Bear Butte Gardens
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
In a Nutshell...
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
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.
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.
- 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.
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 spans the same 16 weeks, but with every-other-week pick-up, price 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 2019 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. We welcome entire families to visit!
- CSA customers get first notice of additional "add-on" items we have for purchase. These add-on items might include honey, eggs, lamb, beef, chicken, etc. These items may be offered up first-come, first-serve or the customer can just email/text/call ahead of time and ask us to set aside a jar of honey or a dozen eggs (for example) and then pay for and pick up that item(s) with the CSA share any given week.
- We are happy to share recipes for any of the vegetables we sell as well as the honey, lamb, beef, and poultry. We try to include a short recipe or links to online recipes in each newsletter, but sometimes gardening gets busy and we forget, so just ask us for some recipes and we will gladly share them at pick-up or through email, etc.
What are the intangible benefits? What can I expect?
- Each week (or bi-weekly) you get fresh, local, organic produce from us, a local 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 your 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.
When can I sign up?
Shares are available to the public for purchase beginning January 20, 2019.
How do I become a shareholder?
- Please contact us via email, phone, or Facebook private message to check membership availability.
- Please download, print, and fill in the Bear Butte Gardens CSA Application Form.
- Please mail or email 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. If you are emailing your application you can call to make credit card payment or pay online.
Please make checks payable to "Bear Butte Gardens".
There is a $30 returned check fee.