Long Island CSA Farm Share FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is community supported agriculture?
For many of you, the CSA relationship between you and your farm (that's us!) is a new experience. Unlike shopping at the grocery store for produce each week, you have a direct relationship with your farmer. CSA members pay in advance for a share of the upcoming harvest and are ensured high-quality local produce, and we the farm are ensured a consistent and secure market. Everything in the weekly CSA share is grown with great care (and love) on our Certified Organic fields, and delivered to your neighborhood drop-off point just hours after harvest.
What does a CSA Membership Include?
- A weekly delivery of seasonal Certified Organic vegetables (6-9 items per box) freshly harvested from our fields. Vegetable shares also include our own organic watermelons, some herbs. In 2017, we are going to include blueberries in the shares that we will buy from a local, Certified Organic berry farm. This is the only item in the shares that is not grown by us.
- Private access to our U-Pick strawberry fields, 1 free quart per member and special member pricing after that.
- Invitations to Golden Earthworm Organic Farm events, farm tours, work days & workshops so you can see where your food is grown and meet your farmers!
- A weekly newsletter filled with photos from the farm, storage tips & recipes.
- 10% off all purchases at our farmers' markets and farm shop.
- Special member pricing on bulk-item purchases like plum tomatoes.
- You will also have access to our online recipe database, cooking and storage tips & photos.
What are the other benefits of CSA?
- Eat locally - Fresher food (24 hours from our farm fields to you!) No warehouses, middleman, long-distance food travel.
- Support the local economy - Our farm supports local businesses and provides well-paid jobs and education for future farmers.
- Secure a safe, transparent & reliable food source - We are the farmers you can trust. Come see our fields, ask us your questions. We maintain the highest food safety standards to ensure that your food is properly grown, harvested and handled before it gets to you.
- Find JOY and connect with your community! Know that you are part of a larger community of members who care about local, quality, earth-friendly sources of food.
HOW BIG IS THE SHARE? HOW MANY WILL IT FEED?
Each week you will receive between 6 and 9 different items in your share, approximately 8-10+ lbs, depending on the type of produce. (Lettuce is light, potatoes are heavy...you get the picture!) The box is sized to feed an average of 2 adults and 2 children, or 2 vegetarian adults, or 2 adults and 4 kids who don't eat a lot of veggies. We encourage you to check our newsletters from past seasons so you can get an idea of what was harvested each week. Click here to view past season shares...
DO YOU OFFER HALF SHARES?
We offer split shares! It's the same as a half share, but better because you receive the full box, just every other week. You can find a share partner yourself (neighbor, co-worker, friend), or contact the farm and we can try to find one for you. You alternate your pick-ups with your partner every other week. The produce is so fresh, it should last you well into your second week as long as you store it properly in your fridge. We'll help you figure out the best way to store your produce, don't worry!
WHICH VEGETABLES DO YOU GROW?
We grow pretty much every kind of vegetable that grows well here in our climate and that is manageable for us to harvest for CSA. We try to balance out the shares each week to include different types of veggies - root vegetables, cooking greens, salad greens, etc. You can see a full list of crops on our Harvest Calendar. Please remember that this is just a guide....what is actually harvested depends on the weather in a given season.
CAN I CHOOSE WHAT'S IN MY SHARE BOX?
Our farm share program is an authentic CSA, meaning that the weekly shares are farmer's choice! We harvest what's at its peak each picking day and every share member receives the same box. This is the most efficient way to farm, as it keeps our costs down (and your share price down) and keeps waste to a minimum. It may take a little getting used to, but most members enjoy the surprise of opening up their share each week and seeing what we've harvested for you! If there's something in the share that you don't like or can't eat, there's a good chance that a neighbor, friend or colleague may like it! And we keep changing up the contents of the shares each week, so you won't be stuck with the same item in your box week after week. Hey, you may even learn to like some new vegetables you've never tried before!
IS IT ORGANIC?
Yes! Our Vegetable Shares are 100% Certified Organic. Our farm has been Certified Organic for 23 years. Read more about our Organic Certification here...
Please note that the Fruit Shares from Briermere Farm are not organic. That is a separate share that is packaged in separate containers from our Vegetable Shares.
CAN I U-PICK CROPS?
We offer U-Pick strawberries for CSA members during the month of June. Since they are so labor intensive for us to harvest for you, we offer you the opportunity to come to the farm to harvest them yourself! Each share member receives 1 free U-Pick quart. If you want to pick more than 1 quart, you are welcome to do so, and you'll receive special member pricing. U-Pick dates and times to be determined. We will send out e-mails with more information as we get close to the start of the season.
IS CSA A GOOD $ DEAL?
If you're looking to eat more local, organic veggies, and save money, then CSA is a good deal. We price our shares to cover our cost of production. Since you're buying directly from the farm, there is no middleman, no extra handling or marketing costs. And that savings is passed along to you. You can expect your Golden Earthworm CSA share to cost approximately 25% less than if you bought comparable organic produce from a grocery store like Whole Foods.
What CAN I EXPECT WHEN I PICK UP MY SHARE?
Most pick-up sites are hosted at private residences. Our truck leaves the farm early in the morning and makes stops to deliver pre-packed CSA shares at our various pick-up locations. When you arrive at the site, you will see the boxes neatly stacked and waiting for you. All of the shares are the same, so it doesn't matter which one you choose. You will see a clipboard with a check-in sheet, which you will sign off on, and then you can transfer the contents of your share into your own bags, box or cooler to take home with you. We re-use the share boxes from week to week, so we ask that you please leave those at the site. The entire pick-up process takes 3-4 minutes from start to finish! You will receive an e-mail from us with detailed information regarding your pick-up a few weeks prior to the start of the season. If you have any questions or concerns, we are always here to help!
If you're Going Away
If you're going to be away and unable to pick up your share, we recommend that you coordinate for a friend to come pick it up for you. This is a great way to introduce new people to the CSA concept. Just be sure that you give your friend full instructions on the CSA pick-up protocol so there aren't any mishaps! If you are unable to find someone to pick up for you, please contact the farm and we will make sure that your share is donated to a local food pantry that week.
Late or Missed Pick-up Policy
Since produce is perishable, we ask the CSA site host to donate any vegetable boxes left after the pickup time window closes. Unfortunately, we do not give replacement boxes if you come late or miss a pickup. If you know at least 24 hours in advance that you are unable to pick-up during the window, please contact us at the farm and we will try to make arrangements with the site host to hold your share. Please understand that this is not always possible, but with enough prior notice we will try our very best to accommodate you.
When does the CSA share start and end?
*Our 2017 CSA begins the week of May 30th, 2017* Our vegetable CSA shares are delivered to you weekly for 25 weeks throughout the growing season. They typically start around the last week of May and end the week before Thanksgiving, although this may vary slightly depending on the season and your pick-up location.
Do you give refunds? / Cancellation Policy
We are happy to refund you before the start of the CSA season, less a $15 admin fee. After the program begins, we do not typically offer refunds, but we do consider the requests on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us to see if we can make an exception.
What if deliveries have begun, can I still join? Are there any deadlines?
We typically sell out before the start of the season, but contact us at the farm and we’ll see if we can add you to our waiting list or fit you into the program at a pro-rated rate.
How do I sign up?
We're so excited that you want to become a part of our CSA community and enjoy all of our fresh, organic produce! Please visit Our CSA Program page to join!
Can I visit the farm at any time?
Our farm is a production farm (meaning that we're all working really hard, ALL the time), so we are closed to the public most of the time. Our Farm Shop is open Fridays from 9-5 during the growing season and we welcome you to visit us during those hours to look at the front fields and shop. Farm Tours are held for members only, Saturdays in June.
Will I know in advance what's in my share?
On Mondays during the season, we will email you a newsletter that states which items will be in your box that week. Included in these weekly newsletters are storage tips and recipes specific to that week's items. Please note that share contents might change slightly from day to day each week, depending on what's at its peak each picking day.
What if it is a bad growing season? Is there risk for the customers?
Unfortunately, we cannot always predict weather, pest or disease problems that might occur throughout the season. That being said, over 20 years of farming experience has provided us with many tools to prepare for unexpected outcomes - we always plant extra of each crop, and we incorporate innovative, organic methods into our farming practices that help with disease and pest control. We are proud that our experience allows us to guarantee you a season full of organic produce!
Do I have to work on the farm?
Working on our farm is NOT a requirement to be a CSA member. But we do encourage you to plan a visit to the farm so that you can see how we grow your produce! And don't forget that CSA members have the opportunity to come for U-Pick strawberries in the month of June.
Do you have more questions? We're always happy to answer them! Contact the farm at firstname.lastname@example.org or 631-722-3302.