Welcome to The Hamlet Organic Garden CSA!
Thank you so much for joining our Community Supported Agriculture Farm Share! This handbook is designed to provide you with some of the details about our farm and your role as a CSA member.
What is the HOG CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a unique agreement between a farm and the local community. Members pay in advance each year for a weekly share of farm grown produce. As members of a CSA, you join with the farmers in both the benefits (bountiful crops, open space, community, produce variety, direct relationship with farmers, access to u-pick, etc) and the risks (crop failure, bad weather, disease outbreaks, weeds).
Each week you receive a variety of produce at pickup. By joining our CSA for the season, you eat the freshest, most local produce possible and build a relationship with the farmer and the land where your food is grown.
At the HOG, we do our best to support the community by hosting potluck dinners, seasonal event festivals and volunteer workdays. Up-to-date information is posted on our website, facebook, and instagram accounts!
In addition to the CSA, we now grow food for a number of health food stores, restaurants, and our own weekend farm stands. This helps us to keep the quality of the CSA high and allows flexibility for community members who want fresh, local produce but may not want to commit to a share.
Thank you so much for joining! Here are some general rules for your pickup experience:
Please drive slowly and carefully! Our driveway is a dirt road and there are often people walking around as well as farmers working close by. Lots of dust can be kicked up. The driveway is only wide enough for one car at a time so please be courteous.
Please leave the gates as you found them. Often they are open during the day for u-pick and for farmers and members to go in and out of but if a gate is closed, please remember to close up. We don’t want deer getting in!
Please stay out of farm buildings. This includes the shed, the tractor barn and the chicken coop. It’s great to go look at the chickens but please do not go inside or open the nest boxes. We want to keep our happy and safe!
Please stay off all farm equipment. Even if the machines are not running it is dangerous to climb on the tractors.
Please read our Member Handbook and our weekly emails! There’s lots of information and details about the farm, your share for the week and volunteer opportunities and event information.
First Aid-a First Aid Kit is kept in the Farm Shed as well as at the Pickup site/Pole Barn
Kids are welcome and encouraged to come to the farm! However, they need to be supervised at all times! There are lots of dangers on a farm as well as tender baby plants out in the fields. The farm is a great place for kids to learn to appreciate vegetables and respect nature as much as we do.
Dogs are welcome but MUST be leashed at all times. Please make sure to pick up after your pet! Unleashed dogs can damage plants or seeded areas, and there are tractors and trucks on the farm that can injure them.
What you can expect from the HOG Farm:
Ultra-fresh food, with maximum flavor, vitamins and mineral benefits
Exposure to new vegetables and ways of cooking
A relationship with the land and the farmers who grow your vegetables
An opportunity to learn about horticulture and organic farming practises, beekeeping, and food preservation techniques.
Meet other members who value fresh produce as much as you do, and share in a community of people devoted to preserving the land and local farming
A full share of HOG produce may not fulfill all your produce needs. Depending on the size of your family and how much you cook, you may find that you need to supplement fruits or vegetables. We encourage you to still buy local organic produce! CSA members get a 10% discount at our onsite Farm Stand (Saturdays 9-1) and at our Bellport location (Sundays 9-1) next to It’s Only Natural (118 South Country Road).
How does the pickup work?
We are now using a web based CSA platform called HARVIE to help facilitate ease of pickups, now making it easier for members to customize each weekly share, change pickup dates or location, and put a hold on the weeks share if you’ll be out of town (but remember friends or family can always pickup for you-share the wealth!). HARVIE also has a full range of resources about recipes, vegetable prep and use-but you can always ask your pickup coordinator, a farmer or another member as well. The pickup coordinators are often seasoned members who know just what to do with HOG produce.
We harvest produce Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings and it is ready for the pickup beginning at 3:30.
A few days before your pickup day, you’ll receive an email from HARVIE detailing what’s in this weeks share. You can then log in to your account and customize your pickup for the week. When you arrive at the farm ( *or at our offsite locations, see note) on your pickup day, please check in with the pickup coordinator first-he or she will have a slip with your items and quantities for the week. The coordinator will then direct you to the blackboard which will have information about each item available. After that, simply go around the tables to make your choices. There are scales available for items that need to be weighed. Remember, we harvest only what we need for that day, so weigh carefully!
Please bring your own bags or baskets to carry your share home-we are trying to be as plastic-free as possible. Please do not drop off plastic bags at the farm, they can be recycled at your local grocery store. We have reusable bags for sale at the pickup.
Where can we park at the farm? The entrance to the farm is an unpaved driveway at 319 Beaverdam Road in Brookhaven*. Look for our beautiful sign on the North side of the road. When you turn into the farm driveway, you will park on the right side facing the Pole Barn. To visit the farm fields, park up front and walk back to the fields. If you have a mobility or health issue preventing you from walking up to the fields, please speak to the pickup coordinator on duty. It is a short 5 minute walk to the back fields. It is difficult to turn a car around up near the back fields and walking makes the road safer for other HOG members and their children! PLEASE do not park on the left under the large pine tree-we are working to preserve this beautiful old tree’s roots!
There is a port-a-potty available. It is located near the gate to the first field, along the driveway heading back to the other fields and greenhouses.
Oops! I missed a pickup! Your share will be donated to a local food pantry or community center when possible, it also may be fed to our chickens or added to our compost pile. Nothing is wasted at the HOG!
*Offsite pickup locations: (Please remember to bring bags!)
Bay Shore (Wednesdays)
The Bay Shore pickup is located at Tullulah’s Restaurant located at 12 4th Ave, Bay Shore, NY. Please park in the back (it’s free!)
The Selden pickup is located at 46 Mallard Street, Selden, NY. It is located just off Nichols Rd at Hawkins Road. Your host is Lenny Whelan (631)696-8269
How does Pick-Your-Own (PYO) work?
Pick-Your-Own items include herbs, flowers, peas, beans, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, hot peppers and more! In our newsletter each week we include a list of that weeks pick-your-own items and any limits to how much you can take. Often we pick some for each share, and then invite you to PYO more. For example, we may pick a pint of snap peas for the week, and then you have the option to PYO an additional pint.. You may come to the farm once a week for pick-your-own. Think of it as an additional item in your share each week. You don’t need to do your PYO on the day of your pickup. Any day of the week it’s ok to PYO as long as it’s not raining (diseases can be spread by touching wet plants). There is a chalkboard and map, located by the gate to the first field, with the list of PYO items and quantities. Pick-Your-Own items are usually clearly marked in the fields. Pint and quart containers can be found in bins nears the rows for picking. We encourage you to bring your own bag or basket to transfer your harvest into, containers can also be returned at the pole barn to be reused and composted when done. We encourage you to bring your own tools and clippers for harvesting. We have some available , but not enough to go around. If you can’t find something, please ask! We are usually working in the fields, near the greenhouses or you can ask the pickup coordinator. PLEASE REMEMBER TO CLOSE THE GATES!
Volunteers are always wanted! Come and join us at the farming in planting, weeding and harvesting. All members have the opportunity to work in exchange for a refund. Full share members can receive a $100 refund for 15 hours of work. Bi-weekly shares receive a $50 refund for 8 hours.
Always remember to record your hours on your note card, located in the work hour box next to the blackboard on the tool shed. Kids are welcome to come help you work, however they must be watched at all times. Only children over the age of 15 can put in hours toward your refund.
Field Work: To do field work, come to the farm from the end of May-September 30th on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 9am-5pm or Saturday from 9am-1pm. You do not have to sign up or call in advance, just show up! If you can’t find us, keep looking-we are always at the farm for these hours, though we might be off in a back field. You can use this opportunity to get to know the farm better! Typically during the week volunteers help with the harvest, and Saturdays are reserved for weeding, planting or other special projects. Please show up with an open mind and be ready to work. We recommend you bring sunblock, water, bug spray, a hat and gloves. We provide the tools and ask that you please always put tools back where they came from.
Events: Each year we schedule several events (Strawberry festival, potlucks, dinners, etc) at the farm. We are always looking for help before, during and after these gatherings. This year we are including volunteer help for events as part of the share refund.
WEEKLY EMAIL UPDATES:
Each week we send out an update letting you know what’s going on at the farm including a list of what’s in the share that week, pick-your-own availability and limits, work hour possibilities, and a calendar of events. We also try to include recipes sent to us by members or that we use ourselves. It is also posted on our website www.hamletorganicgarden.org. This is a great way to keep up with what’s happening at the farm!
EVENTS & HAPPENINGS AT THE FARM:
Each year we work hard to plan a fun year of activities for farm members and the community at large. Some of these activities are free or have costs that only cover the HOG’s expense to hold the event (i.e. Canning workshops), others are designed to help the HOG raise money for improvements including adding new technology-such as solar power arrays and electric tractors; improving our irrigation; and improving farm facilities. Past fundraisers, like our Annual Strawberry Festival and The Shuck-You-BBQ, have helped us build our own tractor barn, add to our fencing, and convert a tractor to run on solar electricity. We hope you’ll join us at some of our amazing events throughout the season!
We would love your feedback! If there is something that you’d like to know that would make the CSA work better for you, please let the farmers or a pickup coordinator know. We would love to know about your recipes or how you used the share. You can also email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. We usually return messages within 24 to 48 hours.