What is CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture - in other words, it is a share of our harvest! We will provide you with a box of fresh veggies from our farm every week for the entirety of the growing season. You pay at the beginning of the season to help us cover our startup costs.
Why should I join?
Great tasting, fresh, hand-picked, organic vegetables every week! When you join our CSA, you join the community that is our farm! There is no better way to feel connected to your food than to join a local CSA program. When you join, you know where your food is coming from, who is growing it, and how it is grown. Come down to the farm any day to see how we are operating. It is also a great way to contribute to the local food movement which is great for the local economy as well as the environment. As well, CSA members get a 10% discount on their vegetables, compared to our market prices.
How do I know CSA is right for me?
There are plenty of ways to get your hands on organic, fresh, seasonal produce. Why choose CSA? CSA is a fantastic farm-to-table model and we value it highly. It is a commitment, however, and requires open-mindedness and flexibility. We think everyone can do it, but here are some things to consider in your decision:
Do you currently eat seasonally, or are you interested in doing so? Do you like to cook and try new things? Are you flexible with your meal planning and up for a bit of adventure and the unknown? Are you interested in cooking with and learning about all kinds of vegetables, some of which you may not be overly familiar with? If so, CSA and you are likely a good fit.
Is your family composed of picky eaters? Are you too busy to cook often, or do you eat out more often than in? Are you looking for a constant supply of just the right amount of your favourite items? If so, CSA may not be right for you. There are lots of other ways to support your local farmers and get fresh organic veggies: you can buy our produce at the Orangeville Farmers' Market, or at our farmstand on the weekends.
If you're really not sure, send us an email and we can set you up with a share for a week or two for you to test it out.
Why do I pay at the beginning of the season?
Farming is an expensive task. There are especially many start-up costs at the beginning of the season, including: tools, seeds, row cover, irrigation, compost, building infrastructure, and much more. Your support allows us to have a successful growing season to share with you!
What if there's a drought? What if there's a bug infestation? What if...?
Yup, farming is anything but predictable. Farmers take on a lot of risk, especially organic farmers. And one of the greatest things CSA members do is share that risk with us. This means if a crop fails - for example, by inclement weather or a bug infestation - member shares may be smaller or less diverse. On the other hand, members also share in our successes - if it is a great season and there is a bumper crop, members will reap the rewards! By sharing some of the risk, you allow us to focus on growing the best and the most food we can.
How many weeks do I receive my share?
Our CSA runs for 18 weeks in total. It begins in the middle of June and ends in the middle of October.
Where do I pick up my share?
You can pick it up at our farmstand, or our farmers markets. In 2015, pickup will be at the farm on Thursdays from 3:30pm-6:30pm, and at the Orangeville Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 8am-1pm.
What's in my share?
A typical box will contain about 7-11 items that will vary by the week and the season. Staple crops include kale, lettuce, cabbage, potatoes, cucumbers, squash, carrots, beets, garlic, and onions. At the beginning of the season, your box will have more greens and will be on the smaller end of the scale. As the season progresses, variety will increase and you'll find more items in your box. We always make sure to balance smaller early season boxes with larger later season boxes. Check here to see what we plan on growing.
Here are some samples of what appeared in boxes in previous seasons. The examples are from a small size share. Medium shares are roughly one and a half times a small, and a large is double.
Sample June Box (Small) Sample August Box(Small) Sample September Box (Small)
1 bunch kale 1 bunch kale 1 lb potatoes
2 kohlrabi 1 cabbage 1 lb tomatoes
1 bunch spring onions 1 lb beans 1 lb cherry tomatoes
1 head lettuce 1 bunch carrots 2 peppers
1 bunch bok choy 1/2 lb sugarsnap peas 2 eggplant
1 head lettuce 3 zucchini 1/4 lb spinach
1 bunch radish 1 garlic 2 onions
1 bunch mint 1 bunch beets 1 bunch carrots
1 bunch basil 1 garlic
1 bunch parsley
How do I know what share size to get?
We have 3 share sizes, to accommodate different family sizes and needs. The size of box you choose is ultimately up to you. A few factors to consider are: how often are you home to cook?; how often do you eat vegetables?; how many members of your family are there?; do you like to preserve and freeze vegetables?; how much do you like to experiment with cooking different vegetables?; how often do you entertain?
If you estimate how much you spend on vegetables per week in the summer, this will give you an idea about what size to start with.
In general, we recommend our small share for individuals who eat a lot of veggies, or couples; our medium share for small families, or couples who eat lots of veggies; and our large share for an averaged sized family or for big veggie lovers of all sorts.
If you're still not sure, we recommend trying out our smallest share first. You can always increase your share size at any point in the season.
Can I choose the veggies that I receive each week?
We carefully hand-pick your share, and do our best to ensure that you receive a varied assortment of veggies each week. The produce you receive each week will change as the season does, which is a great way to feel connected to the growing season. We do not have the capacity to allow for customized shares at this point. However: We do offer a swap box at pickup! Basically, this is an extra box of veggies that we have made up. If there is an item you don’t want in your share, you can swap it out with something from the swap box. Swaps are vegetable for vegetable – for example, all of your cucumbers for one bag of beans. Of course, we can’t guarantee that there will be something you like in the swap box when you arrive. Finally, please be considerate of other members when taking advantage of the swap box.
What if I can't make it to pick up my share?
It is your responsibility to pick up your box. If you know you are not going to be able to pick up your box, we suggest you let someone else take your share that week. This is a unique gift and they will surely appreciate it! If you can't find anyone to take your share for you, please let us know as soon as possible. If you let us know by midnight on pickup day, we can put your share at the farmstand the next day. Because of the perishable nature of our vegetables, we cannot store your produce for you longer than the day after pickup. After that, we will donate or use the vegetables immediately.
I don't recognize some of the veggies in my box! What are they?
We love diversity when it comes to veggies - that, and colourful heirloom varieties! We are also passionate about eating food, and we will make sure to provide you with plenty of information and recipes concerning the lesser-known veggies in your box.
Can I come out to visit/volunteer on the farm?
Absolutely! We believe farming is a community affair, and that's what CSA is all about. We encourage you to come and see what we are all about and the operation you are part of. Just give us a call or an email beforehand. There is also never any lack of work to be done, and we can always use the help. We also have a few work/share options available. Click here for more information on getting involved.
More questions? Send us an email or give us a call and we will be happy to answer.