Winter Season Farm Memberships 2021-22

“Our members families are the key benefactors of this living statement as well as the focus group of our efforts.”

Over the past couple of years, so much has been in flux and transition–but one thing that has not changed is the importance of sourcing the best of fresh, local, and bio-secure foods for you and your family. At North Star Homestead Farms (NSHF), our focus is being that source for our member families.

We want you to know that the foods we raise are high integrity, trustworthy, delicious, nutritious, and grown with stewardship practices that are healing and regenerating the earth that we tend. This is food that nourishes not only the body but also offers a statement of how right-practices in soulful farming can transform the landscape for health and renewal. Our member families are the key benefactors of this living statement as well as the focus group of our efforts. We care personally about our member families, building meaningful relationship and transparency within our community. This membership opportunity is for people who believe in our farm’s unique vision and who want to have its bounty at their kitchen table.

lettuce in greenhouse

“Our members families are the key benefactors of this living statement as well as the focus group of our efforts.”

ven diagram

At NSHF, It’s All About Interrelationships

Regenerative farming focuses on balance and harmony with natural systems, influencing them to bring health, vitality, and renewal for all elements involved: plants, animals, people, and nature.

On our farm, all four of these elements are deeply interconnected and support each other. Symbiotic cycles feed the ecosystem as a whole and often overlap–the aquaponics produce and fish benefit our members, the refuse benefits the diet of the livestock who through rotational grazing create new fertile land while sequestering carbon, this benefits the soil and landscapes that are home to diverse wildlife. Through our commitment to this method of stewardship, we have transformed our formerly neglected homestead into a vibrant, bio-diverse ecosystem, reimagining how we grow foods for our community.

Taking any one element away breaks the circle and leaves the whole expression of this permaculture methodology ineffective. This winter’s membership offerings reflect the balance and diversity of these interrelationships we’ve created on our farm, honoring the importance of appreciating and supporting each element.

One of the exciting attributes of this type of land stewardship is its impact on global climate change. A recent study looked at how transforming American acreage from its current use of growing feed crops for livestock to being rotationally grazed pastures, we could sequester enough carbon in 10 years to completely reverse global warming effects. To delve more into how our farming practices can heal and restore the earth, watch the documentary “Kiss the Ground,” available on Netflix.

“This winter’s membership offerings reflect the balance and diversity of these interrelationships we’ve created on our farm, honoring the importance of appreciating and supporting each one.”

Your Membership Secures Your Piece of this Lived Vision for Health and Renewal

Last winter, with food shortages and scares related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we faced several spells where our shelves were bare. It was time to refocus and let go of trying to be everything to everyone. We are a four-member family team, and there is only so much we can do. We want that effort to make a meaningful difference for the families we serve.

For many years, it has been our dream to serve a dedicated cohort of families (much like the model Ann held with her medical practice patient base), who know that they have a source they can trust. This vision stretches beyond even a traditional CSA model to a space where your farmer is your ally for health and wellness. Our unique family helps make that possible: a family physician and educator, an artist and writer, an agronomist and culinary artist, and a technologist and process refinement champion have teamed together with intent to raise foods that are part of the solution to how we as humans live on this beautiful planet, rather than part of the ongoing problem. Your membership secures your piece in that solution and its continuance.

This winter season (months November 2021 through April 2022), we are offering three different types of memberships. These offerings are limited and will first be made available to current members before being made public. Non-members will still be welcome to purchase from our farm shop via our e-store, but inventory and availability will be focused on a members-first basis, especially when there are shortages. With over a year’s experience of managing our e-commerce this way, we know that many items never make it to the public-facing part of the shop, as members snag them first. If you want that availability to be saved for you, now is the time to sign up!

“This vision stretches beyond even a traditional CSA model to a space where your farmer is your ally for health and wellness.”

This Winter’s Membership Options

What is the right membership for your family? Here is a breakdown of the three types we are offering for this winter season (Nov-Apr). You can choose your favorite or opt for a combination of more than one for a “best of all worlds” food sourcing experience.

Membership Types and Attributes Sustainer Membership (New!) Premier Membership (Reimagined from Summer Shares) Select Membership
Pickups Choose between weekly or biweekly. Several pickup and delivery route options available. Choose between weekly or biweekly. Several pickup and delivery route options available. Choose pickup dates and locations that fit your schedule.
Variety 7-8 different veggies, fruits, and herbs chosen by the farm for what is the most fresh and special that week. This share also includes sustainable protein sources from our farm such as eggs, meats, cheeses, etc. and a culinary feature from Chef Kara. 6-7 different veggies, fruits, and herbs with seasonal variations plus a sustainable protein source from our farm. This could include eggs, cheese, a cut of meat, etc. Winter shares include storage veggies, frozen fruits, and lots of delicious greens from our aquaponics greenhouse. Choose from the full range of products in the e-store, including those saved in the Member Specials section. This is especially helpful for members with multiple dietary constraints.
Payments Secure your membership at the beginning of the season and receive pickups for 6 months. Secure your membership at the beginning of the season and receive pickups for 6 months. Secure your membership in increments, with a rolling admission, as available. Membership is generated as a prepaid “card” that is redeemed via the e-store.
Newsletters and Recipes Yes! Receive our weekly email newsletter, with recipes, “what’s in the share” notes, the week’s “Down on the Farm” story, and tips on new and exciting inventory for add-on orders. Yes! Receive our weekly email newsletter, with recipes, “what’s in the share” notes, the week’s “Down on the Farm” story, and tips on new and exciting inventory for add-on orders. Yes! Receive our weekly email newsletter, with recipes, the week’s “Down on the Farm” story, and tips on new and exciting inventory for Select orders. These notes are especially helpful for snagging favorite offerings as they are added to the shop.
Availability Only a certain number of memberships released per season–when they’re sold out, we are fully booked for Sustainer Members. Product is packed for this membership group first. Only a certain number of memberships released per season–when they are sold out, we are fully booked for Premier Members. Product is packed before inventory is released on the e-store. Continued availability while supply sustains. Inventory is added to the e-store after Sustainer and Premier shares are packed.
Discounts Sustainer memberships are priced at a volume discount compared with shopping for items individually. Our farm team chooses the items included in each delivery. Premier memberships are priced at a volume discount compared with shopping for items individually. Our farm team chooses the items included in each delivery. Items are not discounted, but the perks include access to members-only inventory, pre-ordering of sought-after product like poultry, bulk order specials (which are discounted), and access to member resources.

Many of our current summer season members utilize both the Premier and the Select Memberships. This helps them augment their pickup with additional deliciousness from the farm–drawing on the 1000+ items in our e-store to create a whole-diet experience from our farm, kitchen, dairy, and partner farms. Know that your sourcing choices through our membership program directly impact the local food network and the sustainability of practices that benefit the community and the planet.

Bok choy

Membership Options and Dietary Constraints

We know that every family has different dietary considerations and that these are important to you. We continue our dedication to accommodating food allergies by including alternate items in your delivery. If you have food allergies, please let us know when signing up for Sustainer or Premier Memberships.

For complex dietary needs, the Select Membership might be the best choice. We take great care to list all ingredients in the product descriptions, so that you can choose items that work well for you. If you have questions (can I have A2 products if I’m lactose intolerant or will ancient grains work for me if I’m gluten intolerant? etc.), we are happy to share our knowledge and experience with you!

Please note that the Sustainer and the Premier Memberships will include animal-based protein sources this winter, including meats, eggs, and dairy. While these have been included occasionally in the past, we feel that making them a facet of the program offers nutritional diversity and is necessary for sustaining our diversified system. Without the animals, we couldn’t have the plants!

If you are vegan or vegetarian and are interested in the Sustainer or Premier Memberships, you may want to share a membership with a friend, neighbor, or family members. For current member families who co-share a membership, this offers flexibility for who is picking up at each delivery and how the food is divided. Alternately, the Select Membership might be the best fit for you, so you can choose every item you receive. Sustainer and Premier memberships work best for folks who are adventurous eaters and who love all the deliciousness we grow and raise–yum!

Pickup Schedules and Options

Last year, we purchased a new-to-us cargo van, which has revolutionized how we reach our members and how many families we can serve on a delivery. You may be surprised to learn that we come your way! Many of our families live regionally but own cabins locally, and we are happy to stay flexible with where you are picking up on a given week with good communication. Members find this flexibility very helpful!

Say GOODBYE to those awkward 5th weeks that would mess up everyone’s schedules several times a year. This winter, we are simplifying the pickup date system. Use the chart below to see where we are when. When securing your membership, please let us know which of the pickup options is your preference. Select Memberships are welcome to utilize ANY of the pickup or delivery options or for on-farm pickups any date that Farmstead Creamery is open.

Pickup Locations When/Where Dates Flexibility
Farmstead Creamery (on-farm pickup) Wednesdays between 10am and 6pm. Later pickup dates available upon request. Every Wednesday Nov-Apr. This accommodates both weekly and biweekly (every other week) options. This is the most flexible pickup option, and many members utilize this pickup location when navigating schedule conflicts.
Hayward, WI Parking lot of the public library (HWY 77) at 11am on Thursdays. Every Thursday Nov-Apr (except Thanksgiving Day). This accommodates both weekly and bi-weekly options. Prompt pickup of shares is important, as this pickup location is often one stop on a longer delivery trip.
Minnesota Delivery Route Route includes but is not limited to: Trego, Marine on St. Croix, Stillwater, White Bear Lake, Minneapolis, Mendota Heights, Rochester, Wacouta, Turtle Lake, Cumberland. Other stops along the way can be added. Wednesdays bi-weekly:
Nov 3 and 17
Dec 1, 15, and 29
Jan 12 and 26
Feb 9 and 23
March 9 and 23
Apr 6 and 20
Prompt pickup of shares is important at each pickup location as they are stops along the delivery route. Some hosted locations may have more pickup flexibility–happy to discuss details.
Wisconsin Delivery Route Route includes but is not limited to: Hayward, Minong, Trego, Spooner, Barron, Menomonie, Eau Claire, Rice Lake, Sarona. Other stops along the way can be added. Thursdays bi-weekly:
Nov 11 and 18
Dec 9 and 16
Jan 6 and 20
Feb 3 and 17
Marc 3, 17, and 31
Apr 14 and 28
Prompt pickup of shares is important at each pickup location as they are stops along the delivery route. Some hosted locations may have more pickup flexibility–happy to discuss details.
Have a pickup you can’t make? Our membership program includes several options, such as doubling up before or after a date, having a friend or family member pick up instead, or having us donate your share to a local family facing food insecurity.

pickup

Friendly, safe pickup services both at the farm and on our delivery routes.

For this winter season, we will be able to serve 70 families in our Sustainer and Premier Membership Programs. We currently have openings for 26 families.

Sustainer and Premier Memberships, Nov.-Apr.

Ready to join us in our vision and enjoy the bounty of the season? We are excited to have you as a member family! Choose between weekly or bi-weekly pickups. If you are interested in weekly but live on a bi-weekly route, you are welcome to pick up on more than one route or to “double up” your pickups on your preferred route. Our members often comment on how the produce lasts so well. Weekly memberships include 26 pickups, bi-weekly includes 13 pickups. In your order notes, please let us know your preferred pickup dates and location(s). Also please note any food allergies.

Select Membership Options, Rolling Admission

Interested in a membership with the most flexibility? Want to augment your Sustainer or Premier memberships with additional high-integrity foods from the farm? Great! Choose the value of membership that you feel works best for you, and we will transform it into a pre-paid “card” for you to use on the e-store. Please plan to use your card within 6 months of purchase.

Thank you for taking the time to become a member family! We look forward to packing the very best of goodness from the farm and our partner farms to help you stay healthy and vibrant, with great meals on the table for your family. Our commitment to high standards and relationship brings our offerings a level of professionalism and quality you can trust. You are welcome to reach out to us at any time with questions. 715-462-3453

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