CSA Share FAQ
What is a CSA basket share?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. A CSA basket share is an opportunity for people to connect with their local farmers and support them throughout the growing season in exchange for delicious produce.
How does our CSA basket work?
A CSA basket 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 then have your CSA Basket delivered right to your door through our contact-free delivery options.
At Catena Farm we have three membership options:
1. 4-week Spring Share that runs from mid-May until mid-June at $100.00
2. 18-week full CSA share that runs from mid-June until mid-October at $594
3. 9-week bi-weekly CSA share that runs from mid-June until mid-October at $297.
The farmers reserve the right to adjust the very first CSA pick-up day if the weather is uncooperative in the spring, but if all goes to plan, the first full and half share drop off day will be start third week of June.
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 Share) filled with updates from the farm, yummy recipes, and meal planning ideas! We send this newsletter out ahead of time 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.
Why is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) important?
We truly believe that Community Supported Agriculture is important for farmers and food-lovers alike. CSA basket 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 gets 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.
2020 CSA Basket Drop off options:
Thursday from 9am to 5pm
Sunday from 9am to 5pm
You do not need to be around when your produce is dropped of but you must leave (preferably) a 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.
What if something comes up and I won't be around for my drop off that week?
Find a friend.
If you know you’re not going to be around that week for drop off make sure to find a friend to take it. They can either take it from your porch or you can let us know their address and we can drop it off there. Please make sure to find a friend relatively close to your original drop off point.
Unfortunately, if you forget to leave out your cooler your produce will not be left, that weekly basket value ($25-$33) will be forfeited and no refunds will be issued.
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 and not storing it as is, in the fridge. 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!
How much does a CSA Share cost?
Our Full Share 18-week CSA food basket costs $594 for one growing season. This works out to be $33 a week per basket. (June to October)
Our Half Share 9-week CSA food basket comes out to $297 for the growing season. Still $33 per basket, but you pick-up your basket every other week. (June to October)
Our Spring Share 4-week CSA food basket costs $100 for one growing season.
This works out to be $25 a week per basket (mid-May to mid-June)
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!
What are your payment and refund policies?
A CSA basket membership payment must be made in full at the time of purchase.
When signing up for a CSA basket share (full or half) there is a non-refundable amount of $150 included in the price.
We have this non-refundable portion policy because we will have already used our CSA payments for farm expenses such as seeds, compost, or tools well before the season starts.
Payment can be made through Visa, Amex, or Mastercard.
If you sign up for a CSA basket share and then find you can no longer take part in the program, refunds can be issued up to May 1st, less the $150 non-refundable fee. After May 1st, refunds of any amount will not be issued. It is up to you to find someone to take over your share for the season, or remainder thereof.
What type of produce do you grow?
At Catena Farm we currently grow over 30 different varieties of vegetables. What are some examples of what you might see throughout the 2020 growing season?
Bulk baby greens (arugula, spinach, spicy mix, tatsoi, mizuna, kale, beet greens), beans, beets, bok choi, broccoli, brussels Sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, garlic (green and cured), garlic scapes, herbs (cilantro, basil, dill, oregano, chives, parsley, mint, sage, thyme), hot peppers, full size kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce heads, full size mizuna, microgreens, mushrooms, onions, parsnip, peas, potatoes, radishes, rutabaga, scallions, summer squash, sweet peppers, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, watermelon, winter squash...and more!
Please keep in mind that our farm is still new. Each year we try to add new produce to our rotation and eventually (once we have our own piece of land) will have a wide selection of fruits as well!
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 all do is make real life connections and take part in the food system which we depend on.
What if there are veggies I don't want included in my basket? Can it be customized?
While one of the great things about joining a CSA is that it can (sometimes) take you out of your food comfort zone and you get to try new things, but most people don't love every vegetable. We dig it. So, when signing up for your CSA share 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.
If you choose to omit certain items from your CSA share 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 up to the farmers and the availability of produce.
What does a CSA basket look like?
Here are a few examples of our 2019 CSA baskets:
Full Share - Scallions, head lettuce, chives, parsley, mushrooms, zucchini, beans, cherry tomatoes, carrots, swiss chard
Full Share - Carrots, head lettuce, garlic, bell peppers, eggplant, parsley, oregano, new potatoes
Full Share - Oregano, new onions, kale, zucchini, bell peppers, hot peppers, spaghetti squash, garlic, baby fennel, cherry tomatoes
Full Share - Bok choi, beets, carrots, radishes, new onions, arugula, dill, butternut squash, fingerling potatoes, pumpkin
Full Share - Kohlrabi, carrots, spinach, potaotes, garlic, beets, scallions, chives, oregano, acorn squash, spaghetti squash
Full Share - Head lettuce, koginut squash, acorn squash, parsley, potatoes, mizuna, carrots, baby fennel, turnips, new onions
Don't be shy, send us an email through our Contact page and we'll get in touch right away.