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
How do I sign-up to become a CSA member?
2017 Spring/Summer membership sign-up begins November 16, 2016.
When do you expect the Spring/Summer 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 September or October.
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 announcement by the end of August. It is always our goal to provide great produce and a great value to our members.
Do you have a fall CSA?
Our last CSA season is our Fall season and it will begin in September and end in November for 8 weeks for $340. Sign up is open at the beginning of August.
What will I receive each week?
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. On-Farm Market Stand is open Wednesday 1-6pm and Saturday 8am-2pm April-November. 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.
Members will pick up at the Farm on Wednesday or Saturday at our On-Farm Market Stand. Hours are Wednesday 1-6pm and Saturday 8am-2pm. Members will choose either Wednesday or Saturday for the entirety of the season to help us plan for that days Market Stand.
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 the options provided. Please use this next-day option ONLY as a special circumstance.
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 will 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.
For our Spring/Summer season, full share members are allowed two weeks of vacation make up. Half share members receive 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 weeks are allowed during the 10-week high season.
No Vacation weeks are allowed during our Fall CSA 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 a $75 administrative fee for this service.
SPECIAL MEMBER ONLY SERVICES
Take a picture and email us if you are really stumped and we are happy to assist.
Members receive emails and newsletters periodically containing updates on farm happenings, harvest information, and recipes using farm fresh ingredients.
Absolutely! Just come on in to our On-Farm 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.
How long can I purchase from your Market Stand?
Our Market Stand will be open April-November.
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.