What is a CSA? Why Buy Local? Why Buy Organic?
What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA is a system of sourcing local, seasonal food directly from the farm by buying shares at the beginning of our growing season. This model creates a support system that allows the farm to focus more energy on producing high quality goods. Shareholders, in turn, get a weekly selection of ultra-fresh produce and the knowledge that their food comes from a well known, reputable source. This approach strengthens the environmental and economic health of the region. CSAs do not require families to participate in farm work, as a farm co-op would. CSAs such as ours are carefully managed to produce the highest quality goods.
Why Buy Local?
Buying food locally allows you to enjoy food soon after it was picked to maximize nutrition and freshness. It also gives you access to a variety of fruits and vegetables that may not be available in stores. Each vegetable we grow has a history and many of them are unique varieties. Have a question about any of our produce? Ask us! We offer weekly recipes to members and you can always ask our cooking advice!
Why Buy Organic?
Organic growing methods support a foundation of good health for our society and for the environment. We grow organically because we believe that our food system must provide safe and nutritious products while preserving the health of the soil. Poplar Ridge Farm is USDA Certified Organic. We adhere to the strict standards of this certification to bring you a bounty of safe, wholesome foods for you and your family.
Have questions about membership? See below for answers to some of our Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I sign-up to become a CSA member?
2. When do you expect the Spring/Summer season to begin and end? When do you expect the Fall Season to begin and end?
Depending on the weather, and therefore production rates, we will begin the Spring/Summer CSA season at the end of April or beginning of May and end in October. We will begin the Fall CSA season the week after the Spring/Summer season ends.
Expect variables! A hot and dry spell during the summer may dictate that we close the farm for two weeks during that time.
The end of the summer CSA season is either 22 weeks or at the completion of produce picked up that does not hugely exceed the membership fee. We are pleased to say that our CSA membership is always $35 – $40 value over the membership fee.
We make the summer season closure and fall season start up announcements by the end of August. It is always our goal to provide great produce and a great value to our members.
Produce quantities can vary due to the season. Your order will contain approximately 5-6 items in early spring and fall when the harvest is just beginning and 6-10 items in high season. Each item ranges from ½ pound – 3 pounds per item. Tomatoes range between 3-5 lbs per week in the high season. Herbs are 2/3 of an ounce. Micro greens are usually received in half ounce quantities. In high season you may pick up a couple grocery bags full of goodies so be sure you bring your reusable bags. Click here for lists of the produce we grow.
Yes! When you pick up your produce during our Market Stand hours you will have the opportunity to purchase from the available items that week. Market Stand is open Wednesday 1-6pm and Saturday 9am-1pm April-December. Our projected harvest will be listed in the Harvest List of our weekly newsletters.
Pre-orders are only necessary when purchasing quantities of individual items over 5lbs each. Weekly order forms will be available in our newsletters and on website when season opens in May
PARTNER FARMER PRODUCT INFORMATION
Through some of our area farmer friends, we provide EGGS and POULTRY.
We pre-order all partner farmer products. Members, at sign-up, will choose exact amount of eggs/month desired. We will have eggs at our Market Stand for walk-ins as well.
Poultry comes as a first-come first-serve basis available at our Market Stand.
Payment for eggs for members is due at time of order. All other payments are due at time of receipt.
Our partner farmer products come from area farmers using sustainable practices. Our poultry and turkeys come from a neighboring farm, New Town Farms, just 1.5 miles down the road. The birds are raised on pasture and processed humanely on the farm.
The eggs delivered to Poplar Ridge Farm are produced by an Amish community in Yadkinville. The eggs are Graded A and candled. The hens are totally free-range. They eat their own antibiotic-free, farm raised grain.
PICK-UP AND DELIVERY OPTIONS
All members will pick up at the Farm on Wednesday or Saturday at our On-Farm Market Stand. Hours are Wednesday 1-6pm and Saturday 9am-1pm. Members will choose either Wednesday or Saturday for the entirety of the season to help us plan for that days Market Stand.
8. What happens if I miss my share pick-up at the farm?
You have a second chance. If you miss your pick-up on Wednesday, you can pick up the next day til 5pm arranged by our farm manager. If you miss your pick-up on Saturday, you can pick up the following Monday til 5pm. Your food will be donated to others by the farm if you miss any of these options provided. Please use this next-day option ONLY as a special circumstance.
Return them each week, when you pick up, to the farm. Returning egg cartons keep our egg costs down and they should be returned as often as you can.
VACATION SCHEDULE AND HALF SHARE MEMBERSHIPS
Half share members receive produce every other week during the duration of the season. It is up to you and your partner to decide who picks up first. You both with then rotate weeks for the duration of the season. We will connect you with your half share partner by email from our waitlist. If you have a request for a half-share partner please inform us. Together you should work out your vacation schedules for pick-up.
In the Spring/Summer season, full share members are allowed two weeks of vacation make up. Half share members get one week. Inform us by email about your travel schedules at the start of the season. If you do not know your schedule at the beginning of the season, please email us with as much advance notice as possible to ensure you don’t miss out on any food! We accommodate make up shares mostly during our high seasons, July and October, but can work out other times. Notify us as well with your preference and we will try to accommodate.
No Vacation boxes are allowed during the Fall Season.
There are no member refunds unless we are able to offer your remaining weeks to a customer on the wait list. If we can sell the remaining weeks of your membership we will happily refund your balance. There is $75 administrative fee for this service.
SPECIAL MEMBER ONLY SERVICES
Reference the previous week’s newsletter for last week’s harvest list (the contents of your current box) once you have received your shares. Email us if you are really stumped and we are happy to assist.
Each week, members receive an email newsletter containing updates on farm happenings, the upcoming week’s harvest list, recipes using fresh from the farm ingredients, and info about our farm to table dinner dates, chefs, and guest speakers. Newsletters are sent out on Wednesdays and are designed to assist you in identifying vegetables and making the best use of your produce. They are the farm’s greatest tool for communicating changes in deliveries, event dates, etc.
Absolutely! Just come on in to our Market Stand on Wednesday and/or Saturday and purchase what you want. Our projected harvest list will be updated weekly on our website and our newsletter. Pre-ordering is only necessary for quantities of individual items over 5lbs to ensure availability at our Market Stand. Order forms will be available in our weekly newsletters and welcome page when season opens in May.
It is best to contact us through email at [email protected]. We are also available by phone at 704-843-5744. The office is open from 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday.