What is a CSA?
CSA means “community supported agriculture.” In a CSA, you are supporting the farmer, the land, and your community. To become a CSA member, you purchase a share of the farm’s vegetables, which you then pick up throughout the year on a weekly basis. Your monthly payments assist the farm in its costs for growing your food, and in return, your farmers can focus their efforts on growing strong, healthy produce, rather than marketing their food to outside sources. This system strengthens the bond between the grower and the individual. You become an essential piece of the farm, as your participation in the CSA contributes to the farm’s ability to grow your food.
Typically we recommend large shares for families, vegetarians, vegans, or if multiple people are splitting the share.
Our CSA runs for 50 weeks, starting in January and going until the beginning of December. The last two weeks in December are off, and then we start harvesting again in January.
At Raphael Garden, we grow a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Our weekly vegetable boxes reflect what is growing during the season.
In the cooler months, our boxes may include vegetables such as broccoli, lettuce, leeks, celery, winter squash, mustard, cilantro, kale, collard greens, chard, hon sai tai (a spicey asian green), turnips, radishes, corn salad, celeriac, daikon, rosemary, arugula, and garlic, among other things.
As it gets warmer, and the Earth is able to sustain more life, our share sizes will increase. Weekly boxes may also begin to include a variety of melons, tomatoes, peaches, apples, rosehips, zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, quince, peppers, beans, bok choy, and spinach and more.
Shareholders have the option to pay in full at the beginning of the season or make monthly payments with either credit card or post-dated checks. The first month's payment is a total of the first and last month's share, and then each consecutive month shareholders will be billed the price of one month's share at the beginning of the month.
We are located on the Rudolf Steiner College campus at 9200 Fair Oaks Blvd, Fair Oaks, 95628. Members pick up their shares at our CSA shed on the college campus, which is conveniently located next to the parking lot to the right of the entrance. Pick up days are either Tuesday or Friday (members pick one day or the other), anytime after 3pm. The CSA shed will be open for the next 24 hours, so shareholders have that time to pick up their share.
Volunteer hours are not a requirement of our CSA. You are always welcome in the garden to enjoy our flow form pond, visit with the farm animals, or just relax in the beauty of nature. If you are interested in volunteering, you are welcome to join us for however long you are able! Just give us a call at 916-966-0938 or send us an email so we can coordinate hours.
To become a weekly shareholder in our CSA, please call us at 916-966-0938, email us at email@example.com, or stop by the farm to speak with Harald and the apprentices.
Check us out on facebook at www.facebook.com/raphaelgarden and follow our harvests, find and post recipes for your weekly vegetables, and read about upcoming biodynamic workshops on the farm!
Raphael Garden, with its raised beds, orchards, and pasture, is located at the center of the 13-acre Rudolf Steiner College campus. Raphael Garden is a fully functional, Demeter-certified, biodynamic urban farm. With three acres from Rudolf Steiner College and financial support from the Raphael Association, Harald Hoven founded Raphael Garden in 1987 and subsequently the CSA (see below) in 1993. The gifts of these institutions, together with the dedication of many volunteers and apprentices, have made possible the thriving farm you see today.
Raphael Garden supports year-round vegetables and seasonal fruit for a 70-member CSA, a large seed saving operation, and the beauty and serenity of a diverse plant and flower life. Chickens, ducks, sheep, and a cow grace the site with animal presence and products. Beehives nestle under trees near the manure compost. The plant compost rests in the shade of the olive grove. A small greenhouse nurtures tender seedlings while vegetable crops in raised beds line the slope overlooking the orchard. At the center of it all, flower beds encircle a small pond and it's melodic flow form.
Raphael Garden provides for most of its needs from within the farm individuality. Soil fertility is maintained by composted garden and kitchen waste, cow and sheep manure, and the use of cover crops and crop rotations. Biodynamic compost and spray preparations, made on the farm itself or in cooperation with other local farms, are used rhythmically throughout the seasons to enhance life forces.
Thanks to the comprehensive seed saving operation, most of the seeds for next season's crops are grown right on the farm. This sustainable practice strengthens the farm's plant life by giving plants the opportunity to adapt to the environment over generations. Enough seed is produced to sell nationwide, where it is in particular demand due to its enhanced vitality.
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