Community Supported Agriculture, or CSAs, have traditionally been a way for farmers to help fund their upfront costs of planting and cultivating long before the harvest comes. The farmers in Maine who produce winter CSAs are a widely varied group, and as a result, they tend to come up with some surprising and innovative “crops.” Here are a few that speak to very specific needs and desires.

LIKE BERRIES IN WINTER? Some winter CSA producers put in a packet of frozen berries. The Foot Hill Alliance, comprised of five farms in Western Maine, near the New Hampshire border, might include frozen blueberries, cranberries or even raspberries, depending on what they’ve got. Visit FootHillFarmAlliance.com to sign up for a share.

NEED SKIN CARE? Rooted Earth Farm in Casco provides a CSH. That stands for Community Supported Herbalism. It’s year-round and farmer/owner Sara Tryzelaar gears the monthly box of goodies, shipped through the mail, to the season, but she is also happy to tailor the monthly deliver to specific problems. Like say, acne. “I have a really popular line of acne products, she says, Pimple Potion among them. Prices range from $30 to $55 a month. Visit rootedearth.com for more information.

LIVE OFF THE MAINLAND? Turner Farms on North Haven offers a winter CSA, focused mostly on greens, with special treats as available. It serves about 40 customers on both North Haven and Vinalhaven, with delivery to the ferry terminal. Details on pricing and time frame for this coming winter are still being worked out, so check the website in coming weeks if you’re an islander who must have greens. Visit turner-farm.com for more information.

WANT YOUR VEGETABLE HORIZONS BROADENED? A lot of the farmers running winter CSAs like to throw in surprises. At North Branch Farm in Monroe, you might see exotics like tatsoi or celeriac. Visit northbranchfarm.org to learn more. At Wolf Pine Farm in Alfred, which runs an alliance featuring products from about 15 vegetable farmers, as well as meat and grain producers, burdock made an appearance in the share. “That didn’t end up being a big hit so we didn’t do it again,” farmer Tom Harms said. “But we thought it was kind of groovy.”

LIKE SURPRISES? A lot of Maine winter CSAs will slip you something special and unexpected in the winter months. Wolf Pine Farm includes local specialty items with just about every winter share, which might be oats from Aurora Provisions or flour from Maine Grains, local sea salt or raw honey. Jill Agnew, who runs the oldest winter CSA in the state, at Willow Pond Farm in Sabattus, might slip in fennel and occasionally, a small homemade gift, like her own kimchi. Visit willowpf.com for more information.

WANT JUICE? New Beat Farm in Waldo County has a new add on to its winter CSA, a cider share. Eight 1/2 gallon deliveries for $32, arriving with your regular CSA shares, available every three weeks and delivered to Portland for pick up. (Regular shares often feature a special item, like organic cornmeal from Songbird Farm). Visit newbeatfarm.com for more information.

LIKE TO KNIT WHILE YOUR BEEF STEWS? Nezinscot Farm in Turner offers a CSA-style pre-buy that goes year round and serves as a pre-buy for shopping at the farm store (translation, pay ahead and then buy as you please). Which means everything from canned goods to fresh meat, including chicken, beef, pork, goose and duck, seasonally. And sometimes even fiber and craft supplies, including wool from the farm’s animals. Shares never run out and run from $400 to $3,000. Visit nezinscotfarm.com for more information.

NEED DOUGH? You can sign up for a bread CSA that runs all year long. Brazen Baking is available through Brazen Baking in Waldoboro. Basic shares start at $20, which gets you a loaf a week for 4 weeks. No phone number unfortunately, but they have a Facebook page and a website, brazenbaking.com. Wolf Pine sometimes puts bread in its winter shares, made by Borealis, with Maine ingredients.