The concept of Community Supported Agriculture was brought to the United States from Europe during the early 1980’s. The idea of subscription agriculture (“teikei”) was started in Japan over forty years ago. During the mid 80’s, two New England farms established what would become a growing trend of sustainable, organic-based agriculture.
In simple terms, CSA is a relationship between people, a farmer, and the farm. In advance of the growing season, members (share-holders) invest (purchase “shares”) in the farms seasonal bounty. Besides enjoying a wide variety of fresh, healthy, and flavorful produce, the members agree to share the many risks inherent to farming. In the event of a poor harvest due to environmental conditions, unfavorable weather, pests; or disease, everyone accepts a smaller quantity or lesser quality. Farming has good years, and bad years.
The CSA gives members a personal connection with the farmer growing their food …a unique, spiritual relationship.
Over the years we have helped raise funds for our local garden club, the Green Thumb Garden Club by participating in the “Treasures of Jackson” garden tour. You can also check out DIG IT! Magazine article on Three Pines Farm, to meet “The Weeder and the Eater”. We have also been featured in an Asbury Park Press article from the summer of 2011.
The four and one-half acre property, that we call home, is a wildlife habitat certified by the National Wildlife Federation and the Pollinator Partnership as a Bee Friendly Farm. Here at Three Pines Farm, the good earth supports a wide variety of mature hardwoods, pines (of course), and shrubs, as well as many beautiful flowers. Over seventy species of birds frequently visit throughout the year and some raise their young here. On a good day, you might catch a glimpse of one of twenty-one species of mammals, thirteen species of reptiles or amphibians, or the many insects, especially butterflies and other pollinators.
Three Pines Farm was established in 1998. With the help of a local farmer, we plowed roughly a quarter of an acre (of what was a grass yard) for a home garden. Then we started the back-breaking work of building the fertile soil that exists today as one full acre under cultivation.
A small farm by most standards, we still produced enough of a surplus to open an “ON YOUR HONOR” road-side stand in 2000. Patrons have said that we grew the best tasting “local” tomatoes. Then, during a trip to the Carolinas in 2007, with two very dear friends, we were introduced to the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement. Three Pines Farm CSA was started four weeks later. Thanks L & D! As our CSA has grown, so has the farm. The road-side stand was closed as our efforts shifted to support our new CSA community. Thanks to everyone who supported our initial road-side stand for many years!
We rely on organic methods to maintain plant nutrition and insect management. Most of the work is done the old-fashioned way, by hand. What started as a hobby many decades ago has grown into a passion to organically grow healthy, flavorful food for our families and friends. We are excited every season, and with the support of CSA members, we will continue to grow together and enjoy our labors of love!
Farmer Leo and Family