CSA Share FAQ
What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Community Supported Agriculture is an opportunity for people to connect with local farmers and support them throughout the growing season in exchange for delicious produce.
How does our CSA program work?
A CSA program works by you, the CSA member, purchasing a CSA share at the beginning of the season and we, the farmers, providing you with a weekly or bi-weekly food basket throughout the growing season. You have the option of your CSA basket being delivered to your door by contact-free delivery or a pick up option at the Lansdowne Farmer's Market on Sundays throughout the season.
Why is Community Supported Agriculture important?
We truly believe that Community Supported Agriculture is important for farmers and food-lovers alike. CSA programs support the local economy and get the community to take part in their local food scene. Everyone should know where their food comes from and how it was grown. Better yet, we, as farmers, should know your name and you should know ours.
A CSA partnership is key when trying to run a small farm business. Farming can be tough and farmers can incur a lot of up-front costs. When a person or household chooses to make a commitment to a farm and join a CSA program it takes some of the financial pressure off of the farmer, allowing us to purchase things like seeds, compost, and tools at the beginning of the season, when we need it most.
Purchasing a CSA share also means creating an understanding between the member and the farm. Farming is completely at the whim of nature. If some freak storm happens and crops get destroyed, you, the CSA member will understand that the CSA basket may be a bit on the light side that week. On the other hand, when nature is acting groovy and produce is abundant, you can expect extra in your basket. When growing is good, we aim to give you an extra 10% in your baskets!
Is a CSA Membership right for me/my family?
A CSA membership is not for everyone and we would never tell anyone that just to sell shares in our CSA program. If you travel a lot, don't really like cooking, or don't like occasionally stepping out of your comfort zone when it comes to new vegetables then we would suggest getting a Market Membership and not a CSA Membership. This is a great way to support local, small-scale farming but not at the risk of being put off by the CSA model. Be honest with yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a CSA not fitting your lifestyle.
However, if you want to support local, small-scale farming and do enjoy cooking, occasionally stepping out of your comfort zone, maybe even doing some seasonal preserving then a CSA membership just might be your thing. Keep on reading!
What's in the baskets?
Each week, you’ll receive a basket filled with between 6 and 12 different vegetables and herbs. Not only that, but Catena Farm will send you a weekly e-newsletter (not included in the Spring Shares) filled with updates from the farm and yummy recipes! We send this newsletter out Thursday mornings so you know what is coming in your basket and are able to start meal prepping for the week. This way, you’re not stressed and food doesn’t go to waste. Example Newsletter
Here are some examples of what you *might* see in your baskets!
Head lettuce, bulk baby greens (arugula, spinach, mustard greens, tatsoi, mizuna, kale, sorrel, crunchy mix), scallions, cilantro, dill, bok choy, radishes, turnips, kohlrabi, baby carrots, baby beets, cabbage, shoots, micro greens, or rapini.
Main Season Baskets (Half and Full) Shares:
Bulk baby greens (arugula, spinach, mustard greens, tatsoi, mizuna, kale, sorrel, crunchy mix), beans (fava), beans (french), beets, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, garlic (green and cured), garlic scapes, ground cherries, herbs, hot peppers, full size kale, kohlrabi, leeks, head lettuce, full size mizuna, micro greens, onions (new and cured), parsnip, peas (snap), peas (snow), potatoes, radishes, rutabaga, scallions, summer squash, sweet peppers, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, watermelon, winter squash...and more!
Head lettuce, bulk baby greens, microgreens/shoots, garlic, onions, scallions, fennel, carrots, beets, cabbage, turnips, radishes, kohlrabi, kale, bok choy, rapini, herbs, parsnip, rutabaga, brussels sprouts, winter squash...and more!
When you sign up to for a full or half share please understand that the baskets might be a bit lighter in the beginning of the season due to frosts and inclement weather, but for both the full and half shares, when the growing is good, you’ll get more than $33 worth of produce! In the height of summer, we aim to give you around 10% extra produce in your basket, free!
Can my CSA Baskets be customized?
While one of the great things about joining a CSA program is that it can (sometimes) take you out of your food comfort zone and try new things, most people don't love every vegetable. We dig it. So, when signing up for our CSA program, you get the opportunity to customize your basket by telling us anything you don't want to see in your shares. You’ll find a comment box for this in the payment section during checkout. To take a look at what type of produce we grow, check out the Our Produce page and see if there's anything you want to leave out of your baskets.
Note: We suggest a limit of 3 dislikes for each household. If you find you have 5 or 6 dislikes in the comment box then you might want to consider a Market Membership and not a CSA membership. This way you can avoid being disappointed by your CSA baskets and to be perfectly honest, substitutions take a lot of time, effort, and extra organization on the farmer's part. The idea of a CSA is to try new things and step out of your comfort zone. Remember a CSA model is not for everyone and that's okay!
If you choose to omit certain items from your CSA home delivery membership please note that on these weeks you may receive double of an item(s) in your basket, not necessarily a different item. This will be at the farmer's discretion and the availability of produce.
If you choose to omit certain items from your CSA Lansdowne pick-up membership you have the option of your choice of substitution. This will depend on what is available/left at the market stall.
What if I have an allergy?
If you have an allergy please tell us in the comment box during checkout. We will make sure you never get the item(s) in your basket and replace it with something else.
Membership options available for pick-up or home delivery:
1. Spring Membership (4 consecutive weeks):
Pick-up at the Lansdowne Farmer's Market every Sunday from Sunday May 23rd until Sunday June 13th 9am to 3pm. Cost: $100.00
Home Delivery either every Thursday or Sunday from May 20th until June 13th. Once our memberships are full and we have finalize our delivery schedule we will contact you to let you know your delivery day. Cost: $120.00, including delivery.
2. Full Membership (18 consecutive weeks):
Pick-up at the Lansdowne Farmer's Market every Sunday starting on Sunday June 20th until Sunday October 17th from 9am to 3pm. Cost: $594.00
Home Delivery either every Thursday or Sunday from June 17th until October 17th. Once our memberships are full we will contact you to let you know your delivery day. Cost: $684.00, including delivery.
3. Half Membership (bi-weekly for 18 weeks):
Pick-up at the Lansdowne Farmer's Market every other Sunday starting on Sunday June 20th from 9am to 3pm. Cost: $297.00
Home Delivery either every other Thursday or Sunday starting June 17th until October 17th. Once our memberships are full and we have finalized our delivery schedule we will contact you to let you know your delivery day. Cost: $342.00, including delivery.
4. Fall Membership (4 consecutive weeks):
Pick-up at the Lansdowne Farmer's Market every Sunday from Sunday October 24th until Sunday November 14th 9am to 3pm. Cost: $170.00
Home Delivery either every Thursday or Sunday from October 21st until November 14th. Once our memberships are full and we have finalized our delivery schedule we will contact you to let you know your delivery day. Cost: $190.00, including delivery.
Do I need to be around for delivery?
You do not need to be around when your produce is dropped off if you have a safe spot to leave it. You must leave (preferably) a large or extra large cooler, large box, or bags with ice pack(s) in them. We are not responsible if your veggies are left out all day and wilt or freeze. If your cooler is not easily accessible and visible upon delivery your produce will be donated and that basket's dollar value will be forfeited.
What if I live in a highrise?
Unfortunately we will not come upstairs to your front door to deliver. If you live in a building with no lobby or other safe place to leave a cooler you must be able to meet us in your lobby or on the street for pick up. This means if you live in a highrise you must be home on your delivery day.
What if I won't be around for my delivery/pick-up one week?
If you know ahead of time you will not be able to be around one week to receive or pick up your basket you have these options.
1. Find a friend.
If you know you’re not going to be around one week for delivery/pick-up make sure to find a friend to get your cooler/show up for pick-up. Please let us know who is picking your basket up at market ahead of time.
2. Double your basket.
You can ask for double the quantity of your basket on your next delivery week (same delivery day). This means you will be getting two of each item unless there is a wider variety of produce available, at the farmer's discretion.
What if I forget my pick-up or delivery day and it passes?
Unfortunately, if you forget to leave out your cooler or forget to pick-up your basket from us at Lansdowne your produce will be donated, that weekly basket value ($25-$50) will be forfeited and no refunds will be issued.
What if I am moving part way through the season?
If you are moving you must let the farmers know BEFORE YOU PURCHASE your CSA membership because we may not be able to deliver to your new location. If you let us know after you have made the purchase we reserve the right to cancel your basket (without a refund) if the delivery address is too far out of our way. Please understand that it is just the two of us farming and delivering. Some delivery locations just aren't feasible as a small, two person, business.
How is my CSA basket packaged?
We do our absolute best to try to minimize the packaging we use on our farm (see Our Practices section). We ask that CSA members please respect that we do not want to use plastic packaging. Our bulk greens are delivered in a compostable paper bag. We recommend placing this bag in an airtight container in the fridge and not storing it as is. Check out our website for storage tips. Let’s reduce waste together! Visit Our Produce page and you’ll find a vast array of produce packaging and storage fun!
What is your refund policy?
There are no refunds available for CSA or Market Share Memberships. Please be sure to read all the information (FAQs and Terms and Conditions) before you purchase a membership to ensure these are right for you and/or your family.
Why don't you have a refund option?
We do not have a refund option because farmer's expenses come before the growing season even starts. The majority of our expenses go toward purchasing seeds, compost, tools, etc. well before the month of May. If members don't take the time to read all the information we try hard to make accessible, any refund money has to come out of our pockets. This is not a viable way to run a small farm business, therefore we trust that our members will do their research before purchasing to find out if our memberships are right for them.
Is Catena Farm certified organic?
Catena Farm is not certified organic. This is because we are currently on a short-term rental plot of land and it cannot be certified in the amount of time we are farming it. In the future, when we have purchased our own piece of land, we will consider becoming certified organic. Despite this, we want our customers to know that we grow food for you, your family, and ourselves in the most socially responsible and environmentally conscious ways possible. We wholeheartedly reject using any kind of synthetic spray, herbicide, or fertilizer, and our farming practices go over and above the organic standards set out by the Canadian government.
While we support organic certification and the trust in which it's label brings, we feel it's more important to know who grows your food, be able to ask them questions face-to-face, go and visit the farm, and eat a carrot straight from the ground knowing you haven't eaten anything that would harm you or the surrounding natural environment. Labels are great and they make things easier when trying to make the right decisions for yourself, your loved ones, and the environment, but the best thing we can do is make real life connections and take part in the food system which we all depend on.
What does a Main Season (Half or Full) CSA basket look like?
Braising mustard, cilantro, snow peas, kale, tokyo bekana cabbage, garlic scapes, kohlrabi, iceberg lettuce
Thai basil, garlic scapes, zucchini, carrots, scallions, eggplant, broccoli, head lettuce
Don't be shy, send us an email through our Contact page and we'll get in touch right away.