Gator CSA Program

In fall 2010, the Office of Sustainability launched the Gator Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. The program hosted four farms, and has been a successful way to engage the campus community on food sustainability as well as to provide a convenient way to acquire local produce.The program returns for the 2014-2015 growing season and will have four farms with us to be a part of this year’s Gator CSA: The Family Garden, Frog Song Organics, Swallowtail Farm, and Siembra Farm.

Swallowtai...
Siembra Farm
Siembra Farm
Siembra Farm
Swallowtai...
Swallowtai...
Swallowtai...
The Family...

NEW PICK-UP LOCATION FOR FALL 2014!
We will have one campus pick-up location option at the Agronomy Teaching Farm Classroom on Thursdays from 4:30-6:00 PM (Google Map).


Please read this FULL page carefully before you consider joining one of the farms.

About Community Supported Agriculture

In a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, local consumers become farm members by paying a given amount of money at the beginning of the season, either as a lump sum or as installments. The cost depends on the length of the season and the variety and quantity of products provided. The up-front payment helps buy the seed and other inputs necessary for the season, gives the farmer immediate income and in many cases eliminates the need for operating loans. By committing to a price and paying at the beginning of the season, the members support the costs of production up front, as well as share in bounty and risks of the harvest. CSAs decrease the need for ongoing marketing by the producer. This allows the farmer to concentrate on land stewardship and growing good food.

In return for your membership and commitment, farmers provide fresh vegetables, fruits, and other farm products directly to consumer-members. Vegetables and fruits are available throughout the growing season, and a variety of other farm products may be distributed at different times throughout the year. As a consumer-member, you eat healthy food, know where it comes from and how it is grown, and share a connection to the land with the farmers who feed you.

For the Gator CSA, the season will run for approximately 32-36 weeks, from mid-October to June, depending on the farm you choose. Some farmers will choose to alter their seasons to accommodate weather and/or holidays, so ask for specifics directly from the farm you choose. Pick-up will be on Thursdays on campus:

  • 4:30 – 6:00 pm – Outside the Agronomy Teaching Farm Classroom, located at the south end of IFAS Research Drive – view map.

How to Join

There are limited spots available and the demand is high. In previous years, almost all spots were filled. Once you read through the material and decide you want to join, act fast! You sign up for your CSA membership directly with the farmer. Some farmers are ready now and some will start taking memberships a bit later, but will put you on a list to receive notification when they are ready. If you have any questions about their sign-up process, their farming practices, or their memberships, please direct the questions directly to the farm. If you have a question about the logistics or a general CSA question, we may be able to answer it for you.

Things to Note about Gator CSAs

  • All farmers participating in the CSA program must grow their own food on a farm within 250 miles of UF. If a farmer wishes to add a value-added product or a supplemental product from another local farm (also from within 250 miles), it too must meet all food safety rules for human consumption.
  • Over the course of the season, weekly shares vary in size and produce type, reflecting the local growing season and conditions. Typical CSAs offer an average of 4-6 items of produce per week over the course of the season. For each item in the weekly share, you will receive a measure usually similar to the measure of an item you would get in the grocery store (ex. a bag of lettuces, a lb of squash, etc).
  • CSA members provide feedback to the farmer about likes and dislikes regarding produce when they sign up in order to help the farmer with a planting plan. However, CSA members do not get to pick the variety that goes into their basket on a given week. The farmers participating in the UF CSA are committed to providing a diversity of products; however, the products will depend on the growing season, weather conditions, and what can be grown in North Florida (for ideas of what grows and when in North FL, see this document – http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021).
  • CSA members will receive a share of food each week, and are expected to pick it up. If you can’t make it, you should let your farmer know ahead of time so he/she can make other arrangements. If you do not need a weekly share, you could consider sharing with a friend or colleague and rotating weeks or purchasing a half-share if they are offered. You cannot miss a week and come the following week expecting to receive both shares, and you are not able to get a refund for weeks not used as the farmer has planned and planted and tended his farm with you in mind. Food not collected will be returned to the farm or donated to the St. Francis House to be used in meals for the homeless.
  • UF is providing some coordination and communication as well as physical locations for pick-up to facilitate participation in community supported agriculture by UF staff, faculty and students. UF is not involved in the contractual arrangement/relationship between you and the farmer. If you have questions about payment, logistics, or your food, you should direct them directly to your farmer.
  • All food supplied by the farmers is required to meet all codes and regulations set forth by the USDA, Florida Department of Agriculture, Health Department, and other local government agencies. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact us at info@sustainability.ufl.edu.

Participating Farms (Click to expand)

Frog Song Organics

FS logo

Frog Song Organics is a 20-acre certified organic farm owned & operated by UF CALS alumni John Bitter and Amy Van Scoik. This is their third year as part of the Gator CSA program, and they grow a diverse range of vegetables, herbs and a few fruits. They are located near Hawthorne, FL about 30 minutes from the UF Campus.

Frog Song Organics Pick-Up Schedule:

First Pick Up: October 2, 2014
Last Pick Up: December 11, 2014
No Pick Up: November 27, 2014

(All pick-ups for CSAs will take place on the UF campus, at the end of IFAS Research Drive).

Frog Song Organics plans to include 7-9 different items in each box each week. The items will vary over the season. You can expect about 3-5 items to be the same from week to week, with 2-3 of the items changing. Fall Crops include: Eggplants, Tomatoes, Green Beans, Roselle/Red Zinger, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Radishes, Carrots, Collards, Kale, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Basil, Green Onions and more. Members should return their boxes or bring their own bags to take home produce. The Individual Share is good for 1-2 people and contains 7-9 different items. The Family Share contains double of most of the items in the Individual box, or sometimes more variety instead. CSA memberships are good for people who eat a lot of vegetables and cook at home regularly.

Share Options:

Individual Share – $25 per week x 10 weeks = $250
Family Share – $40 per week x 10 weeks = $400

Payment for Fall is due at the time you join. They accept payment by check, cash or online with an electronic checks. They can accept credit cards for an additional 2.75% processing fee, please call 352-494-9691 to arrange payment. No refunds are available once the season starts. Memberships are transferable. They will soon be able to accept EBT/SNAP benefits for CSA shares, please contact the farm directly to arrange this method of payment as there are some specific rules that apply for accepting SNAP for CSA shares.

Why join Frog Song’s CSA?

Members like the freshness of the produce and getting to try unique varieties they don’t see in the grocery store. Members also like supporting a local business and organic farming in the community. From the member survey: “I love it. Amazing flavor – especially side by side comparison to store bought packaged stuff.”

What makes the farm special?

They have been certified organic since 2012. They save some of their own seeds and avoid the use of plastic mulch on the farm. Frog Song’s goal is to improve access to healthy food and create jobs in the community, and create a sustainable livelihood for everyone who works on the farm. They currently work with a diverse team of full-time staff, including women and men from the United States, Mexico, Dominica and Venezuela. They also employ part-time help at some of the farmers markets. Frog Song does accept student interns and work-trade members of the CSA, if you can commit one morning per week during the season to helping harvest the vegetables. Please contact them for more details.

For More information and to Sign Up with Frog Song Organics:

Frog Song Organics
4317 NE US Hwy 301
Hawthorne, FL 32640
Website: www.frogsongorganics.com
Phone:(352) 468-3816

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FrogSongOrganics
CSA Blog: http://frogsongorganics.wordpress.com/
CSA inquiries: frogsongcsa@gmail.com
General Inquiries: frogsongorganics@gmail.com

Siembra Farm

FINAL-LOGO FLAT small

Siembra Farm is a small, organic, family farm located in Gainesville, Florida.  We offer a weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) membership that gives the consumer a direct connection to the food they eat and allows the farmer to prioritize sustainable farming techniques and maximum nutrition.  We strive to grow food that is nutritious and natural while practicing sustainable small scale farming techniques that preserve soil, air and  water.

Each week we deliver a basket of seasonal veggies freshly harvested from our farm.  Baskets are typically enough to feed a family of 3 to 4 their veggies for the week and include a salad mix, root veggies, greens and whatever else is in season.

Baskets will begin November 1st and continue through June.

Shares are $25 to $35 (sliding scale) per week with a start up fee of $40 to 100$ (sliding scale).  We also welcome work shares or barters.

To sign up for a share:
http://www.siembrafarm.com/

General farm inquiries:

info@siembrafarm.com
Cody – (352) 327-5027
Veronica – (561) 670-6181

Our Farm is located at:
2033 SE 23rd Place
Gainesville, FL 32641

Swallowtail Farm

SF logo

Swallowtail Farm is a small community based farm located north of Alachua. Their team is focused on growing a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruits. They have crafted the farm as a model of sustainability and fine land stewardship, with an emphasis on appropriate scale, conservation of resources, and nature-produced fertility. No synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals will ever touch their fields or your food and they are GMO seed free. They rotate sheep, pigs, cows, and chickens on their fertile grounds and strive towards biodynamic growing practices. They are also one of Gainesville’s largest cut flower farms and provide a heaping variety of stunning buds for many events. Their CSA is the heart of the farm and is the root of reconnecting people to their food. Through the direct support the farm, the shareholder gains the freshest possible local seasonal eating, while providing profound stability for farmers. They limit the CSA membership to 250 families and they also serve Gainesville restaurants, farmer’s markets and Citizen’s Co-op. Swallowtail Farm hosts a series of farm to table dinners, two annual music festivals, workshops, weddings, parties, children’s classes and more!

Swallowtail Farm’s CSA season starts October 15th and is 30 weeks long for full season members and 24 weeks long, in accordance with the academic calendar, for student and faculty shares. They are very flexible with 6 different pick up locations, 4 days a week, with options of full share, half share, spring shares, and fall shares. Payments can be made up front, in installations, and they also provide work-trade options.

To sign up for a share:
http://www.farmigo.com/join/swallowtailcsa/2013-2014

General farm inquiries:
Amber Geller 517 896 3746
Noah Shitama 352 327 1175
E-Mail: swallowtailcsa@gmail.com
Website: www.swallowtailcsa.com
Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Swallowtail-Farm/293175712910

Swallowtail Farm
17603 NW 276 Lane
Alachua FL 32615

The Family Garden

The Family Garden grows Certified Organic vegetables and fruit in Gilchrist County. In addition to being organic, the produce is Food Justice Certified to the standards of the Agricultural Justice Project. This means their farm maintains a safe, healthy, and fair work environment for workers, which includes paying a living wage. The Family Garden CSA is the best value available for purchasing Organic and Fair produce. Please sign up early, as their CSA will fill up fast.

The cost is $750 for a CSA share each week starting October 30th, 2014 until June 18th, 2015. We will be off for holidays. Payment up front is preferred, however payments can be made with a down payment. Please email for information. As well, you may pay online through paypal.

Testimonials
“We love The Family Garden Organic & Fair! The produce always tastes wonderful and we plan our meals around their food.” –Tammy Dial Grey

“The most amazing fruits and veggies!! This next season will be our 4th year with The Family Garden.” –Alexandria Phillips

“I feel very fortunate it have such a conscientious farmer who is doing so much extra work in addition to the hours he puts in running his farm, providing food for my family.” –Dari Smith

“1. The quality of the produce has been excellent. Gorgeous produce with the distinctive full flavors of organic growing practices picked at the precise moment of ripeness. And by gorgeous, I mean, your produce is consistently nearly flawless. We regularly take time out before cooking to just marvel at the beauty of your produce laying on our counter and give thanks to you and your team for making this happen.
2. The quantity of the produce is large. We’ve periodically done the math and every time find that you’re giving us big savings. And the quantity has proven perfect for our family’s weekly cooking schedule.
3. The diversity of the produce is excellent. From the romanesco to the potatoes and beets to the greens and wide array of other vegetables to the strawberries and now even peaches, we love never knowing what will turn up each week. My kids still regularly kvetch for the kale and other favorites gone by until next season.
4. The logistics of getting the goods to us are a snap. The detailed emails, clear communications of farm happenings (and awesome pictures) and flexibility in dealing with complicated families have all been extremely accommodating to us.
Basically, we’ve been thrilled this year and look forward to another great one.”
–Rob and family.

General farm inquiries:

www.thefamilygardencsa.com
https://www.facebook.com/thefamilygardenorganic
jabrown@ufl.edu
2440 SW 32nd Pl
Bell, FL 32619