Community Supported Agriculture - CSA
Our CSA is CLOSED FOR NOW!
Windermere Farms & Apiaries
Your Certified Organic Farming Source
What Is a Farmers market CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model started in the 1980's in New England. The general idea is that members pay up-front to provide the farmers with capital at the beginning of the season. This guarantees farmers an outlet for their products. In exchange, members get fresh, local produce and an intimate connection to the people growing their food.
CSA´s are helping many small-scale operations throughout the country to maintain economic viability. For us, the CSA is a stable consistent income that takes SOME of the risk out of farming. We provide local, freshly picked certified organic produce and friendly service.
Windermere Farms offers a Farmers' Market CSA.
What is a Farmer's Market CSA?
A Farmer's Market CSA is different from the traditional CSA where you pick up a pre-packaged bag each week and pay much more up front to join. Instead, you pay us a minimum of $300 to be a part of our farm and then each time you shop at one of the markets or at the farm, the amount is deducted from your balance.
Benefits to CSA Membership
So why join our CSA?
First and foremost is that we are Certified Organic and being a CSA member makes it convenient to eat good food. Besides forming a connection with the farm, you experience eating with the seasons. From time to time, you will get e-mails with recipes, pictures and tips. Also, if we have a limited amount of something, CSA members may be notified of this, so they know to get there early. Another advantage is not having to remember to bring money with you or losing your investment if you are unable to come one week. Also, you do not end up with eggplant every week (which seems to be a regular complaint!).
The advantages of a FM CSA is that you choose what you want and how much. If you go on vacation, you don't have to find somebody to pick up and use your food.
In addition, by being one of our CSA members, you get a bonus that others do not. When you pay $300, we automatically add 10% to your account. In other words, if you join at the $300 level, you actually start out with $330 on your account or if you pay $400 up front, you will start out with $440.00 on your account with us. This is only true if you join before the first farmers market begins, as this is when we most need the cash flow. After the markets start however, you may still invest for the ease of shopping but there is no bonus.
How do your prices compare to grocery stores?
Our prices will usually be more. For instance organic seed potatoes in 2011 costs $89 per 50 lb. bag. The price for the same quantity of conventional potatoes is $14. All weeding must be done by hand by paid labor rather than by treating the soil with cheap poison. It is not possible for us (nor do we want to ) to compete with the HUGE stores that buy from who knows where.
But, we are local which means that your food is vine ripened, picked and brought to market when it is just a few hours old. This means that it is much more nutritious. In addition, we are the only certified organic farm in west Tennessee. . This means that you can be SURE that everything you buy from us has been grown using naturally occurring fertilizers & pesticides. We put in thousands of hours and we do it partially so that you can have fresh, local, absolutely organic food and it will of necessity cost more. But we believe that those of you who want organic food (and have tried to grow it) understand why.
How long is your season?
Our CSA season starts whenever u-pick strawberries are ripe OR when the first farmers market starts (whichever comes first) and goes through the end of October - NOTE - ALL CSA funds must be used during this season, THERE IS NO REFUND and any unused balance cannot be carried over to the next season!
Where do I shop with you?
We go to two markets.
Saturday mornings you will find us outside the red barn at the Agricenter on Germantown Road and Wednesday afternoons we are at the Botanic Garden Farmer's Market.
You will be asked to choose your market preference and shop at that market 75% of the time.
PICK YOUR OWN- we have 6,000 strawberry plants that should ripen in May and then blueberries in June-July. We have added thorn less blackberries, this year, which come in around the same time as blueberries So you can (and we hope that you will) come to the farm and pick lots of berries to put in your freezer to enjoy in the winter. Your CSA investment applies to anything bought from us.
We try to grow a large variety of produce throughout the spring and summer. God controls the weather, but 2011 was a good year and things produced well. There is always enough to buy.
We encourage our CSA members to come early in order to have the largest selection of produce, as we have a large customer base that is non- CSA and are also shopping.
We also encourage you to come regularly and shop. Remember THERE IS NO REFUND and any unused balance CANNOT be carried over to the next season.
HOW DO I JOIN?
Again, a minimum share is $300. If you purchase a $300 share that is equivalent to spending about $11 a week for 28 weeks (To make it easier for those who want to invest $400 or more, you may pay half and pay the other half before the first farmers market begins). Thinking this way will help you judge the amount you want to invest. You may add to your balance at any point in $100 increments.
If you desire to join our CSA, simply send us a check made out to Windermere Farms in the minimum amount of $300. Be sure to include all pertinent information including phone numbers & ESPECIALLY your E-MAIL ADDRESS. Also include the name of the market you will primarily shop at.
Mail the check with contact information to:
3060 Woodhills Drive
Memphis, TN 38128.
We'll reply to you by e-mail.
Any questions may be directed to Freida at [email protected]
We do have a limited amount of slots available, so first come first serve. You may start signing up immediately. If we are full, we will put you on a waiting list. When we see how the year is looking, we may be able to add a few more mid-season.
A customer asks:"How do you keep up with my account balance?"
Each customer is assigned a number and each purchase is keyed in with this number and what the customer buys on a cash register.
Each week, we enter the data into Quick Books and print a copy of everyone's balance. You may ask at any time for your balance. Some customers keep their own also. In two years things have gone smoothly. So if we don't lose our balance, we should not lose yours!!
Windermere Farms & Apiaries
3060 Woodhills Dr.
Memphis, TN 38128
Office / Home: 901 386-2035
Ken's - Cell: 901 283-3823
Freida's - Cell: 901 326-6379
Email: Ken Lansing ([email protected]) - CSA Sign-up Information