At Chestnut Farms we are thrilled and blessed to be able to farm for a living. We LOVE our animals and take pride in making sure that all of our animals are well cared for, happy and raised as nature intended. All our animals enjoy fresh air and sunshine and a low-stress life. Friends often joke that we are the Zen Farm!
We must confess, the business side of running a farm can be challenging – but we work hard to make sure that we contain costs while providing a quality of life for our animals. Rich and Kim focused on our mission:Connecting Communities through Agriculture which for us means connecting with you, our shareholders, and helping all of us work together to preserve traditional farming and understand what it takes to raise an animal in Massachusetts from birth to plate.
We are committed to running a fully transparent farm and we want to make our meat as accessible to as many people as possible (hence the monthly charge vs. the full, upfront charge). Rich and I could not afford our CSA if we had to pay upfront. We also share our lives and those of our livestock each month through our newsletters and honestly and fully answer any and all questions. As we and analyze our expenses from last year and make projections for this year, we want to share with you the reasons for the increase of our CSA Shares.
We are all aware that costs have been rising. It is probably most noticeable for you at the gas pump. The same is true on the farm. For instance, the cost of fuel has nearly doubled since 2009. The cost to feed our pigs has increased by nearly 38% just since August of 2012. We feed hay to our sheep, goats and cattle for approximately 180 days (6 months) each year. Each winter we are faced with a hay bill in the same range as our hog feed bill. As many of you know we buy our hay from local farmers to both help preserve the land and support the community economy.
Beginning in June our share prices are as follows:
Memberships are available at the following levels
Level Monthly Price 6 Month Total Share
10 lbs per month $ 95.00 / month $570.00
15 lbs per month $ 135.00 / month $810.00
20 lbs per month $175.00 / month $ 1050.00
25 lbs per month $210.00 / month $ 1260.00
Greater than 25 lbs per month $8.25/lb 5# increments
PO Box 545
404 Turkey St.
Hardwick, MA 01037