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What types of shares are available from Waltham Fields Community Farm?

We currently offer 20-week summer shares, alternating 10-week summer shares, extended season vegetable shares and flower shares. Our Summer CSA shares include organically-grown produce harvested from mid-June through October. Shareholders have a choice of pick-up days from week to week. Our extended season CSA share includes three distributions of the best vegetables of the season, including root crops, winter squash, cabbages, and greens. Flower shares include 10 weeks of pick-your-own flowers. Flower shareholders pick 2 flower bouquets of 15 stems each week from mid-July through late September.

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What is a member? What does my membership fee pay for? What is a shareholder?

Membership with Waltham Fields Community Farm supports community farming and sustainable agriculture in Massachusetts. The WFCF membership fee of $35 per household is used to support the charitable programs of our non-profit organization, including our food access, education and outreach programs. Membership is valid for one year and is a tax-deductable donation in support of our non-profit mission. 

CSA shareholders of Waltham Fields Community Farm are ‘investors’ in our farm, paying in advance for a portion of our harvest, sharing in both the risk and the bounty of our farming season. Shareholders  participate in our CSA program. All shareholders are required to be current members of our nonprofit organization. 

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What is included in a summer share?

The farm grows more than forty different kinds of vegetables for the CSA and our food access program. At each distribution, shareholders receive a variety of freshly harvested vegetables as well as some pick-your-own produce such as peas, beans, and cherry tomatoes. Some items, such as summer squash, salad greens, and tomatoes, will be available for several weeks, while other crops, like fennel, parsnips, or rutabaga, might only be harvested for one or two weeks. Each week, shareholders also receive a newsletter, which includes farm news and food preparation tips. See our harvest schedule and produce information and recipes page for a list of produce that is grown for the Summer CSA.

Our partnership with Jenny and Bruce Wooster, who grow excellent certified organic produce at Picadilly Farm in Winchester, New Hampshire allows us to offer additional CSA shares than our own leased land can support. Potatoes and winter squash are high-input, relatively low-value crops that take up lots of space, and it benefits our farm and our partner farms to have them grown on a larger scale on farms where space is not at such a premium. Today, we receive potatoes and winter squash from a mix of local, organic farms in addition to our friends at Picadilly Farm.

If you’d like more information about the farms we partner with, please don’t hesitate to email Head Farm Manager, Erinn Roberts, give us a call at (781)-899-2403, or talk to us during CSA share distributions.

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Is WFCF’s produce organic?

Since 1995, we have grown our crops at Waltham Fields Community Farm using organic practices. We use only materials approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute for pest control and fertility management. We manage our soil for long-term fertility and health in order to grow nutritious, vital food without the use of synthetic chemicals. While we are not certified organic, our commitment to sustainability in and out of the fields is ongoing. We are committed to working towards the principles of sustainability outlined in the Farmer’s Pledge that has been developed by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York. At Waltham Fields Community Farm, we believe that knowing your farmer and being engaged with your farm as a consumer is the best way to ensure that your food is produced responsibly. We encourage our CSA shareholders to ask our farm staff about our farming practices, and we make it a habit to communicate those practices through our CSA newsletter and on-farm educational events. We invite all our shareholders to join us in the fields for a firsthand taste of sustainable farming practices.

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How many people does a Summer CSA share feed?

That really depends on your eating and cooking habits. Some things to think about: How often do you cook at home? Are you really into veggies, or are you a "beginner"? Generally, a Summer 20-week share is the right amount for two vegetable loving adults that really enjoy cooking with fresh produce, or an "average" family of four. We aim to grow ample amounts of the basics along with a generous selection of more unusual crops each season. However, you should definitely plan to supplement pantry essentials item like onions and garlic with purchases from your local farmers’ markets and farm stands.

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Can I buy a half-share?

Waltham Fields Community Farm only offers 20-week shares, picked up every week and a limited number of 10-week shares, picked up on an every-other-week basis. If you would like to split a 20-week share with a friend, you may arrange to do so (see below). The 10-week shares are not available to split.

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Can I split a share?

Sharing a 20-week share among two or more households is fine with us, but the 10-week share is not available to split. For those splitting a 20-week share, we ask that the entire weekly share is taken in one visit to the farm. Please do not come to the farm and take a partial or half share. Folks who share a CSA share do so by coming to the farm together, alternating pick-up weeks, or splitting the share at home. We do not keep a list of shareholders wanting to split a share; it is up to the primary shareholder to find a share partner.

Keep in mind that the quantities of vegetables in the shares may not always be conducive to splitting (for example, you might receive one butternut squash or one head of cabbage in a given week and have to decide with your share partner how to divvy up your veggies). Please also remember that if you are splitting a share among several adults, you will almost definitely find that you need to supplement your vegetables with trips to the farmers’ market or a local farm stand.

If you do split a 20-week share, we will list the share in our database under one name and address (the primary shareholder), though we are happy to email the weekly newsletter to multiple people for each share. We require that each household splitting a share be a dues-paying member of Waltham Fields Community Farm.

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Is share distribution ever canceled due to weather?

Yes. The CSA distribution site at the farm will remain open during rain or snow but will be canceled during electrical storms or severe winter storms for reasons of safety. We will post an announcement on social media (Instagram, Facebook) if the farm is closed.

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What if I’m late to the pick-up site? What happens to my share if I forget to pick it up?

Any food that is not picked up at the end of the day that is still in prime condition is donated to our hunger relief partners in addition to the produce we are harvesting specifically for this cause. We close our CSA promptly at the end of the distribution. We do not assign pick up days in order to offer as much as much flexibility as possible to shareholders.

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What happens if the pick-up is on a holiday?

Our pick-up schedule generally doesn't change (vegetables don’t take a vacation!), but on occasion, we will shift the schedule to accommodate major holidays. If we need to change the pick-up schedule, we will provide advance notice through our CSA newsletters and signage at the distribution barn.

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What happens to my share if I go on vacation?

We encourage you to share the harvest and make arrangements with friends to pick up your share while you are gone. You do not need to let the distribution coordinator or farm staff know that someone else will be picking up your share; just make sure that whoever will pick up your share checks in with the distribution coordinator under your name during your designated week.

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Can CSA shareholders pick their own vegetables?

Most vegetables are picked and made available to shareholders in the distribution barn. A few crops, such as peas, beans, and cherry tomatoes, must be picked by shareholders themselves. When you get to the farm, you’ll check the Pick-Your-Own sheet for a list of crops and amounts available to be harvested per share.

Pick your own crops include cherry tomatoes, snap beans, wax beans, fava beans, plum tomatoes, hot peppers, tomatillos, husk cherries and fresh herbs. Shares for picking of annual flowers are sold separately as a Flower Share. 

The farm is open for pick-your-own from during daylight hours. For more information about pick-your-own crops, see tips to make your farm pick-up go smoothly.

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Do I get fruit in my share?

You can expect very small quantities of watermelons and cantaloupe grown on our farm for a little extra enjoyment of your share. We will have additional local fruit for sale at our distributions from mid-summer through our winter CSA distribution in December.

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Can another person pick up my share?

Yes. We don’t need to know that someone else will pick up your share! Just make sure that your friend checks in with our distribution coordinator under your name. If they are not familiar with our CSA, please ask them to read these Frequently Asked Questions.

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Are there any other benefits to being a member of Waltham Fields Community Farm CSA?

As a CSA shareholder, you will enjoy five months of fresh, locally and sustainably grown produce. As a member of Waltham Fields Community Farm, you will also be part of a vibrant agricultural and altruistic community that works to support and promote local agriculture, provide hands-on education to children and adults about how food is grown, and donate fresh vegetables to local hunger relief programs. There are events and gatherings, volunteer opportunities, newsletters and an end of the year potluck that our members, friends, and neighbors are invited to enjoy.

We also invite all our shareholders to visit the farm during our volunteer drop-in hours to work in the fields. You may also visit at other times to stroll, picnic, or play on the grounds. Please stay out of planted fields and workspaces unless you are doing pick-your-own or volunteering with a farm staff member.

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Can I work for my vegetables?

Waltham Fields Community Farm offers a limited number of workshares each season. Visit our job opportunities page to see if any work share positions are available.