By Analiese Paik
I’ve received emails inquiring about Sport Hill Farm’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from readers, and up until today, I’ve had to tell them that it was closed to new subscribers. I think the warm weather has had a beneficial effect on Patti Popp, the hard working organic farmer and mother of two school-aged boys who runs Sport Hill Farm, because she’s just decided to open 40 shares to new subscribers.
To preserve her sanity this season, please don’t sign up for this CSA unless you truly understand and accept what it means. You are committing to receiving 21 weeks of fresh-picked produce (and some late summer melons) from Patti’s fields from June through September. That means eating in season and all that implies: no corn or tomatoes until late summer (she’ll tell you when it’s ready by email), abundant lettuce at the beginning of the season (aren’t we getting ready for swimsuit season anyway?) and vegetables you may have to become familiar with cooking for the first time like garlic scapes, collard greens, beets, and orange cauliflower. She’ll send you lots of recipes and also posts them on the farm’s Facebook page. To learn more about Sport Hill Farm’s CSA program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the Sport Hill Farm organic CSA is a good fit for you, jump on this because only 40 shares are available and the deadline for registration is Feb. 29, 2012. A $200 deposit will secure your share. Please email email@example.com. for an application form. Pick up is on Thursdays and Saturdays at the farm or in Fairfield on Monday evenings.
If the CSA is not for you, choose the Crop Cash Program instead. I have found the Crop Cash Program convenient for buying extras like eggs, milk, fruit but it can be used for anything they sell. This is essentially a farm credit program that allows you to stop by the farm stand during regular retail hours and buy produce, fruit, eggs, bread, honey and any additional local products she sells without having to carry around cash. A boutique selection of artisan food products available in the barn includes Fairfield Bread Company’s Flaxette and Arethusa Farm’s milk and yogurt. $250 buys $275 worth of goods and $90 buys $100. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form. Deadline is Feb. 29, 2012.
Open 7 days a week in season, the farm stand is located inside a state-of-the art barn where visitors can shop in comfort for everything from asparagus and lettuce in the early spring to garlic, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and squash in high summer, to hardy greens, at least three kinds of winter squash, celeriac and pumpkins in the fall. Fruit from local farms and Red Jacket Orchards is brought in as a one-stop shopping convenience. Last year the cherries, plums and strawberries were fantastic. Apples, including rare heirloom varieties, and Seckel pears have arrived for fall.
Campers from the summer farm camp run by The Unquowa School visit the farm to learn where their food comes from. A wide variety of on-farm programs and special events, including canning classes and lunches at the farm, help reconnect adults with out food roots and teach us new skills (private events are welcome).
Sport Hill Farm, Easton (follows organic growing practices)
596 Sport Hill Road, Easton, CT 06612
Open daily in season from 9-6 except Thursday when they’re open 10-7:00. Hours change throughout the season. Please visit Sport Hill Farm on Facebook.