Grow Hartford, a project of the Hartford Food System, harvests thousands of pounds of organic fruits and vegetables at three different sites in Hartford. This project will operate for its sixth growing season in 2009. Most of this produce is donated to social service agencies in the city, but a portion is available for sale to low-income households through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership. As a Grow Hartford CSA member you will join other people who enjoy good, fresh food and the simple pleasures of the farm experience: helping with agricultural projects, cutting flowers, sharing recipes, and taking part in cookouts and educational workshops.
HOW DOES THE GROW HARTFORD CSA WORK? The Grow Hartford CSA is supported by members who purchase a "share" of the harvest for the year. The farm staff grows more than 35 varieties of vegetables, flowers and herbs. Each Thursday, members come to Grow Hartford’s Laurel Street site to pick up their produce. In addition, members can harvest pick-your-own crops such as cilantro, cherry tomatoes and flowers. WHAT IS A SHARE? A "share" is a portion of Grow Hartford's harvest from late July through early October. Households who buy a full share will receive approximately 140 pounds of a variety of vegetables and fruits, an average of 14 pounds per week, plus pick-your-own crops. A full household share is estimated to supply 2 adults and 2 children or 2 vegetable-loving adults. THE COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA) COMMITMENT: The Hartford Food System's commitment to CSA members: To provide freshly harvested produce that is ready at pickup. To grow produce following organic growing standards established by the Connecticut Northeast Organic Farmers' Association. To accept members' suggestions for crop varieties and other improvements and incorporate them whenever possible. To facilitate educational and social gatherings during the season. CSA MEMBERS COMMITMENT TO THE FARMERS Share the risks and rewards of farming by accepting unforeseen changes in the harvest. Whenever possible, contribute to the CSA by volunteering with special projects or farming activities. Pick up produce share at the scheduled time and understand that unclaimed produce will be given to social service organizations. PICK-UP DAYS Members pick-up their produce on Thursdays between 4 pm – 7 pm, and are welcome to send some one else in their place if they cannot come on a particular Thursday. On pick-up days, the produce is set out farm stand style for distribution. Members select their own produce and also can harvest pick-your-own crops. At the end of the day, food that is left over will be distributed to social service organizations. MEMBER PARTICIPATION All CSA members are encouraged to help support Grow Hartford, not only to reduce costs, but to get a chance to see how their food is grown and to meet fellow members. People can contribute by helping with planting, weeding and harvesting, organizing activities or by locating resources for the farm operation. JOINING THE CSA Memberships are available for the 10-week season from July 30 through October 3. To join,call Marilyn at (860) 296-9325 and then mail Hartford Food System your deposit. You will receive a confirmation notice and a CSA member handbook. COST Full shares are only $65 for the season. HARVEST SCHEDULE Because each season brings different growing conditions, we cannot guarantee the harvest ahead of time. However, we do grow a diverse selection of crops to make sure that members will always have a generous supply throughout the season. The chart below shows the expected harvest schedule for our most common crops.