CSA Frequently Asked Questions

 

1.     What are your growing practices? 

We are a conventional farm.  We sparingly use chemicals when needed, and follow good guidelines in the care of our environments and communities.

2.     How and when do I pick up my share? 

When you are filling out your CSA application, you select the day you will pick up your share (either Monday, Wednesday Friday or Saturday). You will pick up every week on your selected pick up day. Pick up time is between 4 and 7 pm with the exception of Saturday which is any time after 10 am.   
On your selected day, you will come to the farm. We suggest that you bring your own box or bags to pack up your produce. Shares will be “Farm Market Style” which means you will pack your own share by choosing from the bulk containers in the pickup area inside the farm stand. Often we will have a choice between several kinds of produce; this allows you to customize your share to fit your needs. A whiteboard will list the week’s produce and the amount of each item that belongs in your share. 

3.     What if I cannot come on my regular pick-up day? 

Harvesting takes place according to the number of members expected on a given day. If you cannot come, send a friend or relative and make sure they know about pick-up time and procedures. If you know you are going to miss a pickup date, email the farm ahead of time (at least 2 days if possible) to change your pickup day. If you forget and do miss a week, your share will not be wasted—it will be donated. 

4.     How much food is in a share? 

Full Weekly Share – $550-  6–8 units (with more in the middle and less on either end of the season), picked up every week, 21 share distributions per season. We have designed this share option for two adults who consume a moderate amount of fruits and vegetables or two adults and two children who want to enjoy fresh local produce but only cook a few nights a week.  

Half Share – $375-5-6 units, picked up weekly, 21 share distributions per season. This share is designed for a single person, a couple that doesn’t eat a strictly vegetarian diet, or a family who wants to get their feet wet in the world of CSA.  

Here is a typical example of what might be included in a week’s share during different times of the season: 
Note: Quantities are approximate and will vary from week to week. 

Typical Early Season Full Share: 

Snap Peas: .25lb 

Green (Chard, Kale or Spinish): ¾ lb 

Green Onions: 1 bunch 

Radish: 1 bunch

Bok choi: (1 large or 2 baby)

Lettuce: 1 or 2 heads 

Typical Mid-Season Full Share: 

Peppers: 3 

Melons: 1 cantaloupe

Summer Squash: 2 

Tomatoes (Field or Grape): 2 lbs/1 pint 

Sweet corn: 6 ears 

Cucumbers: 2 

Green (Chard, Kale): 1 bunch

Lettuce: 1 head

Typical Late Season Full Share: 

Tomatoes: 1 lb 

Cabbage/Caulifolower: 1 head

Kale: 1 bunch 

Peppers: 3 

Winter Squash: 1 or 2

Collard Greens: 1 bunch

Eggplant: 1lb

Broccoli: 1 head

(Herbs are always available in our pick your own herb garden)

Remember: Farming is both dynamic and unpredictable. Extreme weather conditions such as a late or early frost, too much or too little rain, rain at the wrong time or a hail storm, may interfere or alter crop quality and availability. Being a CSA member means sharing in the risks as well as the bounty. Nevertheless, be assured that even in the most challenging of years, we will work hard to provide you with quality produce. The farm’s investment in greenhouses, irrigation and our co-operative production with a few neighboring farms greatly reduces the risk to members and farmers alike. 

5.     What is a unit of produce? 

What constitutes a unit varies according to the season. A unit could be a bunch of beets, a head of lettuce, a quart of fruit, or 3 tomatoes one week, a quart of tomatoes another, or 5 lbs on yet another week—it all depends on what is ripe for picking and able to be harvested. Typically, our greens are in 3/4 lb bunches, similar to, or slightly larger, than what you find in most grocery stores. 

6.     How Does Fruit Figure Into My Share? 

We grow both fruits and vegetables at our farm. Fruit is included in our shares. Strawberries begin ripening in mid June, cantaloupes and blueberries middle of July; watermelons in August and early September; peaches are going strong in the month of August. When in season, members can pick their own blueberries, red raspberries and blackberries at a nominal fee. 

7.     Do you offer a Swap Box? 

No we do not have a formal “swap box.” A swap box is intended to give members the ability to customize their share. If there is something you are not crazy about, you can exchange for one item of equal value that is in the box. We used to do this, but found that members who came at the end of a pickup time didn’t have a variety of items to swap.

Instead, we give you the option to swap at will (fruit not included in swapping).  This give our members the option to get the most out of their shares. We pick extra of certain items that are “swappable” and put them out for members to select their share from.  

8.     Do I need to pay for my share all at one time? 

Although we encourage lump sum payment to keep our administrative time down, we do offer payment plans.  

9.  May I come with my family to see and participate in activities at the farm? 

Yes! We encourage participation and realize that seeing where your food comes from is a valuable educational opportunity for children as well as for adults. Harvesting and weeding are wonderful ways to participate and work side-by-side with family and other members. We will announce, through email, special family days at the farm. 

Special Note: Keep in mind that we are a working farm, and safety is paramount. Proper supervision of children is necessary at all times. To ensure the safety of all visitors please read the Farm Rules (below) and share them with your family and/or fellow visitors. 

10.  What are the Farm Rules for visitors? 

Please be respectful of your surroundings during your visit. For your safety, we ask that these rules be followed: 

1.     Parents need to supervise their children at all times. 

2.     No rock throwing. 

3.     No running or playing in the growing fields. 

4.     The farm equipment, the house and the barn are off-limits. 

5.     Stay out of tall grass and rough-mowed areas. There might be poison ivy and ticks in the tall grass. 

6.     Park in designated areas only. 

7.     If you have a question, please ask. 

8.     Have fun. 

11.  May I volunteer to help at the farm? 

We welcome assistance with our work projects from time to time and know that our members enjoy participating. We are planning to schedule special work days during the season when member assistance will be most helpful. We will send an email to announce workday dates and times in advance. 

12.  May I harvest some crops for myself? 

Although your share will be pre-harvested, you can always add to your share when Pick-Your-Own berries (PYO) are available for harvest. PYO blueberries, red raspberries and blackberries are usually available at a special member price. We will announce these opportunities in our newsletter and on Social Media.

13.  Are there special events for members? 

We often hold a pre-season New Member Orientation that includes a behind the scenes look at the greenhouse and growing fields. Look for fun and educational happenings during the season.  Some of these activities depend on available help and weather conditions. Please remember that we are farmers first and organizers second. 

14.  What is seasonal eating? 

Seasonal eating means consuming foods that are grown in your local area and eaten when they are just picked (e.g.,  greens in June, tomatoes in August). This way of eating assures peak flavor and nutrition. It goes without saying that our produce, which only travels from our field to your plate, is going to be fresher and better for you than something that has traveled more than 1,000 miles. 

By eating local food in season, you become better attuned to nature and appreciative of its ebbs and flows. Did we have a warm spell in early spring that initiated an early harvest of all the green leafy lettuces and cooking greens? Was it hot or rainy during Spring planting, thus shortening a certain crop harvest? 

Eating seasonally means thoroughly enjoying particular fruits or vegetables at their peak. You become so satisfied that it becomes an unworthy compromise to eat something that has been shipped in from some faraway place and lacks flavor. As each produce item nears the end of its season, you can choose to let it go until the next year or you might creatively preserve the abundance by canning or freezing to extend your favorite quality produce into another season. 

15.  Is CSA seasonal eating right for my lifestyle? 

Picture yourself eating from your own garden at home, then look to the farm as a larger garden, from which you get more varieties of vegetables, as well as fresh fruits and herbs. Seasonal eating from your CSA is simply fresh-from-the-garden eating on a larger scale and with greater diversity. 

Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming to a CSA member to have the same produce each week. Here’s what a seasonal eater will do: assemble a collection of good recipes involving these crops, reserve a little time to plan and prepare meals, then perhaps freeze some to use at a later date. Share the adventure of new recipes and new varieties of foods with the family. 

If you’ve not eaten from a garden, seasonal eating can take some adjustment. But the rewards of eating things when they’re at peak flavor and nutrition are immeasurable. As a CSA member, you will learn what is currently in season where you live and how long it is available. You will appreciate eating fruits and vegetables while they’re truly fresh, then enjoy the nice memories of each until next year. You move throughout the seasons eating fresh, seasonal foods as they mature for the harvest. This is the adventure of eating well! 

As a seasonal eater, your perspective will evolve from “planning a drive to the supermarket to buy ingredients for a specific recipe” to, “Cooking with what you have.” Involving your children in this process can be far less difficult than you think when your own attitude is inclusive.

Simply put, the first year of CSA participation might be more of a challenge for families who often travel, eat out or bring home “take-out” meals, than for families who like to cook at home from scratch. It may take a season or two, but once you get into the swing of CSA seasonal eating, it will be hard to imagine eating in any other way! 

16.  How much does a share cost? 

A full share is $550 and a half share is $375.

17.  Can I buy products from the farm even if I am not a CSA member? 

Yes! We are open for retail  7 days a week beginning in June and running until the end of October. We have limited hours in May and November.  Check our website and Facebook for updated stand hours.

18.  What is Farm Market style? 

Farm market style is designed to be similar to shopping at a farmers market. Members will select their own produce from bulk bins, following the guidelines on the chalkboard in the CSA pickup area. 

Still have questions? Visit our Contact page and reach out!