Frequently Asked Questions

Why join the Sawmill CSA?

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. The Sawmill CSA is unique by offering fresh herbs for medicine making and culinary projects for you, your family, and communities.

What is the difference between a full share and a half share?

A full share is picked up every two weeks during the season for a total of 10 pickups, while the half share is picked up every four weeks for a total of 5 pickups. You pick 5 herbs each time regardless of the share size.

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 bunch on the herb selection page. Our intention is that you have enough herb material to make your medicine and culinary recipes and projects, and we know that some herbs are more bountiful and grow with abundance. For example, we offer large bunches of plants like tulsi, lemon balm, spearmint and wormwood. We offer smaller bunches of lavender, angelica root, feverfew, bacopa and gotu kola. 

On the availability page we often list approximate bunch sizes.

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 “Herbs We Grow - Crop Calendar” page are available to the CSA during the season. If you have questions about specific availability, email us.

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

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. 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 5 herbs. Please select your herbs by Sunday evening before your CSA week.

Here is a step by step guide for the online checkout system:

Step 1: Choose your 5 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 5 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! 

I don’t know what to do with the herbs and I’m afraid they will go to waste!

We are all always learning! We know it can feel overwhelming to process and use herbs in a timely way if you are new to herbs or in the midst of a busy season of life (when are we not?!)

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!).

You can also check out our herb profiles and our instagram for more ideas.

How do I pick up my share?

We have pickup locations at our farm in Montague, MA, at Grow Food Gardens in Florence, MA, and at host shops in Cambridge, MA and NYC. Check out the CSA Pick up locations page for more info about days and timing. It’s important to pick up your share within the time slot indicated on our site.

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 miss a share because 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 but miss picking up your share, shares at locations in Boston and New York will be donated by the host shop staff. Coordinate with your pick up location for late pick up if needed. For members in Florence and Montague, we can often leave leftover shares at the farm for you to pick-up the following day.

Do I have to join the CSA to get fresh herbs from Sawmill?

If you know that the CSA model isn’t right for you but you still want herbs throughout the season you can choose to buy bulk herbs during the season instead. Please visit this page to learn more.