Our CSA

Luna Bleu Spring CSA Share

Luna Bleu Spring CSA Share!

Welcome to Luna Bleu’s CSA — a great way to make healthy eating easy!

Now is the time to sign up for the 2017 CSA season! Even if there is still snow on the ground, and fresh summer vegetables seem a lifetime away, we are busy seeding now.  Your signup now helps us plan and makes your farmers happy.  Here is the 2017 CSA Sign Up Form  It’s not to early to sign up for the harvest season share or even next winter share!

Read on for the full story of our CSA and how it works at Luna Bleu Farm. When you get to the bottom, if you still have a question, just give us a call or shoot us an email and we’ll be happy to help.


What is a CSA  — the philosophy

CSA pick up at the farm in the summer.

CSA pick up at the farm in the summer.

CSA stands for Community-Supported Agriculture.  Luna Bleu Farm is one of the oldest CSA farms in Vermont.  We were drawn to this business model  back in the late 80’s because it forges a unique bond between  farm, farmers and the local community. In a CSA, farmers and shareholders share in both the risks and the bounty of the season. By joining a CSA, members support local agriculture and invest in the local economy.

The price of food in the regular market place, often does not reflect the true costs of production or take into account the environmental, social and energy costs.  Yet, access to fresh, nutritious, safe food can also be limited by economic class or other social factors.   Community Supported Agriculture helps us answer the one of the central questions on our farm:

“How do we provide good food to all economic levels of our community and still remain economically viable?”

We still do not completely have the answer to that question. In fact, maybe more questions arise: what do we even mean by “economically viable”, what else limits access to good food and good eating…. and what is Kohlrabi!?

So, when you join our CSA, you can help us answer some of these questions– the big ones or the small ones.  With our CSA,  we try to make the price work for you.  We give you lots of good food and try to make it fun.  Many of our members have told us that they really have changed to a more healthful diet when they joined our CSA. Even kids like our vegetables. Parents tell me that their children eat all the spinach from the bag before they get home from the farm! Kids have asked me if they can take an extra bunch of Kale for their share (and how can I refuse!?)… and lots of them really like that Kohlrabi!

CSA gives the farm some wiggle room with production…  If there is not enough carrots one week, members might get beets or celery… no spinach? pick chard or beet greens…. If there were a crop failure of say, tomatoes, the loss spread out across 100 families is much less than when it is all carried by just the farm family.  (Luckily, with our crop diversity a complete crop loss is not so likely.)

The Nuts and Bolts

Winter Squash curing to for winter shares.

Winter squash curing for our Winter Shares.

CSA members typically pay for a share of the harvest before the start of the growing season and thus help cover early production costs. Members receive fresh, organic vegetables weekly from June to October, and may also choose to receive winter crops from November to May– completing the yearly seasonal cycle. In addition, CSA members can purchase special meat shares and egg shares and other Luna Bleu farm products.

You and your neighbors can help transform local agriculture and your connection to food. CSA begins to redefine the economics of farming. With CSA the price of our food better reflects the actual cost of production and the true value of sustainable agriculture while keeping local farms healthy. Our members appreciate where their food comes from and even celebrate in the eating!  It is a quiet — but exciting — revolution!

 


Share Types

We offer a full year of local, organic eating, including veggies, eggs, and certified organic humanely raised meat, in four Share options: Harvest Season Share, Winter Share, Egg Share, and Meat Share. Here are the specifics.

Harvest Season Share

Veggies heading to market.

Veggies on display for CSA

Harvest Season shareholders enjoy a weekly share of fresh vegetables during the main growing season, June to mid-October. Shares include the wide diversity of vegetables we can grow here in Vermont.  The mainstays in your shares will be the familiar lettuces, tomatoes, cukes, carrots, potatoes, squash, melons, and other favorites. We also like to introduce people to some less common crops: look for fennel, celeriac, garlic scapes, bok choy…oh, and did I mention, Kohlrabi?  You may also enjoy new flavors in the varieties we grow that you’d never see in the grocery store: Black Krim tomatoes, Carmen sweet peppers, Graffiti purple cauliflower or Sun Jewel melon . . .

Winter Share

Spinach is harvested throughout the winter at Luna Bleu Far,

Spinach is harvested throughout the winter at Luna Bleu Farm

Luna Bleu is perhaps the only farm in the area that offers a CSA share through the whole winter.  In the winter of 2013–14 we expanded our winter vegetable storage rooms so we can maintain a greater amount and diversity of high quality storage vegetables throughout the winter and into the spring.

Winter-stored crops include carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, winter squash, cabbage, beets, rutabaga, parsnips, and sweet potatoes. As a bonus, we add greens from our solar-heated greenhouses. In the last few years we have been able to provide spinach with every winter share and other greens most months except perhaps January and February.  Our members just love our winter greens . . . it’s like magic!

Meat Share

Livestock plays an integral role on our farm.  They are great nutrient cyclers and recyclers.  We also just love having them around.  All of our animals are raised under the organic standards set by VOF.  Learn more about our animals here.

Our animals are certified organic and raised with care and appreciation!

Our animals are certified organic and raised with care and appreciation!

When you sign up for a Vegetable CSA share, you also have the option to purchase a Meat Share.  The Meat Share is a great way to guarantee you are getting certified organic meat and at a very fair price.

Once a month over four months, Luna Bleu Meat Share members receive a variety of our frozen organic beef, pork, and chicken.

Currently, we only offer Meat Shares to our Vegetable CSA members, but you can still get cuts of meat or chicken at farmers’ market or come to the farm.  Once the CSA season starts, we will send all of our members more information about the Meat and Egg Share.

Egg Share

chicken tractor

Chicken move around the farm with their mobile coop. Early spring just before grass starts greening up.

Our laying hens travel around the farm from early spring thru late fall in their coop on wheels so they always have new pasture to enjoy.  In the winter they move into one of the greenhouses and get lots of sunshine and all the weeds and culled greens from our winter production.

I don’t know what it is about our eggs, but some of our customers tell us they won’t eat any other . . . I guess it’s some of that mysterious magic again at work . . .

Since we often sell out of eggs, especially in the summer, a Luna Bleu Egg Share is a good way to insure your supply of our organic eggs.  When you purchase an Egg Share (or shares), you will get a dozen eggs (or multiple dozens) with each pickup.  Like the Meat Share, we wait to you up for the Egg Share just before the CSA season starts.


Share Sizes and Pickup Options

CSA boxes being filled for delivery . . . this looks like a medium share.

CSA boxes being filled for delivery . . .
this looks like a medium share.

Small Share  Feeds two adults who eat an average amount of vegetables, or a family with  a small garden of their own.

Medium Share  Feeds two to three adults who are good vegetable eaters, or a family of 5 average eaters.

Large Share  Feeds 4-5 adults who are good vegetable eaters.

Pickup Options  You can choose to pick up your share here at the farm in South Royalton or you can  pick up at one of our delivery locations. We currently deliver each week, during the harvest CSA season, to South Strafford, Sharon, Randolph, Hanover, Norwich, Lebanon, and White River Junction.  For the winter CSA we currently just have two pick-up options: at the farm or at the Norwich Winter Farmers market.

We are happy to consider other sites.  If you can collect up a couple of others in your area, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do!


What Do You Get?

No two years are the same! You can expect a typical season to start in June with lettuce, salad greens, broccoli, scallions, spinach, rhubarb, bok choi, and kohlrabi. In July, add in cucumbers, summer squash, new potatoes, carrots, green beans, and fresh garlic. In August, tomatoes, peppers, onions, eggplant, chard, and melons are abundant. In September, the warm days of late summer keep the heat-loving crops producing, while cool nights bring out the sweetness of broccoli and salad greens. In October, kale, cauliflower, and winter squash reach their peak flavor and root vegetables like carrots, beets, and potatoes just keep coming! So the season goes . . .


Share the Harvest—Subsidized Shares

We are strongly committed to making the food we raise available to members of the community in a wide range of economic situations. Luna Bleu participates in the Farm Share Program sponsored by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA-VT). Contributions are collected to help pay for CSA shares, enabling us to provide vegetable shares to low-income families for half price.

To donate  You can help to share the Luna Bleu harvest with other members of the community by donating to the Farm Share Program. Follow the directions on our CSA Membership Form or contact NOFA-VT to make a donation to Luna Bleu’s fund. Contributions to Farm Share are tax-deductible and every cent goes toward low-income shares. Any size donation will help your neighbors eat local and organic.

You may also make a donation to the NOFA general farm share fund to help any CSA farm provide subsidized shares.

To apply  To apply for a subsidized share, please visit NOFA-VT, fill out the application, and send it directly to NOFA-VT. Please also fill out our CSA Membership Form and let us know that you are applying for a NOFA Farm Share. If you find the process confusing, just contact us and we will help you through it.


Work Shares

A workshare member helps to pick tomatoes.

A workshare member helps to pick tomatoes.

Work Shares are available to anyone willing to help with whatever needs doing here on the farm. In exchange, members receive a reduced cost for a share.

Work Share is not limited to field work: many talents are needed on a diversified farm like ours! If you are interested, please contact us.

 

A Note about Our Pricing

We strive to make our CSA affordable to all. The Farm Share Program is a great way for us to offer half-priced shares for low-income members or folks facing temporary difficult circumstances, but we are also very conscious of the people who might not qualify for Farm Share and have a tight budget.

Being on the low-income side of life ourselves, we do are best to give you high value for the price of a CSA share.  It is of course important for the farm to be sustainable. For that to happen, the farmers and all who work with us need to be fairly compensated. This is not an easy thing to do in a culture and economy of cheap food.

In an effort to try to balance our prices with farm sustainability and broad community affordability, we have a sliding scale pricing structure. You are offered three price choices for each type of share. Pick the one that seems most comfortable to you. You decide. No pressure. Really. It is not as radical as it could have been I suppose, but it is just another way we try to create a different economy.