From time to time, I try to share comments or questions that we get. This is a good one.
"We purchased a beef share in the fall and we are a little over half through the beef and I was thinking we should put our name on the list to get another share. Are you planning on harvesting this spring? I wasn’t sure how often ya’ll harvested for the Beef Shares. Do I just need to mail a check for $100?"
This customer is thinking ahead! It helps me to give you an explanation of how our CSA Shares work. When we first started with our beef CSA, we did a lot of research into how it is being done all over the United States. If you're familiar with vegetable CSAs, like Ambrose and Legare Farms, you know that they take in money once per season and then have their harvest ready for the length of the season. You get your share weekly. Some folks were doing that for beef, too. Others provided what they considered a month supply. None of it was exactly what we were looking for...
In the meantime, we were having calls from people interested in buying a side of beef (1/2 cow), but most folks don't have room for that much meat at one time. Sometimes an extended family would get together and split a side. The tricky part was when Uncle Bob only wanted steaks. That left everyone else splitting the cost evenly without getting the most sought after cuts. They were left eating hamburger and hoping Uncle Bob had a cookout to share. So, we decided to start "cow pooling."
Once you send in a deposit, we group your name with 7 others. Together you share a cow - equally! Each family gets some steaks, roasts, and cuts from the front quarter and the hind quarter. Then the burger is evenly divided. We don't harvest until all 8 of you are on board, but you don't have to gather your friends, or even talk with your family! :)
Now back to the customer note... This cow pooling works for any size family and for whatever frequency your family eats red meat. If you know that a Beef Share will last your family 1 month, put down your deposit for the next Share when you pick this one up. If you'd like it twice a year, just do like this customer and get on the list when you're about 1/2 done with your current Share. If we get yours ready and I call you, you can always say, "I'm not ready now." I'll skip down to the next person, and leave you at the head of the list for my next batch of Shares, usually about a month later.
So if you'd like to cow pool with 7 of your dearest strangers, drop your deposit check in the mail! We're taking reservations now for late March to early April!