Member Info

Interested in signing up for a 2012 CSA share?

There are 2 ways to sign up this year
:

The regular, old way:   download the contract. Print, fill it out, and mail it in along with your payment.

-OR-

The fancy, new way:  click HERE to be directed to our new on-line sign up page.  Fill out the info, then send in your payment. Easy!

EARLY SEASON SHARES ARE SOLD OUT!

*********WE HAVE WORKER SHARES AVAILABLE!*********
What’s a worker share? A wonderful thing! We ask you to come and work on the farm for 4 hours during harvest day for the full season in exchange for a full share. It’s a really good time!  If you are interested please let us know ASAP as there are limited worker shares available!

With our fancy, new on-line sign up we’ll also be able to offer you weekly add-ons to your CSA share.  Need some extra parsley for that tabouleh you’re making for your party? Easy! Just click on the the item to add it to your box. Gotta get a bouquet for your significant other? Done! It will arrive Wednesday with your share. Dirty? Maybe we’ll make you some soap with herbs from our farm. Click away, and in your box it goes!

Weekly add-ons will be able to be paid conveniently with paypal.  Now, you may be asking why we are not offering the paypal option for purchasing a share.  To answer your question honestly, we found the fees for larger purchases to be outrageous – we can’t afford to pay that much and we don’t want to pass that on to you either.  For smaller purchases, the fee is much more resonable, plus it is much more conveinient.

What do you get in a box?
Please take a look at the slideshow below to see pictures of boxes from the 2011 growing season.  There are pictures of both the Foragers’ Bounty Full (our largest and most diverse share option), as well as the Main Season Delight Half share (our smallest and least diverse option). See copies of every newsletter below, as well, that describes everything our members received.

As always, please contact us with any questions.


 

Here’s what some of our members had to say about past seasons and our partnering with a hunger relief agency (CAC of SW Wisconsin)…

“We had a wonderful experience, access to local produce for ourselves is great but providing access to those without makes this program doubly wonderful.”

“It made me feel a lot better once I realized that all those vegetables were going to a good place.”

“As someone who has never picked vegetables before, I found the experience (aside from our search for blackberries, in which we got mauled by mosquitoes) to be extremely pleasant.” 

“What a great contribution to the people around Madison, very satisfactory!”

“I think it is a wonderful idea.  As a member I am happy to participate.”

“It makes me feel wonderful and proud!” 

CSA drop-off/pick up sites
We have established four pick up sites for 2011, where folks can pick up their weekly CSA boxes, delivered every Wednesday during the growing season. When becoming a BHF CSA member, please designate one of these sites as your pick-up site, and your box will be delivered here weekly for your convenience. Please click on each marker in the map below to see specific address and pick up hours for each site. If you don’t see a pick-up site that is close to you, please let us know.  We may able to accommodate you with a pick up site closer to your location.

2011 Newsletters

 

Below you’ll find links to each of the newsletters that came in each week’s box.  You’ll find a detailed description of each item included, as well as recipes on the second page. For non-members, these newsletters are a great “sneak-peek” at examples of what you get when you sign up for a share. Enjoy!
Early Greens and Sprouts Newsletter 4/20

 

About Us

Birch House Farm is located just outside of Madison, in the rolling hills of Springdale, WI.  On the farm we raise vegetables, an assortment of culinary and medicinal herbs, perennial plants,  edible and cut flowers, berries and perennial fruits, as well as pastured broilers, hops, gourmet mushrooms, and wild edibles.  We offer CSA member shares that include a diverse variety of wholesome vegetables, edible flowers, cut flowers, and seasonal wild foraged items, and cultivated gourmet mushrooms.  In addition to offering the tastiest, freshest, locally grown produce to our members, we also make weekly donations to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry from our Pantry Garden.  All our members are strongly encouraged to come get their hands dirty while learning where their food comes from and also helping to share our harvest with our friends and neighbors in need.

Our farm focuses on biodiversity, we treat the whole farm as a living system. 

Birch House Farm, LLC (Birkhauser literally means “Birch House” in German), formed in the fall of 2010, is owned by landowners Bob and Caryn Birkhauser and their two daughters Liz and Katie Birkhauser.  The farm encompasses 33 acres of pasture/crop land, native prairie, and oak woodland.  Five acres of restored native prairie were planted in 2007 with an emphasis on native medicinals using a no-chemical, no-till field preparation plan. The land has been cultivated for commercial vegetable and fruit production since 2009, when Liz began a small, successful CSA with 6 members offering vegetables, edible flowers, sprouts and wild edibles.  In 2010, with the help of her fiancé Gabe Newstate, the CSA grew to 9 members, along with expansion of the garden beds. In 2010 Birch House Farm was also one of 22 recipients of the Share Your Harvest Garden Grant, offered through the Community Action Coalition of Southwestern Wisconsin.  The grant allowed us get the tools we needed to have a Food Pantry Garden where our members could come to help us give back to the community.  The program was a great success, the 22 gardens donated over 127,000 lbs of fresh, local produce to area pantries!

In October of 2010 Katie, her partner Sean Fisher, and their daughter Ada decided to move back to Wisconsin after 8 years in Olympia, WA to join the larger family and contribute their knowledge from their own experiences in cultivating commercial mushrooms, raising poultry and edible/medicinal plants. 

The 2011 season proved to be an amazing season!  The CSA expanded to 18 members and multiple restaurants shared in the bounty.  The soy-free, organically fed, pastured poultry system was a success with on-farm and restaurant sales and the mushroom operation, still expanding, successfully produced multiple weeks of mushrooms for our CSA members.  We have learned an amazing amount over our first season of farming together as Birch House Farm and look forward to many more!

Our Farmhouse

Birch house farm is a website for a place that exists only in our minds.  We’re not sure if this place exists or not, but my wife had a vivid dream about it.  In the dream, we were older than we are now.  Our toddler was a teenager.  We had a cow named “Betsy”.  We were semi-self-sufficient.  We grew crops, and we milked our cow for dairy.

The house itself was described in excruciating detail in my wife’s diary after the dream which I will detail here in additional blog posts, but key to the description was that it was surrounded in front by “trees with white bark” — She didn’t even know the name of the tree type.  I showed here several pictures of common white-barked trees until we landed on the fact that the most likely candidate was the birch tree.

She had nothing to offer us as far as what state it’s located in even, but since we are into self-actualizing I asked her to write down all of the details so we could be on the lookout for our farm house 🙂

Like I said, more details to follow…

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