CSA FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Choose a link below for the answer to each question. Click here to return to our main CSA page.

What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?
What if I can’t pick up my box?
Why are there less greens in the box in mid-winter?
How many people does a share feed?
Why do I have to pay the full cost up front?
When can I visit the farm?
What do your CSA members say about the program?

What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a model where farmers sell seasonal shares of their harvest directly to customers, or CSA members, in their area. Members purchase a share up front, and receive regular baskets of fresh produce throughout the farm’s harvest season. CSA is a mutually beneficial relationship. Farmers benefit by pre-selling produce, which allows for better planning and less waste. Sales of shares generate up-front income to help cover input costs like seeds, tools, equipment and labour. And of course, we enjoy getting to know the people who eat our food.

CSA members benefit in many ways as well:

  • Receive a diversity of farm-fresh, nutrient-dense, delicious produce – you can taste the difference.
  • Know where your food comes from and how it is grown. Come visit and meet your farmers!
  • Learn to cook and eat seasonally – we offer recipes and cooking tips with each basket.
  • Reduce the distance travelled by your food, and the associated environmental impacts.
  • Protect the long-term health of the land, water and wildlife by supporting sustainable, organic practices.
  • Your dollars stay in the community and support the local economy.
  • Increased food security in our region.

What if I can’t pick up my box? 

You are always welcome to send someone else to pick up for you at your regular location and time. We don’t need to know in advance; whoever comes on your behalf just has to give your name.

We don’t offer alternate pick up days or locations. Our local food hub delivers our CSA boxes as part of their bigger delivery route, so keeping numbers consistent is important. Once boxes are dropped off at your location, there is no way for us to get missed boxes back to our farm. If you miss a pick up, you forfeit that box.

When you sign up for your share, you are committing to the pick up dates for your location. A good idea is to ask a family member, neighbour or friend in advance to be your back-up in case you can’t make it. If you know someone else who gets a share with us, you can coordinate pick-up dates and reduce your trips.

Why are there less greens in the box in mid-winter? 

Even though we heat our greenhouses through the winter, growth still slows down. For one thing, we only heat the soil to ten degrees Celsius. But no matter the temperature, shorter daylight hours and weaker sunlight mean slower plant growth. We think it’s a miracle to grow as much as we do in mid-winter!

We do prioritize our CSA customers in the winter, putting our wholesales on hold to dedicate virtually everything from the greenhouses to our CSA. Typically we are able to offer an abundance of greens from October through December. Greens will be fewer in January and February, but they will still be there, along with plenty of root veggies to keep you eating seasonally.

How many people does a share feed? 

It depends how often you cook from scratch and what portion of your meals are vegetable-based. We have people living on their own who get two boxes and process the surplus for storage; we also have families of four who split a box with another family so they don’t get overwhelmed.

Typically, a box should provide most of the veggies a family of four needs for two weeks. Of course, if you want items that are out of season, or very large amounts of a specific item, you will have to supplement.

Many of our members in smaller households share a box with another household, which also gives flexibility in picking up boxes, or if one family is away. Members who share boxes are responsible for coordinating pick-up and division of boxes.

We do offer a Double Share for our most serious veggie lovers. A household can collect two identical boxes at the same time and place, with a 10% discount on the second one. If you’re interested in this option, please contact us before signing up.

Why do I have to pay the full cost up front?

In the CSA model, members are investing in a share of the farm’s harvest for the season. By paying the fee up front, farmers have cash flow to cover input costs that occur well in advance of delivering produce: labour, seeds, tools, utilities, insurance, and organic certification are just some examples. 

With a Winter CSA, there is an even longer period between starting production in March, and delivering the first box in October. Within days of delivering the last CSA box for the winter, we’re already starting seedlings for next winter’s boxes! By reserving your share and paying your fees early, you help to keep our unique business model viable, so that we can continue to offer local produce in the off-season.

When can I visit the farm? 

We host farm tours every fall and spring (typically in Sept/Oct and April). CSA members are invited through the CSA email newsletter, and get first dibs on tour spaces.

As we get requests for private visits and tours almost weekly, we have started charging a fee to offset our time away from farm work. For info on private tours or farm consultations, please visit our Farm Tours page.

What do our CSA members say about the program?

Visit our Customer Testimonials page to read member feedback from the 2016-17 winter CSA season.

Click here to return to our main CSA page.