Big Train Farm is now on Instagram!

We’ve had the #bigtrainfarm hashtag going since 2012, but as the number of workers, members, and pictures have grown, it has become clear we need to step it up!  (For the Luddites among us, don’t worry, we’re not planning a Facebook page anytime soon!)

We’re actually really excited.

Big Train Farm is a really special, beautiful place for our members and workers alike and we hope we can come together here.

From our workers of all stripes, we’re excited to post about our days so you can see behind the curtain of your produce, honey, eggs, and more.  As a business with big dreams and goals, we’re looking forward to posting updates on the CSA, events, classes, actions, and more.  As growers of your food, we look forward to reposting your delicious meals and veggie hauls.

So without further ado…

Check us out on Instagram @bigtrainfarm !

Enjoy the snow tomorrow! (Finally! Snow!)

Love, the BTF crew



Now accepting SNAP/EBT benefits for CSA payment!

What an exciting update.

You, our lovely shareholders and friends, undoubtedly joined our CSA for a variety of reasons: maybe you love to cook and want the freshest, tastiest, locally grown food; maybe you are conscientious of your health and want to simply eat more veggies; maybe you’re even mindful of our shared ecosystem and want to invest in a food system that does not rely on egregious pesticides, herbicides, mono cropping, and general bad agricultural practice. However, we also know from talking with many of you over the years, that you are genuinely interested in or actively working toward a more just world. Many of you, like us, want things to be a little easier and better for all, not for some.

We are thrilled to announce that beginning this CSA season, we will be accepting EBT/SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) as payment for CSA shares.


Two years ago I worked with Farm Fresh Rhode Island to create a resource for local farmers to use to become retailers who accept SNAP.  Still, however, there are not many farms that now accept SNAP.  Regardless, we are proud to add our name to this small list.

When thinking about food accessibility, this could barely be a smaller step.

The truth is that as a small, independently owned farm business, we rely solely on your financial support. Existing in a food paradigm outside of subsidies means that CSA shares are typically more costly (that is, more true to cost) than most vegetables you can buy in supermarkets.  This is of course only when looking at the financial value of a local CSA and does not include the returns members get each year.  Still, this has long been a real criticism and barrier for many when lesser economic resources.  Even those with SNAP benefits often do not have enough monthly benefits to feed their families and despite this very successful anti-poverty program, many families still live in poverty and many children go to bed hungry.

We have big plans for the future of Big Train Farm: how can we diversify our CSA membership as well as our crops to appeal to a wider community of eaters? What do we envision our CSA looking like in five years?  How can we share our cooking and food preparation knowledge with each other?  How can we further incorporate values of social and environmental justice into a sustainable small business model?

  • If you have SNAP benefits, we have edited our website sign-up so you can select that as a method of payment.
  • If you know of someone who has SNAP benefits who might be interested in joining our CSA, let them know we’re accepting CSA members.
  • If you know of a local community organization (e.g., church, health center, school, community organization) that might have access to folks with SNAP benefits, please spread the word to them!

I will be working for the next month or so in the community doing outreach, so if you know of an organization or group that you would recommend I do outreach with, let me know!

We are more than happy to discuss any questions folks might have about what a CSA is, what kinds of food we offer, and even direct to local organizations who offer courses on how to prepare vegetables.

Payment with SNAP is a bit different.  While our members have historically always paid with checks which we rely on to finance the start of our growing season, the USDA requires members paying with SNAP to make payments every 14 days during the CSA season (June – November).  There is no advance payment.

We will be creating a flyer in the coming days to share in the community and we’ll be posting it here so keep a look out!



Hello and Happy New Year!

I am writing to invite you back for another year with Big Train Farm.  2012 was a great year for us and we hope that you enjoyed your CSA share(s).  CSA membership is the life-force of Big Train Farm, representing 50% of all the business we did in 2012 and making it possible to get started with early spring costs!  You are very important to us and we hope you saw that exemplified in your shares last year.

In 2013 we will be extending the duration of the pick-ups, running the full season from early June until the end of NOVEMBER!  We are happy to see that our seasons are being extended by what we’re able to grow in greenhouses and low-tunnel poly-houses and we want to make that available to all of you.  Please note that this is the reason for the jump in price, weekly cost has remained the same from 2012 to 2013.

Reserve now!  Early payment is appreciated but not necessary to reserve a share.  Notice too that we will be working on securing a bread and cheese share this year as well as the local products we offered at cost in 2012.

Take a look at the updated e-brochure for pricing and other information.  Most everything will be as it was in 2012, as far as logistics.  Every year we are learning and adapting to make each CSA season a little better than the last.  Hope you will join us in 2013!
John and Mindy