Taking Memberships for 2013 Summer/Fall

Farmer Steve

Farmer Steve
Proud Parent of Beautiful Onions


What is a C.S.A.?

Quite simply, it Stands for Community Supported Agriculture and can be the answer to todays industrialization of America's food supply by bringing the community closer to the source of their food supply.

How does it work?

If a person is interested in becoming a member of our C.S.A they would purchase a full or half share per season prior to the season's start. Pre-payment allows a small independent organic grower, like Steve Smith, the finances to invest in the equipment and materials he needs for the upcoming season. For as low as $15.00 per week your share of produce is distributed (each week) over a 24 week growing season (June through November) for your eating pleasure. Distribution may be achieved via delivery or picked up at a designated distribution site on a designated day at a designated time. Hollow Pumpkin C.S.A. will notify it's members as to which method of distribution will be used for that season as the season grows near. We request minimally 24 to 48 hours notice if you will not be available on the distribution day so that we may make other arrangements with you, within reason. If we do not hear from you and your share does not get picked up on the day of distribution within the time slot specified, your share will be donated to a shelter or another community organization.

*Payment plans are available. Call or email and ask us for information about our "Early Turnip Discount."

Why Join a C.S.A.?

1. It Affords you the most healthy and nutritional produce


2. It supports your local farm and economy.

3. It supports the environment.

4. It allows you a relationship with your local farmer.

5. It allows you to have a voice about the produce and food

you eat.

Things to Consider:

1. Do you enjoy cooking with a variety of seasonal vegetables?

2. Are you willing to share the risks along with the benifits. The farmer may occasionally encounter challenges, such as weather related issues, pests and blights? Eating local and seasonal is different than buying whatever you want whenever you want at a grocery store. It will take some getting use to. However, eating local and seasonal is healthier and absolutely more in sync with the environment.

3. Are you adventurous? Do you like trying new and different vegetables and fruits?

Our Distribution Area:

Steve's farm is located in Anna Illinois, 30 miles South of Carbondale Illinois. Hollow Pumpkin C.S.A's distribution area covers Anna/Jonesboro, areas north of Anna such as Cobden and Makanda up to Carbondale, east to Carterville and Marion, west to Murphysboro. We also will distribute to the Lick Creek area and, of course, south, east and west of Anna within a 20 mile (or so) radius. (We are flexible based on the amount of interest we receive in a particular area and distribution issues can be negotiated within reason.)

Who is Hollow Pumpkin C.S.A.?

Steve Smith is the owner and Head Farmer. Steve has various friends who graciously donate their time when they can and we encourage our C.S.A. members to get a little dirty and come out to the farm and volunteer to work in the fields from time to time.

About Steve Smith

Steve Smith came to Anna Illinois from New York and established the farm in 1977, over 30 years ago, with a strong desire to go back to the land and organically grow vegetables. He succeeded, and became the first viable organic farm in Southern Illinois. Steve is truly a pioneer in organic farming in the region. He is dedicated to providing the Southern Illinois community with fresh, local, ecologically sound produce and he is always excited about sharing his knowledge with everyone, especially the next generation.

To contact Hollow Pumpkin C.S.A. you may email: steve.hollowpumpkin@gmail.com or call (618) 614-2233

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bougs Retuns to Watch Over The High Tunnel Project

Chris Long and Neth Hass came out today to begin putting up the front and back walls of the high tunnel greenhouse. Bougs, Chris's dog, came back to make sure everything was done correctly! Our buddy Phil lead the way on Saturday by helping to finish up the structure so the rest of our angels could work on the walls today.

The next step for us is putting up the plastic! That will be a great photo op. We will finish the high tunnel with digging the trenches for the drainage. This requires a back hoe, gravel and drainage pipe. Once that is complete our second high tunnel greenhouse will be ready for us to plant.

Steve has experience growing winter crops in our first greenhouse but we have only grown enough for us to eat over the lean winter months. So, even for a veteran like Steve, growing a larger amount and variety of winter veggies will be a new challenge as well as fun and we are excited and ready for it.

The thank yous today go out, once again, to Neth Hass and his expert carpentry skills and to Chris Long, who has ignored his heeling injured foot to come out and do a lot of physical work for us. Without them we would be lost.

We are looking forward to supplying Southern Illinois with very local, fresh organically grown cold season veggies. Stay tuned for more.

Our game plan for our Winter/Spring shares is: Our Summer/Fall distribution runs from June to November (thanksgiving) so we thought we'd give Steve a break in December and begin distribution of the Winter/Spring shares in January 2012. It will allow for 6 to 8 more weeks of great local organically grown veggies and herbs and will take us into March and perhaps April. Folks who are interested can join for the Winter/Spring shares as a stand alone section of Hollow Pumpkin C.S.A. or they can opt to combine it with the 24 week Summer/Fall section and receive 30 to 32 weeks of local, organically grown vegetables, herbs and fruit. Please see the detail page for more information.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Cure For The Winter Blues

It's time for everyone to get out into their greenhouses and start planting for the spring! Steve and Ryan Campbell are doing just that today. Weeding, hoeing, turning over the soil...whatever it is your doing it is working the land and there is no better cure for the winter blues! Spring is almost here indeed.

Though, we have not gotten the new greenhouse totally constructed yet, we still have our first greenhouse to tend to. It is time to plant spring carrots, beets and parsley. As you can see by the smiling face, Steve is having fun. So get out there and plant or start some seeds inside....get you hands in some dirt - you never know what you will find!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Addressing a frequently asked question

The most frequently asked question for this coming season has been: How long do I have before I have to make my payment?
The premise of any Community Supported Agricultural project is that the community (members) pre-pay in advance of the growing season in order for the farm and farmer to purchase the necessary materials and equipment to have a successful harvest. The list is usually long and since most of the farmers income, in Southern Illinois, comes in the late spring, summer and fall, finances can be sparse over the winter and in January and February when seed, repairs and materials and equipment are needed to begin. For instance, the seed order is placed in January and seeding begins in February. Fertilizer, mulch, manure, fencing and fencing repairs, tractor repairs and let's not forget farm hands are needed at this time when the cash flow is very low. Also, in the case of a growing C.S.A., the farmer may want to improve his/her infrastructure to assist in getting the best quality and quantity out of the land. this may include items such as irrigation, refrigeration perhaps adding added value items for his/her members such as chickens and a chicken coop to provide eggs etc. The C.S.A. members reap the benefit of all of this. The earlier a member's payment arrives the better the C.S.A and farm will be.
Having said all of that, we realize the economy has been tough on us all! who else should know that than a farmer. So, Hollow Pumpkin C.S.A. has not set a specific time parameter (other than those who choose the installment plan.) Since the distribution period begins around the 1st of June we would want those folks who are going to make a full payment to have their payment in by the middle of May. For folks who decide to choose the installment plan, we would want the down payment by the 1st of April since the first installment would be the 1st of May. The bottom line is - If there is no cash flow when the work season begins in February than the farmer cannot do everything that is necessary to make the season the best he/she can, so the earlier the better.
The other issue to remember is our membership quota. This year we are looking to have a maximum of 30 members. Once we take on 30 members we will stop taking membership for the season. We still have a few spots to fill. However they are filling up fast.
I hope this answers the question for everyone. Spring is coming fast and the excitement of the 2011 season is growing. Here's to a great season for all small Southern Illinois farms and farmers!