Greenwich residents who patronize the summer farmers market in the Horseneck Lane commuter lot will soon have another way to show local farmers some love. For the first time, Shelton's Stone Gardens Farm will accept a limited number of Greenwich subscribers for their 22-week "community supported agriculture" (CSA) program.
Participants will be able to pick up their "shares" beginning Thursday, June 7 as early as 2 pm, and then every Thursday through October, at in Byram. Each week share-holders will receive a box containing their allotment of freshly picked produce and herbs. Produce will have been picked the day prior. Sweet corn will have been picked the morning of the delivery.
The concept behind CSA is that individuals pledge their support to a farm and pre-pay for a "share" in order to share both the risks and benefits of food production.
In return subscribers receive "shares" of the farm's bounty throughout the season. The list of vegetables includes a variety of salad greens, root vegetables, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, beets, peppers, kale, beets, garlic, squashes including zucchini - to name a few.
Up in Shelton, 22-weeks' worth of CSA produce have been started from thousands of tiny seed trays in a series of greenhouses and open fields. Located an hour's drive from Greenwich, at the end of a long unpaved road, Stone Gardens Farm is operated by husband-and-wife team, Stacia and Fred Monahan.
IPM Vs Organic Farming
The Monahans use a farming method referred to as "IPM" or Integrated Pest Management, rather than organic. Under IPM, pesticides are not used routinely, but are used as a last resort to control pests when their numbers are particularly troublesome.
In June crops for the CSA usually include lettuce, scallions, spinash, Swiss chard, radishes, peas and some herbs. In fact, according to Monahan, "Early in the season we'll put in an herb plant for our CSA subscribers, maybe basil, thyme, oregano or parsley so you can start your own little herb garden. Rather than give you bunches of cut herbs each week, we give you the tools to grow your own, so you can have fresh herbs and go out and cut them as needed."
CSA enrollment deadline for Greenwich: Friday, May 18th
The CSA enrollment form is on the Stone Gardens website and should be printed out and mailed. (Subscription cannot be done through the website.) The deadline is May 18 and the first CSA pick up is two weeks later (June 7).
The program cost is $600 per share or $300 per ½ share at the Farm. Half-shares delivered are $350 for all drop points.