Winter Season Farm Memberships 2021-22

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 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.

NSHF Aquaponic Greenhouse

North Star Homestead Farms. Our Vision: A Healthy Planet and All Its Inhabitants.

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

At NSHF, It’s All About Interrelationships

NSHF 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 greens and fish benefit our members, the scraps benefit the diet of the livestock who through rotational grazing create new fertile land while sequestering carbon, and this in turn 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 into 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.  To learn more about environmental tipping points and how we can and must reverse them, see the documentary “Breaking Boundaries:  The Science of Our Planet.”

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

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 our efforts to make a meaningful difference for the families we serve.

For over 20 years, it has been our vision and privilege 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 ability to continue and thrive.

Sourcing your food from sustainable, bio-dynamic small farms instead of industrial agriculture has more positive impact on climate change than installing solar panels or buying an electric car. Pandemics like the one we are facing now are symptoms of a distressed planet.  We are in a critical decade to make the transformation to a balanced, renewed world happen, and everyone’s choices matter. You matter! Join us in our vision for a healthy planet and all its inhabitants.

This winter season (months November 2021 through April 2022), we are offering three different types of memberships, as well as a new annual membership and delicious add-ons. 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!

Sheep Coming Home

Yearling sheep heading out to pasture–one piece in the bio-diverse ecosystem that is our farm.

For this winter season, we will be able to serve 70 families in our Sustainer and Premier Membership Programs. We currently have openings for 10 families.

There are so many wonderful and several NEW options this signup! You can choose your favorite or opt for a combination of more than one for a “best of all worlds” food sourcing experience.

NEW for this signup is the Sustainer Membership, which we are very excited to release! Pickups feature 7-8 veggies, fruits, and herbs chosen by the farm for what is most fresh and special that week. Pickups also include a sustainable protein such as eggs, cheese, or meat from the farm, as well as a culinary feature from Chef Kara. As a perk to families who choose the annual option (rather than the winter season only), you will be first in line to reserve poultry for 2022 (a limited and popular offering that sells out fast).

The Premier Membership continues with the addition of a sustainable protein with each pickup. This could include eggs, cheese, or a cut of meat. We tested this new model this summer with our community supported initiative “Honor our Medical Heroes” in partnership with the local hospital, and it’s been a great success! Thank you to everyone who donated to that program, including several of our member families.  Winter pickups feature 6-7 storage veggies, fresh greens and herbs from our aquaponics, as well as seasonal and frozen fruits chosen by the farm.

Options include 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. Annual weekly memberships include 52 pickups, bi-weekly includes 26 pickups, while winter 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.

Membership Feature Comparison

Features Annual Sustainer Winter Sustainer Winter Premier

Newsletter and Recipes

X
X
X

Weekly or Bi-Weekly Options

X
X
X

6-7 Veggies, Fruits, and Herbs

X
X
X

Extra Veggies

X
X

Sustainable Protein

X
X
X

Culinary Feature

X
X

Reserved Poultry

X

Early Renewal Notice

X
X
X

Member Add-Ons

Want to pre-order additional deliciousness from the farm to receive at your pickups, so you don’t have to worry about getting that order in before each week’s deadline? These delicious add-ons are for you! We road tested this offering over the summer, and our participating members have thoroughly enjoyed it, so we’re excited to feature add-on packages again! For the winter season months (Nov-Apr), you can add an extra meat, a delicious loaf of bread, a pint of artisan gelato, or a box of breakfast bakery (or any number of combinations!) from our farm with your pickups. These listings are currently set at the bi-weekly rate (13 pickups), so if you’d like to receive them weekly, order two at a time. Individual selections are the farm’s choice, and often our add-on members have the opportunity to try out new offerings as they are just released. Please note any food allergies. Click on each listing to see additional details.

gelato
In Stock
Member Add-On, Gelato
$156.00
If you pick up weekly or would like to receive...
sourdough bread
In Stock
Member Add-On, Bread
$104.00
If you pick up weekly or would like to receive...
rhubarb muffins
In Stock
Member Add-On, Breakfast Bakery
$208.00
If you pick up weekly or would like to receive...
Italian bratwurst
In Stock
Member Add-On, Meat
$195.00
If you pick up weekly or would like to receive...

Select Membership–Augment and Add Flexibility

Many of our current summer season members utilize both the Premier and the Select Memberships (remember, the Sustainer options is NEW). 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. Features of the Select Membership include:

  • Place orders for dates and times that fit your schedule
  • Access to full range of products in the e-store, including those saved in the Member Specials section
  • Flexibility of choice for members with dietary constraints
  • Special notes in the newsletter highlighting new, upcoming, or notable product availability

For this type of membership, you choose the appropriate level for your family, and this is converted into a pre-paid “card” that you redeem via the e-store. Admission is rolling, and you can always add more to your card if you use up the amount quicker than expected (as available). Please plan to use the card within six months of purchase. Items are not discounted, but perks include access to members-only inventory, pre-order options, bulk order options (which are discounted), and member resources. We see this membership primarily as a an addition to the Sustainer or Premier Memberships, but some families with complex schedules and dietary needs utilize just this options. The section below unpacks this concern.

Membership Options and Dietary Constraints

Bok choy

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 or the Add-On selections.

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 balance 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 member. 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 and Times

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.
MN North Shore Delivery Route
Route Includes but is not limited to: Minong, Solon Springs, Duluth, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Grand Marais
Sporadic and dependent on orders from the Co-op in Grand Marais. Typically once every-other month.
Coordinate with interested members exact location and pickup times along the route.

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.

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

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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