The GABRIEL FARM Farm Visit CSA
Last year Gabriel Farm initiated a CSA membership model for our U-pick visitors. Because of the high demand for the u-pick experience, and the limited size of our orchard, we decided to offer the experience to our committed customers who would like to establish an on-going relation with our farm and enjoy our various products year around.
HOW DO YOU BECOME A MEMBER? This is where the "Juiciest Secret in Bay Area Agriculture" comes in. In the tradition of the early CSA model, and as a testament to a neglected side of orcharding in the modern era, we are asking that each family/couple/group purchase a case of our DELICIOUS JUICE at the outset of their membership year. A case of our juice usually costs $42 at the Farmer's Market. For our Farm Visit CSA Membership we are only asking for $36. This will give you access to all the priviledges of membership and you will also have a case of our truly amazing juice.
The most important thing to remember when visiting our farm is that this is a working small family farm. The house that you see in the driveway is our house and all of the items that you encounter on the land are things that we use to work this land. This is our vocation and our home. The fruit that we grow here is sold throughout the Bay Area and beyond by a number of high quality retailers, and it is this relationship that is the foundation of our farming enterprise. We strive to grow the most delicious fruit possible using the best organic farming practices.
The CSA model works for us, and we hope you, because we truly want to share a wonderful and educational experience with our customers. We're not a park, we're not "the country", we're a local small family farm. From the beginning of our u-pick program we viewed our role as an educational one - providing visitors with a glimpse into the world of growing quality fruits.
A Farm Visit CSA:
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and in the early days was a system to link a farmer to their end customers in a way that was economically supportive of the seasonal reality of farming and fostered a sense of belonging to the farm life. The CSA, over the years, has morphed into many incarnations, but we are attempting to bring it back to its original meaning and, at the same time, adapt it for use in our farm visit program.
As a member of our CSA, you will be able to participate in our farming activities in a more meaningful way. Members will be able to come pick Blackberries, Apples, Pumpkins and Persimmons in the Fall. Members will be kept apprised of other interesting times of the year to come visit the farm (bloom season, tree planting season, etc.). This year we're planning a Fall Harvest Festival for members only.
WEEKEND HOURS & SEASON: Our WEEKEND HOURS are from 10am until 3pm. After farm visitng hours are over on each weekend day, we have many other chores and tasks to do to get ready for the next day. We ask that farm-visitors do their best to adhere to our posted hours, so that we might get these other tasks done before it gets too late.
The season for apple picking is usually from the beginning of August through the end of October. PLEASE NOTE: due to the seasonality of farming and differing weather conditions, these dates are approximate. We will do our best to post updates on this site as to the status of the different varieties of apples and their relative ripeness.
DURING THE WEEK: We ask that you make an appointment to visit the farm during the week. We have so much to do during harvest season, that in order for us to be prepared properly for your visit, we must know ahead of time (at least a day). The best way to do this is to determine a time that works well for you, and then call or email us to see if it works for our schedule—most often it does. The best days for u-pick are Mondays, Tuesdays & Fridays. This season, we will not be able to host visits on Wednesdays and Thursdays due to farm and family responibilities. Mornings almost always works for us. Afternoons are a bit more tricky...
U-PICK PRICES: The price for u-pick this year (2013) will be $2 per pound of apples. We also sell our other products (Asian pears, jams, juice, lavender etc…) in our farm store. We encourage folks to budget a minimum of a $20 purchase for their u-pick visit.
DOGS?: We love dogs and have one of our own but unfortunately, due to a number of reasons, WE DO NOT ALLOW DOGS here at the farm. This is a classic case of the "One Bad Apple" phenomenon - pun intended...
Safety is our primary concern related to farm visits--safety for you and your family and for our trees and equipment. Please do not allow children to climb on farm equipment or trees--branches break quite easily and we rely on these fruits for our livelihood. We make every effort to provide a fun and educational experience for family and friends, please help us protect the farm so that we will be able to offer this experience for years to come.
GROUP or SCHOOL TOURS:
We offer tours for groups and schools. We have had elementary school classes to large tour here at the farm. The best thing about our farm tours is that we are able to tailor them to address the specific topics of interest for your group. Please call or email us to schedule a time for your group to come visit. For groups and school tours contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 829-0617.