In considering a share in our CSA farm (as a customer) we'd like you to read, consider, and acknowledge the following:
- BEING PART OF A COMMUNITY: The concept of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is to belong to a group of people who value local agriculture, who want to support the efforts of our farm, and who understand that farming has many risks; and with this understanding, to share in the the harvest and the possible risks.
- GROWING TAKES TIME: We push the envelope on our crops, but we can only do so much with timing. We risk frosts if we start too early. So, your first couple baskets will primarily be greens -- lettuce, spinach, chard, radish, rhubard, etc. But be patient; it will come. We only sell what we grow, so we are subject to the norms of garden/produce production in Eastern idaho. We don't ship in things, so we aren't the grocery item with everything there all at once.
- STUFF HAPPENS: One of the biggest risks of farming is the weather. We've had sudden hail storms that damage and ruin crops, especially tomatoes, peppers and the like. When that happens, you may get produce that is lower quality or none at all of a particular product. This certainly doesn't happen every year, but it CAN happen. We are making efforts to mitigate some of this by constructing a high tunnel (covered area) for tomatoes, mellons, and other above ground produce. But we can't cover it all. There's risk, and as a CSA member, you understand that on occasion, weather may impact what's in your basket.
- KEEPING IT GOOD: We operate as a sustainable farm using organic methods. We're not certified organic, but we use integrated approaches to weeds, bugs, and disease. We use a lot of hand labor and cultivation to control weeds. And we use only products that are on the organic approved list if needed for weeds, diesease, or insects. Neem oil and Bt are the two primary products we use.
- BUGGY: There will still be bugs! Our products are not fumigated in storage as most produce you get in the grocery store. We generally harvest the same day you pickup your produce, so it is literally "fresh from the garden." Harvesting from the garden, there will be a few bugs here and there. If bugs in your produce bother you, then this might not be a good fit. But if you prefer fresh garden produce, harvested without harmful chemicals or fumigation, then that's what we're about.
- RINSE IT: Things get a little dirty. Our production facility (farm) is outdoors. The wind blows dust. The rain kicks up dirt. Some things we rinse a bit after harvest, others we don't. We don't have a lettuce spinner so we can''t rinse greens. We leave that up to you. Again, think of freshness and picked straight from the garden to your kitchen, not through a distribution outlet.
- STICK TO YOUR SCHEDULE: Before the season starts you will be signing up for a specific day for pickup or delivery. We understand that sometimes things change, unexpected things happen and require juggling or alternating days. We would appreciate you making the best effort to pickup or make arrangement for someone else to pickup for you if you can't. If you will be out of town, have a friend or family member enjoy your weekly basket. Please make arrangements if you can, on your end, before asking us to change a day or pickup time. We are dealing with many customers and juggling everyone can be complicated. In the event you cannot find anyone else to pickup or take your basket, we can arrange another day that week, or donate your basket to the local foodbank.
- FOOD SAFETY: We have taken FDA (Food & Drug Administration) and USDA (US Dept. of Agriculture) food safety training. We are making every effort to provide safe food for you, including, as noted above, using only organic products to deal with insects, disease, and weeds; keeping animals out of food assembly/prep areas; hand washing often; sanitizing the baskets; deterring wildlife from production areas as much as possible; using sanitary produce bags; and much more. YOUR PART: Washing your produce.
- FEEDBACK: We do appreciate your feedback, whether complimentary or suggestions. We can't accommodate all suggestions, but we will sincerely consider and evaluate. If there is something we grow that you are alergic to, or that you intensely dislike, please let us know so we don't put it in your basket.
- ABUNDANCE: If you have more of something than you can consume in one week, there are many ways to preserve things -- most of which can be frozen. We will have suggestions and helpful information on our website and facebook page. Also, please share with family, friends, and neighbors if your basket is more than needed. Sometimes, however, what we need to help us utilize abudance of good food that we normally don't consume enough of is recipies or new ways of preparing and using the produce. We'll be sharing suggetions and ask that YOU SHARE as well with your favorite recipies on our facebook page. It helps strengthen the community we'd like to build around local food when we can help each other with ways to support and use the abudance.
- IT'S YOURS: We make every effort to provide you with fresh, healthy produce. Once you pick up or we deliver, it's in your hands. Please refrigerate quickly to prevent wilting. If we're dropping off, or you have to leave produce in your car, use a cooler with ice or cooling blocks. If there is wilting, most produce will crisp back up with a rinse or bath in cold water. Carrots, snap peas, lettuce, all respond quickly if soaked in cold water.