Longer days and warmer temps are getting us excited for the spring and summer seasons! Although there's still plenty of snow and chilly months ahead, farmers are planning crops and starting seeds, baby animals are appearing all over the valleys, and CSA sales have begun.
CSA stands for community supported agriculture. In short, it's a sales model that provides farms the opportunity to raise capital at the beginning of the season by selling "shares" of their upcoming harvests, which helps them purchase seeds, soil amendments, equipment, and more. In exchange for your investment, you get a regular supply of produce (or flowers or other farm goods) harvested throughout the season
Farm Cart offers many of the same benefits of a CSA program, but with a few key differences. If you're considering one or the other, here are some things to chew on:
How is Farm Cart Similar to a CSA?
Supports Local Farms - CSA programs offer customers a way to directly support a local producer. Farm Cart supports local farms and ranches of all sizes with direct purchases year-round. We source the majority or our fresh produce, eggs, beef, and pork from producers in Gallatin Valley and neighboring valleys. In each delivery, we include a list of the producers represented and where they're located. Our website hosts more information about the producers we support and where you can find their products.
Fresh Produce - CSAs are best known for providing their members with a season's worth of freshly harvested veggies and fruits. Farm Cart brings you the best produce of the season, no matter the season. We include 6 local food items in your weekly deliveries, and some of it will always be fresh produce. The more that's available, the more you'll get. We also curate weekly variety, so you'll never be overwhelmed with a bumper crop from one week to the next.
Healthy (and adventurous!) Eating - CSAs appeal to people who want to eat healthy foods and aren't afraid to try new things. If your fridge fills with fresh veggies every week or two, you're probably going to eat more veggies and find new ways to enjoy them. Farm Cart includes a broad spectrum of healthy foods including but not limited to fruits and vegetables: we source nutrient-dense whole grains and legumes, fermented foods, fresh eggs, dairy products, meats, and more. And yes, we also include the occasional treats, like fresh pasta, or ice cream! We're not here to tell you how to eat, but we'll bring you some delicious fresh foods along with a few recipe ideas to help you choose your own adventure.
How is Farm Cart Different Than a CSA?
We Bring It to You Adding another errand to your already busy life isn't ideal. That's why we deliver right to your door every week within 10 miles of downtown Bozeman. This includes Belgrade, Four Corners, and whole lot more of Gallatin Valley. If you're not in our delivery zone, we'll work to find a convenient pick-up location that is.
Flexible Payments and Sign-up Times Pay month-to-month instead of all at once, or pay all at once if you want to. It's up to you! Begin your deliveries any time you want and stop anytime you want. You decide. Farm Cart is not a farm, so we're not bound by the demands of each season. Local food is available all year long, and we're here to bring it to you whenever you want it.
Wide Variety of Goods Customers consistently tell us they love the variety of foods they get each week. Truly, no two weeks are the same! Opening a Farm Cart bag is like opening a present every single week. It's always a delightful surprise to see what we brought you, even when you know because you read the email we sent letting you know ahead of time. If you want to mix it up a little, Farm Cart is a good place to start.
Other Considerations and CSA resources
If you're curious about participating in a local farm's CSA, we strongly encourage you to check them out. Below is a list of farms that we know of in the area that offer CSA programs with links to their websites. Directly supporting a farm is a beautiful thing and for some households, it's absolutely the best option.
Bozeman Area CSA Programs
Three Hearts Farm - Bozeman
Gallatin Valley Botanical at Rocky Creek Farm - Bozeman
Towne's Harvest Garden - MSU
Catamount Farm - Belgrade
Black Dog Farm - Livingston [Pork, chicken, and eggs]
Farm Cart wasn't created to compete with local farms; it was created to offer you another access point to local food. If you like the idea of eating fresh, healthy foods, but aren't sure that a CSA is the right fit, you might like Farm Cart. Take a tour of our offerings on our website and Instagram, and reach out to us directly with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org, or better yet - come ask us in person at the Bozeman Winter Farmers' Market! This Saturday, March 7th, 9 am-Noon in the Emerson ballroom.