All About Our CSA Membership
Thank you for your interest in our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) membership.
While the 2020 and 2021 seasons threw us many curve balls, and we adapted our business in a number of ways, one thing that just kept on keeping on was our CSA! It’s a robust, resilient system for accessing the freshest food from your local farms!
We are finalizing our plans for the 2022 season. We will be focusing our growing for a Fall and Winter CSA program. Stay tuned for more details!
The information posted here applies to the 2021 season.
Our CSA Members have chosen us because:
- Our produce looks, feels and tastes wonderful
- Friendly customer service – a connection to the people growing your food!
- High quality produce grown by responsible farmers committed to improving soil health, biodiversity and a strong local economy
- Convenient pick-up locations
- Good variety, selection and reliability – every week is a surprise!
- Benefits on our online store to supplement your share (no packing fee, no minimum order)
- To support the type of farming most beneficial for people, plants, animals and the planet!
What is Community Supported Agriculture?
The CSA model is a mutually beneficial arrangement between producers and consumers. It allows people to become members of a farm and in so doing, engaged directly in their local agricultural community. After growing vegetables in partnership with CSA members for 12 years, we recognize the importance of this arrangement both financially and socially in building a sustainable and local agriculture. It is unlikely that we would be farming today if it were not for the Community Supported Agriculture model. The up-front investment made by our members each year has been critical to the development of our farm.
By becoming a CSA member, you share in the bounty of our farm! CSA members pick up a selection of in-season, fresh, organic vegetables from our farm or at drop-off locations every week from approximately the 3rd week in June to the end of October. Regular communication from the farmers allows CSA members to learn about our farming practices and to develop a deeper connection to where your food is coming from.
What will be in my CSA Share?
A typical share consists of 6-8 items that vary by the week and by the season. Staple crops include greens such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage, chard, kale; herbs, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, beans, peas, cucumbers, beets, garlic and onions. While we grow a wide variety of crops, there are a few items we don’t grow that we supplement from other growers (ie. sweet corn, potatoes, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, beans).
Below are example SMALL shares – Early, Mid and Late Season (L to R)
Large Shares are double the size
PICK-UP LOCATIONS for 2021!
HOW LONG IS THE SEASON?
Our CSA will run for approximately 20 weeks, beginning on the 3rd week in June and ending the last week in October. These dates are approximate, depending on the weather and the season.
WHAT IF I AM GOING AWAY ?
If you know that you will be away, there are several options:
– make arrangements with family or friends to pick up your share,
– donate your share to the Shelburne Food Bank or Family Transition Place, OR
– consider a “Getaway Share” that allows you to pre-arrange skipping two weeks any time in the season.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
You pay a seasonal membership fee to join the CSA. All of our CSA options and prices are outlined in the chart below :
Farms incur most of their costs at the beginning of the season. The CSA model was developed to help alleviate financial pressure on farmers by sharing their costs at the beginning of the growing season when money is needed the most. An instalment option is provided to break up your costs if necessary; however, we encourage you to pay the full amount as soon as possible. Payment can either be made in full by cash, cheque, electronic money transfer, or by post-dated cheques.
ALTERNATE SCHEDULE OF PAYMENTS
If total upfront payment is not possible, we will accept payment in two instalments:
On Sign-Up – Pay 1/2 of your total
Due June 1st – Pay 1/2 of your total
In the spirit of making our food more accessible, we are happy to provide alternative payment options to anyone who would like to become a CSA member. Please be in touch to let us know what alternate payment schedule would work for you.
***Please make all cheques payable to Fiddle Foot Farm ***
Mail to: Fiddle Foot Farm ~ 796530 3rd Line EHS ~ Mulmur, ON ~ L9V 0H4
SHARE SIZES AND OPTIONS
How many people does a small share feed? That depends on how you eat! We hope that the photos above will help. A Small Share generally feeds two people who cook less often, small/young families, or a single who cooks a lot. A Large Share generally feeds two people who cook a lot and families of four or more. The Large Share often includes double the quantity of the same items, but sometimes we include a greater diversity of items instead. Consider buying a Large Share if you would like to preserve vegetables (freeze, can, dry, make soups, etc.) for the winter.
Full Greens Share – $300, Half Greens Share – $165 – VERY POPULAR!
If you or your family enjoy eating a lot of greens, we recommend signing up for a Greens Share. In exchange for allowing us to plant, grow and harvest greens more efficiently, you pay less for these greens than you would at our market table. This can be a nice complement to a regular vegetable share or enjoyed all on its own! A Full Greens Share will cost $300 and will include an average of 1 lb. of greens per week, including lettuce mix, head lettuce, mesclun mix, spinach, arugula, mustard mix, kale and more. A Half Greens Share for $165 consists of 1/2 lb. of greens each week. The Greens Share will be offered for the same duration as the regular summer shares (20 weeks). If you are signing up for a bi-weekly share, please be in touch to specify if you will come for your greens in your off-week or receive twice the quantity on a bi-weekly basis.
Work Shares – $100 off your share price + 10 hours on the Farm
For the 2021 season, we are offering a small number of work shares. By committing to 10 hours of work on the farm, you can reduce the cost of your share by $100. The Work Share provides an opportunity for learning and involvement in our team. Working times must be scheduled ahead of time for Tuesdays-Fridays between 8am – 5pm. Scheduling can be flexible.
Community Share Fund – Please consider making a donation
For the past few years, the Community Share Fund has been able to subsidize two CSA shares for members of our community who needed some financial support (through the Family Transition Place and Shelburne Food Bank programs). We are hoping to raise more funds to provide more subsidized shares this season. We believe that nutritious and locally grown produce should be accessible to all members of our community. While this fund will by no means reach all those in need, we would like to do what we can. If you would like to support this effort, please add your contribution to the total on your membership application. Consider that a small share costs roughly $25/week, any small amount that you can contribute is greatly appreciated.
We offer shares of storage and root vegetables during November, December, January and February and hope to further develop this part of our business. Crops include potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, rutabagas, onions, celeriac, leeks, garlic and cabbage and greens. Winter Share sign-up details will be provided later in the fall.
If you would like to discuss particular or regular volunteer arrangements or if you have particular interests, please let us know. Throughout the season, we will communicate a number of volunteer opportunities to our CSA members. This is by no means mandatory, but is simply an option for those CSA members who would like to develop a closer connection to the farmers and the farm that is producing their food. We feel this is an important way to continue the get-to-know-you process and tighten the gap between producers and consumers.
CSA members are most welcome to visit the farm to experience the farm first-hand – in fact, we encourage it! Please call ahead and understand that if we are busy, your tour may be self-guided!
Communication with Members
Communication throughout the season with CSA members will be by email, through this website and our FACEBOOK page where we will post newsletters, recipes, volunteer opportunities, upcoming events and photos on our homepage. You will automatically be added to our Mailing List to find out what’s happening at the farm. There is also an option at the bottom of our website Join Our Mailing List. This means that you will automatically receive email notification if we add something new to the blog / news page.
Why do we need CSA?
Our current food system gives us all cause for concern. Our food is trucked in from thousands of miles away. We do not know the farmer who grew the food or the practices they may have used. CSA seeks to address these concerns. Members help farmers earn a decent, reliable income while supporting local, organic food and regenerative farming practices.
CSA is Right for You if:
You want to eat fresh vegetables, locally grown and in season.
You care about what you eat, where it comes from, and how it’s grown.
You want to develop connections to the people and land that grow your food.
Share the Joys and Risks
In the CSA arrangement, members share in the risks of farming. For example, if a particular crop is affected by weather or pests, member shares may be smaller or less diverse. However, if the year is good and there is a bumper crop, members reap the rewards! This allows farmers to focus on doing what they do best: growing delicious organic food.