The following are some questions that we receive frequently and their respective answers. If you have a question that is not answered here, please feel free to contact us.
- 1. How do I subscribe?
- 2. What crops will be harvested and when?
- 3. Is the farm “organic”?
- 4. How do you develop fertility and avoid the “bad bugs”?
- 5. Do you offer “half shares”?
- 6. What if I am unable to pick up my vegetables? Can I change my pick up day or arrive early or late?
- 7. Do you deliver to central locations?
- 8. Why do you limit CSA Membership?
1. How do I subscribe?
Please visit the main CSA page (redwiggler.org/csa). There you will find options for both returning and new customers. For New Customers, we ask that you fill out a lottery application and send it in with a $50 deposit by February 8th. Any open memberships will be filled by lottery and you will be notified by February 19th. If you missed this year’s deadline, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on a list of interested members.
2. What crops will be harvested and when?
For a week-by-week breakdown of what to expect during the season, please look over our CSA Newsletters link in the left sidebar to get a sense of how the season’s harvest unfolds. You can also take a look at our list of crops.
3. Is the farm “organic”?
Yes. We are USDA Certified Organic. You can view a PDF of our certificate.
4. How do you develop fertility and avoid the “bad bugs”?
We create fertile ground by “feeding the soil” with composted animal manures, trace minerals, and the incorporation of cover crops. We cover many of our young plants with “floating row covers” that keep the bad bugs (particularly flea beetles and cucumber beetles) away from tender young plants, and irrigate our crops with drip tape and sprinklers when necessary. With the use of proper crop rotations, we manage to foil many insect pests in their annual search for their preferred food. In short, by keeping the plants healthy we limit the use of “natural, plant based sprays” allowed under the USDA Organic standards. We do not use synthetic, chemical sprays of any kind.
5. Do you offer “half shares”?
We do not offer “half shares.” We encourage participants to share their subscription with friends, neighbors or family if they feel that the amount of produce in a typical Red Wiggler delivery is more than they can consume or preserve in a weeks time.
6. What if I am unable to pick up my vegetables? Can I change my pick up day or arrive early or late?
If you are unable to pick up your share on your assigned day and time, we suggest that you give that week’s share to a friend, neighbor or family member. Because of the large number of CSA members, we are unable to accommodate special requests regarding changes in pick up schedules. Food that is not picked up will be donated the next day.
7. Do you deliver to central locations?
We only offer on-farm pick up at this time. If you live further than 15 miles from the farm, please consider the fact that traffic may make the distance problematic for you. Our happiest CSA customers tend to live within a 15-mile radius of the farm, and we encourage those who live further out to consider other options before committing to Red Wiggler for the season.
8. Why do you limit CSA Membership?
We have experienced an overwhelming, positive response to the Red Wiggler CSA. Much of this interest has come from folks like you who have read news articles, have been browsing websites for local CSA’s, or simply heard about our CSA from friends or family. While the response is positive, exciting, and speaks volumes about people rethinking the way they eat and being conscious of where their food comes from, we cannot accommodate everyone who has shown interest.
There are several reasons why we have to limit the number of memberships each year …
- We have a high retention rate. The prior year’s members have the opportunity to re-up for the following year before shares are made available to new members. This is generally how we determine how many open “slots” we will be able to offer to the public. As you can imagine, happy CSA members tend to stick around.
- We grow vegetables, flowers, and herbs on about five acres. (The rest of our land is fallow, resting and regenerating in a system of cover crops that are designed to increase fertility for future years.) You can grow a lot on this amount of land, but the land, water, soil, and human resources that it takes to produce a good crop do have a carrying capacity and we must establish a reasonable number of shares based on this capacity. Overexerting these resources to accommodate a larger CSA is not an option as it would defeat much of the purpose of our farm programs.
- Red Wiggler Community Farm is an organization that is dedicated to providing sustainable employment for its staff and growers. We seek to find balance between our abilities and our capacity to better serve the community. In order for us to remain within these philosophical parameters, we limit our CSA membership.