Working member shares are available at Peach Valley CSA Farm in various forms. Different arrangements are possible based on time of the year, personal needs, and time given. In-kind trades and other agreements are possible as well.
Generally speaking, work shares for the summer season are figured on one weekly 6 hour day (including lunch) in trade for a half share of vegetables and a half share of fruit during the 18 week summer season. Lunch at the farm is included for a minimum 4 hours of work.
Members unable to work because of illness or emergency on a given week can still have their shares packed out if they desire. We ask that you make up these missed days. We do have plenty of work during March, April, and May, where work days can be "banked" for the coming year. Let us know of any planned vacations during the season so that we can plan accordingly. Shares will not be packed during vacation times, unless you are giving yoyur share to someone else.Working members are asked to fill out and sign the subscription form, and pay the $35 member dues. Food pickup is at the farm unless other arrangements are made.
Extra share items are available to working members by purchase only. These include winter shares, spring garden shares, xtra summer greens, flower bouquets, canning boxes, eggs, honey, and meats.
Farm work tasks vary throughout the season. Early season (February, March) includes greenhouse and cold frame bed preparation, seeding and transplanting, fruit tree pruning and cleanup. Mid season (April, May, June) involves field seeding and transplanting, weeding, cultivation, and maintenance. Main season (July, August, September) involves cultivation, weeding, vegetable, fruit, and flower harvest, pack-out, deliveries and markets. Later season (October, November) involves apple and fall crops harvest, garden cleanup, bed preparation and seeding.
Other work that may be done by working members include: phone calls, mailings, newsletter preparation, photography, and computer work.
Farm work on field and harvest days requires that you bring gloves, hat, work boots, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a water bottle. Long pants, sleeves are usually best
Trading members provide various services to the farm specific to their own businesses. Some of these trades equal enough to cover the cost of farm shares. If not, a combination of trade and payment is required.
Projects that take place around the farm often involve various tools and materials. Members are asked to take responsibility in the cleanup of those project areas before they leave. Replacing items to their intended locations makes the next person's work that much easier.
Because the main emphasis of the farm is the production and handling of fresh, healthy food, working members are asked to be very careful to wash hands thoroughly after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or coming into food areas after contact with animals or barnyard areas. Sickness that can be transmitted to others through contact or food handling must be considered before coming to the farm to work, especially on pack out days.
Main season daily schedules are as follows(allowing for seasonal and weather variations):
Harvest of leafy crops, herbs, and flowers happens early or late in the day when temperatures are cool, so members doing that work must be available at those times. Otherwise, work times generally run from 10 AM to 4 PM.
Care of children during work days is the responsibility of the working member. We do enjoy having children involved in the life of the farm, but realize that they do require constant supervision. Please check with us at the start of the season if you plan to bring children to the farm on work days. With adequate coordination, other workers may be willing to help parents with children.
We do have a fenced front yard, swings, sandbox, and some toys for children, but parents may want to bring other items that their children can play with, read or study while they are here. Remember to always keep gates closed.
Because we lease land which is a distance from the home place, some days are spent working at those locations. This can present safety problems because those places don’t have bathrooms, shade, or play areas and usually have ditches full of water. This is just another factor to consider when children are part of the picture.
Because working memberships are an integral part of a successful farm season we all must do our part to make the experience as positive as possible. This starts by respecting each other's strengths, weaknesses, ideas, and beliefs. Learning the tasks required to complete various projects, thinking ahead, and staying focused during work times, helps to make the time go quickly, makes for fun, and produces quality food.
Over the years, the seasons has produced many wonderful friendships with caring and committed individuals. We are grateful for your willingness to work along with us in this way. Know that this help is inspiring to us, bringing us energy and spirit when we are tired and spent. Hopefully, as we work together to produce quality foods for our families, we will also grow as a community of friends that lasts beyond the seasons.
-Kenny and Gail Kuhns