Not sure what to expect when you sign up for Mike & Clare's Farm CSA? Here's some information on the mechanics of our CSA -- how it works and what you can expect from the season!
Once you’ve chosen your CSA shares and size, it’s time to sign up and make your payment! The earlier you do this, the better – your early payment will help us pay for seeds, soil, etc – and it will ensure your place in the CSA, which frequently sells out. Click here for more information on the 2017 CSA season. This page also includes information on installment payments and CSA discounts.
Your first box will be ready for pick up on the first scheduled pick up date (barring some kind of disaster -- tornado? fire? -– but in the 9 years that we’ve offered the CSA, that’s never happened!). You’ll receive a reminder email a couple of weeks before your first box is scheduled for pick up, and you’ll receive an emailed newsletter the night before (or, for Wednesday afternoon pick ups, the morning of) your pick up. Make sure you don’t forget!
Pick up Times: Your share will be delivered promptly at the scheduled pick up time. You must pick up your share during the scheduled pick up window! We use a two hour pick up window because vegetables are perishable and can only be outside for so long before they start to deteriorate. Also, the site host needs to clean up, other deliveries need to be made, etc. And while we’re on the subject, it’s a good idea to pick up as early in the window as possible. Especially in the heat of the summer, the less time your vegetables spend outside, the better.
The Waxed Box: Your share will come to you in a box (or bag) that will be reused for future deliveries -- it's very important that we get this box back! The easiest thing to do is bring a bag with you when you pick up your share, transfer the vegetables to your bag, and leave our box at the site. No fuss no muss!
A Forgotten Box: If you forget to pick up your share, call or text Clare as soon as possible. Typically, if you contact Clare within a few hours of the pick up time, we can save your box for you. If you remember the box 12 hours later, your box will most likely have been donated. The contents of the box are perishable and the drop off sites don’t have a way to store them – we’re sorry to report that we can’t store a forgotten box. The best way to avoid a forgotten box is to set up a reminder in your phone.
Pick ups on Holidays or Holiday Weekends: There are a few holidays during the CSA season – and your box will be delivered on all of them! Ditto for rainy weather. The vegetables don’t take a break and neither do we!
Can't Make a Pick up: If you’re unable to pick up your share, we recommend having a friend or family member pick up the share for you (everyone likes fresh vegetables, right?). If you can't find anyone, drop Clare an email and she'll donate your share to a food pantry. If you know in advance that you will be taking an extended leave during the season, you can request a leave from the CSA. The deadline to request a leave is May 1st (you’ll find more information about the leave and why there’s a deadline here).
Members who chose the half share size for the summer season will pick up their box every other week. In order to keep our weekly box count consistent, we divide the half shares into two groups that pick up on even or odd numbered weeks. You’ll receive an email two weeks before the season starts with your group assignment. We’ll do our best to accommodate specific group requests.
Every week that you receive a share, you’ll be emailed a newsletter the night or morning before you pick up. The newsletter will have an update on the farm, reminders, and rundown of what’s in the box (which will include simple preparation ideas) and two recipes. The newsletter will hopefully connect you to the farm and help you figure out how to use the vegetables in your box.
Each year, Mike & Clare’s Farm hosts a potluck for our CSA members. It’s usually in the fall, a time of year when we can look back on the bounty of the season. The potluck is a great time to come visit the farm, see where your food has been growing all year, connect with other CSA members – and hang out with your farmers for a bit! Dates and times will be announced during the season.
If you ever have any questions or concerns about your CSA share, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. You’ve paid a lot of money for this CSA share, and we’ve worked really hard to put it together – it’s very important to us that you’re happy and we'll do the most we can to make that happen. You can always call us at 773-209-3987 or email us.