How did the Shared Harvest farm begin and develop?
The farm was started by Dr. Shi Yan of Tsinghua University as a project dedicated to the research and promotion of community food safety in May 2012. It was created based on the Community Supported Agriculture model. After over six years of development, the farm now has over 1000 members and has three bases in Tongzhou District, Shunyi District, and Hei Long Jiang. The Tongzhou District combines vegetable production with livestock breeding for chickens and pigs. The Shunyi District primarily focuses on vegetable production with an additional orchard. Lastly, the Hei Long Jiang base is dedicated to rice production, and it has been continuously monitored and tested.
Moreover, the farm also actively participates in social public welfare work through food educational programs in schools, the “new farmer intern” project held at the farm annually to train young prospective farmers, tours and events held on the farm, as well as countless public lectures and media reports addressing concepts of agroecology, a healthy diet, and Community Supported Agriculture.
What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a food system that connects consumers directly with producers by subscribing to the farm’s harvest and allowing the risk of farming to be shared. The three main goals of CSA are to strengthen the relationship between consumers and farmers, guarantee the income of the farm, and improve food safety.
What is the mission of the Shared Harvest farm?
The main mission of the farm is to work towards social, ecological, and economic development, and not for profit. The farm aims to encourage healthy lifestyles, serve both farmers and consumers, and support the sustainable development of the rural countryside. The farm provides real food and real farmers within a sincere, honest community. Additionally, the farm builds a bridge of trust for consumers to enjoy healthy and safe food, and for farmers to receive a fair and reasonable income.
How are the vegetables produced on the farm?
We provide our members with around 60 vegetable types annually based on seasons and local climatic conditions. Our production standards follow the international standard of organic production. Although no organic certification is carried out, the organic production methods are strictly adopted. No synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers are used, and the probability of pests and diseases are reduced with good field management. Only a small portion of our produce uses biocides that are accepted by the organic standard. Every year, we also collect and test samples of our soil and vegetables.
What does it mean to be a member?
Currently, the farm delivers vegetable for around 1000 families, and many of these members has been with the farm for as long as five years. Our members play an essential role in the farm as it is the main business that funds our social goals such as training new farmers and participating in public welfare activities. As a member, you are provided with weekly deliveries of fresh organic vegetables that is seasonal and locally produced for your health and wellbeing. By subscribing as a member, you are not only helping us achieve our goals of promoting real healthy food, but also supporting the farm as a whole. This means you are indirectly contributing to the restoration of agroecology, nurturing the soil itself and its microorganisms. You are also helping provide employment opportunities for villagers and supporting the sustainable development of rural countryside. Most importantly, you are an active participator of Community Supported Agriculture, an agricultural model that believes in a fair and healthy food system.
How to become a member?
As the farm continues to develop with experience and improved efficiency, it is capable of producing more in order to meet the needs of more members. We guarantee vegetable diversity, quality, and quantity and we don’t aim for speed or growing the business. This year we are recruiting under 150 members.
There are two types of memberships based on the quantity of vegetables needed.
Farm Products Pricing (RMB)
The pricing above is only valid from January 1st 2018 to January 1st 2019.
Both memberships are provided with the same quality vegetables, the only difference is that Plan B pre-pays a larger amount, thus the price of each individual product is lowered. Additionally, we provide 8 kg of free vegetables (delivered in 2 times maximum) when you become a Plan B member, or when you renew your Plan B membership.
How long does the membership last?
Once you are a member, the membership is valid until you finish ordering the pre-paid amount with no time limitations. Each time you order vegetables, the Real Farm platform will automatically deduct the money from your pre-paid account.
How does the ordering process work?
We provide a variety of vegetables based on what is able to be locally and seasonally produced, aiming for both diversity and stability. Every week, you can order and select your vegetables with the Real Farm APP or through the Wechat account 13321123291. As a member, you will also need to provide us with your home address and phone number so we can reach you for delivery.
How does the delivery process work?
We deliver vegetables from the farm directly to your home address once a week. If there is need for a temporary break in delivery, please contact our customer services beforehand. Each vegetable order must have a minimum of 3 kg or a price minimum of 300RMB for our free delivery, if not an additional delivery fee will be charged. The farm delivers from Tuesdays to Saturdays within Beijing fifth ring road and large communities such as Hui Long Guan. The deliveries are organized based on addresses and every day we deliver to a different region. All packaging materials such as the cardboard boxes, plastic boxes, plastic bags, egg cartons, fruit wrappers can be reused, so please keep them and give them to the delivery driver at your following delivery.
How can members help ensure the quality of our production?
Consumer trust in our product has always been the farm’s footstone and greatest motivation. Thus, the farm is very welcoming and open to all visitors to tour and stay at the farm. Every year, there is a core membership group that is selected to supervise and support the growth of the farm, and all members are welcome to join. At the same time, the farm and the core membership group will regularly publish work reports and evaluations to help all members understand the current challenges and progress on the farm。