Chestnut Hill Farm: Expanded CSA and offerings

Above: Chestnut Hill Farm CSA members can enjoy 20 weeks of access to more than 40 varieties of produce this year. (images from their CSA brochure by TTOR)

Chestnut Hill Farm has become quite a hub of activity over the past year, and it’s only getting busier.

The Trustees of Reservations has expanded programming and the farm’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. The CSA expansion includes more available member shares and a wider variety of produce.

This spring, the farm began holding events two or more times per week. That will continue through at least September. They are a variety of “family-friendly farm-based classes and workshops, recreational events, and guided walks”. (Most are for a small fee, but there are occasional free community events, too.) 

Some of the upcoming happenings include Birds & Bees walks, Running of the Goats, Story Hour on the Farm, and a Father’s Day Blue Grass BBQ. Check out the farm calendar here.

The Trustees are also offering farm field trips (available by appointment upon request). And they will be expanding the farmstand to host local vendors and artisans during CSA pick-up times.

As for the CSA program, here are some of the important details this year:

  • The 20 week program runs from mid-June – October
  • Shareholders have access to more than 40 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs (including favorites like carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and peas)
  • There are two fill-your basket sizes to choose from. The large share is pitched as for a family of 4-6 and the small for 2-3 people (or larger families who also have a home garden).
  • Members select which items and how much to fill their baskets with. (Though, sometimes with limits on specific items to ensure all members get to enjoy them.)
  • Chestnut Hill Farm's CSA produce timeline
    (click to enlarge
    Produce includes some pick-your-own offerings (popular with children): cherry tomatoes, strawberries, flowers, beans and more.
  • Share pick up is scheduled for Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays from 2:00 – 6:00 pm
  • TTOR posted a projected timeline of offerings. Click on the image right to enlarge.
  • To join the CSA, you must be a member of TTOR. But that membership does provide discounted admission to most events at the farm and other TTOR properties.

Since so many residents go away for a couple of weeks in the summer, I asked Farm Manager Desiree Robertson-DuBois how that is handled. Here’s her response:

I usually suggest to folks who take a vaca during the summer is that they can offer their share to a neighbor, friend or family to pick up (they can change their pickup day to make it more convenient for that person) or they can donate their share for that week to the Southborough Food Pantry to help our neighbors in need of fresh produce. Sometimes we can do a ‘make-up’ pick up, but most folks find that that is too much produce for them and they would rather donate or give away their share for another to enjoy. It makes a great gift.

For more details on the CSA, or to sign up, click here.

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7 years ago

Is the pick your own just for members or can anyone participate?

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