10 Reasons a Brix Bounty Farm CSA Membership May Be Right For You

  1. Value:  More for Your Money, Reducing Transportation Costs
  2. Convenience:  Farmers’ Markets Aren’t Always Convenient
  3. Apprenticeships:  Developing the Next Generation of Farmers
  4. Nutrient Density and High Brix:  Better Flavor and Nutrition
  5. Diversity: Bring on the Celeriac, Hakurei Turnips, and Kohlrabi, But Don’t Forget the Carrots and Tomatoes
  6. Strengthening Local Economies:  Supporting Local Agriculture
  7. Enriching the Environment:  Supporting Agriculture Which Maintains and Improves Our Ecosytems
  8. Nourishing Taste Buds of Our Youth:  Growing Healthy Foods for Our Children
  9. Community:  Creating Connections and Knowing Your Farmers
  10. Biodynamics:  Honoring the Farm Organism and Striving to Enrich our Soils

5 Reasons to Forego a Brix Bounty CSA Membership

  1. I’ll Grow My Own
  2. I’ve Found Another CSA
  3. I Don’t Like To Cook
  4. I’m Never Around on Mondays or Fridays
  5. I Like Meat and Potatoes

10 Reasons a Brix Bounty CSA Membership May Be Right For You

Value:  More for Your Money, Reducing Transportation Costs by Steve Murray December 17, 2010

One of the most talked about parts of CSA programs (Community Supported Agriculture) is the amount of vegetables shareholders (also known as members) get each season. Most people find that they receive more produce and of better quality then they could possibly buy for an equal exchange of money at a market. Essentially what this boils down to is Value – more for your money. A closer inspection of CSA programs, and more specific CSA programs run by biological farmers, bring about the reasons for this great Value.

We live in a world where the average piece of produce travels over a fifteen hundred miles from farm to grocery store. Just like anything else, it cost money for food to travel such distances, frequently called food miles. Generally speaking, CSA shareholders are located much closer to the source of produce, therefore drastically or totally eliminating transportation cost. Another added benefit of not having your produce shipped long distances is that they can be picked at peak quality and nutrition, last longer and taste much fresher. Most of the produce that you will be receiving through the Brix Bounty CSA will be picked the day of your pick-up, that’s fresh.

Another aspect that lowers the cost of our produce is the stability of our market. By joining our CSA you are providing us a stable market for our produce, reducing the need to find markets and ensuring that our financial well being. Having a home for our produce lets us focus on growing quality produce, increasing yields and passing the bounty on to the shareholders.

Yet another aspect that lowers the cost and increases the Value is that we are biological farmers. We focus on feeding the soil, correcting nutrient imbalances and applying sustainable soil nutrition. By focusing on creating a healthy environment we can reduce our long term fertilizer inputs and totally abstain from using herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. Those elements reduce our production costs, grow higher quality produce and increase the health of our environment.

For those focused on getting more for their money, CSA’s can really pay off. Not only do they provide fresh nutritious vegetables, they can typically provide them at very competitive prices.

Convenience:  Farmers Markets Aren’t Always Convenient by Derek Christianson February 9, 2011

When we established our CSA in 2010 we set out to expand the opportunity for our community to access fresh produce.  We decided on hosting CSA distributions on Monday and Friday to serve two slightly different populations:  the folks who like to do their grocery shopping at the beginning of the week and cook throughout the workweek and the folks who find more time to focus on fresh vegetables and home prepared meals on the weekend.

By offering a window from 2PM-7PM for share pickup we aim to make CSA pickup convenient for a wide variety of community members and lifestyles, from the mom who picks their kids up from school in the afternoon and want to share the CSA experience with their children to the commuter who may work in Providence but live in Dartmouth and arrives just before 7 to collect their share.

One of the greatest advantages of CSA membership is that is provides you with access to the best quality produce no matter what time of day you pick up your share.  On distribution day we harvest extra shares; so even if you are the last person to pickup you get to choose from a selection of veggies.  In contrast some customers with busy schedules often find arriving at a farmers’ market just before it closes doesn’t provide access to the best variety.

Picking up your veggies each week can be a joyous task.  We invite you to experience the farm; spend time in our new pick your own patch, visit with other members, and help build a community centered around nutritious food.  Whether you live or work in our community; we hope you’ll consider adding a stop at Brix Bounty Farm to pick up your CSA share to your weekly schedule.

Apprenticeships: Developing the Next Generation of Farmers by Steve Murray December 22, 2011

Apprenticeship is a system of training/teaching a new group of people (usually a new generation) a skill or line of skills. Typically they consists of both practical skill building and the theoretical aspects of the trade.

It is not surprising, at least not to me, that apprenticeships are quite common in the agriculture world. Agriculture is composed of a myriad of skills and knowledge that is best learned by doing. How else can one understand when to plant the seeds and when to reap the harvest? Of course one could just read upon the subject, but it is only through the practice of knowledge that one can truly know…or something along that tangent.

My own opinion is that a good agriculture apprenticeship will expose the individual to the exciting and the mundane, giving them a broad experience that is truthful to the trade they wish to pursue. Farming is hard work. Long days, repetition, low monetary pay – those are all realities of farming. Farming also has the great potential to be supremely rewarding. When the fruit of your labor invigorates your community and you can see the vibrancy of your crops, you can be happy. A good apprenticeship exposes the individual to the extremes. The flip side of the coin is that the apprentice must be willing to learn, willing to experience the exciting and the mundane.

If you want the insider experience of farming and you are willing to do the hard work, then apprenticing may be what you are looking for. Apprentices are not mere field labor, they are students of the trade and typically treated as such. Although you can expect to work long hard days, you can also expect to be exposed to the reasoning behind what you are doing on those long hard days. The farmer will guide you through the experience, will be receptive to your questions and help foster a sense of growth within you. It is best to experience the entire season, start to finish, to get the best experience. The season as a single unit is more then the sum of its parts. That being said, shorter periods are also offered for those of us with less time.

If you are looking for a hands-on experience, exposure to the exciting and the mundane, and are willing to make a commitment, then an apprenticeship may be just up your alley.

*Editor’s Note:  Brix Bounty Farm has provided apprenticeships and other learning opportunities for our community since our inception in 2008.  By supporting our farm you are allowing us to pass along knowledge and skills to another generation of farmers. (Derek)

Nutrient Density and High Brix: Better Flavor and Nutrition by Derek Christianson March 3, 2012

At Brix Bounty Farm our priority is growing high quality vegetables with an emphasis on nutrition and flavor.  This commitment to quality has put us on a journey toward high brix crops; noted for their pest and disease resistance and top notch flavor (see What is Brix for more about Brix).  What does it take to grow nutrient dense vegetables?  A deep commitment to caring for the land, the full-spectrum of trace minerals present in our soils (critical for the plants enzymatic systems), and healthy and robust soil biology which is the key to providing plants minerals in their ideal form.

The process to restore health to worn our soils doesn’t happen overnight; as we are working with natural systems we must remain patient.  Each season we strive to achieve a higher level of quality with our production.  Overtime we expect the flavor of our crops to continue to speak for themselves as more and more consumers reconnect with delicious local vegetables.  In concert with better flavor will be higher levels of “bionutrients” – minerals, proteins, fats, plant secondary metabolites, and more; all delivered through real food.

Our commitment to quality includes an emphasis on producing crops with high levels of trace minerals often lacking in conventionally grown produce.  One small example of this is our commitment to amending our soils with small amounts of selenium (in the form of sodium selenate).  Selenium is a trace mineral which has been linked to heart health; in the past century low soil selenium levels were connected to high levels of heart disease in parts of China and Finland.  In fact, the Finnish government even took the step of mandating the addition of selenium to crop fertilizers in their country.  In America farmers who work with livestock include a focus on selenium levels because selenium is considered a necessary nutrient for livestock.  It has not however been proven to be critical for plant health; as a result many growers focusing on produce don’t test their soil’s selenium levels.  We have tested our soils, and like many soils in the northeast our selenium levels are less than adequate so we have decided to take action by applying soil and foliar applications of selenium in 2012.

This is just one of the many actions we take at Brix Bounty Farm to provide our community with deep nutrition… and why we feel investing in a Brix Bounty CSA Share is a great investment in your health.

Diversity:  Bring on the Celeriac, Hakurei Turnips, and Kohlrabi, But Don’t Forget the Carrots and Tomatoes by Steve Murray February 4, 2011

If you enjoy a diverse seasonal diet and would like access to wide selection of vegetables throughout the growing season then the Brix Bounty Farm CSA is for you.

Diversity is a fundamental of life experience. It is the diversity of sensations, the diversity of feelings, the diversity of events and the diversity of people that make this world truly amazing. What would the world be like if all food tasted like puffed wheat and it were all gray? It would be a lifeless world, because diversity is necessary for our experience (read sanity) and survival.

Thankfully there are still vegetable growers out there that believe in growing a wide diversity and Brix Bounty is one of them! All the familiar standards are grown – lettuce, spinach, summer squash, tomatoes etc. – but the more mysterious vegetables are also grown. Be it celeriac (think of those yummy soups!), hakurei turnips (turned up in my salad) or kohlrabi (best veggie stix!)  – Brix Bounty grows it. Even if your timid, then you can start with yellow tomatoes or blue potatoes – the tastes will amaze you.

Life is full of diversity and  your diet should and can reflect this. The vegetables distributed through the Brix Bounty CSA will reflect this needed diversity and it also reflect the inherent seasonality of vegetables. The vegetables will be grown at peak periods which will bring about peak nutrition and peak flavor. Think of the CSA as a rainbow extending from one end of the season to the other – think of the wonderful meals that all these different vegetables will make!

[Please check out the CSA section of our website for more information on all the different vegetables we grow!]

5 Reasons to Forego a Brix Bounty CSA Membership

I’ll Grow My Own

While we pride ourselves on fresh, nutritious produce… nothing can be fresher than greens harvested right out your door.  We believe increased garden production within our region is a key element to increasing our local food security.  We welcome home and community gardens to join us at one of our ongoing educational events and to utilize the farm&garden resource page on the brixbounty.com website.

I’ve Found Another CSA

For many folks picking up their CSA share is an additional stop in their crowded list of weekly errands.  Often location and time of pick-up factor prominently in choosing which CSA to join.

We are pleased to join a terrific group of CSA programs currently offered on the Southcoast.  The variety of CSA programs offer different items in the share, days for pick-up, and subsequently fill slightly different niches.  All of us are committed to growing and supplying high quality local produce to our community.  We highly recommend considering the following farms and checking SEMAP’s wonderful on-line farm guide for other local CSA’s.

I Don’t Like to Cook

Brix Bounty Farm CSA Shares offer an abundance of fresh veggies each week.  The variety and selection of vegetables is geared toward folks who enjoy spending time in the kitchen preparing meals and experiencing new vegetables.  If you don’t like to cook, or rarely have time to prepare homemade meals than we don’t recommend becoming a Brix Bounty CSA member.  Less frequent vegetable consumers may be better suited to visiting our roadside stand or frequenting one of the local farmers markets.

I’m Never Around on Mondays or Fridays

If you are headed out of town we offer our shareholders the flexibility of allowing someone else to pick up their share or picking up on an alternate pickup day (either Monday or Friday); we just need advance notice if you are switching your pick up day.  If  however you spend large amount of times away from the Southcoast than it may be difficult to enjoy the full bounty of a CSA membership.

I Like Meat and Potatoes

We love meat and potatoes, but we also enjoy arugula and broccoli.  Joining a CSA thrusts you into seasonal eating and as a result you may experience a wider variety of vegetables than the staples usually picked up at the grocery store.  For some folks who prefer the traditional meat&potatoes diet, CSA memberships may provide too many vegetables.

At Brix Bounty Farm, we specialize in growing high quality produce, we do not offer meat or dairy products in our CSA.  Looking for protein beyond sugar snap peas and string beans?  We recommend folks consider supporting Paskamansett Farm (conveniently located 1/4 mile down Tucker Road) for delicious raw milk and connecting with T&Elen Vieira at Round the Bend on Allen’s Neck Road for a wonderful array of beef, lamb, and pork.