On Farm Pick- Up & Delivery
Your Membership represents a mutually beneficial relationship between you and the Farm. Traditionally, this type of relationship has been called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). However, your Membership not only supports you and Essex Farm, but our entire local agricultural community of North Country producers and processors. Your Membership is more than just a share of the farm-fresh harvest—it is an investment in an Agriculturally Supported Community.
WHAT’S IN THE SHARE?
We produce grass-fed beef, pastured pork, chicken, eggs, fifty different kinds of vegetables, milk, grains and flour, fruit, herbs, maple syrup and soap. Our animals are fed certified organic food and we do not use any conventional pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. Each week, our members enjoy the following:
- Free choice of vegetables, meat, dairy, grains, eggs, and herbs in any combination you choose
- Enough food for the entire family to enjoy 3 meals a day, 7 days a week
- Specialty items from Essex Farm & neighboring farms: i.e. maple syrup, canned or frozen products, dried herbs
- Weekly farm note and share-oriented recipes
- The opportunity to take extra produce during the growing season for freezing or canning
Vegetables & Fruit
Apples, Arugula, Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Broccoli Raab, Brussel Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cayenne Peppers, Celeriac, Celery, Chard, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Delicata Squash, Dinosaur Kale, Escarole, Fennel, Garlic, Garlic Scapes, Grapes, Green & Purple Cabbage, Hakurei Turnips, Italian & Oriental Eggplant, Jalapeno Peppers, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Matchbox Peppers, Misato Rose Radishes, Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Okra, Pakchoi, Potatoes (Adiorndack Blue, French Fingerling, Keuka Gold, Kennebec White), Parsnips, Pumpkins, Purple Top Turnips, Raddiccio, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Red Russian Kale, Scallions, Shallots, Spinach, Strawberries, Sugar Snap Peas, String Beans (Green & Yellow) Summer Squash, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes (Slicers & Heirloom), Winterbor Kale, Yellow & Red Onions, Zucchini
Basil, Chamomile, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Lemon Balm, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Sorrel, Stinging Nettles, Thyme
Our dairy cows are pasture-fed during the summer, and receive hay during the colder months. If the quality of the hay is not good enough to sustain milk production and keep the cows in healthy body condition, they may receive a limited amount of organic grain or grain we grew ourselves in the winter. Our dairy cows are kept on pasture during the growing season and rotated to fresh forage at least twice a day, enabling us to supply our members with fresh raw milk* every week.
* Raw milk does not have the protection of pasteurization.
Our sheep, pigs, and beef cows live on pasture when temperatures allow. Our chickens, laying hens, and geese are free-range or pastured. All our animals are frequently rotated through our pastures to enhance soil fertility and given organic feed to supplement their diet . Our animals are slaughtered on the farm or at a government inspected facility. Members enjoy nose-to-tail cuts, including rendered fats, organs, and soup bones from all our livestock.
While the Farm continues to experiment with producing its own grain, the majority of the grain products and other staples in our share are selected from certified local organic grain farmers and producers who meet Essex Farm standards. We also grow corn to turn into products, such as fresh corn tortillas.
Other examples of the grain products offered include black beans, buckwheat flour, cornmeal, popcorn, rolled oats, rye flour, sea salt, steel cut oats, wheat berries, white bread flour, white pastry flour, whole corn kernels, whole wheat bread flour, and whole wheat pastry flour.
Bonuses (not available every week)
We offer value-added products to make the farm diet more user-friendly without sacrificing the taste and quality of a whole food diet. Value-added products are not always available; we distribute the majority of our value-added products in winter, when crops are not in the field.
Examples of past value-added products include bone broth, bread dough, carrot or beet juice, cheese, frozen vegetables and fruit, dried/frozen herbs, tomato sauce, sauerkraut, vegetarian kimchi, and maple syrup. Value-added products may also include inedible goods, such as soap, lime, or cut flowers.
PRICING & LOGISTICS
We welcome new members at any point in the year, as long as we have space. Once signed up, your membership will extend through the end of the calendar year. Annual Memberships renew their contracts each January or convert to a seasonal memberships later in the year.
We encourage prospective members to sign up for a one-week intro share before committing to the membership. We prorate one week’s worth of food for you and your family and if you return for a second week, you automatically become a full-fledged members.
To receive a one week intro share please fill out a Membership Request on the appropriate page (Local Pick Up, CAP Region, ADK Park, or NYC).
- We offer a 2% discount for full annual payment up front.
- Vegetarian Shares available at a 10% discount, and Vegan Shares available at a 20% discount.
- We accept cash, checks, or credit cards. (We charge a 3.5% processing fee for all credit card transactions.)
- Members may cancel their membership after the introductory week without penalty. Beyond that first week, termination of your Membership will result in a cancellation fee.
DELIVERED SHARE MEMBERS:
- On Friday afternoon we send you that week’s order form with our current offerings. You send it back to us by Sunday night and we harvest it for you and have it ready to be shipped on Tuesday.
- Your share will be delivered direct to your door Tuesday night or Wednesday, depending on your location. The Hub on the Hill will be in contact with you prior to delivery to ensure that you are home and/or there is a safe place to leave your share.
- Our current delivery zone is Manhattan, and parts of Brooklyn and the Bronx. We will consider accommodating deliveries outside that zone, however additional delivery fees will apply.
- On Wednesday we send you that week’s grocery list with our current offerings. You come to the farm on Friday, between 3-7pm to pick up your food, return any glassware or egg cartons, and mingle with the local membership.
- To reduce our carbon footprint we reuse and recycle everything that we can. We ask that you send back everything that your share arrived in: box, liner, ice packs, jars, lids, and egg cartons. We’ll take it all!
- If you are away for a week and won’t be able to use your share we encourage you to gift your share to a household of equal size to your own, within our delivery zone. All that is required to do so is sending a quick email to us, providing the name of the recipient and the delivery address. You may also donate your share to one of our local families in need.
Frequently asked questions
What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA members pay up front for a share of the farm’s production.
How is free choice, full diet CSA different from the average vegetable CSA?
Essex Farm pioneered the free choice, full diet model.
- Full-diet means the share includes meats, eggs, dairy, grains, and more. For members who are dedicated to cooking whole food in season, the share provides enough food in enough variety to make the grocery store obsolete. In practice, most members still buy some items we don’t produce, such as vegetable oil, rice, and tropical fruit, plus some convenience food and some occasional out of season vegetables.
- Free-choice means that instead of receiving a box that has been packed for you with things you may or may not use, you can choose any quantity or combination of items each week.
Why should I pay upfront for the rest of the year?
CSA creates a close relationship between farmers and members. Farming is a slim-margin business with a lot of inherent risk. The CSA model, with upfront payment, helps with our highly front-loaded production costs, our mid-range field and livestock plans, and balancing our yearly budget. It also allows us farmers to focus less on sales and marketing, and more on growing high quality food. Finally, it gives members a deeper sense of partnership with the farm and the farmers.
How much food do I get?
We invite our local members to take what they need for the week, in any quantity or combination they choose. Members are encouraged to take extra produce during the growing season for freezing or canning, to supplement what is available from the root cellar during winter and early spring. We sometimes limit scarce items, like maple syrup or the year’s first tomatoes, but most food is available on an all-you-can-eat basis.
Do you offer short-term memberships?
Essex Farm offers seasonal shares for households in need food for only a brief period of time. Seasonal members receive food in share blocks of at least four consecutive weeks. They do not incur any penalties for canceling their membership before December 31, nor do they have to make payments towards weeks they did not receive shares. Seasonal memberships are priced slightly higher than annual memberships to cover administrative costs and to support the farm during the members’ absence. Households who are interested in only getting enough food for a few weeks are encouraged to shop at our Farm Store.
What if I travel a lot or will be away from home for an extended period of time?
If you will only be away for a week or two, we encourage you donate your share to the local food bank or “gift” your share to a neighboring household--of equal size to your own–who can pick it up for you. If your travel is more extensive, Essex Farm offers seasonal shares for households who are away from home often or for a long time. Seasonal members receive food in share blocks of at least four consecutive weeks, and can take a hiatus from their memberships for as brief or extended a time as needed. Seasonal members do not incur any penalties for canceling their membership before December 31, nor do they have to make payments towards weeks they did not receive shares. Seasonal memberships are priced slightly higher than annual memberships to cover administrative costs and to support the farm during the members’ absence.
What about vegetables in the winter?
We harvest hardy vegetables from the field through late fall and even into early winter. The selection in late winter and early spring comes from our root cellar, and includes potatoes, winter squash, carrots, beets, cabbage, garlic, onions, turnips, rutabaga, etc. We encourage members to freeze extra produce and herbs in the summer for variety in late winter and spring.
What is raw milk?
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized. We encourage all members to become familiar with the risks and benefits of raw milk.
Do we offer everything, every week?
No. We butcher for each distribution but do not always offer beef, pork and chicken every week.
How is your meat different from what I might get at the grocery store?
Most people think our pastured chickens are much more flavorful. Chickens come whole, not in parts. Our pigs are raised on pasture, plus skim milk and organic and home grown grains; depending on the age of the pig they tend to have a little more fat – and a lot more flavor – than what you typically find at the store. Our grass-fed beef is lean, and is generally tougher and also more flavorful than grain-fattened beef. Most members like it best ground or as slow-cooked cuts, not steaks.
What butcher cuts can I expect?
Because we are raising and butchering whole animals for our members, we all eat from nose to tail. We offer ground beef and ground pork, plus roasts, chops, bulk sausage, chickens, organs, and bones.