Hope Community Farm supports 10 growers to provide a profitable and successful CSA during the summer growing season to 40 community members. Our CSA signups are currently CLOSED.
Hope Community Farm works with ten refugee, immigrant, and New American farmers to successfully run a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. Located in the Beechmont neighborhood in south Louisville, farmers at the Hope Community Farm come together to share the wealth of knowledge from their home country, and learn how to adapt and apply that knowledge to the market in the United States. Signing up for a CSA share provides you with 22 weeks of enormous boxes of fresh fruits and veggies – plus you get to support local refugee and immigrant families.
In January 2017, we teamed up as part of an exciting collaboration between Americana Community Center, Inc., Catholic Charities of Louisville’s Common Earth Gardens, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension, and Gate of Hope Ministries. Louisville Grows created a visually-based winter training manual for refugee, immigrant, and new American farmers who hope to grow produce for their families and sell as part of a CSA or farmers’ market. The class was 8 weeks long, and covered everything from vegetable vocabulary to season extension tactics and farm tours.
The 2017 season is guaranteed to be even better thanks to our 164 generous Kickstarter backers to helped us purchase a TRACTOR for Hope Community Farm in August 2016! We raised $12,228 through our Hope Community Farm Kickstarter Campaign, and we finally purchased the Kubota tractor in December 2016! Watch the Kickstarter video to see the farm in action, and stay tuned for when we begin tilling the land this spring.
WHAT IS COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA)?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a unique model of direct farmer-to-consumer marketing where members build a partnership with food producers. This gives the consumer a chance to interact more long-term with the person who is cultivating their food, and the farmer an expanded and reliable market for his/her produce. Both partners share in the risks and rewards of small-scale farming: weather, insect damage, and bumper crops.
CSA members pre-pay for an entire season of produce, and then they pick up a variety of veggies each week from the same farmer. The Hope Community Garden CSA program helps refugees develop long-term relationships with English speaking Americans while developing their small business skills.
HOW OUR CSA WORKS:
In 2016, we offered a share with 7-8 items each week for 22 weeks. Cost is $525 for the season. CSA members pick up their share every week.
(One “item” means one bag, one box, one bunch, etc. – sizes may vary. For example, in a share you might get 3-4 onions (depending on size), a quart box of potatoes, a bunch of carrots, a bunch of kale, a pint of strawberries, a bunch of parsley, and a bag of spinach.)
WHAT WE GROW:
~Spring (May – early June): green peas (sugar snap, shell, and snow), beets, green onions, spinach, lettuce, arugula, kale, swiss chard, asian greens (like bok choi and tatsoi), collard greens, carrots, radishes, kohlrabi, cilantro, dill, parsley, chinese cabbage
~Summer (June – August): heirloom and hybrid tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, various types of eggplant, okra, melons, cucumbers, onions, green onions, green beans, mustard greens, summer squash, basil, corn, burmese sorrel, yard long beans and noodle beans, asian cucumbers and edible gourds
~Fall (September-October): lettuce mixes, arugula, kale, collards, swiss chard, cabbage, winter squash, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, dill, peas
WHY CHOOSE HOPE COMMUNITY FARM’S CSA?
Hope Community Training Farm is more than just a farm – it’s also a school. Refugee farmers from different cultures come together to share their wealth of knowledge, and to learn how to adapt and apply that knowledge to the market in the United States. Some farmers will thrive as they develop long-lasting relationships with CSA members, while others will prefer the bustle of a high traffic market. Our job as staff is to expose farmers to every option available and help them discern which works best for them over the years they spend at the training farm. Not everyone will be great CSA farmers, or think it’s the best option for them. We hope you’ll be patient with us, and our farmers, as we navigate the complexities of a training farm with language barriers and countless cultural differences. At the end of the season, we hope you’ll look back on your CSA experience with fond memories of delicious food and kind farmers.
Where can I pick up my Share?
Pick up happens at or near the Hope Community Garden located at 1400 Bicknell Ave.
How Do I Join?
All potential CSA members fill out the CSA Interest Form.
What if the weather is terrible this year? Will we still get our vegetables?
Part of the joy of supporting local agriculture is that we are subject to the whims of Kentucky weather. We do our best to guarantee a steady and generous supply of all types of vegetables, but one of the lessons agriculture teaches us is just how little control we have in the world! If we come up short on individual crops, we will try to be creative, but our intent is to give you vegetables grown seasonally on our farm. This also means that when there is an abundance of a particular crop, you can expect larger quantities.
What if we don’t like all the produce we get?
While certain traditional items like tomatoes, onions, and lettuce will always be a favorite, other items like mustard greens and kohlrabi add depth and breadth to meals. Learning how to enjoy these foods is part of learning how to eat seasonally and locally. Though you have some choice in our CSA, we hope that you’ll still embrace the adventurous nature of eating seasonally and try a few new things!
The CSA is unique in that we are all growing together- for some of us this means trying new vegetables and learning to eat seasonally, for many others this means learning a new language and developing new business skills. Staff will do our best to help you enjoy the produce, but CSAs do require a certain level of commitment to eating a variety of locally available produce. We hope you’ll join us in taking some risks!
What is this vegetable?
Sometimes you might not be able to identify a particular vegetable or herb, much less how to use it. We have a large variety of recipe cards available to our farmers, and we encourage them to bring recipes to every market. Don’t hesitate to ask for a recipe, or you can ask your farmer how they cook the vegetable.
What if I can’t pick up my produce?
If you cannot pick up your share for some reason, please first try to have a friend pick up your share! If you aren’t able to find someone else and you know ahead of time that no one will be coming to pick up your share, please call or email and let us know you will not come. Please also keep in mind that you do not get refunded for missing a pickup.
How can I get more involved in the farm?
We love having people come to visit and to volunteer! You should always let us know in advance, so that we can plan to offer you a good experience. We can arrange group tours if desired. We host multiple activities throughout the year. Sometimes these include cooking lessons with farmers, potlucks at the farm, and general farm tours.