Summer 2014 CSA Changes
We’ve decided to take the CSA in a slightly different direction this year with the passage of new California legislation AB-224 regulating community supported agriculture. The new law distinguishes a farm CSA program (a single grower or a multi-farm cooperative selling direct to customers) from the burgeoning food delivery industry (a business aggregating food and taking a cut from already meager farm profits while compromising quality and freshness). To make sure we remain a true single-farm CSA, we’re no longer offering a separate fruit share which more often than not has been produce from other farms and distributors. Overall, we’ve decided to simplify the CSA so that we can spend less time in the office administering the seemingly endless number of details of managing a farm business, so that we can spend more time in the fields tending to the earth and your food.
More fruit integrated into the CSA boxes, no more fruit add-ons: In the past, we’ve struggled to fill the fruit share at the beginning and end of the season when our trees haven’t started or have stopped producing. We’ve purchased directly from neighboring farms and more distant California farms through an organic distributor, and at times this has compromised the quality of the fruit. This year, we’ve made the decision to go hyper-local, über-seasonal, and extra-fresh by only including fruit and produce grown here on the farm in the CSA. This means no more separate fruit add-ons and more fruit for everyone throughout the season – especially during the peak summer months. Peaches, plums, melons, grapes, figs, nectarines, pears, apples, pomegranates, persimmons … yummmmmm.
Farewell, salad share: Salad, the perfect cooling meal for those hot summer days right? Unfortunately, salad greens are wilting as quickly as you are in June/July/August, so stressed by the heat they’re almost immediately going past before they can leaf out into sweet juicy leaves. So the season-long salad add-on, which just doesn’t make much sense to grow in our tomato-thriving hot climate, is going the way of the fruit share too. Maybe try some pea shoots and sunflower greens. Of course, we’ll still be packing arugula/lettuce/parsley/mizuna/other salad greens into boxes when it’s flourishing in the early spring, late autumn, and also occasionally mid-summer when the conditions are just so.
Tomato and pasture-raised egg add-ons, here to stay: Nothing new here, just wanted to reassure you all that these ever-popular NTC-raised items are still a part of the CSA.
Slightly higher prices = more fruit and veggies: We haven’t raised CSA prices for over three years. With rising everything costs and the decision to restructure the program to integrate more fruit into the boxes, we decided that it’s time. The good news is, it’s still the best deal in town … think about how much you pay for that smart phone/cable/internet each month … feed yourself or feed the media machine?
We’re still the Natural Trading Co – a hard-working, earth-loving, veggie-crunching bunch who are honored always to be growing delicious organic vegetables, first-of-the-season tomatoes, luscious fruit, pasture-raised eggs, wheatgrass, pea shoots, and sunflower greens for our community. Thank you.