All organic and natural methods are used in raising our animals and in our gardens. We feed non-gmo feeds and use antibiotics only in extreme circumstances. Herbal treatments take priority at our farm....including parasite control, mineral supplements, immune boosters and whole health supplements. NO chemicals are used in the gardens and we utilize companion plantings, manual pest control and resistant plants for larger healthier harvests. Non-gmo seed stock is used. Any necessary variations from our normal proceedures will be disclosed openly to our customers.
We are providing a "full service" CSA. Not only will you get vegetables, but we are also able to include USDA processed, all natural meats. Small farm raised, all natural pork, duck, chicken, rabbit, quail and goat. Certain years we will also offer beef for additional purchase. Also included in your share are eggs, herbs and even maple syrup! All of our animals are raised humanely and without antibiotics or hormones and on organic and non-GMO feeds! Our animals are raised within a combination of the following: on pasture, free range, cage and tractors. Our plants are grown in our own black gold (compost made right here on the farm) and grown without the use of pesticides or other chemicals. Everything is as naturally grown as possible. We are NOT certified organic, but do our best to follow all organic methods, such as companion planting, natural soil amendments, crop rotation and much more.
Exact yearly pricing will be announced by mid January of the season year. Number of shares available will be determined by the previous years harvest. We do plan to offer a couple of extra meat only shares. See HERE for current available pricing and shares available.
What the heck is a CSA you ask? The CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. In short it is a farm (usually a small one or group of small farms) that provide (for an upfront fee) a few weeks or months of fresh farm produce to members of the community. Any farm items from baked goods, to vegetables, to meats, to even firewood can be included. For a very detailed description check out this link to a excerpt by Susan Demuth on the USDA website http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/csa/csadef.shtml
What am I going to get for my money? We will be offering Standard Full Shares or Standard Half Shares. (We do have a payment plan available that requires a minimum deposit and then the balance to be paid by April 30th.) BONUS: If you pay in full with just one payment, we will throw in one of our specialty gift baskets at time of payment as a thank you gift. (Assorted jams and jellies made here on the farm in a lovely basket including linens and other specialty themed items!)
NOTE: Please see below in the "Share options" section for a more specific list of what you should see in the current year.
A Standard Share should include weekly: Your share of the vegetables which may include but are not limited to heirloom tomatoes (multiple varieties), potatoes, onions, green beans, asparagus, purple beans, greens, hot and mild peppers, zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, cucumbers, radishes, parsnips, lettuce, spinach, beets, rhubarb, broccoli, brussels sprouts, winter squash, pumpkins, carrots, kale, cauliflower and peas. Is there something you know you just have to have? Let us know since there is usually room in the garden for something extra! Which vegetables you are actually getting each week will depend on what is “in season” that week (or weeks), the weather and perhaps other environmental factors. Our goal is to provide each full share holder AT LEAST an average 10 pounds of vegetables each week and half share holder 5 pounds. As potatoes and tomatoes come ripe there may be over double that each week. Of course in early spring when there may be nothing but greens and cold weather crops available there may be a bit less.
NOTE: after keeping vegetable harvest totals in 2012, the average share would have included approximately 18# of vegetables each week over a 10 week period (that is at least 180# total). Due to a very early spring and late frosts we did not have a fruit harvest on our apples or cherries. I need to keep track again in 2015 to get a complete harvest total once again. We have expanded quite a bit since 2013!!
Eggs: approximately one dozen farm fresh and multi colored eggs for a full share holder and 1/2 dozen for half share holders. **Quail eggs will also be available upon request.
A Standard Share will also include the following items (not available every week but periodically in the amounts listed):
NOTE: a discount may be available if you choose to pick up live animals and either do your own butchering or take them in to the abattior yourself (this ONLY is possible with full shares that include a full animal).
Home raised pork. We began by raising Asian Heirloom Hogs which are a “mini” version of today’s full size farm pigs. In 2015 we added a Mulefoot/Mangalitsa cross sow to our herd. Each full share holder will get approximately 20-30# of pork packaged to your specifications. Each half share holder will get approximately 10-15#. Weight will also be dependent on the time of year our piglet crop is born. Generally we have one litter every 9 months. Sausage can be made at no extra charge. (If you choose to have your meat smoked that IS an additional charge.) You will also get approximately 2-4# of lard if you so choose (so many uses for that lard!).
Home raised chicken. We normally raise heritage breeds of chickens. Unfortunately these heritage breeds are not your “normal” fat and meaty chickens you buy wrapped in plastic and most consumers are not used to the leaner meat and stronger flavor they impart. We have decided to offer Cornish cross chickens instead for our patrons. These are a larger meatier bird that you should enjoy. Each full share holder will receive 6 chickens. Each ½ share holder will receive 3 (all birds only available whole, not cut up). (Additional chickens are available for individual sale and shareholders will receive a 10% discount off of our listed prices.) Our meat birds are raised free-range with supplemental feed. They utilize greens, loose goat grains and our non-gmo chicken feed for their growth.
Home raised rabbit. We have a few varying breeds we are currently breeding ( Silver Fox and Silver Cross "mutts" being the main ones). These make for super quality meat rabbits. We will be offering 4 rabbits for each full share holder and each 1/2 share holder will receive 2 rabbits. If you are interested in receiving the unprocessed hides from your animals please let us know. For a small additional fee of $1.50 each, we can include these unprocessed hides for you. (Additional rabbits are available for individual sale and shareholders will receive a 10% discount off of listed prices.)
Home raised chevon. I’m sure a few of you are asking “What is chevon? It’s goat meat. Don’t panic!! It is an extremely lean and tasty meat. If you like venison you will LOVE chevon. If you hate venison, I’m pretty sure you will still love chevon. It is actually similar to venison, but leaning more towards beef in flavor and texture. Each full share holder will receive approximately 1/2 of a goat. That works out to be approximately 15-20# of assorted cuts. Each package will include burger, roast and stew meat FULL SHARES ONLY.
Home raised Duck. Not everybody likes duck, but here is your chance to try it. Our ducks are Muscovy ducks which are quite large and actually have a flavor and texture very similar to beef! Full share holders will receive two ducks and 1/2 share holders will receive one duck. (Additional ducks are available for individual sale and shareholders will get a 10% discount off of our listed prices.)
Home raised Quails. We had hoped to add quail to the farm in 2016 but do to time restraints and scheduling were unable to. However we WILL have quails available for the 2017 season. Currently unsure of the numbers that will be available since this is our first year.
Unfortunately we will not be offering turkey any longer unless we can find a cooperating farm to swap with.
Maple Syrup: Straight out of local trees! 2 pints per full share holder; 1 pint per half share holder
Wild foods: We MAY have the following available depending on Mother Nature each year: wild ramps (a much smaller and tastier version of the store bought leeks usually found in early spring); wild blackberries (usually found in late summer). Quantities and availability are solely dependent on the season and what nature chooses to grace us with (including the weather).
Herbs: As needed feel free to get a snip here and there of some of our herbal offerings. We currently have or plan on having: Rosemary, tarragon, horseradish, peppermint, marjoram, spearmint, assorted basils, sorrel, sage, lavender, chives, garlic chives, chocolate mint and dill. We may automatically include certain herbs with your share if it completes a recipe from our weekly newsletter.
Apples: In 2011 we had a major boon of apples - more than even we and our animals could use! If our crop is anywhere near what we had in 2011, we will try and include at least 10# of apples for each full shareholder. Half shareholders will receive about 5#. These are NOT the “prefect” apples you find in your local supermarket, but they ARE tasty and make great eating apples and even better apples for dessert making or canning. We have assorted varieties and you would receive some from each tree. Due to late frosts we have had poor years of harvests. In 2016 the drought was so bad we lost a majority of our apples to drop.
Peaches, pears and blueberries: Our trees and bushes are kind of small, but are beginning to produce already. We may be able to offer just a few beginning in the 2016 season.
Cherries: We have small trees and mature trees of both sweet and tart cherries. We may not be able to offer enough for canning and preserving, but we will try and add a enough to your basket when they are in season to make an awesome pie or two.
Honey We have a strong (and full) hive arriving in 2014 so we will offer honey also to our shareholders in 2015. Full shareholders will receive approximately 1# of amazing raw local honey and 1/2 shareholders will receive approximately 1/2# of raw local honey.
We will also provide you a weekly newsletter with each pickup detailing easy recipes to use your delicious meats, fruits and vegetables that week. We hope to keep you updated as to what your next pickup should include. I hope you will also enjoy reading about the weekly goings on at Cornerstone Acres!
CSA shareholders will get a 10% discount off any listed price on the individually sold meat options. We have additional chickens, ducks, quails and rabbits available. We will have pasture raised beef available starting (possibly) in the 2016 season (1/2 or 1/4 only, currently no individual cuts, sorry). With the addition of Ginger the Jersey heifer in 2014 we also hope to be adding cow milk herdshares in late 2015!
NOTE: We will also be offering a meat only share. This will NOT be a weekly pickup, but two or three pickups only. It will include the above listed meats (Chevon, pork, rabbit, quails, duck and chicken) at the full share amounts. Only one size meat share is available.
NON-FOOD ITEMS AVAILABLE. Have you thought you might like to get into spinning fibers? For those interested we would be happy to supply you with some of our amazing plucked Angora rabbit fiber. (supply limited and only available by specific shareholder request) All CSA shareholders will receive a few bars of our homemade all natural goat's milk soaps. Starting your own garden? How about some manure? We have an abundance of nice soon-to-be black gold (you just need to compost it). You can come and scoop out any of the barns yourself and take as much as you like. We current offer cow, goat/alpaca, rabbit and horse.
How will I get my items? We are actually located in Boon (just a few miles west of Cadillac) and welcome visitors to our farm. We would love to have you come to our farm and see exactly where your food is coming from. However if that is not convenient for you, we will try and schedule one weekly trip into Cadillac for multiple shareholders…meeting in one designated place the same day and time each week. There will be a set time, not a window of time, available for pick-up.
How long and when will I be getting my foods? We are looking at providing about 10-14 weeks of vegetable deliveries hopefully beginning in late May or early June. 10 weeks of eggs available. All meat items will be provided before the end of December (some items such as maple syrup and chicken will be available with one of your earlier weeks).
What future items can I expect to see at Cornerstone Acres CSA? As our support grows we would like to add more options to your grocery cart here with us. Beef (in certain years), red raspberries(expansion added in 2014 and 2016), cherries, mulberries and other tree fruits are just a few. Other items could include walnuts, mushrooms, sunflower heads, corn, flowers, handmade goat milk soaps, berry and fruit wines, breads, jams/jellies, ....the possibilities are almost endless. We have extensive experience in producing many things, we just need to know there is a market for our added efforts so please let us know what your "votes" are.
We do have goat's milk, but at this time are unable to sell due to legal restrictions. If there is enough of a demand, perhaps sometime in the future we can get certified to allow us to include milk in your CSA share. Another option if we decide to increase our milking herd, is to offer a herdshare option. We would love to hear your input on this issue.
If there are other things you wouldl like to see offered, please let us know. We would enjoy hearing all your ideas.
Our goal is to find share holders who would like to come back to us year after year. If you are a client from a previous year we will be offering a 3% discount for each year you have been with us. (Up to 12%)
Currently we are only one small farm offering all of this to our customers, but if you are another farmer who may have something to add to our CSA offerings please let us know. We do reserve the right to substitute equally raised local produce to our customers in lieu of our own (if production is not up to par). We will certainly notifiy our shareholders before taking this option. However we should be able to allow and even encourage you to visit these farms if we do this.
If you have problems or issues with either our product or service during the season, please contact us as soon as possible.
If you are ever going to be unable to pick up your share - please let us know in advance.
NOTE: 2012 season totals are listed on our blog post (http://cornerstoneacresfarm.blogspot.com/2012/09/fall-season-updatesits-been-one-heck-of.html) Keep in mind that post was BEFORE the end of tomato and pepper season. Also had we caught the squash borers sooner we would have gotten many more squash. The poundage total for 2012 was almost 700# of vegetables. That would have allowed almost 200# per share. Imagine what we could have offered if the apple and cherry crop hadn't been demolished by the early spring and late frosts? Starting at the beginning of our 2013 growing season we have added 50% more growing space to our vegetable garden, doubled our potato towers, doubled our strawberry bed and added three good size peach trees.
2015 season totals were (for fullshares): over 220# of fruits and vegetables and over 105# of meat.
2017 season totals were (for fullshares): over 215# of fruits and vegetables and (totals not in yet) of meat
Don't forget, we are an all natural and non-GMO supporter and feed our plants and animals as such, with an emphasis on free-range and pasture raised animals. No antibiotics, chemicals or hormones are used on the animals we use/sell for meat and we do our best to avoid those things with ANY of our animals! Also, each year (after the first year)you participate in our CSA program we will add an additional 3% discount to the current years pricing (up to 12%). All CSA members, no matter which share you purchase, will also be eligible to buy our individually priced rabbits or meat birds - chickens, ducks or quails- at 10% off the listed pricing (see our "Products for Sale" page).
NOTE: If you find another local CSA (within about 40 miles) with similar share items for a lower price, let us know and send us a link to the CSA information and we can discuss matching prices.
Full standard share: $795 **Best Value** 3 available
Should include the following:
Half standard share: $495 6 available
Meat only share: $625 3 available
Garden only share: $350 3 available
#1 Payment in full is at the prices listed with each package above. (includes a free special gift basket with your first weekly pickup) Payment due by April 1st.
#2 Partial payment options: Deposits of either 25% (full standard shares and meat shares) or 50% (1/2 standard share or Garden only share) are due to hold your share with the balance plus 5% (of the basic price) due by May 15th. Example: If a full share costs $795 a deposit of $198.75 is due by April 1st and the balance of $599.25 PLUS $33.75(5%) is due by May 15th.
As with any CSA listed items and quantities are subject to change due to weather, pests, animal illness etc. When buying into a CSA you are taking the same risks as if you were growing the plants or raising the animals yourself. In the case of any major failings, we do not offer "refunds" however we are willing to look into each situation on a case by case basis and may be more than happy to carry over a portion of your paid share to the following year.