CSA & FARM: FAQs

Below are frequently asked questions about our CSA program, our practices, visiting the farm and pick-your-own. If you question isn’t answered here or elsewhere on the website, please contact us.

 

COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA)

What is a CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is a way for members of the community to support and become a part of their local farm. The basics are that members buy shares that entitle them to farm products (produce, meat, eggs, etc.) in the coming season. Traditionally the share costs help to support the farm in the spring when costs are high and income is limited. In return the farm is open to CSA members and they receive the best the farm produces at a reduced cost. Learn more about our CSA.

How do I join the CSA?

We offer many different ways to sign up, visit our CSA sign up page for options.

Can I join the CSA late or mid-season?

We are no longer offering pro-rated shares for the CSA. We have a farm store membership program available for folks that would like to support the farm, but can’t join for a full CSA season! We are also at a number of summer farmers' markets in MA & RI! 

For new 2017 (Warren / Bywater, West Newton & Attleboro / Off the Leash) pick ups we may be able to offer pro-rated shares as we build those pick ups. Contact us for more info.

What are payment options? 

You can pay by check, cash, card at the farm store, send us a check by mail or buy shares through our online store. Sign ups via the online store include a 3% technology fee.

What is the discount for joining the CSA?
Vegetable CSA shares offer about 15% off the retail cost of the produce. With our CSA member benefits it can be more! 

Meat and Egg Shares are less discounted as we make a very small profit on animal products. Buying a share ensures members have access to our high quality, sustainably-raised, nutrient dense eggs and meat. When eggs and / or meat cuts becomes limited it is always reserved for our CSA share members.

Early Bird CSA Sign Ups include an additional 10% discount on all shares including eggs & meat!

What if I miss picking up my share one week?

If you miss a pick up, you can pick up your missed share anytime during the season. You can also send a friend, neighbor, or relative to pick up your share in your place. All items must be picked up by the end of the season or donated. Items do not carry over into the next CSA season.

If you have a pre-packed share you can send a friend or neighbor to pick up your share. Otherwise, we’ll donate shares to a local community member in need.

Do you offer work shares?

We don't have a work share program. If you can't afford the cost of a share, please contact us. We also do take volunteers and hire seasonal help each year if you'd like to learn more about sustainable farming. Learn more about working at Freedom Food Farm.

Why should I join the Freedom Food Farm CSA?

In addition to your weekly vegetable share, our Summer CSA members get free access to our Pick-Your-Own Section (herbs, flowers, strawberries, hot peppers, snap/snow peas, cherry tomatoes, husk cherries, etc.)  and can attend our summer events for free!

We also encourage you to read our reviews from farm customers and CSA members!

FARM PRACTICES & PRODUCTS

Are you certified organic?

Yes, our farm is certified organic* by Baystate Organic Certifiers. Our products are produced using holistic farming practices that we believe are healthy for people and the land. We do not use any pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or any commercial sprays at our farm. Our main source of fertility at the farm is compost. Our on-farm compost is made from plants and manure from our own animals. When we do buy in compost, it is only plant-based. We also don't use any antibiotics, hormones or GMO feed and keep our animals healthy using natural farming practices and managed rotational grazing. 

Our farming experience has taught us that many harmful practices are common even with certification. For instance, toxic chemicals such as copper hydroxide (a broad range biocide) are used by many organic farmers to control plant diseases. In addition, the source of fertility for many organic farms is manure from non-organic sources. These non-organic sources are typically poultry CAFOs, or confined animal feed operations. The chickens in these CAFOS are often fed antibiotics, GMOs, pesticides, and heavy metals along with their feed. Not only do these toxic ingredients end up in vegetables when the manure is used for fertility, but purchasing manure from CAFOs helps to support their method of raising animals.

Instead of looking for a specific label, we encourage consumers to get to know their farmer and ask them questions about how their food is produced.

*Our beef cows are not certified organic since they are not born on our farm. We raise calves that come from small farms in New England with similar farming practices, some of which are certified organic. We only feed our cows certified organic grass and hay produced on our farm. We plan to have our own breeding herd in the near future and to certify those cows. 

**There is a transition from products grown/ raised before certification and after. Only farm products produced after certification are labeled certified organic. 

How are your animals raised?

We have lots of info on our Pasture-Raised Meat and Eggs. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us or come for a tour of the farm.

What produce is available during the non-summer months? 

We grow a wide-variety of produce all four seasons. We harvest from the fields and greenhouses through the fall and into the winter. Cold weather crops include root vegetables like carrots and potatoes; fresh greens; and a variety of other crops like winter squash, onions, garlic, grains, etc.. See a full list of produce availability here.

We also offer preserved produce products like our own tomato sauce, pickles, sauerkraut, strawberry jam, hot sauce, pesto, kimchi and more! Learn about our farm to kitchen offerings >

Visiting The Farm 

Can anyone visit the farm?

We welcome farm visitors during our farm store hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm. 

Our farm is a working farm that we share with the community. Please respect the wooden farm signs and don't touch any electric fences. They are there for your protection and to protect the farm livestock! 

Visitor Rules: No dogs, smoking or walking past the 'farmers only' sign on the farm road. Farm is closed to visitors Sunday - Tuesday.  

Do you offer farm tours and/or workshops?

We do offer farm events seasonally including farm tours. We also schedule a few hands-on tours per season for kids or adults. To inquire about setting up a tour  - contact us!

Farm workshops / events vary from year to year. We put out an event schedule each winter. All events are open to the public and farm CSA members, some are free and some at low cost.

Learn more about our 2017 Farm Events >

Pick-Your-OWN (PYO): Produce, Herbs & Flowers

Is PYO open to the public?

At this time PYO is a benefit for our vegetable share CSA members only.

When does PYO start? 

There isn't an exact start date. We send out information on PYO in our newsletter. June - September are the most plentiful times to access our PYO.

How do I know what's ready? 

What's available each week for picking, is listed in the farm store. Please only pick things that are listed for that week or ask us if something isn't listed.

How do I find the PYO sections? 

The sections and crops are marked by wooden signs. If you have questions please ask a farmer!

How much can I take? 

We ask that you only take what you can use that week for the CSA household. Some items have limits due to high expense and time spent in cultivation or if it's early in the season.