Stone Gardens Farm CSA Now Available from Greenwich to Shelton

By Analiese Paik

The greenhouse at Stone Gardens Farm. Photo c/o Stone Gardens Farm.

Stone Gardens Farm has many convenient pick up and delivery options for Fairfield Residents and offers both full and half CSA shares. Go to the farm to pick up your share on designated days or arrange to have it dropped at Wakeman Town Farm (Westport), Greenfield Hill Congregational Church (Fairfield), St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (Greenwich), or GE Norwalk 201 & 401 Merritt 7 (for employees only).

Full shares are $600 whether you pick up at the farm or at a drop point. Half shares are $300 at the farm and $350 at drop points. Wakeman Town Farm charges a one-time site management fee of $25 per share.

Stone Gardens Farm in Shelton is a family-owned farm that utilizes IPM (integrated pest management) techniques to grow their crops. According to the family, they only spray when necessary and try to use organic spray. Please scroll to the bottom of this article to read more about IPM.

From Stone Gardens’ web site:

  • We start the first week of June and run through the end of October.  The program runs around 22 weeks.
  • In June, crops are usually lettuce, scallions, dandelion greens, escarole, Broccoli Rabe (or Raab), some herbs, peas, beets with greens, collards, spinach, Swiss chard, radishes, and more!
  • As the season goes by, we pick more and more.  Greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, pickles, beans, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower all start to being harvested by the end of June.
  • In July our field tomatoes, onions, peppers, eggplants, and of course our sweet corn are ready!
  • Fall brings Leeks, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Turnip Greens, Turnips, Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Radishes, Lettuce, Spinach, and Winter Squash.
  • Farm Fresh Eggs will be included occasionally (not all weeks) but since the demand for eggs has outgrown what our flock can produce, chicken eggs will be provided from another farm, not ours.
  • The program cost  is $600.00 per share or $300.00 per ½ share at the Farm.  Half shares delivered are $350.00 for all drop points.
  • Half payment due with completed application and the second half is due before first pick-up 2012.
  • The weekly share is a box full of fresh farm products worth a minimum of $27.50/week (which is $600/22 weeks).

If you are interested in learning more about or signing up for the Summer CSA shares offered by Stone Gardens Farm, please visit the farm’s web site to download the forms. A complete pick up schedule is provided so you can indicate your preference on the registration form.

Stone Gardens Farm

83 Saw Mill City Road

Shelton, CT 06484

http://www.stonegardensfarm.com/CSA.htm

About Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program has helped farmers make big steps towards creating a sounder environment.  Encouraging traditional farming practices to evaluate, prevent and control pests has created the notion that these actions should have the least amount of impact on humans and the environment as possible.  More precisely, the EPA defines IPM as “the coordinated use of pest and environmental information with available pest control methods to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.”  This process involves three main components: Identifying and monitoring pests, preventing pests from becoming a major problem, and controlling them in the least harmful way possible.

Firstly, evaluating the pests is a key factor in determining how to prevent a pest problem or control an existing pest problem.  Not all weeds or insects need to be controlled.  Some insects are helpful because they eat the harmful pests that can leave crops damaged and dead.  Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate the crop types and the insect activity on the plants to be able to distinguish the harmful insects from the beneficial ones.  Once this is done, farmers can begin to use pest control methods that were used before synthetic insecticides were created.  These may include, rotating crops, selecting pest-resistant varieties, or integrating pest-free rootstocks in the crop field.  If preventative methods are no longer effective, less risky pesticides are chosen first in an attempt to control the pest problem.  These may consist of using mechanical trapping devices, the use of natural predators such as insects, pheromones to disrupt pest mating, and if absolutely necessary, chemical pesticides.  The concept behind IPM is honest and socially responsible, however it is not identified on products in the marketplace.  Unlike USDA certified organic, IPM does not have a national certification process and therefore no label to help guide the consumer.

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