If you decide to join Abbe Hills Farm CSA , you'll soon learn the pleasures of eating seasonally and locally. Often, the fresh and amazingly tasty vegetables will make you become a better cook and your kids become better eaters. Certainly, you'll pay more attention to the weather!
We work very hard here at Abbe Hills Farm CSA to honor the confidence you show in us and the responsibility you give us to produce your family's food in a thoughtful, careful, and transparent manner. All of us at Abbe Hills Farm look forward to growing food for your family in 2021.
This is Laura's brother, Aaron Krouse. You might know him from his day job at the Oakland Road HyVee. He loves to help at the farm on the weekends, and is responsible for making sure we've always got plenty of chicken feed on hand.
Family size shares are about the right amount of vegetables for a family of four for a week, or two vegetarians who mostly eat at home.
Single size shares are a little more than half as much, and are often enough for a couple who eats away from home some, or who has very small children.
Check out "What's in a Share" for photos of some weekly family size shares from previous seasons. Start small in June, get more by October!
PIckup is Thursday afternoons, 3:00 until 6:00, at the farm near Mt. Vernon. Just like we did in 2020, we'll have drive-through pickup. We'll have you bring a bag and a box and help you select a few things each week in addition to the basic, prepacked share.
Our vegetable season will probably run from June 3 until October 14, 20 weeks. CSA shareholders pickup 18 times during that period. You decide which dates are best for you, skip the two that don't work as well.
Our regular season is 20 weeks long, with shareholders choosing which 18 weeks they want to pick up their share.
Our half-season is 10 weeks, probably starting August 12, with shareholders choosing which 9 weeks they want to pick up their share.
Until we fill up, new shareholders are welcome to begin their season any time. The share price can be prorated for late starters.
Family size shares for the full season are $540, or $30 per week.
Single size shares for the full season are $333, or $18.50 per week.
Family size shares for half season are $297, or $33 per week.
Single size shares for half season are $194, or $21.50 per week.
An initial payment of at least $100 at registration will hold your spot in the CSA.
Between the pandemic, recession, and derecho, money is tight for many. Still, everybody needs and deserves good food! Together, we can help.
Want to donate to the fund to help families afford their CSA membership? You can make a gift when you register.
Need a payment plan or a little help to join the CSA? Contact Laura or make a note on your registration form. You tell us what payment schedule you can manage and we'll make it work.
Want to pay with a check or cash? Save a little money, too? Great!
Please print this registration form and mail to Laura with your initial payment . Email or call if you need additional help
Laura Krouse bought the 72-acre Abbe Hills Farm in 1988 from the Neal family of Mount Vernon.
Laura grew up near Toddville and has undergraduate degrees in agronomy and agricultural business from Iowa State University, a graduate degree in agronomy from the University of Florida, and a teaching certificate from Cornell College.
She worked for many years with migrant and seasonal farm workers in Immokalee, Florida, and taught in the biology department at Cornell College for 20 years. She is a Sunday school teacher at First Mennonite Church in Iowa City, and is a long-time commissioner of the Linn Soil and Water Conservation District.
Laura couldn't do it without a lot of help from kind friends, generous neighbors, her late father, Roland Krouse, and brother, Aaron.
About 120 Golden Comet hens live in mobile henhouses that rotate around our hay fields. They produce tasty, healthy brown eggs, plus wonderful chicken manure for the compost pile. Until we run out, you can purchase eggs when you come to pick up your vegetables at the farm. $4.00 per dozen.
Watch this funny little video to see how the hens spend their days - on yummy pastures.
That's not all! Often on Thursday afternoons, you'll also be able to pick up meat from farmer neighbors, and apple shares from Buffalo Ridge Orchard starting in August.
Hopefully, we'll all feel better about getting out by fall. By then, you should be able to take a walk to the garden to pick your own cherry tomatoes. Kids love it.
And of course, you'll get to pet Sadie, the red heeler, and Floppy, the fairly useless - but completely happy - cat.
We LOVE kids at the farm. Your whole family is welcome to come for a visit each week, especially children and grandchildren. And after most of us have our vaccinations, they can even get out of the car!
But, please, no pets outside of your car. With everything going on during pickup, even the pets on a leash almost always cause more excitement than Laura can stand!
We try to wash as few of the vegetables as possible. For one thing, it takes a lot of time and it's messy! But more importantly, washing sometimes decreases the storage life of certain vegetables. So, you will find some things washed, some still with a little field dirt on them - but please remember that EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE WASHED AT HOME BEFORE YOU EAT IT!!! Make Laura's insurance agent happy. Wash your vegetables.
Remember, you get two weeks during the season when you don't have to come for your veggies, any time that works well for you. Veggies for 20 weeks, you pick up 18 times.
If you know you're not going to make it and you still want your veggies for that week, the very best thing to do is to find a neighbor or relative to pick up for you.
We like to donate food to those who need it. Planting extra is pretty easy, but sometimes we need help with weeding, harvesting, and delivering food donations. If you want to help, please let Laura know what you would like to contribute. We don't need lots of help, but when we need you, we really NEED you. Sunday school groups, college organizations, 4-H clubs and other groups can volunteer, too, to help with projects that fit your schedules.
It's a weekly veggie share, or your share of the farm's production. Here's a short video to help you know what to expect from your CSA membership. Bottom line - you'll love the food adventure!