What does CSA stand for?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a locally-based farming and distribution model for members to join up with a farm and receive shares of the bounty throughout the season.
Why join the Sawmill CSA?
At Sawmill we grow a large variety of both familiar and less familiar organic medicinal and culinary herbs. We offer ongoing opportunities for community involvement and education on community herbalism and whole health including workshops, plant walks and an herbal newsletter. Through these offerings we welcome members of the community to become as engaged as they like with their herbs and share. Our CSA is perfect for those with a range of experience and interests, including:
- those wanting to build up their home herbal apothecary or culinary pantry
- experimental home cooks and chefs
- herbalists and herbalism students who want access to fresh ingredients for drying and medicine making endeavors
- beginners new to herbs who want to learn by doing while having the support of an informative newsletter and access to on-farm education
How big is a bunch?
Bunch sizes vary depending on the herb, quantity available and part of the season. To help you plan we will indicate approximate size of each on the herb selection page. Generally after the first distribution members get the general idea of what constitutes the different size bunches. As an example, some herbs are more bountiful and grow with abundance and we offer large bunches of plants like tulsi, lemon balm, spearmint and wormwood. Whereas some that don’t grow as bountiful for us and are often smaller bunches include lavender, angelica root, feverfew, bacopa and gotu kola.
I don’t know what to do with the herbs and I’m afraid they will go to waste!
We suggest starting with a half share if you’re new to using herbs and want to dip your toes in. We provide an e-newsletter with lots of recipes and advice on what to do with your herbs – everything from food, beverages, teas, tinctures, salves and more. If at any point you get overwhelmed, you can hang up your bunches of herbs to dry and use them later (just don’t forget to label them!).
What herbs are offered to the CSA and when are they available?
We grow and wild-harvest a large variety of medicinal and culinary herbs for the CSA. Shares consist of flowers, leaves, stems and roots! Nearly all of the herbs listed on our calendar “Herbs We Grow” page are available to the CSA during the season. If you have questions about specific availability, email us.
What does a sample share look like?
Example of a share in:
- early-May (add-on Spring share!): stinging nettle, dandelion leaf/flower, yellow dock root, mullein leaf, plantain
- early-June: motherwort, yarrow, red clover, comfrey leaf and catnip
- late-June: calendula flowers, elder flowers, prickly lettuce, st johns wort and spilanthes
- late-August: blue vervain, goldenrod, boneset, anise hyssop and tulsi
- early-September: red shiso, horsetail, lemongrass, mugwort and wormwood
- mid-October: ashwagandha root, marshmallow root, dandelion root, yellow dock root and burdock root
What is the difference between a full share and a half share?
A full share has pickups every two weeks during the season while the half share is every four weeks. You still get to pick 5 herbs each time regardless of the share size.
How do I choose my herbs? And can I add on extra herbs throughout the season?
We use an online checkout system to choose share bunches as well as to purchase add-ons. For more help ordering see below for the info on website ordering. Before every share we send out an e-newsletter highlighting the coming week’s herbs. Once you receive the newsletter you can go online and choose your five herbs. If you would like to add on extra herbs you can do so by choosing the “Add-on” option for each herb after you’ve already chosen your first five herbs. You can pay with credit card or send us a check. Some herbs that we have limited quantities of are only available as “CSA Share” items, and are not available for purchase as “Add-ons.”
I will be away during one of the pick-up days, can I pick my share up another day?
Yes, please give us notice by the Sunday prior to normal pick up day by filling out the vacation hold form. For the next pickup please choose 10 herbs instead of the usual 5 to make it up.
What happens if I miss a share without giving notice?
If you haven’t placed an order then please just order 10 herbs at the next share to make it up. If you did place an order we will harvest and deliver those herbs. Shares that aren’t picked up are donated by the host shop staff. For members in Florence and Montague, we can often leave leftover shares at the farm for you to pick-up the following day.
How do I pick up my share?
We have pickup locations in Montague, MA, Florence, MA, Cambridge, MA and NYC. Check out the CSA Pick up locations page for more info. All of our sites are located at our farm or at different host shops that generously offer their space for our members. It’s important to pick up your share within the time slot indicated on our site.
Do I have to join the CSA to get fresh herbs from Sawmill?
How to use the website to choose your herbs
Please make your herb choices by the Sunday evening before your CSA week. We are adjusting the options beforehand so wait until you receive the newsletter before you do so (generally by the Friday at noon at the latest).
Step 1: Choose your five herbs on this page. When you click on an herb you add it to your cart and then can adjust the quantity in the cart. The default pricing for each herb is $0. If you want to purchase more than the five herbs included, choose “Add-on” instead of “CSA Share” for that herb and add it to your cart. If you are just getting the five herbs in your share then the total should come to $0.
Step 2: Click checkout. On the checkout page you’ll have the option to login. Hit login, and click on “create an account.” Create an account with your email and password so that you don’t have to enter your information each time and then you can keep track of what you ordered. If you just chose your five herbs for the share then there will be no charge. If you purchased extra herbs you can choose to pay via credit card or you can mail a check.
Before the billing page, in the cart you'll see a comment area on the bottom that requests you to enter your pickup location. Please enter your location, and if you're a Montague member enter your approximate pick up time.
Step 3: Pick up your herbs on your pick up day!