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Is CSA right for me?

CSA—which stands for Community Supported Agriculture—is just one way you can access authentic, quality food and support local farmers. 

The reality is that CSA is not a good fit for everyone, and you shouldn’t feel bad if it’s not a match for you. The CSA customers who come back year after year are a “certain kind” of customer. Not a “better customer”—just a certain kind—the kind that matches the unique format of a CSA model.

 

So how do you decide if our CSA would be right for you? It’s best to go into the decision with your eyes wide open and see if your expectations match the experience that a CSA will give you. Reflecting on these six questions will help you decide if it would be a good fit.

Click each question to expand!

  • What the heck is a CSA?
    Ok, so chances are if you're here, you know the answer to this question. But we still encourage you to check out our brief CSA overview here.
  • How do I know if CSA is a good fit for me?
    We're glad you asked! We've created a page called "Is CSA right for me?" to help you answer this question.
  • How many people does one share feed?
    This is tough for us to answer, as it depends on factors such as: the size of your household (adults/kids) how much you cook at home versus eat out if you incorporate vegetables into most of your meals if you have any vegetarians in your household (or alternatively, vegetable haters—we see you, toddlers!) Keep in mind our biweekly box​ essentially contains two weeks worth of veggies. If you do a weekly summer CSA worth $20-$25, we think you'll be happy with our share. If you're not sure, try pushing the boundaries of your produce consumption—we can all probably stand a few more veggies in our diet. Plus, the dark days of winter are a great time for cooking and trying new recipes!
  • Do you offer a half share or mini-box?
    We don't. We think a half share would miss out on too many of our great veggies. If you think a full share would be too much food, consider upping your veggie intake or sharing with a friend (see below!).
  • Can I split a CSA box with a friend?
    Yes! We've had members do this with success, and it can be a good option if you have dietary restricitions, as we don't offer customized shares. Just keep in mind some items may not divide up easily, and sharing a box will be a bit more work on your end. We will need one person to be the primary contact, and you'll need to divide up the items and coordinate payment amongst yourselves.
  • Are the boxes customizable?
    We offer a traditional CSA model in which we share with you the bounty of the season. Our boxes are not customizable, but we work to ensure you receive a diversity of items. If you're concerned about being able to eat all of the items in your box due to allergies or dietary restrictions, we encourage you to consider sharing a box with a friend. We will also offer a limited range of vegetables you may puchase to add on to your share each week. Please note that, due to food safety considerations and COVID-19 concerns, we are no longer offering a swap box.
  • Can I purchase extra veggies?
    Yes! We will have a web store with a selection of vegetables that members can purchase to add on to their shares. Further details will be provided to members prior to the start of the program.
  • Is all the produce from your farm?
    For the most part, yes! Our program is a traditional CSA in the sense that we do not aggregate products from multiple farms. You are directly supporting our family farm with your participation in our CSA. There are certain crops we don’t currently grow that we still feel should be part of a winter CSA program in the PNW. We have partnered with other local, certified organic farms to provide items like potatoes, leeks, celery and parsnips in order to provide a more diverse share.
  • Is all your produce organic?
    Yes! We are certified organic by Oregon Tilth, and any other produce we might share from other local farms is also certified organic.
  • Do you accept SNAP/EBT?
    We are only able to accept SNAP/EBT at our on-farm pick up location where we have a card reader. Unfortunately, we cannot for any other drop sites as they aren't staffed to accept SNAP/EBT payment at the time of box pick-up. We hope in the future our CSA software will accept EBT payments and it can be available at all drop sites. In the meantime, we have a Financial Aid Fund to help make our program more accessible. You can find more information about the Financial Aid Fund here: Our Winter CSA | boldlygrownfarm
  • Do you offer home delivery?
    Sorry, we don't have capacity to offer home delivery, even for an extra fee.
  • When and where do you deliver boxes? Can I host a drop site?
    We have a range of drop sites in Seattle, Skagit and Whatcom. The most updated list can be found on our registration page, along with each drop site's delivery day and pick-up window. And yes, we are open to adding new drop sites! We also do workplace CSA drops. New drop sites must have a minimum of 8-10 members, depending on location. Contact us to learn more about becoming a drop site!
  • Is there a deadline for signing up?
    There is no official deadline to register. That said, farms are experiencing high demand for CSAs this season, and space is limited. Early registration reserves your spot and also helps your farmers (that's us) with our production expenses during the season. We are offering payment plans this season, which we hope will help you commit early and secure your spot. If there is space available, we'll accept sign-ups throughout the season at a prorated amount based on the remaining deliveries.
  • What happens if I'm going to be away?
    Two scenarios here: PRIOR TO REGISTRATION: We'll pro-rate your share for one pre-planned absence/delivery date conflict. Use the coupon code "MISSONE" and set a vacation hold in your account for the date you'll miss so we don't pack you a box. You're all set! AFTER REGISTRATION: The first (and preferred!) option is to have someone else pick up your share! If that's not possible, you may receive the full value of your share as a credit in your CSA account and use it to purchase items from the web store during the season. This option is limited to two absences and must be requested no later than the Saturday at midnight prior to a CSA delivery (as boxes are planned and ahead of that time). Credits don't carry forward to future seasons, and refunds are not provided, so make sure to use your credits to buy some yummy goods from our online store! Unfortunately, we cannot offer alternate pick-up days as our weekly harvest and delivery schedule is already jam-packed.
  • I'm signed up for your CSA and I'm not getting any e-mails or newsletters. What should I do?
    We send out e-mails with important program updates as well as an e-newsletter with each delivery. If you aren't receiving them, it's likely going to your Spam/Junk folder or your Promotions tab (if you use Gmail). Please make sure to add boldlygrownfarm@gmail.com , claire@boldlygrownfarm.com and csa@boldlygrownfarm.com to your Contacts list to avoid having our messages filtered out. That last one is important, as it's the e-mail address that will show up when we e-mail you from within the Farmigo system (which is most of the time!). If this doesn't resolve the issue, contact us and we'll troubleshoot with you.
  • Yikes! I forgot to get my box and now it's past the pick-up window. What do I do?
    We unfortunately can't guarantee that you'll receive your box if you don't pick up during the designated hours. Our drop site hosts have permission to donate/redistribute boxes left after the pick-up window. That said, depending on the pick-up location, it may be possible to save your box until a later time. The details will be different for each drop site, so we'll be in touch with members closer to the start of the program. ​ Though we know lapses happen, please make your best effort to observe the drop-site etiquette and consider the pick-up times firm. And, make sure to put a reminder on your calendar for all of the box dates moving forward!
  • Oops—I registered, but now I can no longer participate. Can I get a refund?"
    We plan our budget around selling a certain number of shares each season, and we aren't able to provide refunds for our CSA shares once purchased. We encourage you to try to find a friend/neighbor/co-worker to take on your share and pay you for the remaining value. See our Member Agreement for more on our refund policy. Due to the COVID-19 situation, we may offer more flexibility regarding refunds for situations with extenuating circumstances. Please contact us to discuss.
  • Something was in the newsletter but wasn't in my box / I'm unhappy with the quality of something I received. What do I do?
    Please let us know! We'll work with you to address the issue and may replace the item at the next delivery or give you a credit to our online store.
  • I find that I'm not able to get through all my veggies before my next box comes. Do you have any suggestions?
    First, know that this happens to the best of us! It might take some time to get used to eating "the CSA way"—being creative and flexible in the kitchen with what you have on hand. We try to provide lots of tips and recipes to help. Fortunately, many of the winter CSA crops store quite well, which buys you some time as you figure out what to do with them. It might take a commitment on your end to get through all your veggies, but it can be done! That said, if you find this is happening frequently, we encourage you to find friends or neighbors to share your bounty with.
  • Can I visit the farm?
    Yes! We host a farm visit day in the fall for members; we will advertise the date for 2023 once it's set. We will also be hosting a Pollinator Day this summer on July 15th that is open to the public. We are also happy to show CSA members around the farm at other times if we can. If you're going to be in the area, feel free to get in touch to see if we're available. You can also stay connected to us virtually and see what's happening on the farm via Instagram and Facebook.
  • What about volunteering?
    Volunteering isn’t a part of our CSA program. We have a dedicated crew of employees who work with us to get your veggies out the door!
  • This sounds great. How do I join?
    We thought you'd never ask! Click the button below to be taken to the registration page. We look forward to feeding you lots of tasty veggies this winter!

So, what do you think?

Is CSA is a good fit for you?

 

Remember, CSA is just one model for getting farm-fresh food onto your table. For those who value the story, the journey, and the farmer relationship behind the food, it can be a great option that can change the way you eat forever.

As in all things, expectations determine how you experience the product. To set you up for CSA success, make sure your expectations align with the philosophy of CSA before you commit.

Adapted from Shared Legacy Farms

Read all the details? Ready for some delicious veggies?

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