CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The best way to understand the CSA model is to look at each element.
Community. The heart of the model. Our farm supporters, or CSA shareholders, are those who value fresh local flowers, and who appreciate the presence of sustainable agriculture within their community.
Supported. Support is the lifeblood of the farm. You become a CSA member by pre-purchasing a ‘share’ of our harvest. The proceeds from your share help underwrite the harvest for the entire season. Without the share proceeds, getting our growing season underway would be a bigger financial challenge.
Agriculture. Agriculture has been a mainstay industry in the Walla Walla valley for generations. Your share puts beautiful weekly blooms on your table, and is helping to keep 10 acres of prime Walla Walla agricultural land in sustainable production. Preserving agricultural resource land not only retains our heritage, but it keeps our community, our soil and our future healthy.
How it works
In 2019, we will open the CSA program with a specific number of share options available for purchase. Each option will itemize the anticipated crops expected in the share and estimate the duration and frequency of harvest distributions. Your share payment in the winter provides literal ‘seed money’ at a time when our farm revenues are slim and when cash flow is in greatest demand.
Similar to any other investment, purchasing a share means you willingly share in the risks of the farm – such as variable harvests due to crop losses and extreme weather. But you also share in the rewards by receiving regular distribution of the harvest, reaping any overabundance in crops and enjoying special members-only perks.
However, purchasing a CSA share provides you with more than just weekly flowers. It provides you an opportunity to invest in our farm, and to share in the flower farm experience. Whether you purchase just one share option, or if you sign up for the whole season option, as a member you and a guest will be invited to attend all 4 of the on-farm events which span the entire growing season. It is our hope that these events give you an authentic view of what it takes to cultivate beautiful blooms, as well as an opportunity to build community and enjoy the quiet, but productive, rural life.
The Spring Shindig will offer an opportunity to get to know us, our farm & its rich heritage, as well as other CSA members. Light refreshments will be provided as we take in a whole farm tour. The gardens should be emerging from their winter slumber, the greenhouse filled with newly sown seeds and hopefully the spring bulbs poking through the dirt. It is likely our resident alpacas will be providing diligent oversight, so we will be sure to take a spin over to the barn to meet the herd and learn about their role on our farm. We are targeting this shindig as an early afternoon event on a weekend in late March or early April 2019.
The Summer Solstice Soiree is planned for the 'longest day of the year' on Friday, June 21st, 2019. This will be a chance to see the farm ramping into full production with hot season annuals sprouting up alongside the last of the spring blooms. We'll pair light refreshments & local bubbles with fragrant flowers & freshly shorn alpacas as we take in one of our classic homestead sunsets. This should be a lovely way to usher in summer and experience what evenings are like on the farm.
For the Mid-Season Mingle in August, we'll pull back the curtain and give you and honest look at how everybody and everything has fared so far! We'll grab some shade, some cold drinks, a bucket of fresh blooms and we'll take time to just relax while enjoy each other's company with a DIY bouquet making session.
The Frosty Finale will be our capstone event, happening shortly after our first hard freeze in October. Although the garden will look a bit dismal, we will celebrate the season with some local refreshments and share lots of stories from the season! We'll provide an overview of some of the fall garden tasks we do to put the garden to bed, as well as to prepare for the following spring.
Additional important details
Since weather plays a pivotal role in our harvest schedule, the starting time frames for each share option listed are approximate. However, the distribution date and time (Wednesday at 6:30pm) will remain constant throughout the share period once harvest is underway. As the first harvest approaches, we will update and notify members via the weekly farm e-newsletter. Flower distributions will be at a convenient location in downtown Walla Walla where you can snag your weekly bouquet from our vintage VW 'bloom bus' and catch up with your fellow flower lovers.
Members recognize that a CSA membership is a type of investment, and that even with the best of intentions and the hardest of efforts, farming involves nature - and Mother Nature always has the last say. Members come into membership with the same good faith that we provide it, knowing that some crops may fail and others may overproduce. No matter the climate that Mother Nature bestows upon us during the season, we will strive to fulfill the entire duration of each share, somehow someway - Scouts honor!
While the on-farm events allow shareholders to bring a guest, the farmer's market discounts are for the individual shareholder only.
We understand some folks take vacations during the growing season and that picking up the weekly bouquet may not always be possible each week. Since we are a small, family-run farm, we selected pick-up dates/times based on our limited staffing, so we are unfortunately unable to offer additional pickup dates and times. And since we plan our crops based on shareholder investments, we also cannot extend your share duration to accommodate missed pickups. In these instances, shareholders should consider gifting their bouquet to a friend who is available to make the pickup. Alternatively, we make weekly donations to the Walla Walla Community Hospice, so we will happily add your bouquet to our weekly donation if you prefer. All you need to do is let us know!