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, with respect for the land and the people involved in the process. I have not filled out all the forms and paid the (substantial) fee to be officially certified organic, but I do follow organic practices.

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.  Cool Beans has tweaked that basic formula just a bit so that our members don’t receive overwhelming amounts of any one item by setting up informal agreements with other sustainable farmers.  If I grow too much of one thing and not enough of another, or if something fails here, I’ll swap with another farmer I trust so that things even out a bit more for our Beans.  (I don’t want to eat Swiss chard twice a week all summer, either.)

Winter CSA shares are offered every two weeks from the end of December through the end of March.  There are eight deliveries in the winter CSA.

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 farmer is committed to providing members with the same fresh, healthy, safely grown food that she feeds her own family. 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 as freshly ground wheat flour, baked goods, or cheese. (I do not include meat products in our CSA, but I can point you toward several wonderful farmers in the area who raise safe meat.) My goal is to introduce members to the wide range of locally available options for awesome food.



I have several pickup options.  These are 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
A new option this year:  a FRIDAY pickup at the Harvest booth at the Broad St. Market, after 11 a m.
If you want to join, print the contract – you’ll see a link to it at the top of the home page – and send it in to me with your payment.  If you need to split the payment into two, let me know that this is your plan and tell me when to expect your second payment. Please have the payments in by the end of 2015.  if you need to delay your initial payment, get the contract in now so your spot is secured.

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 my philosophy about food safety to hastily dashed-off last minute messages to members on delivery days.  Cool Beans also has a Facebook page (Cool Beans CSA) which is easier for me to update from the field or from the delivery truck than this page.

The 2016 season will be third for Cool Beans; we’ve just finished the fifth regular season. I can safely sum up my CSA by telling you that I love what I do, I work my butt off, I mess up sometimes but always do my best to fix problems, and I truly love my members.

20 Responses to “About Cool Beans CSA: Winter 2016”

  1. Hannah says:

    Hi Katie!

    We are almost out of chai jelly. Is there anyway you would share the recipe, or (if you don’t want to share it) tell me how I can buy some more??


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  2. katie says:

    Hi Hannah, I’m glad you liked it. I used powdered pectin and followed the proportions suggested for using juice, but substituted chai instead. I guess that’s not much of a ‘recipe’, but that’s what I did……it was a homemade chai, strong tea with, let’s see, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamon, cloves, and black pepper. I do have some left, and I’ll have it with me at the market in Carlisle Wed Jan 5, 3-7 pm, the Depot Building, Cherry and Louther Sts.

  3. Tricia Coniglio says:

    Hi Katie!! Can’t believe I forgot to join for 2011!! Hope it is not too late, as we LOVED being a part of it last year! I would like a FULL share + an egg share. I’m picking up at Camp Hill location. I’ll print out the form and send in with payment early next week. Thanks so much…looking forward to all the farm fresh goodies you and Judi have to offer!!

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  4. katie says:

    Oh, good! We love getting new Beans, but having our old ones return is awesome. We have a lot of great things planned for this year!

  5. shannon says:

    Are there still available spaces open? Where is the sign up form?
    And can you pay with visa?

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  6. katie says:

    Hi Shannon – there are spaces still available, and there’s a link at the top of the hope page that you can click that will take you to the contract.

    We cannot take credit cards – we’d have to pay a fee to be able to do so, and then pass that on to customers, and it would raise our prices. We could run a Paypal payment through my iris business account, though, if that would be helpful. Email me if you’d like more information on doing that.

    Thanks for asking! ~katie

  7. Jessica says:

    Hi there!

    I am very interested in your full share and egg CSA membership. What are your deposits needed and do you offer any payment plans? 575 off the bat may be tough…let me know!!

    Thanks :)


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  8. katie says:

    Hi Jessica. We need to have full payment before the deliveries start in mid May, so our due date for the final payment is April 30. With a $50 deposit, you can structure the payments however you’d like to that point. We’re unable to offer any other kind of payment plan.

  9. Jessica says:

    That still gives over a month to get it in! Sounds great! I printed off the contract, make sure you tell Finian to keep an eye out!! Lol This is such a great concept and I wish more folks would get in on supporting local food supply! Thank you!

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  10. katie says:

    Not to worry – Finian’s currently busy watching over the new baby chickens that just arrived. A dog’s work is never done. We’ll keep a watch for your form, though!

  11. Michele says:

    Katie and Judi,

    Thanks so much for all you do! There is so much love in the bag each week. The surprises are fun. The produce has been amazing (especially given the weather challenges!) and I have enjoyed getting to know you a wee bit through the newsletter.
    I am so pleased to have connected with you. Thanks again! Enjoy this glorious day!

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  12. Jessica H says:

    Hi there,
    I’m new to the CSA community but very interested. Are there still 2012 spots available and do you have any sort of expected produce charts? My other question is if it’s possible to start at a partial share and upgrade after the first delivery or two?

  13. katie says:

    Hi, Jessica. We do still have shares. We do not have produce charts; we hope to after a few seasons, when we can look back and post something that has some data behind it. You can expect the deliveries to be seasonal – heavier on salad greens in the beginning, other veg and fruits added as they come into season. I can’t promise that you could up-size after a few weeks but if it’s possible we’d do so. ~katie

  14. melanie says:

    are there 2012 csa shares still available?

  15. katie says:

    Yes, today’s the first delivery, but we can work something out for you……..send in the paperwork and we’ll just add a few things to the first few bags to even it out.

  16. Lois says:

    Hi Katie,
    Are there 2013 CSA shares still available? I’m new to Cool Beans CSA.

  17. katie says:

    Yes, Lois, but not for much longer, I’m near the limit.

  18. Lois says:

    Great! I would like to join. How do I reserve a share? I didn’t see a phone number to call.

  19. Lois says:

    I found the contract. Filling it out now.

  20. Maura Caddell says:

    Hi, Katie,

    We are looking forward to another year of Cool Beans – a full share and a dozen eggs. By the way, my boys had a blast designing their own pizzas this week. Thanks for the ready-to-go crusts!

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