We have planted strawberries, watermelons and cantaloupes for the 2016 seasons. We may partner with other farms to provide more variety, and will let you know when we do.
Where are your drop sites located?
Here is the list of active drop sites and as interest develops in different communities, we will quickly move to establish the drop site for that area. These locations will be listed on the sign up page of our website. If you don't see a site listed for your area, please contact us and we will work with you to get one established. We would like to have 5-20 members for a given drop site.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes. We have a secure website for credit card transactions. We currently accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover.
What is a CSA?
A Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program unites members of a
community with farmers and the land. Members of the program purchase a
subscription to a farm’s harvest at the beginning of the season, in
return for a weekly delivery of produce (in our case, for a twelve week
period). This model offers economic stability to the farm, and in return
provides you the shareholder with a direct link to a source of fresh,
quality vegetables for you and your family.
For more information on CSA programs, check out this wonderful guide for prospective subscribers at Local Harvest: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/
Why join a CSA for my vegetables?
Joining a CSA program provides you with the knowledge of
where and how your food is grown, and access to produce that is fresh
and harvested within, at the most, 24-48 hours of delivery. There is no
mystery as to the origin of the food; we offer complete transparency
about our cultivation, harvesting, and delivery process.
Becoming a part of the CSA is also an affirmative step in support of your regional and local economy and is thus a boon for your community. In joining our CSA, you will support a local grower--the Thompson Family and their employees, pick up your produce at a locally owned business, private home, or at our farm, and meet new people with whom you can connect over an interest in truly fresh, local foods.
By purchasing your membership at the beginning of the season, you are making an agreement with the farmer that involves a shared risk, given the uncertainties that exist in the months to come. That commitment, however, is the keystone of the CSA experience. For your support and membership, we pledge to provide the finest produce, delivered weekly, to a location near you.
We are a member of Certified SC Grown and the family of Lowcountry Local First businesses and organizations.
When are the specific crops harvested?
Spring crop harvest begins in mid-April. The first produce delivered are
cold, hardy products such as collards, beets, and turnips, as well as
English peas, rutabaga, lettuce, and mustard greens. May brings
broccoli, beets, carrots, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, and yellow
squash. June delivers many favorites such as sweet corn, green onions,
tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon, southern peas, okra, and
Among the first crops for the late summer and fall season, you can expect melons, peppers, summer squash, sweet corn, and tomatoes in August, followed by several varieties of greens, such as collards, kales, and lettuces in September. Later on, we’ll have many of our root vegetables and tubers, such as turnips, radishes, and sweet potatoes in October, as well as pumpkins and winter squash varieties through November. For an idea of when specific crops are in season, take a look on our vegetable availability chart.
One of the most exciting parts of joining a CSA is eating seasonally, on a week-to-week basis. In other words, we harvest the produce that is ripe and ready to pick, so the exact contents of your box each week will never be determined until right before delivery. We also like to include surprises throughout the season, including varieties that you won’t find in the grocery. We won’t divulge all of these treats now, so you’ll just have to wait and see!
How many pesticides do you use on the farm?
Our use and application of pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, and insecticide) to our vegetables is with great care and concern for our personal family and our member family’s health and safety. We not only eat and enjoy our vegetables,
but also work the fields with our children and workers to bring our
product to you. The steps we make to achieve our goal of a local, fresh,
healthy, and safe product involves many components.
Our variety selection is made to not only capture tasty products, but those with natural disease packages that fair well in our SC climate. They are planted without the use of herbicides for weed control and sustained by mechanical cultivation or plastic mulch.
As the season progresses with each planted crop, certain disease issues can be expected. The issues of plant disease and insect pests are part of vegetable farm management. They are evaluated on a daily schedule of scouting and monitoring the threshold that requires intervention. The use of an integrated system where the beneficial insects are sustained to help with the harmful insects is very important to have healthy plants. As the level of disease or insects build to a threshold not acceptable to sustain the health of the plant, we have to make a decision to either use an organic insecticide or a safe insecticide. Fortunately along with several organic insecticides, there are EPA ultra safe and effective products available that allow re-entry in 24 hrs.
We have implemented a quality control program that continues post-harvest as well. To slow the natural change in plants after harvest, we remove the field heat by storing in our walk-in cooler. The containers are place in our refrigerated delivery van awaiting delivery to our drop sites in different communities.
It is our belief that by following these steps, we can provide our families safe and affordable fresh local produce. This method cannot claim to be organic by certification. It does combine many organic principles with sound management to address safety and quality in the production of SC vegetables for our members. Sometimes a term like transitional or naturally grown is used.
Will the vegetables on your farm be certified USDA organic?
No. This is a three year process. However, it is of the up most importance to us to provide our customers the safest produce possible. Our family will not only be eating these vegetables, but also working out in the field with them. Therefore, we are committed to using an integrated pest management system. This preserves the beneficial insects and their help with daily scouting for pests. When the threshold is a danger to the health of the plant , we will use either an organic pesticide or an ultra safe pesticide. We use the old time methods of steel cultivation to deal with our weed issues in combination with mulching. Crop rotation and careful variety selection for disease packages greatly enhances the level of disease resistance in our crops. In the event that these methods fail, we will only use products that are natural or safe to protect our crops so the harvest will be bountiful. These methods are classified as naturally grown or Certified SC Grown.
Can we visit the farm?
It is our wish for you to feel a part of the farm; therefore, scheduled
visits can be arranged.
What is the best way to store the vegetables?
Different sources provide a variety of suggestions and storing techniques. We have enjoyed the comprehensive “Food Storage Tips” guide devised by Full Circle Farm in Carnation, Washington (www.fullcirclefarm.com/storage). We have included selections from that guide here for the produce that we are providing in our CSA program, except for entries marked with an asterisk*.
Arugula: Best used fresh, but you can keep arugula
for a few days in the refrigerator. Wash arugula, let it dry (use a
colander or spinner). Place in a plastic bag and into the crisper drawer
in the fridge. Sometimes a paper towel in the bag helps to keep excess
moisture to a minimum as well.
Beets: To store beets, trim the leaves 2 inches from the root as soon as you get them home. The leaves will sap the moisture from the beet root. Do not trim the tail. Store the leaves in a separate plastic bag and use within two days. The root bulbs should also be bagged and can be stored in the refrigerator crisper drawer 7 to 10 days.
Broccoli: Broccoli can be stored in the high-humidity vegetable crisper of your refrigerator for up to three days.
Cabbage: Cabbage stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator's humid vegetable bin will last at least a week.
Carrots: Before storing them remove their green tops, rinse, drain, and put the carrots in plastic bags and store them in the coldest part of the refrigerator with the highest humidity. They'll last several months this way. To keep the carrots crisp and colorful add a little bit of water in the bottom of the plastic storage bag; this will keep the carrots hydrated. Carrots should be stored away from fruits such as apples and pears, which release the ethylene gas that cause carrots to become bitter.
*Cauliflower: Store in perforated plastic bags in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Cucumber: Should be stored in a plastic bag and placed in the refrigerator at a temperature between 45°F and 50°F for up to a week. Be sure not to wash cucumbers until you're ready to use them.
*Eggplant: Store in warmer part of the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Garlic: Stored under optimum conditions in a dark, cool, dry place with plenty of ventilation, garlic will last from several weeks to one year. Try to use fresh garlic within a few weeks and do not refrigerate unless the garlic has been peeled or chopped.
Green Beans: Wash to add moisture and refrigerate in a plastic bag. Remove the tips (and strings, if present) right before cooking.
Kale: Kale should be wrapped in a damp towel or in a plastic bag and refrigerated, preferably in hydrator drawer, for up to 1 week. Leaves will wilt if allowed to dry out. Plunge in cold water for 10 minutes to re-hydrate. Kale also freezes well, just blanche, squeeze out excess water and put into Ziploc and freeze.
Lettuce and Salad Greens: Greens will expire quickly if not stored properly. Greens like moisture and cool temperatures, so store lettuce in perforated plastic bags wrapped in damp paper towels, and keep in the refrigerator vegetable crisper. A good trick is to trim the bottom stem of whole lettuce heads as you would cut flowers then wash in warm water. Let the greens sit for 5 minutes to let dirt settle to bottom of sink then lift out lettuce. Spin or shake and paper towel dry before storing with the damp paper towel wrapped loosely around stem end and in an airtight plastic container or bag.
Leeks: Often used to flavor casseroles and soups/stews, with a subtle and sweet flavor. They can be eaten raw or cooked. Wrap leeks in plastic wrap to help prevent their aroma being absorbed by other foods. They can last up to seven days. If cooked, eat within 2 days of storage.
*Onions: Store in a mesh bag in cool place.
English Peas: Peas are best purchased for immediate use, or keep in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Wash them before eating.
Peppers: Bell peppers like cool not cold temperatures, ideally about 45°F to 50°F with good humidity. Peppers are ethylene sensitive, so they should not be stored near ethylene-producing food such as pears or apples. Put peppers in plastic bags and they will keep up to five days in the refrigerator. Green peppers will keep slightly longer than the other, more ripe, varieties.
Potatoes: Potatoes like cool (45°F to 50°F) humid (but not wet) surroundings, but refrigeration can turn the starch in the potatoes to sugar and may tend to darken them when cooked. Store in burlap, brown paper, or perforated plastic bags away from light, in the coolest, non-refrigerated, and well-ventilated part of the house. Under ideal conditions they can last up to three months this way, but more realistically, figure three to five weeks. New potatoes should be used within one week of purchase. Don't store onions and potatoes together, as the gases they each give off, will cause the other to decay.
Radishes: Wash roots, trim both tap root and tops and store in plastic bags in refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Spinach, Kale, Mustard: Untie bunches, remove any blemished leaves, trim off the stems, and wash it thoroughly in cold water. Repeat if necessary until you're sure all the grit is gone. Spin dry in a salad spinner or drain well, then put into clean plastic bags very loosely wrapped with paper towels. It will last only two to three days, so plan on eating your rinsed spinach right away. Cold, moist surroundings, as low as 32°F and about 95% humidity are the best for storing spinach.
Summer Squash: Your summer squash will dehydrate fast, so use within a week. Store squash in plastic bags in your crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Damaged/blemished squash will expire very quickly, so use right away if you find this.
Sweet Corn: Corn is best eaten immediately. However, it can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days in plastic bags with the husk still on. If possible, store in a refrigerator with a high humidity storage bin. If the corn has already been husked, partially or fully, refrigerate it in a perforated plastic bag.
*Tomatoes: Put in sun-free spot on counter and avoid refrigeration as it will deplete flavor
Turnips and Rutabagas: Store unwashed turnips in a plastic bag for 1-2 weeks. To prolong the shelf life of turnips, you can put them in moist sand in a cool location.
Winter Squash: Winter squash or hard-shelled squash, such as kabocha and butternut, should not be refrigerated unless cut. Stored at 50°F to 55°F away from light in a well ventilated spot with low humidity, it will keep for up to three months. Cut squash will keep about one week when wrapped tightly and refrigerated.
*Watermelon: Store at room temperature for up to 1 week or in refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.
Zucchini: Refrigerate in vegetable crisper in an opened plastic bag. They will remain firm for about one week. To avoid damaging the skin, do not clean zucchini until ready to use.