Community Supported Agriculture for Employees

UD Fresh to You is piloting a student-run community supported agriculture (CSA) program for University of Delaware employees. Students and leadership in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will offer delicious vegetables to the University community weekly during the fall and spring semesters.

The CSA is an outreach opportunity to facilitate conversation about food production. We also hope to foster a more accessible system of distribution where employees can take advantage of the fresh produce our students are growing. We aim to promote the wellbeing of UD employees, elevating their experience through our programming. 

Jalopenos

What is a CSA?

CSA stands for community supported agriculture. It is a distribution method that many farms adopted to not only guarantee the sale of their harvest, but also to create more awareness and engagement when it comes to food lifestyle and our connection to the farm. In our first year operating this CSA, we will limit participation to 50 members with plans to grow in succeeding growing seasons. By registering, you opt into a portion of our harvest. Once the season begins, each week we will have a designated pick up location where members will pick up their share each week and interact with the farmers. Small and large shares are offered. Our 22-week CSA program will run for 11 weeks in the fall (September through November) and another 11 weeks in the spring (February through May). Members pick up their share of our harvest weekly at a designated location.

Joining our CSA is a great opportunity to support UD students and to build on your own relationship with food and farming. The student farm is a giant classroom for Blue Hens to not only experience the challenges of maintaining an organic farm, but also to learn the business of agriculture.

Pilot CSA pricing

Size

Description

 

Total 22 weeks

Small

(1/2 bushel)

Perfect for two people who are veggie lovers or a family trying to incorporate more veggies into their diet.

 

$300*

Large

(1 bushel)

Great for veggie lovers and for families! If you are interested in preserving food for the winter, this is a great option.

 

$450**

Q. What is the farm doing to address concerns of COVID 19?

A: The farm follows all UD recommendations for best practices during the pandemic. Students and staff maintain six feet and follow social distancing protocols. In addition, students and staff are required to wear masks and single use gloves during harvest.     

Q: What happens if I miss a pick up?

A: Contact Fresh to You at freshtoyou@udel.edu. They may be able to make accommodations. Any shares not picked up without an email in advance with be donated to a partnering philanthropy.

Q: If I am unable to pick up my box, can I donate my share that week?

A: Of course! If you would like to forgo your share for the week, we will add it to our donation to the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center. 

Q: What produce can I expect to find in my box?

A:  Each week your box includes a representation of the harvest from that week. Weather and timing can influence the contents of your share. Generally, you can expect: 

Fall/Early Winter: Broccoli, eggplant, greens, herbs, okra, onions, peppers, root vegetables, tomatoes, squash, and pumpkins

Late Winter/Spring: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, greens, herbs, onions, potatoes, root vegetables, and winter squash

Q: I have a family of four, which size share should I purchase?

A: Our large share accommodates a family of four who enjoys cooking. The small share is a good option if you are trying to introduce more fresh foods into your family’s diet.  

Q: Can a friend pick up my share if I am unavailable?

A: Of course! To ensure a smooth pickup, email us in advance to let us know who to expect.

Q: Can I bring my kids to pick up my share?

A: Please do! Our goal is to create a space where community members can interact with their farmers. This includes your kids!

Q: How does volunteering work?

A: Fresh to You is always appreciative of volunteers lending their time to assist with various farm activities. To show our gratitude, volunteers may take home 1/4 of a share per week after completing at least four hours. Each week there will be open volunteer hours where you can drop in and farm with us! To be a volunteer, those interested must complete a free food safety training hosted by the University of Delaware. More details about training and open volunteer hours will follow closer to the start of the season.

Q: I am interested, but still have questions.

A: Send us an email and we are happy to answer. Contact the Fresh To You team at freshtoyou@udel.edu.

UD Fresh to You has grown tremendously over the last ten years. The site began with a mere one-third of an acre garden in 2009 and grew into a two-acre organic production. 

In 2013, UD Fresh to You expanded with the installation of their first high tunnel and began operating a retail stand. In 2014 and again in 2016, more infrastructure was added. Today, the location boasts four high tunnels, which have greatly extended their growing season.  

Last season, we increased our online presence and continued to grow, attending the Newark Natural Foods Market on Sundays in addition to managing their own stand on campus.

UD Fresh to You always prioritizes the farm as a space for learning. Each year interns learn how to manage an organic operation. The farm aims to continue to grow and be learning space for not only students but UD employees.  

UD Fresh to You values wellness and community. During the season farm interns partner with UD College of Health Sciences students to deliver UD Fresh organic produce to the Christiana Care Helen F. Graham Cancer Center and Research Institute. Tiffany Whary, a registered dietitian at Christiana Care, contacted us three years ago about organizing such a program.

Since then, UD students have set up a market stand in the lobby for patients and caregivers at no cost.

Center for Food Systems and Sustainability

The mission of CENFOODS is to coordinate, integrate and enhance UD’s research, teaching and outreach efforts on the sustainability of food production and surrounding ecosystem, and this is done through Center-led initiatives of cross-disciplinary student training (new Sustainable Food Systems major), undergraduate research/on farm experiences (Internships) and impactful public outreach.

Visit CENFOODS website