We are currently still working on finding land to farm this year. We have a 20-acre plot that we are looking at and trying to negotiate for. This land is located within the town/village of Chili and is existing farmland that has not been used in some years. As more information becomes available (like when we can get the land) we'll update this paragraph.
Be assured, however, that if you have paid for a membership/subscription and we are unable to procure land, your money will be refunded in its entirety no later than April 30, 2010.
What follows is a breakdown of how the CSA Farm will operate for 2010. Please read this carefully and let us know if you have any questions.
This will not be an organic farm in the beginning. There is a lengthy "organic certification" period that takes a few years to complete. This entails the soil being tested along with other things and the process can be quite pricey. What the farm WILL be is "green." That is, we use "green" practices to grow our vegetables, using no pesticides or herbicides. Typically, when we are asked "How can I be sure that you're not using pesticides or herbicides?" we respond with "You are welcome to come to the garden and see all the bugs and weeds!"
GoldMar Enterprises is committed to the concepts of recycling, reusing and renewing. In our long-term plan we envision solar or wind power to completely sustain the farm and (hopefully) the surrounding area. We try not to use disposable plastics or other non-biodegradable items in our farming. We will be composting organic materials that are cleared out of the way of the crop fields, rather than burning them. We'll be asking our members to contribute organic materials for our compost bins, so that we can naturally and organically fertilize our crops.
Planting will begin as soon as weather and land conditions permit. This would likely be late April to early May for cooler season crops such as radishes, spinach, peas, escarole, lettuce. Crop harvesting typically won't start much before early to mid-June, depending on weather and other conditions. Membership shares will be smaller in the earlier part of the growing season, will increase in size and selection mid-season, and will begin to taper off toward the end of the season.
We will be offering shares as described below:
Full share, working: This requires the shareholder (or a designated representative) to work a total of 28 hours during the season. Four hour increments are the preferred method, but realizing that working people don't have large chunks of off-work time, we will allow shareholders to work in two-hour increments at a minimum. A working, full share will cost $450 plus a one-time, non-refundable administrative fee of $15 for each unique shareholder.
Full share, non-working: There will be no work requirement for the shareholder. A non-working, full share will cost $525 plus a one-time, non-refundable administrative fee of $15 for each unique shareholder.
Work Only Share: There will be a very limited number of work only shares. These shares will require the shareholder to work a total of 100 hours during the entire season. Four hour increments are the preferred method. There will be a one-time, non-refundable administrative fee of $15 for work only shares.
Referrals: If you refer a friend who signs up for membership, you will receive a 10% discount on your share for the following year for each referral.
A $100 down payment will be required at the time your membership agreement is signed. Because we are starting later this year than we normally would, we will offer you the ability to pay weekly if you choose to do so. Weekly payments are outlined below:
Full, working share: $100 deposit, $17.50 minimum per week, with first payment due at time of deposit.
Full, non-working share: $100 deposit, $20 minimum per week, with first payment due at time of deposit.
New members will be required to attend an informational meeting in order to validate the membership. This informational meeting will contain important information that members need to know about their shares and the farm. Membership agreements will be distributed at this meeting for review and signature. If you are unable to attend any of the scheduled meetings, your membership payment will be refunded to you (minus the non-refundable administrative fee).
There will be distribution points established for share pick-ups. These distribution points will be established based on the area or areas in which most of our members are located. "Hot Spots" will be determined once all shares are sold each year. Distribution will also occur on the farm. Any shares not picked up in any given week will be donated to local organizations.