The Fresh Start Farms CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program runs for 16 weeks between July and October (8-week shares are available, too). By signing up, you are doing just what the name implies- supporting a vital farming community here in Maine. All of the produce you receive in your weekly share is chemical, pesticide, and herbicide-free, and is grown by participants of the new American farmer training program we run in Lisbon, ME. Read more about the farmers here.
If you are already a 2018 CSA member, you can login to your account here.
This year, we have changed the shares we offer to better reflect feedback we received from you, our participants. We are offering a standard share, small share, and staples share, as well as a weekly egg option.
- The standard share feeds 2-4 people, and has about 10 items a week.
- The small share is designed for one person, or two people who don’t cook every day of the week, with about 7 items a week.
- The staples share supplements the diets of 1-3 people, and consists of 5 items each week. This share will only include different combinations of the following, more familiar items: lettuce heads, potatoes, green onions, onions, carrots, broccoli, beans, peas, and tomatoes.
Along with these changes, we are adjusting our prices for 2018 (see below for more information). When we stopped and took stock of the 2017 season, we realized that the price of the CSA was no longer reflecting the true cost to the farmers who work so hard to grow produce for participants. We feel that we have found a balance of fair pricing for CSA participants and farmers, and hope you feel the same way.
That said, we want to make the CSA affordable for you! We offer automatic payment plans, which you can set up when you register, as well as a sliding scale option. We also accept SNAP benefits- and you get a 50% discount when you use them! If you are able to pay full price, or give a donation, know that your dollars are supporting new Mainers, as well as helping subsidize discounted CSA shares. Please email Anna at [email protected] for more information about these options.
Signup deadlines and other important dates are provided in the table below:
2018 Important Dates*
Dates of Full Share
Dates of Summer Share
Dates of Autumn Share
|Individuals||June 1 for Full/Summer, August 1 for Autumn||July 2 – Oct. 21||July 2 – Aug. 26||Aug. 27 – Oct. 21|
|Group Sites||May 1 for Full/Summer, August 1 for Autumn||July 2 – Oct. 21||July 2 – Aug. 26||Aug. 27 – Oct. 21|
*Dates are subject to change. Because the climate and weather can be unpredictable here in Maine, we may start CSA shares a week later or end a week earlier. Rest assured, you will get your 16 weeks of shares!
**Registration may close earlier if our we reach our maximum share capacity before the registration deadline. Sign up soon to reserve your spot in our CSA!
Prices and Seasons:
2018 CSA Prices
Full Season CSA
|Standard Share (feeds 2-4)||$400||$205||$205|
|Small Share (feeds 1-2)||$300||$155||$155|
2018 CSA Public Pickup Locations**:
- Augusta, Viles Arboretum- Friday, 12pm-4pm
- Brunswick, Flight Deck Brewing- Wednesday, 12pm-9pm
- Falmouth, Hurricane Valley Farm- Tuesday, 12pm-5pm
- Lewiston, Kennedy Park Farmers’ Market- Tuesday, 2pm-5pm
- Portland, Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market- Saturday, 7am-1pm
- Portland, Maine Med at Bramhall- Thursday, 3:30pm-5:30pm
- Portland, Monument Square Farmers’ Market- Wednesday, 7am-1pm
- Portland, Munjoy Hill (81 Congress St.)- Wednesday, 12pm-7pm
- Portland, Whole Foods Market- Tuesday, 1pm-5pm
- Portland YMCA- Wednesday, 3pm-8pm
- Peaks Island- Wednesday afternoon
- Westbrook, Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland- Thursday, 11:30am-5pm
We offer CSA pickups at many locations in southern Maine as well as at numerous offices and businesses! For more information about our CSA office & business delivery program, contact us at [email protected]
**We will adding to this list as we confirm sites for 2018, so check back in over the next few weeks!
Seasonal Produce Availability
The sample shares below are designed to give you a general idea of what produce you might expect to receive at different points throughout the season. Please keep in mind that farmers often specialize, so while you will receive a diverse array of vegetables each week, it’s not guaranteed that all vegetables listed below will be available to every customer.
Sample Standard Shares:
|Garlic Scapes||Corn||Winter Squash|
Sample Small Shares:
Sample Staples Shares:
Tips for a Positive CSA Experience:
- Please plan to pick up your bag at the same site for the full duration of the program. You can change your pickup site location up until the first date of delivery.
- Please ask friends and family members to assist with pickups that may otherwise be missed. We are sorry to say we cannot refund missed pickups. Your share will be donated to a food-insecure family
- Please share with others! If you don’t like certain items in your bag and would like to trade, there are a few options depending on where your pickup site is located. If you are picking up at a farm stand or farmer’s market, you can ask your farmer to switch for something else. If your CSA is being delivered to your office, we encourage you to set up an inter-office vegetable trade.
- We will email you a list of what is included in your share every week and tips and tricks on how to cook, store and eat your produce. Because growing vegetables can be unpredictable, we can’t dictate exactly what will be in each farmer’s share before deliveries are made.
- Help us make this work for you financially! We understand that upfront payments can be a challenge for some households. Because farmers pack such cost-effective shares, we encourage folks to split the cost with a friend or neighbor. This year, you have the option of registering for a payment plan in lieu of payment in full upfront. To inquire about a payment plan, contact [email protected] If you would like to get in touch regarding CSA shares for SNAP recipients, please also contact [email protected]
An exciting new option for CSA members at select CSA sites! In addition to weekly farm shares, CSA Plus members also receive access to free on-site services and skill-building workshops provided by Cultivating Community. Topics are determined by CSA member interest and may include A-Z vegetable prep, nutrition resources, cooking tips and storage tricks, creative new recipes, and so much more. CSA Plus is customized for each site so that CSA members decide what to learn and how to learn it — whether web-based/in-person, weekly/monthly, or hands-on/demonstration. CSA Plus is intended for both new and seasoned CSA members. The goal is simple: to help you make the most out of your CSA experience and walk away feeling more excited than ever about fresh vegetables!
Thank you Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation for supporting this exciting expansion of our CSA program!