Frequently Asked Questions
What is Chestnut Farms Meat CSA?
Our meat CSA provides you with a predictable, high quality, locally raised meat package each month. The meat is humanely harvested on a weekly basis and flash frozen at our slaughterhouse to preserve the peak of freshness. While the cuts may vary from season to season (more braising cuts in the winter, grilling cuts in the summer) our amazing quality is consistent. Shares are available in different sizes starting with 10 pounds (we do not offer a smaller share but we DO offer every other month options) and increasing in five pound increments to 50 lbs. The shares include daily cuts such as chicken and ground beef as well as muscle cuts such as steak and chops that provide for a fancier dinner.
Shares are distributed once a month to a pre-arranged site. Shareholders elect both size of their share and location of the pickup. Please note: We also offer a NO PORK and Poultry ONLY and NO adulterated options for your meat CSA share.
Why Join a Meat CSA?
People who care about how animals are raised, are concerned about the environment and want to know where their food comes from are often great fits for our CSA. The health benefits of pasture-raised, humanely harvested and delicious meat are also treasons to join our CSA.
What should I expect in a share?
Our meat shares are part of each month’s harvest of our livestock. Typically, a ten-pound share is packed for two and consists of eight packages of meat; several packages of chicken, two pounds of ground beef, a breakfast meat, a sausage and some pork muscle cuts and steaks for a dinner for two. Our 15-pound share will have meat to make dinner for three while our 20 pound share will have meat for meals for four. Our cuts will vary seasonally with more roasts and braising cuts in the winter and more easy grilling cuts in the summer.
How much does it cost? Do I pay all at once?
The cost varies depending on the size and configuration of your share Please view our cost sheet for specific costs. You will be charged each month a few days before you pick up your share. Our costs are directly tied to the expense of raising animals in a humane and sustainable fashion in New England. Please note that although we charge each month, we fully expect our shareholders to honor their six-month commitment to us.
How do I connect with the farm each month?
You simply come to the pickup location during the time slot and claim your share!! So simple and easy. You will have access to a private store a few days ahead of the CSA pickup to order any additional items you might want. Also, we will often have extra’s at the pickup on a first come first served basis such as liver, bones, eggs and sausages.
What happens if I miss a pickup?
Given that we are often loading our truck a full day or so before our distribution we ask for a MINIMUM of a 48-hour notice for any change in pickup location. With advance notice we can send your share to another pickup site or to a farmer’s market for you to claim. If you miss a pickup it is your responsibility to reach out and work to figure out a solution. Once the meat leaves the farm it is illegal under federal law for us to restock and we must reunite you with your meat or destroy it.
Are you Certified Organic?
In a word, no. We do use organic practices and we do not spray chemicals or use chemical fertilizer on our fields. However, the term organic really refers to what an animal is fed rather than how an animal is raised and we strongly believe in knowing your farmer.
Do you raise all your animals in Hardwick?
We work with several other partner farms to raise to our specifications about feed, care and animal husbandry. We value all farms and hope that by working collaboratively we can have a positive impact on both the viability and sustainability of other farms – especially farms formerly known as New England Dairy Farms. Once you harrow a filed and plant a building, you will most likely never harrow that field again.
How do you harvest your animals?
We use several local (New England and eastern NY) harvest homes that are all USDA certified and family owned and operated. Rich and Kim know all the owners and have been to each facility multiple times. We choose our slaughterhouses based on the fact that the animals go by appointment thus reducing any “accidents” in holding pens, we know that they are quickly and humanely harvested and then processed with absolute skill and professionalism.
Can I get Home Delivery?
Currently we do not offer home delivery, but we do offer 13 convenient pickup locations across the state.
Can I visit your farm?
We are a fully transparent BUT working farm with tractors, skid steers and live animals. We welcome visitors on the first Wednesday of the month between 3 and 5 pm when we do our on-farm CSA and by appointment. Our insurance forbids unescorted visitors from roaming the farm and as such, we need to stop our farm work to escort you. We also offer a fall harvest open barn celebration each fall for our community.
How do I become part of the CSA?
Memberships are offered in six-month cycles: summer (June through November) and winter (December through May). You will receive an immediate confirmation that the form has been submitted and a follow-up email within a week with more details about the pickup.
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