Our CSA: 

Hello interested CSA Members!  

The Shire Farm is entering its fourth year as a CSA Farm, and we are beginning sign-ups for the 2016 season!  Here at the Shire Farm we are striving to grow all that we can in a healthy and sustainable way, and to keep that growth and production within the limits and carrying capacity of our land. As a result, we are trying to stay small and local, to develop a dedicated local customer base that are invested in supporting local farms and local sustainable food. 

This year we will be only offering on-farm pick up for our Produce Shares. We are reducing the size of our CSA garden, and thus the number of CSA Produce Shares offered. Make sure to reserve your Produce Share today by emailing us about your interest and sending in a CSA Contract, available at the bottom of the page.

What is a CSA? 

CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, started in Japan and has become one of the most popular ways for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Basically, a farmer offers certain number of “shares” of what they can produce to the public. For our Produce Shares, the “share” consists of the weekly harvest divided amongst the shareholders based on the size of their share, or considered another way, based on the size of their investment in the farm. Our produce shares generally consist of a bushel to two bushels of vegetables, herbs, and fruit grown from our farm.

A late season Large Produce Share from 2014
By signing up, you are making an investment in a local farm and dedicating yourself to being our customer for the length of the season, coming to every weekly pickup, and giving us a secure income and destination for our products and some ease of mind in the fickle and risky world of farming. Central to the CSA program is the concept of shared risk, shared bounty. Farming is dependent on nature’s fickle moods, and we could lose our tomato crop to blight, or the spinach could bolt in a hot year. But you also share in the fresh and nutritious bounty of the farm, get to try new fruits and vegetables you may have never even heard of and new varieties of old favorites that you’d never find in the grocery store.

We do ask that our CSA members pay in advance for the CSA, this is because the greatest part of a farmer’s costs comes many months before we see a harvest and payoff. Our CSA members provide the investment for seed, tractor work, potting soil, livestock and feed, and provide a secure customer for that harvest. If you are unable to do so we can discuss making payments, trading part of the value of the share, or a Work Share. 

Our Share Season Length:

Our Produce Shares begin generally at the end of May to beginning of June, depending on how long winter sticks around and when we can first get a substantial harvest.  Our first year we had 17 weeks of fresh produce, our second year 18, and last year we had 19 weeks of fresh produce. Based on our climate we can get usually 15-22 weeks of fresh produce from the farm. This year we’ll again be using our greenhouse to grow cold season crops for an earlier spring harvest and a later fall harvest, extending our growing season. We will alert Produce CSA Shareholders when the first pickup of their share will be 1-2 weeks beforehand. 

Our Produce Shares:

One of our Large Produce Shares from 2014

All our produce is grown with sustainable methods and without the use of synthetic chemicals; you can read more about our farming practices here. Our Produce Shares include vegetables, herbs, and fruits all grown on our farm. We grow a diverse amount of produce and are always willing to try new things. This year we’ll be seeing a lot of the old favorites, adding Brussel sprouts for a late fall treat, we’ll be seeing Luffas again in the fall, and we’re going to be focusing on improving our root crops and perennial herbs.  You can see the diversity and size of our Produce Shares at our 2013 Photo CSA Review and 2014 Photo CSA Review.

Large Produce Share - $550.00 - This is enough to support a family and leave some left over to store, can, or freeze for winter, about two bushels a week. A Large Share is enough to feed 4 adults, or 2 adults and 2-4 children. Last year we had 19 great weeks of farm fresh produce, at our price that means you’re getting a fridge and pantry full of produce for under $27 a week!

Small Produce Share - $350.00 - This includes the same vegetables, herbs and fruit as a Large Produce Share, just in half the quantity, about a bushel a week. This size is best for a smaller household of 2 people, or for a 4-person family trying to get more fresh food in their diet and explore new foods. It can also be something two friends or neighbors go "halfsies" on. Last year we had 19 great weeks of farm fresh produce, at our price that means you’re getting a fridge full of produce for less than $16 a week!

We have a small orchard of about a dozen fruit trees of apple, apricot, pear, and cherry, 
so far we've had good apple and pear harvests

Egg Shares:

Our egg laying hens are heritage breed and pasture raised; they are given the entire farm to roam and only cooped up at night. They get most of their food from grass, bugs, larvae, extras from the garden, and undigested corn from the cows, and we also give them grain from our local feed mill. They are not given steroids, hormones, or medication. Egg Shares start when produce shares start and end when produce shares end, so 15-22 weeks total. Shareholders will be notified 2 weeks before pickups start. We also have eggs available on the farm for purchase for $3.00/dozen.

Small Egg Share - $45.00 - One dozen eggs per week for the length of the CSA Produce Shares or at least 18 weeks guaranteed.

Large Egg Share - $90.00 - Two dozen eggs per week for the length of the CSA Produce Shares or at least 18 weeks guaranteed.

Whole Chicken Meat Shares:

This year we will not be offering Chicken Meat Shares. We saved a few hens and a rooster from our Red Ranger flock last year and will be running different feed experimental trials to find a healthy and sustainable diet for the Red Ranger breed before we again offer them for sale to the public. 

If you are looking for local, sustainably raised broilers and don't know where to find them, we can point you to other local producers we know and respect or we recommend searching on 


Pork Meat Share:

Our hogs are raised outside on pasture and in woodland, they are fed a grain diet from our local mill and extra produce from the garden, orchard, and nut trees on the property. They are processed in the late fall or early winter by our local processor, Len’s Processing, just north of Ionia. The customer is responsible for the processing costs (usually ~$75.00 for a half hog, but can vary with more specialty sausages), which will be owed when picking up the meat at the processor. Our hogs are raised to 250-300 lbs live weight, coming out to about 140 lbs of meat in your freezer for a Whole Hog, or 70 lbs of meat for a Half Hog.  A Half Hog Share includes all the cuts (bacon, pork chops, ribs, pork steak, ham, loin roast, ribs, shoulder roast, sausage, hocks) but half the quantity of the Whole Hog Share, great for a two person household. Other specialty cuts such as liver, heart, brain can be had if requested from the processor. 
We recommend to all our customers who enroll in a Meat Share to purchase a medium to large freezer for storing your meat for the year.  We are trying to stay within the limits of our land, and hogs can be very hard on the land and vegetation. We are trying to mitigate this by moving them frequently and reseeding disturbed areas with forage crops. But for now we are limiting selling our pork to only customers that also purchase a Produce Share.
Half Hog Meat Share - $300.00

Whole Hog Meat Share - $550.00

Pickup Locations and Times:

This year we are only offering on-farm pick up at The Shire Farm, 3327 E. Boyer Road, Sheridan, MI  Wednesdays from 5:30-6:00 pm.


You can email us at ShireFarmMI@gmail.com to ask any questions you may have!

To sign up for The Shire Farm Community Supported Agriculture Program, please print and fill out the above contract and send it along with the
full payment to: Sara Figgins, The Shire Farm, 3327 E. Boyer Road, Sheridan, MI 48884.

We try to make our products affordable to all our customers, can't afford the full payment for your CSA Share all at once? Email or call us and we can work out an installment payment plan or partial Work Share.

1 comment:

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