What is a CSA?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an alliance between farmers and eaters to grow and distribute their food. Families and individuals who join the Bear Butte Gardens CSA receive a share of produce either weekly or bi-weekly during the growing season. In exchange, members sign a contract for the season, agree to pay in advance, and on occasion can help with some of the work of harvest. Both partners share in the risks and rewards of small-scale organic farming: weather, insect damage, and bumper crops.

A Generic Definition of Community Supported Agriculture is:

a form of an alternative food network that is a socio-economic model of agriculture and food distribution.  A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farming operation where the growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food production.  CSAs usually consist of a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables, in a vegetable box scheme, and sometimes includes fruit, dairy products, and meat.

What is Bear Butte Gardens’ CSA?

- Shareholders (customers) pay $522.50 for a full share of produce with weekly

     pick-up; $276.93 for a bi-weekly share of produce with pick-up every two weeks or

     a Spring share or Late Summer share

- Shareholders receive their share of produce on either a weekly or bi-weekly basis

- Shares contain seasonal, local, certified organic produce grown at Bear Butte Gardens

- Shares are distributed weekly or bi-weekly, over approximately a 16-week period of

    the spring and/or summer growing season

- Shareholders pick up their share at Bear Butte Gardens

Download the Bear Butte Gardens CSA Application Form.

In a Nutshell...

The Details...

What is the quality of the produce?

Bear Butte Gardens strives to grow and provide produce of the highest quality possible.  High quality provides great flavor and high nutrition.  

We define high quality produce as:

- Organic - no pesticides, no herbicides, no fungicides, no genetically modified organisms (GMOs), no preservatives, and without

    synthetic (chemical-based) fertilizers.  Bear Butte Gardens is USDA Organic Certified.

- Fresh - produce is harvested either the evening prior, or the early morning of pick-up day

- Local - we are just 5 miles out of Sturgis, so that’s pretty local!  We start our own seedlings from certified organic seed which are transplanted into           our own gardens which are fertilized with our own mixtures of chemical-free manures and home-grown composts and then mulched with our own certified organic hay.  

For more information about our vision, values, and agricultural practices and methods, please view our Values page.

How much produce is in a share?

At the start of the season (May) you can expect lesser "weight" in your share with more “greens” and spring crops, mostly out of the high tunnel greenhouse.  As the weather warms and the outdoor gardens start growing, the heavier produce comes into season.  If a full share seems like a lot, you may want to consider a bi-weekly share or splitting the share with a friend. A full share will usually feed a family of 3-4, or two people who eat a lot of vegetables and cook often or are vegetarians. A bi-weekly share will provide plenty of vegetables for a couple who occasionally eats at home.  The month of July can often times be lower volume of vegetables as the spring varieties are finished and the summer varieties may not be fully producing. For this reason we build in extra weeks for the CSA season so that we can skip a week now and then due to low vegetable production any given week.  This also allows our CSA customers their "vacation" time without affecting their CSA pick-up.  Also, we generally we do NOT have a CSA share the week of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

How much does a share cost?

A Full Season Full Share (approximately 16 weeks of produce in May, June, August, September) is $522.50.  

A Full Season Bi-Weekly Share is a bi-weekly share (spans the same 16 weeks, but with every-other-week pick-up) is $276.93.  

A Spring Season Share (May, June, approximately 8 weeks) is $276.93.

A Late Summer Season Share (August, September, approximately 8 weeks) is $276.93.

All share options can be reserved by submitting an application with a deposit---$250 for a Full Season Full Share or $150 for the other three share options.  See details below.

How many shares are available?

The number of shares available during the 2018 growing season will be limited to approximately 30.  We will post an announcement when memberships are closed.  If your application is in the mail during this transition, it will be returned with your payment.  At that time you may ask to be placed on our waiting list.  We suggest that you make a deposit sooner rather than later so that you are not disappointed.

In addition to produce, what else is included in a share?

- A newsletter (through email) with recipes and Bear Butte Gardens news as well as information about possible add-on items which may be offered throughout the  season (e.g. honey, eggs, broilers, lamb, turkeys, beef).

- Opportunities to visit Bear Butte Gardens (on pre-arranged days and times) to see how crops are growing and ask questions and help pick produce.

What are the intangible benefits?  What can I expect?

- Each week (or bi-weekly) you get fresh, local, organic produce from a nearby farm.

- To eat seasonally.

- An “easy going” attitude on the on the farm; however, we do take food safety issues and practices seriously.

- To learn to cook something new.

- To taste something new.  We will introduce you to new vegetables.  We grow a great variety of common and “not so common” vegetables.

- On-farm visits, with a few guidelines so everyone is happy and enjoys a safe visit.

- You help to sustain healthy, organic farming practices and support local, independent farmers.

- You support a form of agriculture that does not harm the environment, i.e. does not pollute waterways, diminish the soil, nor reduce biodiversity.

- Participating in CSA reconnects you and your family with the true source of our food, not the grocery store, but Mother Nature. It teaches us about

   eating seasonally and about the unpredictability of farming.

Where do I pick up my share?  

All shares are picked up at Bear Butte Gardens.  Shareholders must pick up their shares during the allotted time period.  As much as we love visitors at the gardens, we have a lot of work to do; therefore, we require that CSA members pick up their vegetables in a timely manner on the designated day/time so we can utilize our working hours efficiently.  

When do I pick up my share?  

This is probably the most important item to us as growers of fresh vegetables, and perhaps not always fully appreciated by the customer.  We spend many hours picking vegetables at their peak stage of ripeness and getting them ready for the CSA customer---generally the day of pick-up or the evening before.  We want our customers to receive their vegetables when they are super fresh and super nutritious. We understand the occasional schedule conflict or emergency situation, but we do expect our customers to value the vegetables they are receiving as much as we value the vegetables we are growing.  If a customer commits to picking up a share between 4 and 6 p.m. on a Thursday, we hope the customer will set a weekly reminder on their favorite device to ensure that pick-up happens.  If we pick fresh vegetables on Thursday, we do NOT want to hold them until Friday or Saturday or Sunday.  If you believe this will be a problem, please choose a different CSA provider. Convenient pick-up times will be announced as soon as possible.  Shareholders must pick up their shares during the agreed upon time period.  Shares which are not picked up during the agreed upon timeframe will be donated to another family without replacement or reimbursement.  The designated day and time for CSA pick-up will be discussed beforehand with paid CSA shareholders to ensure it works out for everyone.  

How do I become a shareholder?

1. Please contact us via email, phone, or Facebook private message to check membership availability.

2. Please download, print, and fill in the Bear Butte Gardens CSA Application Form.

3. Please mail us your completed application form, along with a minimum payment of $250 for a full share, $150 for a bi-weekly or Spring or Late Summer share.

         Please make checks payable to "Bear Butte Gardens".

         There is a $30 returned check fee.

When can I sign up?

Shares are available to the public for purchase beginning February 20, 2018.

How do I contact Bear Butte Gardens?

- Website:             www.BearButteGardens.com

- Email:                Michelle@BearButteGardens.com

- Phone Number:   605-490-2919

View our Contact Us page for more information.

Where is Bear Butte Gardens located?

Physical Address:

        20445 SD Highway 79

        Sturgis,  SD  57785

View a Map showing how to get to Bear Butte Gardens.

What is the refund policy?

Members of Bear Butte Gardens “CSA” may receive a refund for any requests made prior to the start of season - May 1st, 2018 (minus a $20 administrative fee).  No refunds will be allowed after May 1st, 2018.  

Bad Weather or Crop Failures

If unforeseen extreme situations arise such as drought, very late or early frosts, terrible hail storms, tornado, fire, extreme insect damage, etc., Bear Butte Gardens will not be responsible for refunding unfulfilled weeks of shares.  However, we will be utilizing several outdoor gardens, cold frames, one permanent structure greenhouse, as well as one high-tunnel greenhouse (all with drip irrigation systems) to diminish the “all the eggs in one basket” syndrome and to ensure abundant weekly shares.

Our commitment to you:  

To be fair, honest, and to provide each member with a “real” connection to the farmer who grows your food.

We are USDA Organic Certified!
Michelle, up at sunrise, picking vegetables for CSA day
Michelle, up at sunrise, picking vegetables for CSA day
A typical CSA weekly share
A typical CSA weekly share