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Unit System Explanation, Share Size Examples, and 2009 Season Harvest Summary

Overview: How much food do I get?

At Colchester Farm CSA, the amount of produce available to you each week depends on which share size you decide to purchase. We offer three share size options: small (5 units), medium (8 units) and large (14 units).

You might be wondering: what is a "unit" of vegetables? How does the farmer determine how big a unit will be? What does a share really amount to at different points in the growing season? What follows is an attempt to answer those questions.

What is a "unit" of vegetables?

A "unit" of vegetables is meant to approximate what one would typically find at a supermarket: a bunch of carrots, a pint of cherry tomatoes, a bag of lettuce, or a head of broccoli. The exact weight or volume of a given "unit" of vegetables may differ somewhat from one week to the next depending on a number of factors. Read on to learn more about what lies behind the "unit" size.

How does CFCSA determine a "unit" size?

We determine the "unit" size of a given vegetable on a given week based on the following constraints: convention, the whims of Mother Nature, time, space and labor availability.

We generally try to plant enough of a given vegetable to make a fairly standard amount of that vegetable available to members during the time of year that vegetable is in season in our temperate climate. But other factors may allow us to offer more or less of a vegetable on a given week.

Crop failure due to pest pressure and harsh weather conditions may preclude our ability to offer as much to members as we would like; especially favorable weather conditions and very productive plantings may allow us to offer more than would normally be possible. Nevertheless, we harvest most everything by hand. Time and labor are major constraints in planting, tending, and harvesting. We can only harvest so much of certain vegetables because they're labor intensive to pick (e.g., peas, beans and cherry tomatoes).

If you would like a more concrete idea of what constitutes a "unit" of the various vegetables we grow, please see our share size and "unit" size examples below.

Can I take more than one "unit" of a given vegetable?

We understand individual preference and menu requirements differ; usually, members may take as many or as few "units" of a given vegetable as desired (unless you're receiving a pre-boxed share), though no more than the number of "units" you paid for. Vegetables that are limited in quantity on a given week will be limited to one "unit" per share.

Share Size and "Unit" Size Examples

The share size and "unit" size examples below provide a snapshot of vegetable availability at different points in the season, and also provide a concrete quantification of "unit" sizes for different vegetables at different points in the season.

The examples below are based on 2009 harvest data and "unit" size data. Examples are provided for our small and large share sizes during the first and second half of each month during the 2009 CSA season (late-May through early-November). The harvest varies year-to-year depending on a multitude of factors, so the examples provided only offer a general guide to vegetable availability, in terms of both variety and quantity; it is not a prediction of our future harvests or a guarantee of weekly availability this season.

You might also find useful our vegetable seasonal availability chart.

June (earlier / late-May)

Small Share: 5 oz. lettuce mix * 5 oz. spinach * 10 oz. broccoli * 1 bunch radishes * bunch of 10 garlic scapes * (bonus items: chives, garlic chives, spearmint, oregano)
Large Share: 10 oz. lettuce mix * 10 oz. spinach * 20 oz. broccoli * 2 bunches radishes * bunch of 10 garlic scapes * 2 heads lettuce * 5 oz. arugula * 1 12 oz. bunch kale * 1 head bok choy * (bonus items: chives, garlic chives, spearmint, oregano)

June (later)

Small Share: 5 oz. lettuce mix * 1 8 oz. bunch Swiss chard * 8 oz. sugar snap peas * 1 lb. purplette onions * 1 lb. carrots * (bonus items: basil, cilantro, dill and parsley)
Large Share: 10 oz. lettuce mix * 1 8 oz. bunch Swiss chard * 8 oz. sugar snap peas * 1 lb. purplette onions * 1 head cabbage * 1 lb. carrots * 2 slicing cucumbers * 1 head bok choy * 1 lb. summer squash/zucchini * 8 oz. shell or snow peas * 1 lb. new potatoes * 1 12 oz. bunch kale * 1 flower bouquet * (bonus items: basil, cilantro, dill and parsley)

July (earlier)

Small Share: 5 oz. lettuce mix * 2 lbs. summer squash/zucchini * 3 slicing cucumbers * 1 lb. green beans * 1 head cabbage * (bonus items: basil, cilantro, dill, parsley)
Large Share: 5 oz. lettuce mix * 4 lbs. summer squash/zucchini * 3 slicing cucumbers * 2 lb. green beans * 1 head cabbage * 1 lb. purplette onions * 2 lbs. potatoes * 3 heads garlic * 1 bunch carrots * 1 8 oz. bunch Swiss chard * 1 bunch kohlrabi (bonus items: basil, cilantro, dill, parsley)

July (later)

Small Share: 5 oz. lettuce mix * 1 lb. tomatoes plus 1 pint cherry tomatoes * 2 lbs. summer squash/zucchini * 1 lb. white onions * 3 slicing cucumbers * (bonus items: basil, hot peppers, parsley, peppermint and spearmint)
Large Share: 10 oz. lettuce mix * 3 lbs. tomatoes plus 1 pint cherry tomatoes * 2 lbs. summer squash/zucchini * 1 lb. white onions * 3 slicing cucumbers * 6 pickling cucumbers * 4 ears corn * 2 heads cabbage * 3 heads garlic * 1 lb. potatoes * 1 bunch beets (bonus items: basil, hot peppers, parsley, peppermint and spearmint)

August (earlier)

Small Share: 1 lb. green beans * 2 muskmelons/cantaloupes * 2 lbs. summer squash/zucchini * 4 lbs. tomatoes (heirloom, red slicing, and/or plum) + 1 pint cherry tomatoes * 4 ears sweet corn * (bonus items: basil and hot peppers)
Large Share: 2 lbs. green beans * 2 muskmelons/cantaloupes * 1 watermelon * 2 lbs. summer squash/zucchini * 4 lbs. tomatoes (heirloom, red slicing, and/or plum) + 1 pint cherry tomatoes * 8 ears sweet corn * 5 oz. lettuce mix * 1 lb. potatoes * 3 heads garlic * 2 slicing cucumbers or 4 pickling cucumbers * 3 sweet bell peppers * 1 bunch scallions * (bonus items: basil and hot peppers)

August (later)

Small Share: 1 bunch carrots * 2 sweet bell peppers * 2 lbs. potatoes * 1 spaghetti or 1 acorn squash * 1 watermelon * (bonus items: basil and hot peppers)
Large Share: 1 bunch carrots * 4 sweet bell peppers * 2 lbs. potatoes * 1 spaghetti or 1 acorn squash * 1 watermelon * 4 ears sweet corn * 1 lb. white onions * 1 bunch scallions * 10 stalks edamame * 5 oz. lettuce mix * 1 bunch purslane * 2 lbs. tomatoes (red slicing, heirloom and/or plum) or 2 pints cherry tomatoes * (bonus items: basil and hot peppers)

September (earlier)

Small Share: 6 ears sweet corn * 1 head bok choy * 2 lbs tomatoes (heirloom, red slicing, and/or plum) * 1 bunch radishes * 1 lb. mixed yellow and red onions * (bonus items: basil, cilantro, hot peppers)
Large Share: 6 ears sweet corn * 1 head bok choy * 2 lbs tomatoes * 1 bunch radishes * 1 lb. mixed yellow and red onions * 1/2 pint shallots * 2 pints cherry tomatoes * 1 lb. potatoes * 1 watermelon * 1 winter squash * 6 sweet bell peppers * 3 small eggplant * 5 oz. lettuce mix * 3 heads garlic * (bonus items: basil, cilantro, hot peppers)

September (later)

Small Share: 1 winter squash (delicata, sweet dumpling or butternut) * 5 oz. arugula or lettuce mix * 3 small eggplant * 1 bunch watermelon radishes * 1 bunch turnips * (bonus items: basil, cilantro, dill, rosemary, sage and assorted hot peppers)
Large Share: 1 winter squash (delicata, sweet dumpling or butternut) * 5 oz. arugula * 5 oz. lettuce mix * 3 small eggplant * 1 bunch watermelon radishes * 1 bunch turnips * 1 lb. mixed red and yellow onions * 3 heads garlic * 3 or 4 bell peppers * 2 lbs. potatoes * 1 bunch beets * 2 heads bok choy * 1 bunch kohlrabi * 1/2 pint shallots * (bonus items: basil, cilantro, dill, rosemary, sage and assorted hot peppers)

October (earlier)

Small Share: 1 butternut squash * 5 oz. spinach * 10 oz. broccoli * 2 lbs. sweet potatoes * 3 heads garlic * (bonus items: basil, cilantro, dill, rosemary, sage and assorted hot peppers)
Large Share: 1 butternut squash * 5 oz. spinach * 10 oz. broccoli * 2 lbs. sweet potatoes * 3 heads garlic * 1 bunch leeks * 5 oz. mixed asian greens * 5 daikon radishes * 3 or 4 bell peppers * 1 lb. potatoes * 1 bunch turnips * 1/2 pint shallots * 1 bunch kohlrabi * 5 oz. lettuce mix or arugula * (bonus items: basil, cilantro, dill, rosemary, sage and assorted hot peppers)

October (later)

Small Share: 1 head cauliflower * 5 oz. spinach * 5 oz. lettuce mix * 1 12 oz. bunch kale * 2 heads bok choy * (bonus items: basil, cilantro, dill, rosemary and sage)
Large Share: 1 head cauliflower * 5 oz. spinach * 5 oz. lettuce mix * 1 12 oz. bunch kale * 2 heads bok choy * 8 oz. mixed asian greens * 2 lbs. potatoes * 1 head cabbage * 1 bunch radishes * 1 bunch turnips * 5 oz. arugula * 3 heads garlic * 1/2 pint shallots * 10 oz. broccoli (bonus items: basil, cilantro, dill, rosemary and sage)

November

Small Share: 5 oz. arugula * 1 bunch beets * 2 celery roots * 5 oz. spinach * 1 head cauliflower or 10 oz. broccoli or 1 head cabbage * (bonus items: cilantro, dill, parsley, and rosemary)
Large Share: 5 oz. arugula * 1 bunch beets * 2 celery roots * 5 oz. spinach * 1 head cabbage * 10 oz. broccoli * 1 bunch carrots * 1 bunch turnips * 1 butternut squash * 1 lb onions * 5 oz. lettuce mix * 2 lbs sweet potatoes * 3 heads garlic * 2 lb. potatoes * (bonus items: cilantro, dill, parsley, thyme, and rosemary)

2009 Harvest Summary

Our CSA harvest season was 22 weeks in 2009. We harvested every Monday and Wednesday for 138 CSA members or member families, beginning Wednesday May 27, and ending Monday October 26. We also harvested for the Middletown Farmers market from April 11-August 1 and for the Chestertown Farmers Market from May 30-December 12. We offered 43 different types of vegetables, and 170 varieties, not including flowers and herbs. Mid-summer, we had sufficient tomato production to offer a gleaning opportunity for members interested in canning tomatoes.


Colchester Farm | P.O. Box 191 | Georgetown MD 21930 | (at 31285 Georgetown Cemetery Rd)
 
Updated October 17, 2012