Section 1. Introducing Our CSA Farm
A. Becoming a Part of Our Farm
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a relationship between our farm and you, our customer. Rather than simply purchasing food, our customers become “members” of this CSA farm who receive a portion of the farm’s harvest.
Our CSA runs for 20 weeks, from June through October. Members are responsible for coming to the designated pickup site each week to pick up your share of freshly harvested produce. Detailed information regarding pick up is discussed below in Section 3. Variety and quantity may vary as described below in Section 2.
B. Our Growing Practices
As a 10th generation family farm, we understand the importance of growing practices that nourish the soil and promote the health and biodiversity of the land we farm, and the surrounding area. We have been feeding our community the freshest, healthiest, and purest produce since 1720 and we have protected that legacy by preserving over 70 acres through the Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program.
We implement a variety of sustainable growing practices on our farm, ranging from USDA Certified Organic methods to Integrated Pest Management systems. We have 14 acres in Certified Organic production as well as several additional fields currently in the three-year transition period to become certified. In order to promote our soil’s fertility, we implement crop rotations and a zone tillage program that alleviates weed pressure, keeps nutrients in the soil, prevents soil erosion, improves field drainage, and reduces our use of fossil fuels on the farm.
In our non-organic fields we use a preventative approach to weeds, pests, and diseases with a carefully planned IPM program. This includes implementing well-planned crop rotations, protecting and releasing beneficial insects, weekly scouting for pest and disease threats, and application of the safest pesticides only if crop failure becomes a threat.
C. The Produce We Expect for 2016
Click here to see a chart outlining some of the vegetables and fruit we plan to deliver and when you may see them in your share. This chart is based on our best estimate, but of course weather, pests, and other events will affect actual production.
Section 2. Our Shared Commitments
A. Sharing in the Risk of Crop Failure
We promise to do our best to provide you with a bountiful share each week. The quantity of produce, however, may vary from week to week and season to season due to extreme weather, insects, or other production factors despite our best efforts. By joining our CSA, you are agreeing to share the risk of crop failure with us and other members. In the unlikely event of a crop failure, our procedure is as follows:
If only a small portion of crops fail, we compensate for the failed crops by filling your share with other crops grown on the farm that are ready for harvest at that time. We may cover for a crop loss by buying in from other local farmers with the same certifications as our farm. This may not be a feasible option for all crops because of cost or widespread failure.
B. Sharing in the Rewards of Crop Surplus
When crops are especially abundant, we pack as much as possible into your share. However, we don’t want to overwhelm our members or deliver so much produce that it goes to waste. In addition to our CSA, our farm sells to farmers markets, restaurants, grocery stores, and wholesale distributors. We balance priority of the CSA with our other markets. This allows us to select a consistently full and diverse share to our customers while avoiding over-delivering any one product.
Section 3. Picking Up Your Share
You are responsible for picking up your share each week from your drop site.
You are also responsible for observing our drop site rules, which are as follows:
- Bring your own bag or box to pack your share into.
- Pick up your share within the timeframe stated. Although we deliver high-quality produce to the site, it will decline quickly if not picked up in time.
- Be respectful of our drop site hosts’ property.
- Take all items that are included in your share. If there is an item that you do not want, you may exchange the item with any available replacement from the “Trade Box” that will be stocked at every pickup. Warner Farm staff will be able to advise you on appropriate trades.
- Follow any additional rules posted at your drop site.
If you cannot pick-up your share, you must arrange for someone else to pick it up for you. You are responsible for explaining the pick-up location and procedures to your substitute.
Vacation Holds: Members are allowed 2 scheduled Vacation Holds per season.
You may place a vacation hold on your box with a 3-day notice (from time of pickup) by emailing the CSA Manager at email@example.com. You can make arrangements to receive a double share at the next pickup to make up the value of the missed share. If you are unable to pick up and you have not scheduled a vacation hold, you are expected to contact the CSA Manager so she knows not to expect you at pickup. Shares that are not retrieved within the pick up time will be sold at our farmers market or donated to our farm crew.
We take the safety of your food seriously. While we do wash much of the CSA produce, for your added protection, we strongly encourage you to wash all produce before eating.
Section 4. Member Fees
By selling membership in advance of the growing season, CSA reduces the burden of up-front costs for the farmer. Your membership fees provide us with money to purchase seed and equipment before the season starts. We appreciate your commitment and timely payment.
All payments are non-refundable beyond the fourth week of the season.
All shares are value-based. This means that the quantity of produce in your share each week will depend on the value of the produce. Some weeks your share may seem more or less plentiful, but be assured that the value is always the same.
Section 5. Communicating with Us
The best way to communicate with us is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have an immediate concern, please contact our CSA Manager at the farm office, 413-665-8331.
We will do our best to respond as soon as possible, but please understand that we spend most of our time in the field growing your food and not at our desk.
Please contact us with any news of the following: changes to your postal or email address, changes to your drop-site location, problems with your drop-site, or dissatisfaction with your share.
We will communicate with you by email. When you sign up, you will be added to our distribution list. Every week, we will email a newsletter giving you information about what will be in your share that week, recipe ideas, and other farm related news. Please read your weekly email from us.
We depend on being able to communicate important information such as necessary changes to your distribution schedule or to our farm events. We also have the option for you to sign up to receive text messages regarding important information about the CSA, such as schedule changes and reminders. Sign up to receive text messages about the Warner Farm CSA here.
- I understand that I am making a financial commitment to receive a weekly supply of fresh, local produce from mid June through October.
- I understand that my farmers will do all they can to provide a full harvest. I am committed to share with the farmers in the bounty or loss of each season due to favorable or unfavorable conditions that are beyond the farmers’ control.
- I understand that the items in the share are seasonal and the variety in each weekly share is selected by the farm. Items may be traded amongst CSA members using the trade box at every pickup.
- I understand it is my responsibility to pick up my share during the designated time period, every week. If I am unable to pick it up I will entitle a friend to do so. I understand that if my share is not picked up on the designated day, within the designated time, I forfeit the share and it will be donated at the discretion of the farm.
- I understand the VACATION POLICY: I may place a vacation hold on my box with a 3-day notice (from time of pickup) by emailing the CSA Manager at email@example.com. I can make arrangements to receive a double share at the next pickup to make up the value of the missed share.I am allowed 2 vacation holds per season.
Thank you for your support as a member of the Warner Farm CSA!