the 350 different products offered last year with more than 62 farmers. Overall, the Summer CSA, add-on orders, and foodservice sales will pump nearly $700,000 into the local farm economy! That is a huge difference.
My producers are already looking forward to the winter market. They are planting greenhouse vegetables as I type this letter. They are pickling peppers, making jams and preserves, and putting away turnips, sweet potatoes, onions, and other storage crops. On the livestock side, the animals are enjoying the bounty of natural forage with the thick grasses in the pastures and the acorns falling to the ground in the woods – fattening up to make for good eating over the winter. In fact, in the month of October 10 cattle and nearly 50 hogs will be processed in preparation for the Winter CSA.
In short, we have been working hard to make sure there will be a variety of foods available over the winter (besides just winter squash). Although the selection will not be as large as the summer selection, I do hope it will allow for a strong local component in your diet, including meats, some produce, and shelf stable products like grains, breads, pastas, eggs, milk, and more.
Below are some details on the Winter program. The biggest changes from the summer program are:
– Change in pickup times/locations. The Winter CSA will be an every-other-week delivery with a few exceptions due to holiday schedules. The pickup days and times are also slightly different. There will not be a Strongsville or Solon stop and right now we are looking for locations in Mentor where we can deliver some bags for self distribution. This can be a church or even a private residence.
The pickup locations for the winter are outside and at many of the same stops as the summer:
o Thursdays: Westlake (behind Applebees, 4:00 to 6:00 PM), Lakewood (TBD, 6:30 to 8:00 PM), Beachwood (BHS, 4:00 to 6:00 PM), Cleveland Heights (Fairmount Pres, 6:30 to 8:00 PM)
o Fridays: Middleburg Heights (St. Barts Church, 4:00 to 6:00 PM) and Hudson (St. Mary’s Church, 4:00 to 6:00 PM)
o Saturday: Tremont, 10 AM to 1:30 PM
For Lakewood, I am looking for a new location that will be plowed and have more outdoor light for the winter CSA. Please email me with any suggestions. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Change in product selection. There will not be a vegan or vegetarian option. The volume of food per bag will be significantly smaller but the value will be the same. The selection of foods will be more heavily based on meats, cheeses, grains, and other shelf stable products. Example from last year’s packages can be found at freshforkmarket.com/2010-csa-packages. The newsletters ending in a “W” are the winter packages.
– Price change. The price of the Winter CSA package will be $45 per delivery. There will be no small and large bags.
– Payment Plans. There are two options. 1) Pay everything upfront, $675. Or two, pay half by Nov 3rd ($367) and the other half by Feb 10. Payments may be made online or by cash/check at the back of the truck.
– Frequency. The package will be bi-weekly to allow for variations in weather and supply availability. The expected delivery dates are below and are subject to change as needed.
– Start Date: Thursday, Nov 3 – Saturday, Nov 5
Expected Dates: These dates generally reflect Thursday thru Saturday with the exception of Thanksgiving week and Christmas week. Note that the first two pickups will be back to back, then we will skip a week between pickups.
Dates: 11.3-11.5, 11.10 – 11.12, 11.22 – 11.23, 12.8 – 12.10, 12.21 – 12.23, 1.5 – 1.7, 1.19 – 1.21, 2.2 – 2.4, 2.16 – 2.18, 3.1 – 3.3, 3.15 – 3.17, 3.29 – 3.31, 4.12 – 4.14, 4.26 – 4.28, 5.10 – 5.12
– Signing Up: Register by visiting http://csalogin.freshforkmarket.com/signup/2. Or, complete this form and return to your CSA pickup or mail to Fresh Fork Market, PO Box 609612, Cleveland OH 44109.