What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a way for people to directly connect with the farms that produce the food for your family. The concept began with vegetable farmers who saw it as a way to spread the risk of farming as well as gain some much needed cash at the beginning of the season instead of at the end. The CSA sells shares in the farm prior to the growing season. As the vegetables are planted and harvested, members pick up their “share” of fresh veggies each week. Typically, vegetable CSA’s require full payment prior to the start of the season.
Sage Mountain Beef green-fed beef CSA operates on a similar community based principle. We offer a certain number of shares each six or twelve month cycle based on the number of animals we are raising. These shares are distributed once a month at pre-arranged locations. We also guarantee the weight of meat each month. The risk is in the type of meat which can be affected by which animal is ready for “harvest” and issues at the slaughterhouse and/or meat packing facility that may be beyond our control.
Why join a Meat CSA?
Our Sage Mountain Beef green-fed beef CSA is for anyone who would like to know the farmer that raises their food and have confidence that the meat they consume is humanely raised without any hormones or antibiotics. It is also for anyone who love great tasting meat! Each monthly share contains meat that was processed that month, unlike commercial meat that can stay in cargo ships in a semi-frozen state for many months. Our animals go from hoof to plate in an average of thirty days or less.
How do I become a member?
To sign up for the Sage Mountain Beef CSA, please click here. Shares are available in the order that you sign up. After all shares are sold, you will have the opportunity to join our wait list. Please fill out the form completely. You will receive an immediate confirmation that your form has been submitted (and we will notify you if we are sold out). You will receive a follow-up email within a week or two.
Limited shares are available, so we strongly suggest that you sign up as soon as you make your purchase decision. (You will find copious amounts of information, to help you make an informed decision, on our website.) This is not a marketing ploy, if you end up on the waiting list, you will be waiting until we raise the cow that will eventually end up on your plate.
How much does it cost?
Please view our member sign-up form for specific costs.
Our costs are directly tied to the cost of raising green-fed beef, in a humane and sustainable fashion at our farm in Southern California. The costs also includes processing, packaging and delivery to the pickup locations. Please note that we fully expect our shareholders to honor their six or twelve month commitment to us. We plan our animal stock based on those commitments.
Where do I pick up my green-fed beef?
When you enroll in our green-fed beef CSA you pick a specific pickup location. Each month you will receive a reminder to pickup your meat. You arrive at the site any time during distribution. You will receive an insulated cooler full of freshly processed, hormone and antibiotic free, great tasting green-fed beef and you return the empty cooler from the previous month.
All of our beef is flash frozen at the time of processing and we use the coolers to protect the integrity of our meat until you defrost and enjoy it at home. (Most meat sold commercially is frozen and thawed several times.)
Are you Organic?
No, even though our produce is certified organic, our green-fed beef is not, nor do we plan to become certified organic. Organic certification simply certifies that the animal is fed organic feed. It does NOT address how the animals live, how they are treated or whether they ever see fresh air and sunshine.
We are all about the quality of life for our animals. We feed and water each one of our livestock twice a day.
How do I know what I will get in a share?
You know you will get at least the number of pounds of meat you signed up for, but you don’t know in advance what particular cuts will be in your share each month.
We work hard to make sure each share has a mix of daily cuts with higher end cuts. We also try to make sure we have at least three meats are represented. That said, we are a family farm and do not have an inventory control program for our meat. We take our animals to slaughter and pick up the boxes, and then we divide the boxes into shares. We pack and label individual shares and try to honor requests when possible, but we are a CSA, not a grocery store. Your shares will vary each month, but will usually include about half ground beef and stew cuts, and half higher-end cuts such as steaks and roasts.
What happens if I miss a pickup?
Our pickup locations are the same day, time and location each month and are noted at the time you join as well as available on our website.
We send a reminder out just prior to pickup each month, but email is not perfect.
We work hard to raise the animals, we feed them, water them, move them from pasture to pasture. We then transport them to their appointment at the slaughterhouse and return a week to two later to pickup the boxes. We bring the meat back to the farm and pack it into freshly washed coolers.
Finally, we bring the coolers to the pickup locations. We do expect to see you at your pickup location. If you know in advance you can’t make a pick up, we ask that you take responsibility for finding someone else to pick up your share. If this is not possible, please provide notice to Sam and we will try and work out alternative arrangements. The notice must be provided at least 48 hours ahead of distributions.
Under federal law, we cannot restock the meat once it leaves the farm. Thus, if we bring your meat to a pickup location and you do not make the pick up you will be invoiced for the meat.
Can I visit your farm?
Yes, we run a fully transparent operation and welcome visitors by offering tours and open houses. Please do not arrive unannounced. We have had frightening incidents with unannounced visitors roaming our fields with our steers and in our barn with new sow mothers. Livestock farms by nature different than vegetable farms and we are a working farm with tractors and other equipment running, real animals and a nervous insurance provider.
We offer two open houses each year; the second Sunday in June and the second Sunday in October from noon to five pm. We also offer in-depth farm tours by appointment. These are two to four hour tours of our farm with Farmer Phil and can be arranged for groups from two to sixty. For more information, please see our farm tours tab.
Can I buy your green-fed beef anywhere else?
At this time, you cannot buy our unique green-fed beef anywhere else in the known universe, except by joining our green-fed beef CSA or through our online store.