Despite all the obstacles, 2020 was an extremely productive year on the farm, with one of our best growing seasons ever. COVID-19 increased demand for local products; we responded by increasing the number of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares by 20% and creating an online store. We want to express our gratitude to all those who subscribed to our vegetable CSA this season, and who purchased items from our online store. This expression of support showed us how important it is to all of you to have an organic farm in your community. Your support also made it possible for us to donate over 7,700 pounds of produce to hunger relief so far this year.
While COVID-19 forced us to close the farm to visitors for most of the season, we were delighted by the attendance at the three socially distanced events we hosted this fall. An outdoor movie, a play by the Valley Shakespeare Festival, and a concert by The Jolly Beggars were all sellout performances. Attendees told us how grateful they were to gather with friends and neighbors in a safe setting to enjoy a live event.
Online Store Will Remain Open For Business
Our weekly CSA distribution has ended for the 2020 season, and we won’t be holding a drop-in Thanksgiving produce sale as we have the past several years. However, you can still purchase farm produce, our jarred tomato sauce and salsa, honey, eggs, milk, cheese, pork and (new!) coffee from our online store: Massarofarm.square.site. Order each week by Wednesday evening for Friday afternoon pickup.
Registration Is Open For Our 2021 Seasonal Vegetable Subscription
Even with the 20% increase in CSA shares this year, we sold out and had to turn some customers away. Now is the time to secure your order for next season. Reserving your spot now means farm manager Steve Munno can assemble a plan and order seeds and supplies in January for the 40-50 crops we plant each season. Crop planning is a complex task for a mixed vegetable farm like ours that takes into account field location, length of growing time, quantities needed to feed 300 families, and pest management. In reality, having high tunnels (plastic enclosures that protect crops) on the farm means the cycle of planting and harvesting can almost run year-round; garlic and carrots planted this fall will be some of the first things we harvest next spring! Print out and return a subscription form or pay online with a credit card at www.MassaroFarm.org.
With a deposit of as little as $100, you can hold your place in our 2021 CSA. Subscribing in advance means our farmers can attend to administrative work over the coming winter months, preserving the 12 hours of daylight in spring for planting. Once the soil warms up in April and May, it becomes a race against the clock to get fields plowed, prepped and planted with your favorite varieties of crops like cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes and squash. In addition to many other tasks like removing row cover, laying thousands of feet of drip watering tape and rock removal, farmers work to ensure the thousands of seedlings (planted in the greenhouse in February and March) get into the ground so they can grow, grow, grow under the warmth of the sun.
Lastly, securing your place in our 2021 CSA now provides funds to the farm when they are needed most. Small farms like ours often purchase seeds, equipment and materials over the winter to take advantage of discounts. It also allows us to finalize an annual budget and plan for how many staff we’ll need in the coming year. Your commitment now helps ensure a living wage for farm staff. Your early subscription ensures continued employment for the farm’s committed, trained employees who care about the land and our mission.
Massaro Community Farm is a non-profit, certified organic community farm on 57 acres of land whose mission is to keep farming, feed people, and build community. In addition to growing vegetables for seasonal subscribers, the farm donates thousands of pounds each year to hunger relief. The farm serves as a hub of education for all ages and shares its space with the community. The farm’s nature trail is open to the public 365 days a year. For more information, visit our website at www.MassaroFarm.org or contact Executive Director Caty Poole at 203-736-8618.