Clover Farm Share Program (CSAs)
Winter CSAs sign-ups for 2021-2022 are now CLOSED. Please check back for summer shares in Spring 2022.
The idea of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) as we know it developed in the 1960s in Alabama by a farmer named Booker T Whatley. In the 1980s farmers here in Massachusetts expanded on the model, and now farmers everywhere have realized it is one of the best economic models in existence to support their work.
Farmshares work this way: you pay the farmer a fixed amount of money prior to their season. The farmer uses that money to buy seeds, fix equipment, and hire employees for the growing season. Each week of the growing season you pick up a weekly share of your farmer’s harvest. When the season starts, you’re going to get fewer items since there is a more limited selection of crops available, but your box will grow significantly as we get to the peak of the season (late July through September). Overall CSA customers get 125-150% more value than what they’d get at the grocery store. There are also winter shares which typically run December through May.
At Clover, we started thinking about this nearly a decade ago. What if we could make this whole process better? You learn about farms in a comfortable retail environment. We offer pick-up any day of the week. Our pick-up windows are long. We offer online signup and payment. We also have an event that’ll allow you to meet your local farmers participating.
Each farm has a limited number of shares. Shares will be offered first come first serve, and we expect all shares to sell out.
Sign Up For A CSA
Click here to sign up.
Pick Up Locations
Where are you going to pick up your share?
When you sign up for a CSA be sure to pick a farm that matches not only your price-point and values, but delivers on a day that works for your schedule, and to a location that’s easy for you to get to. The following sites are pickup locations for our summer farmshare program:
- CloverHUB, 1075 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA (Inman Square)
- CloverHSQ, 1326 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA (Harvard Square)
- CloverKND, 5 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA(Kendall Square)
- CloverHFI, 496 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA (Central Square)
- CloverLMA, 360 Longwood Avenue, Boston MA (Longwood Medical Area)
- CloverBBY, 565 Boylston St, Boston, MA (Back Bay)
- CloverBUR, 100 Burlington Mall Rd, Burlington, MA (Burlington)
Most farmers pick their produce in the morning and then drive it into Boston. This means most shares will be available from roughly 2 pm all the way up until the restaurant location closes. We’re excited to be able to offer such a long window for pickup for folks who work long hours and might not be able to grab their share til 8 or 9 pm.
Are the CSA vegetables the best vegetables I’m every going to have tasted in my life?
We think so. But if you want to know more find somebody who has bought from the farm in the past. We’ve carefully curated this program. These farms represent our favorite farms in the area.
What date can I begin expecting my bounty to arrive at Clover?
Each share starts on a different date, depending on how the harvest goes that year. Expect an email from your farmer about a week before your CSA will begin. Generally these start the second week of June.
What time can I pick up my shares?
Delivery times will vary slightly for each farm. Most farms are picking food that morning and driving it in. Shares will arrive between 2pm and 3pm, and will be available all the way up until Clover closes for the night (6pm-midnight depending on the location and day). After the first week, you’ll begin to get a good idea about when you can expect your share to arrive.
I can’t decide which CSA to sign up for, can I sign up for 2 or 3?
Of course. But no mixing and matching items from different shares. Each share represents a full commitment.
Is my credit card info safe?
We’re using mainstream processors for this stuff. We don’t see your card number. We just collect your money.
Is Clover doing all the work?
NO. We’re doing very little. It’s the farmers that are growing your great food (and ours too). We’re just hoping to create a convenient way for you all to connect.
Does Clover take a cut?
No. The farmers have been asked this year to build a small fee into each share price that will cover the cost of credit card processing, the bins we’re going to supply, and the advertising we’re doing on behalf of the farmers. But there is no fee taken by Clover to cover our time and space. I’m not promising we’ll never add a fee, but for this year at least we’re able to make sure your money goes to the farmers.
Why is Clover doing this?
(1) We’d like to see everybody participate in CSAs. That would mean more farmed land in MA, and healthier happier residents.
(2) We love the fact that you’ll all be coming into our restaurants every week. Maybe you’ll buy something?
If I sign up for a CSA, then I’m late for a pick-up, or out of town, how will that work?
You will sacrifice that week’s share. We do not hold to the next day.
We have worked very hard to offer the largest pick-up windows in the world. But there’s no way we can make this work with special favors, hold-overs, etc. Sorry. No exceptions here.
We do suggest that if you know you’ll miss a share that you contact your farmer, they may be able to help you. Alternatively you could ask a friend to pick your share up that day.
What will be different about my pickup experience this year considering COVID 19?
We are being extremely careful about the amount of people inside our restaurants, even once vaccines become more widespread (yay!). To that end, we will ask that you sign up for a pickup slot via the Clover App (you can do this same-day, you don’t have to pick the same slot each week). For those of you who picked up a CSA this summer, it will be a similar process!
UPDATE: It’s been a wild 2021 already, so much has changed!! We anticipate having re-opened indoor dining by the time most CSA pickups have begun 🙂 That means you will be able to walk right into the restaurant and grab your share, and check your own name off the list (just like all past, non-pandemic CSA seasons)! However if you are still uncomfortable or unable to do this, we 100% understand and are happy to continue offering curbside & contactless pickup options for the summer.