Union Supported Agriculture
Fresh, Organic, Local!
Our USA partnership offers Vegetables & Flower shares direct from Happytown Farm since 2004.
Like Food AND Medicine’s Solidarity Harvest, this program keeps the money in our local economy; supports a small farmer; and provides access to healthy vegetables.
Our USA membership is full for the 2013 season — please check back again next year to sign up for a 2014 share!
Details about the program below:
USA members pay at the start of the season. This commitment to the farm provides needed financial support so that the farm can invest in growing food for the season.
- Sign ups and payment forms are due by Wednesday, May 1st. If you’re not able to make the full payment by May 1, please feel free to call and talk with us about a payment plan — we can be flexible!
- Members paying with SNAP must return the sign-up form by May 1st, but will pay weekly throughout the harvest season.
You can mail your check (payable to USA – Happytown Farm) to:
Food AND Medicine
20 Ivers St.
Brewer, ME 04412
Please contact Erin for more information or to sign up — email@example.com or 989-5860
How USA Works
Union Supported Agriculture (USA) works to create a relationship of mutual support between local farmers and members who buy a “share” at the beginning of the growing season. Co-sponsored by Food AND Medicine and the Eastern Maine Labor Council, USA is a community supported agriculture (CSA) program originally designed to foster a connection between local farmers and labor. USA has expanded to be a “community union” of people based on the belief that union values of mutual aid and solidarity mix well with local food, fair labor practices and supporting the growth of more vibrant and healthy communities. While many members are also members of local unions, it is not necessary to be a union member to join.
- Members share in the risk and bounty of each growing season.
- Members pick up a weekly share of a farm’s vegetable harvest at a specified location in eastern Maine.
- Members pay for their shares at the beginning of the season or work at the farm.
- USA provide opportunities to purchase other local foods like eggs, canned goods, and meats as well.
What Do Members Enjoy About USA?
“Fresh, nutritious food” * “Organic” * “Helping out local farms.” * “Having veggies on a weekly basis.” * “Knowing I’m supporting local agriculture.” * “Convenient” * “Great people” * “Getting to try different veggies.”
We Accept SNAP!
USA strives to make local food accessible to all. That’s why we accept payments of SNAP benefits (formerly food stamps) with your EBT card. We have a limited capacity to provide half-priced shares to people who qualify for SNAP benefits.
If you pay with SNAP, you will pay weekly throughout the season. For example, a “Veggie Lovers” share works out to a cost of $25/week, but we will swipe your card for $12.50 because it’s half-price. We will work with you to make this affordable for your food budget—please contact us with questions or for more information!
We highly encourage people to consider a Work Share. Work at the farm for 4 or 8 hours (depending on the size of your share) every week in exchange for your farm share. No experience is necessary. USA’s success depends on Work Share participants fulfilling their commitments to work at the farm throughout the season, so we ask that you answer some questions before choosing this option. Please call Erin for our Work Share agreement and more information about this option.
We offer a variety of vegetable shares and flower shares. Vegetable shares come in two sizes. Exact quantities of vegetables will vary according to growing conditions, but we find that the larger size in typical years is sufficient for about four people, while the smaller size is right for two.
|Super Veggie Lovers||4+ people||18 Wks||$450|
|Veggie Lovers||4+ people||16 Wks||$400|
|Height of the Season||4+ people||10 Wks||$260|
|Super Mini||2+ people||18 Wks||$280|
|Not-So-Mini||2+ people||16 Wks||$250|
|Mini||2+ people||10 Wks||$165|
|Work Share — contact us for more information
||According to hours worked||Depends on size of share||4 or 8 hrs labor each week|
|Bouquet Lovers||1 bouquet/wk||16 Wks||$105
|Mini Bouquet||1 bouquet/wk||10 Wks||$70
- Click here to get an idea of how big a share size can be . (Varies from year to year. Data is from 2008 and presented to merely give you an idea)
18 week share season: June 25 – Oct. 22
16 week share season: June 25 – Oct. 8
10 week share season: July 9 – Sept. 10
Locations to Pick-Up Weekly Shares
Brewer: Tuesdays 5-7 here at the Solidarity Center, 20 Ivers St
Bucksport: Tuesdays 5-7, Location TBA
Ellsworth: Mondays & Thursdays (2-5:30pm), & Saturdays (9:30am 12:30pm) at Ellsworth Farmer’s Marke
Orland: Mondays, &Thursdays (after 2pm) & Saturdays (after 9:30am) at the farm (1138 Happytown Rd)
Orono: Tuesdays 5:30 – 7, Location TBA
About Happytown Farm
Happytown Farm supplies vegetables and cut flowers for the USA program. The MOFGA certified organic diversified farm is nestled in the hills of North Orland. Its operations include 4 acres of vegetable gardens, cut flowers, sheep, pigs, poultry, a sustainable woodlot, & small-scale sugaring. Owners Paul & Karen Volckhausen are committed to ecologically friendly farming practices & a strong relationship with rural communities in El Salvador.
Questions? Please contact us!
Erin Sweeney, Agriculture Organizer
The Eastern Maine Labor Council
Food AND Medicine