CSA

These pages are being left here as an archive only.  Our current CSA is a cooperative effort with two other local farms – called Deep Roots CSA.   You can find that site at:  http://www.deeprootscsa.net .

Gopher Knoll still specializes in heirloom vegetables and provides specialty vegetables for the weekly share boxes of Deep Roots CSA.

 

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During the summer of 2014, Gopher Knoll Farm began offering a unique heirloom subscription service.   We are pleased to continue that success this year.

A CSA for the adventurous spirit!

 

Packing boxes June 12

 

What is a CSA?

Community Supported Agriculture  (CSA) is simply a mutually supportive agreement directly between you and our farm.  You commit to buying our freshly harvested produce (your “share”) every week for the season and we commit to growing it for you.

The advantages?  You have regular access to truly fresh (usually picked the morning of delivery), naturally grown, chemical-free produce in season without even needing to shop, and we can plan our garden with confidence in our market.

Even better, the CSA relationship allows you to develop a personal knowledge of how and where your food is grown, get to know your farmer and others in the community who share your values.  You will use your grocery dollars to support a vibrant local food economy, a healthy community and a commitment to responsible stewardship of the land.

 

How is the Gopher Knoll CSA different to others?

Gopher Knoll specializes in growing a broad selection of heirloom vegetables and herbs; in 2016 we will harvest over 120 distinct varieties.    Many may remind you of your grandmother’s table, bringing back the heritage of the southern and western US.  Others will open the doors to the food cultures of other lands, brought to the United States with a diversity of immigrants.   Most are not readily available in local stores.

We select varieties primarily for flavor and suitability to our gardening climate.  And occasionally for pure fun.

Because of this we cannot guarantee that all share boxes will be identical every week.    Share items will be distributed in quantities appropriate to creating a meal or side-dish for 3-4 people (in the larger share) or for 2-3 people in the smaller share.  If we cannot harvest enough of a particular vegetable for all shares to be identical, 1/2 of our shareholders will receive a different vegetable that week.  The next week, we will reverse that so that each shareholder has an opportunity to try all the offerings for the season.

ALL of the veggies in your weekly share will be those we grow right here in Athens, TX in the Gopher Knoll garden; always naturally grown, chemical free and NO GMO’s.

 

What is an heirloom vegetable?

In general, heirlooms are vegetable varieties that have been around a long while – the history of some can be traced back thousands of years.  They are always “open-pollinated,” meaning that pollination is driven by nature – insects and wind, rather than requiring the assistance of human intervention as do hybrids or GMO’s.   Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are NEVER heirlooms.

One advantage to heirloom vegetables is that seed saved from an heirloom vegetable will produce fruit consistent with the parent plant.   Hybrid plants will produce offspring with a variety of traits that are not predictable or consistent.

 

Is your produce Organic?

The USDA Organic seal of approval means that a representative of the federal government has inspected a farm for you and determined on your behalf, that the produce is raised without reliance on chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides and the farmer adheres to basically healthy practices in growing and handling the produce.  Genetically modified seed stock is not allowed.  The process of certification is an expensive and complex three year journey.

Gopher Knoll has opted not to take that trip.   We use natural, healthy farming methods that in many ways exceed the requirements of the National Organic Program to grow our produce.  It is chemical-free and grown with sustainable garden techniques that contribute to building healthy soil.  And we NEVER allow Genetically Modified Seeds (GMO)!  But rather than spending our time with a federal inspector, we think you should have the privilege to inspect our methods for yourself.  Ask your own questions, see your food as it is growing, and make your own determination.    Since we are depending on you, rather than the federal inspector, our costs are lower and our mood is decidedly improved.  However, without certification we can’t legally use the word “organic” to describe our operation.

You are welcome to come see our “naturally grown” and “chemical free” garden for yourself.   Not certified.  Just good gardening.

 

How does it work?

Once you have signed up and agreed to a payment option, a box of fresh vegetables with your name on it will be delivered to a pickup location.  Currently, our pickup site is Athens Organic Supply, on Hwy 31 East of Athens.    If you chose the least expensive option (pay in advance for the season), you are ready to go.  If you chose to pay monthly, you’ll pay at the store when you pick up your box at the first of each month.

Your share will be delivered to the pickup site in a plastic tub marked with your name.  We ask that you bring your own bags to carry your veggies home and leave the empty box stacked neatly at the pickup site so we can use it the following week.

If you have ordered addons (see below), a bill for the additional purchases will be attached to your box.    Simply pay for the additional purchase at the store when you pick up your share.

 

What do you get from your investment?

*A weekly box (for the duration of the prepaid season) containing  8-10  different types of freshly harvested vegetables, melons or berries from the Gopher Knoll Garden.

*Recipes to spark your imagination – especially when lesser known veggies are included in the box

*Fresh herbs, also grown here at Gopher Knoll, to use in preparing dishes (or for teas or aromatics) – depends on availability

*Invitation to visit the garden.  We only ask that you plan an appropriate time with us in advance so that visits do not interfere with necessary garden chores.

*Option to order additional veggies from the Gopher Knoll garden that might not normally be included in a box.    (In addition to the veggies we grow for our CSA customers, we also grow some specialty items (like hot peppers or some of the herbs) and some extra that is marketed to local chefs or other local markets. )

*Online access to a list of available addons and descriptions of unique vegetables with additional ideas for preparation

*Our promise that we will do our very best to deliver only the highest quality,  field-ripened, freshly harvested veggies for you and your family.  Always naturally grown and chemical-free.

 

What is the Gopher Knoll commitment?

*We commit to doing everything we can to provide you with a consistent supply of fresh, chemical-free vegetables, melons, fruit and herbs – in season and freshly harvested at peak ripeness

*We commit to delivery by 1:00 pm at your pick up location every week (weather permitting).

*We commit to transparency in what our challenges in production are at any given time – and what we are doing to meet the challenge.  You deserve to be confident in our growing methods and the quality of the food you receive.

*We commit to maintain good communication with you VIA E-MAIL, AND THE WEBSITE.  This is a very small, family operation.  We do not have staff to man the phone lines.  E-mail allows us to answer your questions as soon as we are back in from the garden.

 

What is required from you?

* $15 annual commitment fee at sign-up – helps with costs of boxes and delivery

*Payment in advance  for the season or for a slightly higher monthly payment.

*Maintain good communication with us VIA E-MAIL so you will be aware of changes in delivery due to bad weather or to resolve any questions or problems.

*Share your feedback as our CSA grows.. or just send us an email to let us know what you made with your share.   Your encouragement is priceless!

 

How much does it cost?  Check the  FAQ    for answers to when, what, where…  and all those other questions.

After the first subscription level is filled, we will be happy to add your name to a waiting list.   We’ll expand as soon as we are confident of production to meet the goal.  Add your name to the list by filling out the short form HERE.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on April 6, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Super excited about this!! I want to do one of these to!!

    Like

    Reply

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