1. What is a CSA? Community Supported Agriculture is a program in which people in the community purchase a “share” of the farm early in the season. You allow the farmer to purchase all necessary supplies in the beginning in exchange for the harvest as it comes in throughout the season. When things go right, you get a bounty. When things go wrong, we all suffer the effects. For example, some years potatoes do great and you get plenty for the season. Other years, potatoes do not grow as expected and you get little or none. This plan only works when you understand that this is a farm. Things die. Crops don’t grow. Insects destroy vegetables overnight. Weather ruins things. Things also grow well at times. Crops produce earlier or later than usual. Rain comes at the right time and you get 8 different things in a week’s time. It is all about having an understanding, patient attitude that the farmer will do the work but sometimes things just do not grow right.
2. How much does it cost? To keep it simple this season, there is only one base plan. The cost is $295 for 13 weeks of delivery.
3. How do I sign up? The fastest way is click here. If you live outside the coverage area, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will reply , verify if you can get it delivered to your location, and discuss which plan you would like and how you would like to take care of payment. We highly recommend that you read the Terms & Conditions that you must be familiar with in order to understand how this CSA works. When you email us, please send us your physical address where you want the delivery made so we can verify it is within our coverage area.
4. Why does it cost so much? Realistically we have one of the cheapest costs of CSA membership of any CSA in the USA. And not only do you not have to pick it up unless you choose to do so on the farm, but we deliver it to your house or place of employment! Farming is not cheap, fuel is not cheap, and our time is valuable as well. In reality, most people will spend at least $20 a week on snacks and cokes from the gas station without even thinking about it. How much healthier would it be to use that money each week on fresh, tasty, nutrient packed produce? Not to mention you are also supporting a true, locally owned farm, not just paying for some massive corporation to add more profit to their bottom line. We cannot continue to farm without people like you, and we strive to always be open and honest when things go right, and when things go wrong. You get to “buy into” a farm without doing the work!
5. Are we organic? The word organic is controlled by the federal government, and without organic certification we cannot make any claims to say we are. Here is how we grow stuff. We do not use chemical weed control anywhere in food production areas. We use organic safe pesticides such as neem oil, sesame seed oil extract, and mineral oil as needed to control pests. We use organic safe fungicides, miticides, and insecticide combinations when it is reasonable to assume it will be effective. On very rare occasions, we may use a synthetic substitute if the control will be more effective and prevent a total crop loss due to insects, diseases, or other pests. We occasionally use synthetic fertilizers on crops that cannot have drip tape and liquid organic fertilizer used on them, or to correct an immediate problem that if we failed to do so would result in total crop loss or major impact to the farm. We source our seeds from reputable seed sources who show the non-gmo label, and we will never knowingly plant any seeds that are genetically modified through any mechanical means.
6. How do you actually grow your food? We use a combination of mechanization with our small footprint tractor, automation, and a process known as plasticulture. Basically we use plastic mulch with drip irrigation lines buried underneath to supply water and liquid fertilizers (known as fertigation) to the plants to grow larger, healthier plants using as close to naturally grown methods as we can. This also keeps us from wasting precious resources, and there is little to no chance of run-off contamination coming from our farm, since we do not use dangerous chemicals and our fertilizer is organic safe, plus it is contained under plastic and not subject to rainwater dilution.
7. How much is in a box? The amount in the box is not a set amount and we make no claims, warranties, or guarantees on the amount. For example, beans and lettuce are high value items that do not weigh very much or take up much space, as compared to say a watermelon or a cantaloupe. We will try to always offer between four and ten different items each box, each week. The physical size of the box is not a direct correlation to the amount of produce offered each week. Some items grow very well each season and you get a larger amount of those items. Some items grow not so well, or not at all, each season and you get a lesser amount. We will always be fair to each person who participates.
8. What if I don’t like what you offer in the box some weeks? Unfortunately, not everyone eats everything, however things fresh off the farm may have a completely different taste than you are used to from the store. There are always new ways to prepare things that also open the door to new favorite foods. There are unlimited resources available online through Google or Pinterest. If you absolutely will not eat it, give it to a family member, neighbor or friend, or request that we do not deliver it. We will do our best to keep up with it, but bear in mind it is just our family running this entire program, so we may accidently deliver it to you anyways.
9. What kind of people participate? All ages, all lifestyles, all income levels, etc. The people that enjoy this plan the most are the ones who cook or prepare meals at least two-three times per week minimum, enjoy trying new things, and genuinely love supporting local farmers. You must also have an open mind and realize this plan is not a complete substitute for your meals each week, but rather a supplement of farm fresh, local produce grown in a sustainable manner to conserve water and other valuable resources for generations to come. If you or your family are “picky-eaters”, or you eat out everyday, this plan is probably not a fit for you.
10. What if I want more of some items than you bring each week? We will offer additional purchases throughout the season for some things through email announcements like bulk tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc for canning purposes, and you can email us at anytime if you need something specific. On some occasions, we may have some items in small amounts, especially in the early and late season, that are not in large enough quantities for everyone that particular week. We will simply keep records of who got those items one week and ensure the next week the remaining members get those items before anyone gets a repeat. This keeps it fair and also ensures there is no wasted produce.
11. Why do I not get to choose items each week? We are a family of five, and it would be absolutely impossible to customize each person’s box each week for the price you are paying for an entire season of deliveries. We would have to hire several people just to do the sorting and boxing, and the cost would at least double. We have found that just staying small and packing boxes without customization is the most economical way to have our CSA for both you and us.
12. What if I want something that you do not grow? It would be physically impossible for us to plant every variety of everything we grow in order to have something for one or two people. We try to grow several varieties of each base item so that each week you get something unique!
13. What if I want a refund? Once deliveries begin, no refunds will be issued. At that point in the season, all seeds, fertilizers, and supplies have been purchased based on the number of people we will be providing for, plus any additional add-ons we have with other farmers.
14. What if I move during season? If you move during the season to a location that we also cover, we will gladly change you over to the new location. If you move out of coverage area, you can sell your remaining season to someone else that is within our coverage area if you wish to do so, but you must check with us first so we can have their name, email address, and physical address to verify they are in fact within our coverage area. You can also donate it to the families we know who are in need. Just email us and let us know!
15. Do you offer an on-farm pick up option? Absolutely we do! It is your responsibility to come at the correct time and day each week for pick up. There will be no make-up boxes simply because you were not able to, or did not remember to, pick up your box. If you cannot make it to the farm during usual pick up times, you need to call, text, or email us prior to the end of the pick up times to arrange for an alternate time that week. Generally we do pick ups on Friday mornings
16. What if I go on vacation? Email us and let us know. We will gladly hold your box as long as we have a minimum of 48 hour notice. Generally speaking, unless you specify otherwise, we will do a “double box” the week you return if produce is available.
17. How do the deliveries work? We pack the boxes after harvesting, rinsing(if necessary or if it will not cause the shelf life to go down like it would on potatoes or watermelons), and quick chilling the produce. All produce is harvested as close to delivery time as physically possible, with some being harvested within 2 hours before packing. It doesn’t get much fresher than that! Once the boxes are packed, the delivery vehicle is filled up with all necessary boxes, and the deliveries start. Some days it may start as early as 10am and go as late as 8pm. We are not responsible for any produce once it has reached the location you stated it needed to be delivered to.
18. It is usually hot in the summer time. How do I keep produce from going bad in the sun until I get home from work? If you are not generally home before 4pm each day, it is HIGHLY recommended that you leave a cooler with either ice or ice packs inside of it at your delivery spot. We will remove the produce from the box and pack it into your cooler for you. If you have a shaded or cool spot that you want it left, simply tell us and we will leave it wherever. Regardless of this, we cannot be held responsible for anything that happens to the produce once it reaches your spot. Examples include but are not limited to theft, rain, spoilage from heat, animals, or Acts of God.
19. What do you grow? This list is what we plant or may occasionally source, however, as stated above sometimes crops do not grow, so we cannot guarantee anything since the farm is controlled by weather, bugs, animals, and other Acts of God that are beyond our control. Also note, this list is not necessarily all inclusive nor should it be construed to be anything other than a general guide of items that may be available throughout the season. Every attempt will be made to provide as many of these items as possible throughout the growing season.
a. Lettuce-green, red leaf style
d. Swiss Chard
e. Onions-dwarf size with green onion tops
i. Onions-full size
j. Cucumbers-slicing, pickling
l. Mustard Greens
m. Collard Greens
n. Turnips and turnip greens
o. Tomatoes-green and red
p. Tomatoes-heirloom and specialty colored
q. Tomatoes-cherry of various colors
t. Squash-patty pans, green, yellow, white
u. Squash balls
w. Zucchini balls
x. Gray Zucchini
y. Bell peppers-green, red, colored
aa. Sweet Banana peppers
cc. Winter Squash-butternut, acorn, spaghetti
dd. Watermelons-various red
ee. Watermelons-yellow or seedless(sourced from other local farmers as available)
ff. Cantaloupe-sourced from other local farmers only
gg. Corn-sourced from other local farmers only(we do NOT grow corn, never have)
hh. Green beans-snap style stringless
ii. Potatoes-Cobbler(1800s heirloom style)
kk. Potatoes-all red/all blue specialty
20. What should I do with my delivery box each week? Please leave your old box at your delivery spot on your delivery day, and we will pick it up. We believe in reduce, reuse, and recycle. We even use the worn out boxes on the farm to suppress weeds between the rows and add organic matter back to the soil!
21. How to pay: You may pay with cash in person, check in person or through the mail, or credit card that will be invoiced to you through Square Credit Card Processing company. Checks must be made payable to Amy Hines.