How our CSA works
We grow, harvest and deliver an array of fresh, organic produce through our CSA program each week of the summer. Subscribers pre-pay for a share of the harvest, providing the farmers with start-up capital at the beginning of the season. In turn, our subscribers get a selection of our freshest produce each week of the season.
Subscribers pick up their boxes from one of many pick-up locations across the Lower Mainland. Please note: we are still in the process of confirming our pick-up locations, dates and times. If you don't see a pick-up location near you or would like to volunteer your home as a pick-up location, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have taken what we learned in past seasons to improve our CSA management and offerings this year.
For the 2013 season we are offering a few share options:
- Early Bird Share: We have a limited number of early-bird shares available. These early season shares will likely be delivered twice in May and once in early June. Contents will be largely greens and rhubarb. Only one size available: $75.00
- Main Season Share: Running 16 weeks, from mid-June to the first week of October, this share features the best of our summer produce, ranging from berries and rhubarb to leafy greens, field vegetables and root crops. You can subscribe to a full or half share.
- Full share regular price is $605.60, payment by 1 May reduces the price to $575.32.
- Half share regular price is $374.40, payment by 1 May reduces the price to $355.68.
- Extended Season Share: This share runs an additional 8 weeks, providing you with continuous local, organic produce from mid-June through to the end of November. You can enjoy fall and winter crops such as squash, brussels sprouts, onions, cabbage, beets, parsnips and radicchio in addition to the main season produce. You can subscribe to a full or half share. You can also choose to add a season extension to your share at a later date (availability permitting).
- Full share regular price is $908.40, payment by 1 May reduces the price to $862.98.
- Half share regular price is $561.60, payment by 1 May reduces the price to $533.52.
- Late/Extended Season Share: Running 8 weeks, from Thanksgiving through to the end of November, this share features root crops (carrots, beets, parsnips), hardy greens (kale, brussels sprouts) and storage crops (onions, shallots, squash). You can subscribe to a full or half share.
- Full share regular price is $302.80, payment by 1 May reduces the price to $287.66.
- Half share regular price is $187.20, payment by 1 May reduces the price to $177.84.
- Fruit Share Option: We source fruit from a number of trusted organic farms in BC to provide a fruit share option for your CSA subscription. For 12 weeks you can receive some of the best organic tree fruit in BC: cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, pears and apples, plus other hot-weather crops such as tomatoes and peppers.
- Fruit share option is $400.00, payment by 1 May reduces the price to $380.00.
Other features of our CSA program include:
- Online subscription, payment and account management. You can sign-up and pay online and change your delivery location through our secure, online system. Credit Union members can pay through their online banking bill payment option (as of 1 February). Payment by credit card (Paypal) and cheque are also available.
- A web store: Add items to your delivery -- extra produce, case lots of fruit for preserving, hazelnuts, herbs and goat meat. We've made it easy to make the most out of your subscription, by making extra items available when they're in abundance. This feature is only available to our CSA subscribers.
- Early payment incentives and installment payment plans. If you sign-up and pay in full by 1 May, you get 5% off your subscription price and a $20 credit in our online store. Payment in 2 instalments gets a 5% discount. Payment in 5 installments is regular price. The choice is yours.
- Opportunities to visit the farm. We have already selected two Open House dates for our subscribers to visit the farm -- one in June, the second in October. You'll receive information about these events once you've subscribed to a share.
- A weekly newsletter. Learn about the process of growing food and life on the farm. Our weekly newsletter keeps you plugged into where your food is coming from. CSA members will also receive an illustrated poster depicting the progression of the season's crops and farm activities. Plus, you can connect with the farm through Twitter and Facebook as well.
Already signed up?
What is Community Shared Agriculture?
Community Shared (or Supported) Agriculture, or CSA, is a system of farming that brings farmers, community members, and agricultural land together into a mutually beneficial relationship. Community members purchase a “farm share” for the growing season, which entitles them to a weekly share of the harvest throughout the season, delivered by a farmer they know and trust. This commitment implies a willingness to share with the farmer the bounty of the land, as well as some of the risks and pleasures of production. Our CSA members receive a wide variety of fresh and nutritious produce grown organically on our farm and delivered to a convenient pick-up site. CSA members have the joy of knowing where, when, and how their food is being produced and become connected with and participate in local agricultural cycles.
Learn more about our CSA through these links:
What's new for 2013
We have been working on some new features for the 2013 season:
- Option to put your subscription on hold for one week during the season. You may put your box on hold for maximum one week while you are away. We will issue a credit to your account that can be used in our online store for adding items to your box. You also have the option to donate unused boxes to an immigrant social housing agency we work with. You can also have someone else pick up your box - and you can change your pick-up location through your online account.
- Downtown, Yaletown, Gastown and West End deliveries will be done by shift urban delivery (cargo bike delivery service). You can choose to have your box delivered to your workplace (if you work downtown), to your residence, or to a pick-up location.
- Smart Phone app: Our online CSA software management will feature a new smart phone app that allows you to check our web store, add items to your box, change your pick-up location and check the status of your delivery.
- A map of the season: In our season-end survey, our subscribers have told us that they value the connection with the farm they get through the CSA. Some people asked for more ways of understanding the flow of the season. We teamed up with CSA member and Vancouver artist Sam Bradd to develop a visual map of the season's progression. All CSA members will get a copy of the map in poster form so they can follow along with us throughout the season. This illustrations will also be used in our regular e-mails and on our website, offering a visual cue of where we are at in the farming season.
What we grow
Fruit and Berries: Rhubarb, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries and Apples
Leafy Greens: Spinach, Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Kale, Collards, Sorrel
Field Vegetables: Cabbage, Squash, Fennel, Green Onions, Green Beans, Yellow Beans, Fava Beans, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Corn, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Zucchini, Melons (when we're lucky)
Root Vegetables: Beets, Carrots, Sweet Onions, Cooking Onions, Rutabagas, Parsnips, Potatoes
What we don't grow
Despite our best efforts, there are some things we can't grow in a temperate rain forest. Crops that require intense heat and dry weather such as tree fruit (cherries and peaches, for example), field tomatoes and peppers are not suited for our coastal climate. Our tomatoes are grown in unheated coldframes to protect them from moisture and to help increase their growing temperature. Nonetheless, it is hard to imagine a BC summer without the taste of incredible fruit grown in the Interior. Because of this, we offer a fruit share option to our subscribers. The fruit share contents are sources from other organic farms in BC.
What our members say
Following the 2012 season, our members reported a 97% satisfaction rate. Here are some of the comments we received:
"I like that each week is a surprise. We really enjoyed our farm visit"
"I really appreciated receiving new produce that I would normally never purchase, the wonderful and informative emails (especially the recipes)"
"The cauliflower was the best flavour and texture and smell and appearance, I felt so honoured to eat it. Same with the parsnip, the best soup ever for cold wintry eves. The slice of cinderella pumpkin was to die for. So meaty, firm, flavourful."
"I like how so much is done online and via email. Great communication and organization!"
"I really appreciated the emails every week, and the email notices of delivery. I also really appreciate how much work Chris and Paige and all their people put into getting us our bins and keeping us informed and providing us with such amazing and fresh organic produce."
"I'm especially grateful that having a Close to Home share means that I can participate in sustainable agriculture (even though I'm not a farmer myself). I LOVE that you all have provided a living wage and extended medical benefits to your workers. The quality of your produce makes most other suppliers pale in comparison. I really liked trying radicchio for the first time this year and your recipe for radicchio salad with feta, pear, walnut and balsamic vinaigrette. That was a great hit in our family!"
"You have helped to bring my family closer to our food source and for that we are hugely grateful! My children are keenly aware when we have a meal that largely comes from "our farmers". I spent a lot of time thinking of all the work that went in to my food.... exponentialy more than ever before. You have changed our relationship with food!!!"
"I really loved being surprised and getting whatever was available - that is what cooking locally is all about to me."