Joining a CSA is a way for individuals and families to partner with a local Door County farm in a unique sharing experience.
A Community Supported Agriculture farm (CSA) is usually a small family-run enterprise that markets produce directly to members of their local community. Customers purchase “shares” in the CSA farm before the growing season begins. This advanced commitment permits the farmer to invest in the best seeds, purchase or update equipment and develop a related planting and production schedule. The CSA provides partners on both sides with peace of mind.
The customer knows their food will be raised locally, without pesticides on a sustainable farm. Partnering with a CSA farm localizes the food experience, “putting a face on your food.” Living in cyclical harmony by eating food that is provided in tune with the seasons, furthers an authentic connection with the earth as spring summer and fall crops come to your table.
The farmer is able to focus completely on the task of growing the finest, most sustainable and nutritious produce. In return for a subscription the farmer agrees to grow, harvest and deliver the produce every week to a designated drop-off or pick-up site.
“CSA Partners share the risk, gain the bounty!”
As a member of a CSA you will share in the bounty, but also experience the unpredictability of Mother Nature. Because of the small scale and community-oriented approach, a CSA provides greater ongoing communication between partners and producers of food, as evidenced weekly in the shares delivered. There will be times when certain crops fail to meet up to expectations, but there will be others that come through with unexpected bountiful yields. Partners share a living bond with the land, the weather and the seasons and soon discover that they are eating in a much healthier manner than ever before.
Carmon Mabrey has been a gardener for many years. For several seasons Carmon’s Gardens has been supplying Egg Harbor’s Greens N Grains Natural Food Store and an increasing number of restaurants in Door County with his fresh produce – including Mr. Helsinki’s, Saveur and Harbor Landing. This year, Carmon is launching a 20+ member CSA to serve the Door Community. Carmon’s Gardens will provide CSA members with a real organic food experience, equivalent to those springing up across Wisconsin and in communities all over the world.
From the start, everything in Carmon’s Gardens has been grown under sustainable agricultural practices, fully ripened using no synthetic fertilizers, chemical herbicides or pesticides. Food grown this way not only tastes better and lasts longer, but contains all of the nutrients that real food should provide.
Throughout the 20-week season you can expect a variety of herbs, leafy green vegetables and root crops that include many heirloom varieties. Carmon’s Gardens will grow: asparagus, beans, broccoli, beets, basil, carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, dill, eggplant, fennel, garlic, head lettuce, kale, leeks, lettuce mixes, peas, peppers, potatoes, spinach, squash, sweet corn, rosemary, Swiss chard, sunflowers, tomatoes and zucchini.
A CSA seasonal share subscription at Carmon’s Gardens costs $500 and provides shareholders with a weekly minimum half-bushel of the best quality sustainable produce as harvested for 18 weeks – 1/2 bushel is equal to a standard grocery bag filled 3/4 full.
A share will abundantly feed 2 people. Half-shares are also available for $300, providing the same quantity on a bi-weekly basis. Shares will be available for pick up at either Greens N Grains in Egg Harbor or at Carmon’s Gardens in Jacksonport. The season begins in mid- June and lasts until late October.
A typical early-season half-bushel will include mixed greens, peas, asparagus, garlic scapes and spinach. Mid-season offerings will include beans, new potatoes, sweet corn, summer squash, tomatoes, garlic, Swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage, beets and eggplant. Late season boxes may have broccoli, eggplant, kale, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, winter squash, potatoes and pumpkins.
Available “add-ons” include:
- Local eggs by the dozen laid by pastured chickens at either Cherrydale Farms in Sevastapol or Sunset Farm in Brussels.
- A variety of fresh artisan bread from Heidi’s Breads of Washington Island – baked for the most part with locally grown organic wheat flour in a wood-fired brick oven that results in delicious hearty breads.
- A variety of Wisconsin-roasted, organic, fair-trade coffees – sourced from Alterra in Milwaukee and Just Coffee in Madison. The coffee varieties are available in regular or decaf.