That’s the amount of time between sending out the email announcing our CSA (community supported agriculture) program for 2023 and receiving our first sign-ups.
After so many years of running a CSA you would think we’d be used to it, but it always amazes & surprises us when people so eagerly join us. (We even had several sign ups already back in December!)
- All the CSA information is here – https://thiessenfarms.com/csa-2023/
- The application – https://thiessenfarms.com/csa-2023-application/
- And pictures of our boxes – https://thiessenfarms.com/csa-pictures/
*** New this year will be a fruit option. We are partnering with our friends at Pineview Orchards to bring fresh, in-season fruit. It will be 5-6 weeks depending on the season and may include yellow and blue plums, peaches, nectarines and pears. Pineview is a neighbouring family farm located just 1 road over from us – we can see their new, red barn from our fields. They had their own CSA for several years but have decided to focus on farmers’ markets and their fruit stand, along with wholesaling their produce. We know that the addition of fruit will be welcomed by our members. Pineview will also be supplying some of our winter squash.
And now for some lesser-known-facts & history about our CSA program …
- This is our 14th year with a CSA program. We began back in 2010 with 10 members – 3 of them are still with us! Other members have been with us for many years.
- CSA enabled us to gradually decrease our farmers’ markets from 4 each week to only 1.
- Our biggest year was 2015 with 150 shares. That fall we made the big decision to remove all our fruit orchards and only grow vegetables. This didn’t go over well and we lost over half our CSA members in 2016.
- COVID was a boon to our CSA as our numbers increased by around 70% from 2019 to 2020.
- Most of our CSA members live in St. Catharines and Lincoln.
- Our closest CSA member lives right next door – 2 others are close enough to walk to the farm to pick up their shares.
- Our furthest members drive from downtown Hamilton – approximately 45 minutes to reach the farm. Other live as far as Stoney Creek, Grimsby, & Niagara Falls.
- We offered delivery for several years. We stopped because it took to much time, and we never developed a relationship with these members since we never saw them. They rarely stayed with us for more than 1 season.
- We sometimes barter CSA shares. In the past we have traded for working on the farm, meat, wine, shoes, osteopathy treatments …
- Last year we ran our 1st Fall CSA program for 5 weeks. It was very well received and we plan to continue it in 2023.
CSA has been a good fit for our farm.
Thank you for supporting us these past 13 years!
We invite you to join us in 2023.
Around the farm this week …
The garlic patch is finally mulched. The ground should be frozen with no snow – but that hasn’t happened all winter! We finally picked a coldish day when the ground was almost frozen. Mulching on soft, unfrozen soil encourages mice to settle in where its nice & warm. But some of the garlic was heaving – being pushed out of the ground by the freezing/thawing temperatures so it had to get done. The garlic will grow through the straw in spring, but most weeds will not.
On sunny days (a rare occurrence here!) the greenhouse is a favourite hang out spot for the cats …
… and others!
February 18, 2023 at 12:15 pm
And behind every CSA posting is a highly creative mind who does an
informative 101 on the subject every time and sometimes even includes a
touch of humour. Uh huh.
Looking forward to what’s to come.
February 18, 2023 at 2:45 pm
Thanks for the update. Enjoy your emails.