Frequently Asked Questions
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 sign-up?
New members can find the paper application here. Please return the form to us along with your $50 program fee.
2. What crops will be harvested and when?
Take a look at our Spring, Summer and Fall crop lists to get a general idea of what will be included in the share and when. These lists are not guaranteed nor is it exhaustive. To get and idea of what flowers and herbs are available each season check out the Pick-Your-Own list.
3. Is the farm "organic"?
Yes! We are a USDA Certified Organic Farm. We are certified by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
4. How do you develop fertility and avoid the "bad bugs"?
We create fertile ground by "feeding the soil" with compost, 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 reduce the need for 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. The average share throughout the season is 5-6 vegetable items, 1 bouquet of flowers, and 2-3 bunches of herbs. Some participants choose to split the cost of their share with another household and divide the share. Need help figuring out if splitting a share is an appropriate choice for you? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional guidance.
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, you are welcome to send a friend or neighbor in your place. Because of the large number of CSA members, we are unable to accommodate special requests, regarding chances in pick-up schedules. Food that is not picked up will be donated to our local food centers.
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