Why choose our CSA?
Here's 7 reasons...
Because we give you choice...
We offer both a standard (farmer's choice) share with a weekly or every AND a fully customizable a la carte custom share. Customized shares are a growing trend among CSA farms, but Middle Way Farm has been offering fully customized shares since our first season in 2013! We have an easy to use software for placing online orders that our members find simple to learn. Custom shares make CSA accessible to people who otherwise wouldn't benefit from a set box of vegetables. Our members appreciate the choice between the two different share types and gravitate towards one or the other based on their lifestyle and preferences.
But maybe also because you want less choice...
Sometimes having to make lots of small choices is more time consuming and energy draining than liberating. Having to make choices can sometimes be a barrier to eating better or cooking more. Getting a standard share from Middle Way Farm eliminates some of that weekly choosing at the grocery store and replaces it with a box of beautiful in season vegetables, chosen by the farmer, leading to discovery, inspiration, and creativity. Members have commented (and this was Farmer Jordan's personal experience as a CSA member way back when...) that getting a standard share forces them to eat more vegetables and to use vegetables they might have otherwise overlooked. It makes you a better cook and a more empowered eater.
Because you can know your farmer...
Our CSA membership is relatively small and many members know each other and the farmer. A number of members have been with the farm since its first years in operation. This makes for a tight knit community and a personal connection to where your food comes from. Farmer Jordan is accessible, civic and community minded, and a presence around town. Members with children appreciate being able to point out "their farmer" to their kids (or having their kids point Jordan out to them)! This is what community supported agriculture means!
And because CSA is the best way to support that farmer...
CSA is not just another way of marketing produce. Middle Way Farm has been built on the financial contributions, trust, and loyalty of members. Farmer Jordan started MWF in 2013 with little money and has built up the operation not through debt but through CSA members. By giving money upfront and committing to purchase a portion of your food from the farm, you give the farm critical start-up money and allow for better budgeting and planning.
Because there is no more intimate relationship with your environment than to eat from it...
A lot of what attracts Farmer Jordan to growing food is the opportunity to be immersed in the natural world and natural rhythms during the growing season. CSA members can experience some that connection too, by eating food from the farm, visiting the farm for weekly pick-ups or special events, talking to Farmer Jordan, and reading newsletters. We aim to make you informed eaters (of both MWF produce and all the other food you eat), because we think knowing your food and where it comes from is the best way to eat.
Because we have an awesome weekly newsletter...
We also send out comprehensive weekly e-mail newsletters every weekend before share delivery that is highly valued by our members. Newsletter include information on produce in that week's share, a thoughtful weekly farmer reflection, a recipe of the week, photo of the week, storage and preparation tips, and more.
Because once you have MWF carrots, you'll know what a carrot should taste like..
Most people know that a homegrown tomato tastes better than a store bought one, but joining our CSA will teach you that this principle applies to just about every vegetable you can think of! A fresh, locally grown vegetable can be so much better tasting and longer lasting than the same vegetable grown industrially and shipped long distance that its almost like they are not even the same kind of produce. My biggest argument for eating locally and joining a CSA is not food miles, carbon footprint, or even changing agriculture - its flavor and storage! Before local food was trendy, there were always chefs (like Kamal at Relish in Grinnell) who sought out local farms for this reason - they knew that the only way to get the best tasting and longest lasting vegetables was not by spending money on premium crops shipped long distance, but by finding those vegetables as close as possible.
What our members say:
(All direct quotes from 2018 end of season survey)
"I recommend the CSA to so many people because it's such an amazing way of supporting local, trying new things, being "forced" to eat a variety of vegetables, not just the old tried and true broccoli, beans, carrots, and corn that I tend to fall back on because they are easy."
On what they value about their CSA share:
"Cleanliness of the vegetables so that I don't have to spend a lot of time getting rid of dirt, the delicious flavor of fresh produce, and the idea of supporting this type of system. I really appreciated being able to munch down on carrots on my way home because I couldn't wait to eat them."
"Freshness, the quality (both in terms of taste but also nutrition and absence of pesticides), and sustainable agriculture (i.e. knowing that a CSA share is supporting a farmer who is trying to support the land and the community at the same time)."
"I like the sense of community I have knowing you and others who are committed to and help out at the farm, and friends who have CSA shares with you. It’s a special shared experience. I really appreciated your newsletters, particularly this year. And I really value having beautiful food to eat that was grown right here in town."
"The thought and intentionality put into growing quality food. Eating local and seasonal foods is something I think about a lot now, along with the uncertainties of global climate and food security. I feel connected to my food. Inclement weather triggers urgent thoughts about you and field conditions. Though I'm sure it doesn't ease any weight from your shoulders, being a member has made me feel like more than a blissfully ignorant consumer. I feel that I somehow have a stake in all of this, and it just seems like that's the way it should be. We should be made more directly aware of the real consequences of climate change and large farming operations. It isn't something I even knew to think about before joining the CSA, so I'm grateful for that change. Thank you for taking on the risk and work of sustainable farming practices in our corner of the world.
On custom ordering:
"excellent. easy. wonderful service"
"The ordering process is dandy."
"I liked it. Really appreciate the personalized link sign in option since I don’t remember my password! I think between the newsletter and description on the form, I didn’t have any issue understanding what the options were"
On the newsletter:
"I enjoy hearing about your struggles, successes, and overall process. I learn a lot when you share your thoughts and rationale on problem solving and farming in an ever more unpredictable climate. And, it's helpful for storage and recipe tips."
"I read all of them! Jordan is a great writer. I love learning about what life is like on his farm and I really enjoy reading his perspectives. I think the newsletter is a great asset to the CSA experience. I also like the tips for storage- very helpful."
"Yes. I liked the recipes and storage tips. I found your openness and personal sharing to be so honest and real. You are brave to share so much. It is an honor to be part of your mission."
"I think you do an excellent job explaining everything in your newsletter. I appreciate your advice on how to set store the produce, how long to expect it to last and how to use less familiar items, like the delicata squash"
On picking up their CSA at the farm:
"Close-by, easy to get to, Fun to go to the farm and see where the produce is being grown"
CSA Shares are available for the 2020 season!