bramble lea farm's market csa
What is a CSA?
"CSA" stands for "community-supported agriculture." The goal of community-supported agriculture is to create a long-term relationship between farmers and consumers. Customers pay for a season of vegetables up front, providing farmers with the capital we need to put seeds in the ground, diesel in our tractors, and boots on our feet. In return, we guarantee you a steady supply of the best vegetables money can buy. (Really.) You get to know us and our farm, we get to know you and what you like to eat; you know exactly how and where your food is grown, and we know exactly who we're growing it for.
How Our CSA Works
Bramble Lea Farm's CSA works differently than most.
Usually, CSA customers pick up a box of vegetables that the farmer selects every week, and have little say in what vegetables they get, and in what quantities.
At Bramble Lea Farm, our customers choose what goes in their boxes and shopping bags.
When you purchase a membership in our market CSA, your money goes onto an account that you use to select and purchase vegetables every week, in quantities you determine yourself.
Just how your account is set up and managed depends on whether you're one of our neighbours in the Athens/Brockville area, or whether you shop at our stand at Beechwood Market in Ottawa.
Members of our local CSA pick up their vegetables every Friday afternoon right at our farm. As a local member, you are given access to an exclusive area of this website, where you can make your selections "à la carte" from the list of vegetables available that week. Your membership fee acts as a pre-paid account you use to pay for your weekly purchase.
Of course, our local customers are free to shop at our farm stand as well - which will be stocked with vegetables, bread, and other pastries. If you have a smartphone with data, you can easily pay for those purchases with your membership account, too.
If you're an Ottawa native, you'll receive our Market Card loaded with the money you've provided as your membership fee. All you have to do is visit our stand at Beechwood Market on Saturdays, pick out your vegetables, swipe your Market Card, and get cooking - or juicing, or pickling, or saucing.
We're currently in contact with Ottawa Public Health to arrange - hopefully - to sell bread and pastries at Beechwood Market, too. Stay tuned for developments!
Our market CSA is based on two denominations: $250 and $500.
Each Thursday, every CSA member receives an email with recipes and news from our farm.
If you’re already a member, you can get an extra $75 of vegetables if you refer someone who joins our CSA!
What You Get & For How Long
We grow every vegetable that will possibly grow in our soil. You can look forward to a wide range of tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, greens, cucumbers, cabbages, beets, potatoes, carrots, celery, turnips, and zucchini, as well as okra, eggplant, kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips, chard, kale, spinach, leeks, green beans, and herbs. And did we mention tomatoes? We'll be growing tomatoes in our heated greenhouse through October, when we'll also be bringing you greens, apples, pumpkins, squash, and a range of other tubers.
Ottawa customers can enjoy their CSA from June to October, when Beechwood Market closes up for the season. After that, we'll make special "micro-market" trips to Ottawa to keep your vegetables coming (locations TBA). The stand at our farm gate is open until it's covered in snow.
Our Plans for the Future
We've got big plans. (We're just that way.) This spring, we're planting strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and asparagus, and we're adding more fruit trees to our present stand of apple trees.
That's not all! John is a baker. He plans to offer a bread CSA, pies, cakes, and other pastries he's come across over a life of world travel. 2018 is our pilot bread-and-pastry season; bread CSAs should be available in 2019.
Beginning in spring 2018, we'll be raising chickens, pigs, and at least one beef cow for our own consumption. Once we've got the animal-husbandry thing down, we can offer eggs, poultry, pork, and beef as well!
Getting in on the ground floor now - and helping us to grow - means that you'll be able to take advantage of the incentives we'll offer at each new stage. You are going to eat well.
The Fine Print
Our CSA is seasonal - which is one way of saying that membership and Market Card balances do not roll over into the next year or season.
The land giveth, the land taketh away ... as do the bugs, and too much rain, and not enough rain, and too much sun, and not enough sun. We do our absolute best to ensure maximum yield and well-planned successions, but nature happens. Rest assured that our CSA members will always have the widest range of vegetables we can possibly bring them.
Please help us ensure that every customer can enjoy a full range of vegetables by letting us know if you'd like a bulk order before harvest day (Fridays). We'll happily pick more and set it aside for you, whether you're in Athens or Ottawa.
If you'd like become a member of Bramble Lea Farm's CSA, you can select one of two options.
You can sign up and pay by credit card via PayPal at our Virtual Farm Stand.
Otherwise, you can fill in the form below and we will get in touch with you with an invoice and other payment options.
If you need some questions answered first, please use the form on our Contact page to get in touch with us.