Assist New Milford in protecting and preserving our surviving farmlands

Clatter Valley Farm, CSA


Most daily commuters know Jeremy and Willow Schultz from The Berry Farm, the roadside stand they operated along Route 7 in New Milford. Five years ago, the couple started a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) at their Clatter Valley farm located on the part of the 170-acre Nature Conservancy/Sunny Valley Preserve at 125 Town Farm Road, New Milford.

“CSA” represents a rapidly growing US local food production and distribution system that has been around for over 25 years and directly connects small-scale farmers and consumers. The term “CSA” is also used to refer to an individual farm’s CSA program.

Consumers buy “shares” in a farm’s harvest in advance.  Farmers gain early-season working capital through sale of the shares and have a guaranteed market for their produce. Farmers also hedge their risk in the event of a poor harvest as consumer shareholders agree to accept whatever nature brings their way—even if, say, a hail storm happens to wipe out the entire harvest, they do not get their share price back.  On the very positive side, consumers enjoy field-fresh produce–increasingly organically-grown–and greater access to high-demand fruits and vegetables like strawberries and heirloom tomatoes as well as a range and variety that makes for great culinary experimentation.

“CSA” represents a rapidly growing US local food production and distribution system

Most CSAs require an annual buy-in and provide weekly deliveries or pick-ups in the growing season from June through mid-October.  Many CSAs also offer farm visits, PYO, and special events for members.

Clatter Valley Farm’s thriving CSA has grown from a fledging business with a dozen shareholders (families) to nearly 45 this season. In 2014, it plans to add 20-25 more, bringing the total number of family shareholders to 65 or 70. Jeremy and Willow also sell their own grass-fed beef and chicken, eggs, and sweet corn, at City Center Danbury Farmer’s Market Fridays from mid-June through October.

Clatter Valley CSA offers 15-week both full and partial produce shares from mid-June to October as well as a 10-week seasonal fruit share (strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, apples, etc.).

Like many small-scale CSAs, Clatter Valley has prospered by word of mouth. “The first year we solicited friends, and it has spread from there, “ says Willow.  More recently, their business plan included launching a website ( which has drawn more customers, feedback and interest.

“We’re small, and we want to grow slowly, so we can keep up with the demand, though I don’t think we will be as large as some CSAs.”  Raising children was a big part of why the couple switched from a roadside stand business to CSA farming. “We wanted the kids to be more involved in farming,” says Willow.  “ It’s a great way for them to learn life’s lessons: life and plant cycles, farming responsibilities, and just knowing where their food comes.”