Cool Beans is a CSA based at Stoney Creek Valley Farm in Dauphin, PA. The majority of the food for the CSA is grown here, but a few things are contracted out to nearby farmers with similar practices and values. Your Cool Beans produce will be raised sustainably and organically. We have not filled out all the forms and paid the (substantial) fee to be officially certified organic, but we do follow organic practices.
2013 Cool Beans Information
At its most basic, a CSA (community supported agriculture) is an agreement between a farmer and an ‘eater’ in which the customer pays ahead of time for a weekly share of seasonal produce from the farm, sharing in both the risks and the windfalls of the farm’s year.
Members pick up weekly shares at a pre-determined location (we offer several options). If you can’t pick up your share because of another commitment, you can have someone else pick it up instead or let us know to simply cancel it for that week. It’s important that your schedule allow you to pick up your share during the time indicated, so look over the options before making a decision. Your bags will be safe at the drop sites, but the quality of the produce can’t be guaranteed if you don’t pick them up within a few hours.
There are numerous CSA programs in the southcentral PA area, and we think highly of all of them. We are occasionally asked why the Cool Beans CSA would be the best choice for someone considering a CSA, and the simple answer is that it might not be the right one for you.
Each CSA has a slightly different twist – different pickup options, different share sizes, etc. – and we encourage everyone to look into all of the local options before choosing a CSA. Cool Beans tends to offer more different items per bag, but smaller amounts of each item, than many local CSA programs.
The Cool Beans farmers are committed to providing members with the same fresh, healthy, safely grown food that we feed our own families. The things we don’t grow ourselves are purchased or bartered for from farmer friends we trust, so that our members have a wide range of items each week. Our bags will include vegetables, fruit, and occasionally value-added items, such a freshly ground wheat flour, baked goods, or cheese. (We do not include meat products in our CSA, but will be offering pasture raised broiler chickens this year, and we can point you toward several wonderful farmers in the area who raise safe meat.) Our goal is to introduce our members to the wide range of locally available options for awesome food.
Two sizes of shares are available this year. A full share is designed for a family or for two people who love vegetables. A small share is designed for singles or for someone who might have large backyard garden. We strongly recommend full shares as your best value and suggest that you consider splitting a full share with a friend or neighbor, and either sharing each week’s basket, or alternating weeks. A full share is $500, and a small share is $275; this is for 24 weeks beginning on Tuesday, May 14, and running until Tuesday, October 29, with one as-yet-unscheduled week’s break in late summer.
A soup share will be an add-on option this year – this is something we started with the winter 2013 CSA, and it was very well received, because the chef is remarkable. Steve Dunlap, who runs the Mountainside Supper Club that hosts frequent local foods dinners, will make soup from locally raised ingredients and send a quart along with your order. I’m going to send out Steve’s information as a separate flyer to members this year, and let you register for this with him directly to keep my bookkeeping a little simpler, but the soup can be delivered with your regular bag (we’ll set up coolers at each drop spot).
An egg option is available as an add-on. For $80, you’ll receive a dozen farm-fresh eggs each week; for $45, your share will include six eggs.
Some additional items may be available occasionally a la carte as the season progresses, and we’ll make that information available to members as the opportunities arise.
There is no typical weekly basket, since it all depends on seasonal availability, but you’ll receive a variety every week, and the overall amount you receive will have a monetary value greater than the cost of your share.
We have several pickup options this year, all on Tuesdays:
- At Katie’s (Stoney Creek Valley Farm, 1170 Stoney Creek Rd, Dauphin) after 3 pm
- Harrisburg (Penbrook area, 304 N 30th) 3:30-8:00 pm
- Camp Hill (19th St, near the library) 4:00- 8:00 pm
- Mechanicsburg (108 E Locust St, 4:30-8:00 pm)
- New Cumberland (2nd St) after 7 pm (or at the NCTB rehearsal Tuesday nights)
Seventy five shares will be available in 2013, and based on feedback from 2012 members and the waiting list, we expect to sell out, so we recommend that you reserve a spot early. A fifty dollar check, made payable to Cool Beans CSA and mailed to Katie College, 1170 Stoney Creek Road, Dauphin PA 17018, will hold your spot. You’d be welcome to pay in full up front, or you can space two or three payments out equally over the winter. Our ‘payment plan’ is a bit informal – we would like you to make the arrangement that works best for you, but which also acknowledges that we can’t purchase spring supplies and pay our helpers if you wait until the last minute. Just let us know what your plan is, so we know what to expect.
It’s impossible to include everything here that you might want to know – so please don’t hesitate to email with any questions you might have. You may also wish to read through some of the blog entries, which range from informative essays on our philosophy about food safety to hastily dashed-off last minute messages to members on delivery days.
The 2013 season will be fourth for Cool Beans. We can safely sum up our CSA by telling you that we love what we do, we work our butts off, we mess up sometimes but always do our best to fix problems, and we truly love our members.