Small Wheel Farm in Hermantown, Minnesota is pleased to offer Duluth a small CSA option available for pick-up at the Duluth Farmer’s Market and on our farm less than 10 miles (it’s a 25 minute drive) from downtown Duluth. Click Here to sign up.
What is CSA?
CSA members receive a weekly share of vegetables in exchange for their financial support in the early spring- when most farm expenses are incurred. It is more than just the vegetables, however; CSA members partner with farmers to ensure that farm land is developed in a sustainable way that increases soil productivity and regenerates the landscape. When choosing a CSA, you are putting trust in that farmer’s production methods—not just to produce a product (your box of veggies)—but also to make a positive impact on the local landscape. In other words, you are ensuring that the farmer is rewarded for excellent growing practices that go beyond yields; you are supporting their conservation efforts and responsible land use. You are partnering with the farm to ensure farm land is maintained, even improved, for future generations.
About Our Community Supported Agriculture Program
Small Wheel Farm is committed to creating a CSA experience where you feel connected to the farm and your farmers. We want to get to know you which is why we only offer pickup at our farmer’s market booth and on the farm. At either location, farmer Rebecca will be on hand to answer any questions you have about the vegetables or happenings on the farm.
As a member of our CSA, you will receive a weekly newsletter and are invited to special on-farm events including our Harvest Potluck in the fall.
How Big Is the Box?
Our CSA boxes are smaller than many other farms in the area. Our regular share is like other farm’s half share or every-other-week share options. Why?
We have modelled our CSA box on the scale of our farm (its tiny) and the amount of vegetables we think the average CSA and farmer’s market customer really eats.
Here’s what we know:
- Many CSA members share their shares because it is two or three times the amount they need.
- It can be complicated finding another family to share a CSA with and then meeting up to split everything up
- Those that can’t keep up with their CSA sometimes feel bad because they have wasted food by letting it go bad—it happens to us too, and we’re the farmers!
- Some CSA customers have gardens themselves, or like shopping at farmer’s markets and supporting the local Co-op.
Our CSA share is designed for one small family (2-3 people), or a single veggie enthusiast. Families will likely have to supplement if they really love their veggies, but we make that easy by having our CSA pickup at the farmer’s market, where you can stock up on other vegetables you may want. We believe in giving our members a value and sharing the bounty, but not at the expense of overwhelming you.
What Is in The Box?
The contents of each box are farmer’s choice. They contain in-season vegetables—usually between 5 and 7 varieties. Boxes at the beginning of the season will contain cool-loving vegetables like greens, radishes and bok choi. Later in the season, heat-loving vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers and squash will become available.
The four corners of our CSA are greens (kale, greens, romaine), tomatoes, alliums (onions, garlic, scallions), and the fresh snack (carrots, radish, peas, beans, etc.). If possible, we try to provide something from each of these categories in every box. Tomatoes, which are only in season for part of the growing season, are supplied as long as we are able. Each box also includes an in-season treat or two. Click here to see examples of share contents throughout the season.
CSA and Shared Risk
CSA membership comes with a certain level of risk. Yes, you will receive a weekly box of vegetables, but because weather, pests and diseases can devastate crops any time, we are unable guarantee quantities or varieties. There will be tough years, and in many ways it is those years where your membership is most valuable. It allows us farmers to focus on the long term health of our soils and steer clear of quick fixes that might damage the long-term health of the land. We mitigate risks through organic and biologically sound methods: biodiversity, fencing, high tunnels, cover crops, row cover, successive plantings of crops, organic practices and improving soil biology and mineralization.
About Our Farm
Small Wheel Farm is a 6-acre farm in the outskirts of Hermantown, Minnesota. Owned by Rebecca Gramdorf, the farm is a woman-run business, specializing in annual vegetable production. The farm utilizes organic soil-based practices and is currently transitioning to certified organic.
“Small Wheel” refers to our farming practices that utilize small equipment—including a two-wheel tractor that not only uses less fuel to run, but also causes less compaction in our soils due to its small size. “Small Wheel” also alludes to Rebecca’s pottery (throwing on the potter’s wheel) and our goals to close gaps and cycle nutrients in our soils quickly.
In addition to vegetable production, the farm is establishing orchards, perennial vegetables, berries and mushrooms. Sustainable animal production is also part of our farm development plan.