A Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program is a partnership*** between the farmer and the community. The benefit to you, the community member, is that you know where your food is grown, who is growing it and the methods by which it is grown. The benefit to the farmer is that they are able to raise much needed income at the beginning of the season for all the start up costs for the coming growing year. The farmer is also able to create a greater connection to the people who eat what they grow. Another benefit to becoming a CSA shareholder is that the money you spend on produce stays in the local economy.
By becoming a CSA shareholder in the farm, the community member(s) will receive a box of produce each week for the length of the CSA season. Every week the box will be filled with fresh, seasonal and organic vegetables, fruit, and herbs, grown right here in Santa Cruz County. We do not purchase produce from wholesale operations to fill our boxes. The produce in our boxes is straight from our farm with very few exceptions. At times, we will supplement our box with a crop we do not grow from an organic farm friend or a food artisan, so as to compliment the array of crops that we grow and fill the boxes with.
We have two CSA seasons every year. The Winter Season is from January 17 to April 18 (14-weeks) and the Summer Season is from May 30 to early December 5 (28-weeks). We offer two share sizes: an individual share ($238/Winter Season and $476/Summer Season) and a family share ($378/Winter Season and $756/Summer Season). Payment for the longer Summer Season can be split in half (1st at sign up and 2nd in August) whereas payment for the Winter Season is paid in full due to its’ shorter duration.
Our CSA price has remained the same since we first started the program in 2010. Due to rising costs in all aspects of running our business, we have had to raise our price in the spring of 2016 for the first time in 6 years. Our prices and boxes remains a great value and we hope that you will continue to join us in the CSA partnership.
We grow a wide variety of vegetables all through out the year. Depending on the time of year some of the typical items you can expect to find in your CSA share are: lettuce, kale, cabbage, cilantro, tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, radicchio, collards, herbs, summer & winter squash, chard and lots more.
We also have an Add-On section for ordering additional items that will be delivered with your weekly box. One week we may have apples that you can buy in quantity to make apple butter, dried apples, pies or anything else you may fancy. Another week we may add flower bouquets to brighten your home or office. We will also have pantry staples such as Alta Organic coffee, Pajaro Pastures chicken eggs, Companion Bakeshop bread, Coke Farm dried beans, flour and polenta, on a regular basis. It is best to check the Add-On page weekly so see what new items we are offering.
***Please note that by signing up for the CSA you are entering into an agreement and partnership with Route 1 Farms. Unfortunately, shares cannot be refunded for any reason. If the shareholder decides that they no longer want to receive a box, we will be able to cancel the subscription but will not be able to offer a refund as the money is allocated early in the season.***
Pick Up Sites
We have 11 PROSPECTIVE pick up sites in Santa Cruz County and 1 in Santa Clara County.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR 2017 Summer CSA:::: All pick up sites will be on a wait list status until 5 people sign up for that site. Please make sure to put your name on the wait list because that is how we will keep track of when we can open the site up. If your desired pick up site does not open up by May30th, you can pick up at another site and we will switch you once your desired site opens up or you can wait to sign up once the site is going. This is a bit confusing so please call us if you have any questions. Information and welcome letter for the 2017 Summer CSA will be emailed out on May 22nd, 2017.
- Aptos: off of Rio del Mar Blvd., Aptos, 95003 (Complete address given when you register).
- Ben Lomond: Hihn Rd., Ben Lomond, 95005 (Complete address given when you register).
- Boulder Creek: Pine St., Boulder Creek, 95006 (Complete address given when you register).
- Felton: Plateau Dr., off Highway 9, Felton, 95018 (Complete address given when you register).
- Downtown Santa Cruz: Felix Kulpa Gallery, 107 Elm St., Santa Cruz, 95060
- Live Oak: Byer Rd., near Chanticleer Ave. and Capitola Rd., Santa Cruz, 95062 (Complete address given when you register).
- Prospect Heights: off of Morrissey Ave. on the inland side, 95065 (Complete address given when you register).
- Santa Cruz-Ocean St. Extension (our farm): 2037 Ocean St. Extension, 95060.
- Santa Cruz-Westside: 1305 Fair Ave. #2, 95060. Our warehouse on the corner of McPherson & Fair Ave., one block from New Leaf.
- Scotts Valley: Scotts Valley Dr., off of Granite Creek exit on Hwy. 17, 95066 (Complete address given when you register).
- Seabright: Cayuga St. near the intersection of Pine St. , Santa Cruz, 95062. (Complete address given when you register).
- The Summit: Mason-Taylor Ranch, 22951 Summit Rd., Los Gatos, 95033.
Are you or someone you know interested in being a site host for the CSA? If so, please give us a call at 831- 426-1075 and we will explain what we are looking for. As a thank you for being a site host you will receive $5 off of your box each week. Not too mention that you will be bringing healthy, organic produce to your immediate community. What better way than to get to know your neighbors (if you don’t already know them that is) than through great food?
December 2015 Update
Dear CSA shareholders (past, present and future),
We had very good crop production throughout this season, with abundance that we spread near and far. It has been a very long growing season with little actual winter weather since last December, so here is our chance to give back to the ground that has given so much year after year.
We have decided after much thought and for several reasons, not to do our 14-week Winter CSA. One consideration in our reasoning is that we are starting to feel the longer term effects of drought. On about half of our land at our Rancho Del Oso farm, we are now unable to irrigate due to low water flow of Waddell Creek.
The creek has been dammed at the beach by the sand and in the meantime larger oceans swells have come up and over the sand into the lagoon causing the water to back up the canyon and in turn it has become brackish at our lower pump site. Salt is very harmful to most crops so we’ve had to cease using it until the flow breaks through the beach head again. When that will happen, we have no clue or control over.Winter crop plantings on these fields can’t happen at this point because we cannot water them in upon planting or to continue their growth. Ironically, another reason is that in anticipating potentially strong El Niño produced rains later this winter we have thought it wise to begin sowing early cover crop seed on potentially erodible ground with non-harvestable crops of clovers, vetch, mustard, triticale and phacelia (for the bees and beneficial insects).
We generally like to cover at least 75% of our land in winter cover crops but this year we are planning to go a bit heavier. Not having a Winter CSA will give the land, and thus us, a break and a chance to re-invigorate and recharge. It wasn’t an easy decision to make but without a large variety of crops growing in the late fall and winter months, there wouldn’t be much to put in a box that would start in mid-January.
We still have good water for the upper twenty acres at Rancho Del Oso and on the Ocean St Extension land which is on wells. We will continue attending the farmer’s markets that stay open all winter, namely the Downtown Wednesday Market and the Cabrillo and Westside Markets on Saturdays.
As always, and even more so as we navigate our way through changes that are out of our hands, we appreciate the support you have given us through participating in our CSA, not to mention at the farmers markets and/or purchasing our produce in stores you frequent.
We plan to stat the Summer CSA up at the end of May and we will make sure that you all are the first to know when registration has been opened. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to let us know.