Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Q: How do I order meat in 2016? 
A: The farm does not sell meat, eggs or other food products.  The farm raises livestock for the exclusive use of our partners.

Q: What can you tell me about the new Partnership?  
A: 
Harvest Partners is an innovative way for you to obtain all of your highest quality pasture-raised meats from one dedicated source. As a partner in Harvest Partners LP, you will be a full-fledged owner of the livestock raised and butchered for you. Partnership gives you 100% transparency into the way your livestock are fed, raised and processed.

By participating in this alternative approach to livestock ownership and real food, you will become part of a small group of exclusive partners who focus their food budget toward sustainable, seasonal eating. As a result, you will have a real ownership stake in a revolutionary food distribution model that supports consumer choice, environmental stewardship, farm sustainability, community, health and animal welfare. See an overview of our new venture here.

Q: What is included in the partnership? How much does it cost?
A: 
Each year, partners take ownership of a portion of the farm's finishing livestock that they can then butcher and eat (or get eggs from, as the case may be).  The managing partners are responsible for arranging the details of the butchering process for each limited partner.

Typically, the livestock you purchase will yield around 400 pounds of meat cut to your specifications plus an average of 2 dozen eggs per week.  We also will equally divide the available lamb and goat, which increases the amount of meat and decreases the per-pound cost.

The annual allocation of livestock to each partner is as follows:

Partners make owner contributions of $350 each month to the partnership for the entire 12-month period.  Partner contributions are used to purchase the livestock, pay for butchering, and pay the managing partners to administer the partnership.

Q: How and when do I get meat?  
A: All meat and eggs are distributed on the farm, just northwest of Bloomington, Ind. (10-15 minutes from the Monroe County courthouse). We are easily accessible from the east and west via Hwy. 46 and from the north and south via Hwy. 37.

Eggs are available all year and meat is distributed seasonally as it is finished. Chicken is available each week from late May through mid-October. Beef is typically available in the early fall. Pork is available summer and fall. Turkey is ready in November for Thanksgiving. Lamb and goat are available fall or spring, depending on how they develop that year.

While you will be required to come to the farm for pick-up, you will not need to come to the farm each week. We have tools to allow partners to choose their own schedule.

Q: How is this different from a meat CSA? 
A: We're not trying to discourage using a meat CSA. In fact, we pioneered the farm share/meat CSA in this area. This is one of the best ways to work directly with a farmer and to have some shared risk. However, if you want to continue having this kind of food and see small farms continue to exist, then we think the partnership model works better. We know the numbers behind CSAs and in most cases, this model does not provide farms with the security or income they need to exist for the long-term. Farms that provide CSAs are not guaranteed a certain number of CSA customers, a price, a salary. And they continue to be subsidized by outside income. This is not sustainable, certainly not past one generation.

As far as specifics, here are some differences:

Q: What are the benefits of purchasing livestock raised at Maple Valley Farm?  
A: The Harvest Partners sponsoring farm, Maple Valley Farm, uses the highest standards of production in the pastured livestock business, some of which are unique in this area. Our methods include:

Q: What is the last date to join?  
A: 
It depends how quickly the spaces fill. We would like to know as soon as possible that we have the full number of partners, so please let us know right away if you'd like to talk or have decided to join. Once the spaces are filled, we will maintain a waiting list.

Q: How do I get more information?  
A: Because this is a legal partnership, it is imperative that you understand exactly how it will work. Please contact us if you are interested in joining. We will schedule periodic presentations that you may attend or we will meet with you individually. Neither of these obligates you to join the partnership. Feel free to call or e-mail us anytime with your questions or to let us know of your decision to sign on as a partner. We also will be at the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market.