Is the CSA for Me?
How to I choose between CSA, Farmers’ Market and Ordering Online?
The flexibility of the Farmers’ Market and Ordering Online allows you to come to the market or shop online when it suits you and purchase whatever you want. While the Farmers’ Market and Online Orders offer you this flexibility of choice, you will be limited to what we have available, rather than the weekly diversity included in a CSA share. For online orders, there will be a $20 minimum order and you will be charged a $5 convenience / packing fee. The CSA will remain the most economical option. We will continue to prioritize our CSA members with the first of certain items (tomatoes, cucumbers, greens, etc.), or if there is a limited supply of a particular crop. Both CSA purchasing an Online Store Credit provide up-front financial support to our farm, allowing us to invest with confidence in planting our crops.
How do I decide which share size to choose?
There are photos of sample small shares on our CSA Info Page – have you looked at those? A large share would be double the size.
We suggest that the large share feeds a family of four or two people who eat a lot of vegetables. The small share provides half the amount of the large share and is suitable for a small family, two people who eat fewer vegetables or a single person who eats a lot of vegetables. The bi-weekly option allows you to choose either share size but pick up every other week. This may be suitable for you if you find a small share too much for your family, or if you live further away and would like to reduce your travelling to pick-ups.
It is hard for us to know exactly how many vegetables each person and each family eats. It varies greatly depending on how much you cook at home vs. eat out, if you make your lunches, if you entertain regularly, if you want to preserve some of the fresh produce for the winter and simply how you eat.
You can also consider it on a dollar value basis. Keep track of how much you spend on produce in an average week, remembering that this is organic produce. The Large Share costs $990, and will consist of about $49.50 / week worth of produce, the Small Share costs $550, or $27.50 / week.
Can I change the size of the share part way through the season?
It is possible to upgrade to a larger share size part way through the season (if we have space). What we can not accommodate is a refund part way through the season or a reduction in share size.
Can we cancel our share part way through the season?
You make a commitment to us by signing up as a CSA member. We plan our garden and season taking each of you into account. We cannot allow for cancellations part way through the season. We encourage you instead to make arrangements with a friend, neighbour or family member to take over your share. You could also let us know in case we have people on a waiting list if the CSA is full.
How do I communicate my feedback with the farmers?
We welcome feedback (both positive and negative!) throughout the season by email, by phone, or in person at the market. We also provide a member survey at the end of the season in order to inform our planning for the future CSA season. We encourage members to take part in this process as it helps build a successful experience for all those involved.
What can I expect at the share pick-up?
If you are picking up at the Farmers’ Market, you will find your share at our table. Even if the market table is busy, please say hi and ask any questions that you have.
If you are picking up at one of the Wednesday pick-up days, you will find all the shares packed in bins with members’ names on them. Please make sure to take the right one as people will have different sized shares and added greens or freezer share items. We are trying to offer lots of options for pick-up locations and so cannot stay at each location. If you have any questions about any of the items in your box, we encourage you to be in touch with us either by email or by phone.
On both Wednesdays and Saturdays, we ask you to bring your own bags or boxes to carry home the produce. This helps us by reducing the number of bins we need to have and keeps the bins in better shape.
What happens if I can’t pick up my share, if something comes up, or I’m on vacation?
If you know ahead of time, it is best if you send someone to pick up your share. Please give them all the information they need and remind them to bring bags or boxes and to leave the bin behind.
Some CSA members make arrangements with other members who live nearby to take turns picking up shares – what a great way to make another community connection and to drive less!
If something comes up last minute, at the Wednesday locations, you will have until the store closes the following day to pick up your share. If you do not come in by that time, your share will be either given to the drop-off hosts or donated. We hope you understand that we cannot offer this flexibility for those picking up at the Farmers’ Markets!
Why does it help if we sign up early?
We plan our garden and order our seeds before the first signs of spring and long before the first markets and CSA shares. The earlier we have commitment from CSA members, the better we can plan the garden and the more we can focus on growing good food!
How does the Community Share Fund work?
We feel strongly that good quality, locally grown, healthy food should be more accessible. We struggle with the reality that the food we grow has to cost what it costs in order for us to keep being able to grow it. Unfortunately, that puts it out of some people’s price range and we are trying to do something to address that.
We will take optional contributions from CSA members, market customers and members of the community. With this money, we will pay for shares that will be donated to those in need.
Our objective is to get good vegetables to people whose budgets are limited in a way that makes them choose cheaper food options. If you, or someone you know, is in this position, please contact us to see if there are Community Shares available.