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At Land’s Sake farm in Weston, the garlic plants have already sprung from the earth and started to reach for the sky, while parsnips pulled from the field are showing their skillet-ready size.
This may bode well for the upcoming summer’s bounty at Land’s Sake, where in mid-June the farmstand opens and the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program begins.
Due to its popularity, Land’s Sake is offering 240 CSA shares this summer — 100 more than last year. Shareholders can opt for a traditional share (21 weekly pickups, mid-June through October, for $625 plus a $55 membership fee) or a full share (21 weekly pickups, mid-June through October, plus two pickups in November and one in December, for $775 plus a $55 membership fee).
Each weekly CSA share provides 10 to 15 pounds of food, with anything from farm favorites like tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli and cucumbers, to turnips, rutabaga and cabbage, said Melanie Hardy, farm manager.
“We try our best to grow a variety, based on customer feedback,” said Hardy.
Giving people their favorites, plus some veggies they may not be as familiar with is one way to live up to Land’s Sake’s mission of connecting people to the land. The freshness is also a huge plus for shareholders, said Hardy.
“It’s teaching people to use food that’s easily grown in New England, and giving them their favorite vegetables,” she said. “We pick most of it the day of pickup, so you’re getting it hours — or sometimes a half hour — after it’s been pulled from the field.”
CSA pickup days are Tuesdays and Thursdays (2 to 7 p.m.), or Saturdays (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and there is an orientation for new shareholders.
While being a CSA shareholder benefits the people who take part, the farm itself is reaps rewards. The fees collected give the farm money up-front to buy seed and fertilizer, pay workers and pay for other necessities.
Land’s Sake also offers educational programs for teens — who learn to raise crops and tend chickens — and pick-your-own produce and flowers, plus farmstand selections, all while caring for the conservation lands the farm is on. Everything Land’s Sake sells is grown or made on the farm’s 21 acres at two Weston locations, including honey made from bees living in hives on the farm grounds.
“I think people really find peace here when they come at the end of the day, or anytime,” said Hardy. “People love bringing their kids out into the field.”
All told, Land’s Sake grows more than 300 varieties of fruits, vegetables and flowers, and for those lacking recipes, ones are offered on the website and in an email newsletter which provides farm updates in addition to ideas for tasty eats.
The farm also partners with the town to donate vegetables to Lovin’ Spoonfuls of Boston and Community Servings of Jamaica Plain, programs that feed and educate people in need.
For Hardy and the workers at Land’s Sake (there are about a dozen total), April is around the corner, meaning it will be time to remove the cover crops and begin planting summer’s staples.
“I love everything about my job,” said Hardy. “Being outside, meeting amazing people — community is the number one reason.”