Coyote Song Farm & Forest

What is a CSA Share?

By Liz Guerrier


What is a CSA share? CSA in an acronym for Community Supported Agriculture and is a system of small scale agriculture whereby community members support their local farmers directly by purchasing memberships in the farm’s CSA programme. In return members receive a share of the harvest each week during the growing season. Shares change with seasonal availability connecting members with the rhythms of the growing season in their region. In our region that looks like more greens and cool season crops like kohlrabi, and cool season roots like radishes early in the summer, tomatoes and beans coming mid summer and peppers, potatoes, and ginger coming at the end of the year. Memberships are purchased during the winter months when the farmer is purchasing seeds and upgrading infrastructure providing the farmer with need cash flow during the slow season. This means that members are putting faith in the farmer in the winter to grow a healthy share of produce during the summer. If weather doesn’t cooperate, or raccoons take over the strawberries, there may be less of some items to go around. However, if there is a bumper crop of beans or peas or tomatoes shares will have an abundance of those successful crops. And, if food prices spike or supply chain issues cause the price of produce in the grocery store to jump dramatically members have already secured their produce shares at the price set in the winter. CSA membership typically attracts community members who want to be more connected to their food supply and more in tune with local seasonal rhythms of food production. The relationship between the farmer and the members is direct without involving large food distributers, and supporting local sustainable food systems. We are in our third year of our CSA membership program at Coyote Song Farm & Forest. We are keeping our enrolment limited to a small number of members while we learn the ropes of market garden farming. We wish to ensure that we can provide each member with good value and dependable share sizes throughout the year while also being able to have produce and flowers available for sale at The Stop Farmer’s Market each week. When we have perishable produce remaining after market we are always happy to be able to make a contribution to the Beaton Cupboard food bank. Coyote Song Farm Share Details CSA memberships are priced at $675 for 2024. Our season runs from June 21/22 to Thanksgiving weekend for a total of 16 weeks. Each week our shares will include 6 - 8 items and will include a fresh flower bouquet every other week. Members can upgrade to weekly flowers for an additional $100 for the season. Members receive a newsletter with their share each week including recipe ideas and updates about how the farming season is progressing. Farm stay glamping holidays are discounted by 15% for CSA members. Shares will be delivered to Guelph and Erin area on Friday afternoons and to Toronto pick-up locations at ArtHubs Wychwood Barns or Kafé Daki (Oakwood Ave. north of St. Clair) on Saturday mornings.