What Makes us Different?
Farming experience. We have been a CSA farm for 24 years and farming for over 30. We have learned a lot in this period of time and continue to hone how we do things. We continuously work to improve both the farming side of things as well as to offer more choice and services to our members.
We have continued to add to our infrastructure for all these years. Most recently we’ve added our retail area so members and local residents can purchase superb local products beyond our own produce. It is amazing how much it costs to farm! Tractors, seeders, planters, cultivation equipment, harvest containers, refrigeration, irrigation pumps, and pipes. We’re always looking at ways to improve.
We mention these things because we hope that it will allow us to perform at a high level as farmers, and give you a rewarding experience as a member. We can’t change the weather, but we can try to prepare for those “less than perfect conditions”.
How else do we stand out?
Fruit. We grow both fruits and vegetables at our farm. Fruit is included in the cost of our shares. Cantaloupes usually begin ripening the middle of July; watermelons in August and early September. Though we have had our own orchards for many years we have recently decided to face reality and give up on our old trees. Our peach and apple trees have passed their prime and are no longer cost effective to maintain. When available we include peaches and apples now from some of our orchard growing friends.
Members can pick their own blackberries at a nominal fee.
We do not grow strawberries at this time but are sometimes able to get some from our local grower friends and offer them for sale on CSA pick-up day. We have a young blueberry planting in the ground but we are only harvesting nominally at this point. So far its been all work with anticipation for the future. Each fruit has its season — when there is an abundance you can plan on seeing it included in your share. There are times when there just isn’t enough for everyone, so we offer smaller quantities for sale to those who wish to purchase or supplement their share.
Sweet Corn and Potatoes. Some CSA farms don’t grow or include sweet corn or potatoes in their share offerings (these crops take up a lot of space and add complexity to crop rotations). Both of these crops are included in Vollmecke CSA shares.
Choice. While one of the main tenets of the CSA model is members share the harvest, we realize that our members prefer to have some control over their share choices. Our on-site farm pickup shares are not pre-boxed. We offer Farm Market Style pickup, where you may customize your share from the choices available. Members who pick up at one of our off-farm locations will have choices too. We pre-pack shares that will be picked up at off-farm locations. Some will have one of the choice items, another bag will have another choice. We also offer a Swap Box at all of our locations to further customize your share.
Pay in full to receive the best price: For large and medium-size shares take advantage of our payment plan: $150 down at sign-up, and monthly payments starting in June.
We accept online credit card payments as well as personal checks
Multiple Share Sizes. We have three different share sizes – pick the one that’s best for you:
A large share with a weekly pickup (to include 8-10 units; feeds 2 adults and 2 small children; 22 share distributions per season)
A medium share with a weekly pickup (to include 6-7 units; feeds 2 adults, or a small family that doesn’t cook often; 22 share distributions per season)
A small share with a weekly pickup (to include 4 units; feeds an individual or a couple who doesn’t cook very often; 22 share distributions per season)
Make-Up / Deferred Day. We realize that many people like to go away at least once during the summer. Since you have paid ahead for your share, we hate to see you miss out on even one pickup if we can help it! So, we offer a make-up day, or the ability to defer one share, until the end of the season. Our regular season is 22 weeks, but on week 23 ( as long as you let us know in writing before your missed pickup), you can come to pick up a deferred share.
Pick Your Own (PYO) crops. We offer PYO cut flowers, which are included in the price of your share. PYO berries are available at a nominal fee for members. There are other times we may have other PYO crops. We will inform members of these opportunities as they come up.
One-Stop-Shopping. When you pick up your share at the farm, you have the ability to purchase additional produce as well as other local, sustainably produced products such as Bailey’s Dairy products, wild-caught salmon, Elkins pasture-raised beef and local honey. You also have the ability to buy other products produced from our produce, such as fruit butters, applesauce, pasta sauce, as well as our Happy Hen eggs. You have the ability to feed your family locally produced, nutritious foods while keeping your dollars local and directly supporting these other fine producers. Check out our Retail Sales for a full list of these producers.