CSA Membership Agreement 2018
We, the farm, wish to provide you with fresh, local, seasonal veggies, and you, the member, wish to receive a portion of our harvest. This agreement outlines our shared commitments to that relationship.
Becoming Part of our Farm
So what is a CSA, exactly? “CSA” stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Through our CSA, members can enjoy bountiful local produce without all the hard work of farming. Members purchase a vegetable “share” at the beginning of the year. When we start harvesting in mid-May, we prepare a box of veggies grown on our farm every week for each of our members to pick up. Members are able to choose from different sized shares to fit their needs, or a flex share to custom build your own box each week. You can join the CSA for the full 24 week program from May to October, or you can just join for 11 weeks through the summer months (details below).
Our farm is not certified organic, but this does not mean we are not selective about the controls we do use. Generally, if we’re using any kinds of controls at all, we use those that are certified organic themselves, and will only utilize more conventional controls as a last resort. Typically, we do not end up treating more than a few crops through the entire growing season. We prefer to handle pests, disease, and soil care through other practices, such as crop rotation, companion planting, composting, planting cover crops, and using row covers. We are very open about our growing practices so if you would like to know more, contact us any time.
Shared Risk & Reward
We promise to do our best to provide you with a bountiful share each week. The quantity of produce in your boxes, however, may vary from week to week due to extreme weather, insects, or other production factors despite our best efforts. By joining our CSA, you are agreeing to share the risk of crop failure with us and other members. In the event of a minor crop failure, we compensate for the failed crops by filling your share with other crops grown on the farm that are ready for harvest at that time. If a large portion of crops fail, you may see smaller quantities/less variety of produce in your boxes. There is also the unlikely possibility of full crop failure, such as in the event of extreme hail damage or drought. In this case, it is possible you may see weeks of little or no product in your boxes.
For example, if we were to have a poor tomato year, you may only see 2-3 tomatoes rather than the 6-7 we prefer to include in a full-share type box. The tomatoes that you don’t receive may be replaced with other veggies, such as extra bell peppers or zucchini, if these are available.
Conversely, in the event of bumper crops and surplus, we will fill CSA boxes up with extras. We don’t want to overwhelm our members or deliver so much produce that it goes to waste, so when we feel that members have received enough of certain crops, we handle the surplus by selling it at the farmers’ market, to restaurants, or as special “bulk” items to CSA members interested in preserving food. Our CSA receives first priority when we are harvesting, and only after the shares are well-filled do we sell our produce elsewhere. Please note that we produce some items exclusively for our other outlets. You may see a few products at the farmers’ market that you will not receive in your CSA share.
The chart below outlines what types of produce you can likely expect, and when you may see them in your share. This chart is based on our best estimate, but of course weather, pests, and other events will affect actual production. We may experiment with new varieties outside of this list.
|Month Harvested||Expected Crops|
|May-June||Arugula, Basil, Beets, Broccoli, Cilantro, Cabbage, Carrots, Chives, Fennel, Garlic Scapes, Green Onions, Kale, Lettuce, Lovage, New Potatoes, Peas, Radishes, Rhubarb, Spinach, Snow Peas, Swiss Chard|
|July-August||Basil, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Celery, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Edamame, Eggplant, Green Beans, Garlic, Ground Cherries, Kale, Parsley, Peaches*, Potatoes, Sweet Corn, Sweet/Hot Peppers, Sweet Onions, Tomatoes, Various Herbs, Zucchini|
|September-October||Apples*, Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Collards, Daikon, Dry Beans, Eggplant, Garlic, Green Beans, Ground Cherries, Kale, Lettuce, Lima Beans, Mustards, Onions, Pears*, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radishes, Rutabagas, Spinach, Sweet Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Winter Squash, Zucchini|
*Quantities available vary widely from year to year depending on last frost dates.
Picking Up Your Shares
You will have the option to pick up your weekly box at one of four locations in Rio, Galesburg, East Galesburg, or Monmouth at various times during the week. Drop locations are as follows:
The Rio Farm Stand, 279 Knox Road 2550 North, Rio, Thursdays 9 AM to 6 PM
317 North 2nd Street, Monmouth, Tuesdays 5-7 PM
1196 North Academy Street (Bethel Baptist Church side parking lot), Galesburg, Thursdays 4:30-6:30 PM
126 Arizona Avenue, East Galesburg, Thursdays 6:30-10 AM
Depending on your pick up location, you will either collect your share from a blue or green tub with your name on it, or you will take a number of items from each marked bin to fill your share. Flex shares will choose from produce on specified tables at the farm stand.
Each week, we will email you (generally on Tuesdays) what you can expect to see in your box. While we will make this as accurate as we can, the list may not always match up exactly to what you receive.
You are responsible for picking up your share each week from your drop site and observing drop site rules:
- Bring along your own large bag or box to carry home your produce. You will not be able to take your tub. If you or someone picking up for you accidentally takes the tub, you will not receive your shares until it is returned to us.
- Leave the tub lids off after picking up.
- Pick up your share within the time frame listed. We keep the pick up windows at three hours or less to maintain the best quality possible.
- Please respect the property of the pick up site’s host.
- Follow instructions for custom shares at the farm stand. Do not take from unmarked tables outside of the CSA area.
If you cannot pick up your share, you must arrange for someone else to pick it up for you. You are responsible for explaining the pick-up location and procedure to your substitute. If possible, let us know you are having someone else pick up for you so we can notify pick up attendants and assist your sub. We are no longer offering makeup shares. If you need to change your pick up site or time, you must give us no less than one week of notice. We ask that you do not change pick up sites/times from week to week, as this can cause confusion on both ends.
Shares that are not retrieved within the pick up time will be forfeited by the member and donated, used by the pick up site’s host, or sold elsewhere. You will not be able to pick up shares after the set time frame.
Available at most pick-up sites will be an exchange box. Members can use the box to leave behind unwanted produce or to pick up produce that has been left. Produce substitutions or additions are not possible beyond the exchange box or the flex share option.
We take the safety of your produce very seriously. Your produce will always be harvested with clean produce-only containers. In most cases, your produce will be lightly rinsed with tap water (Galesburg city water OR the Rio farm well water, tested yearly) to remove visible dirt on an outdoor washing rack. More perishable items will then be transferred directly to our produce refrigerator. Generally, your produce will be harvested within a 36-hour period before your pick up whenever possible to ensure the highest possible quality. This doesn’t apply to all types of produce, however; products like potatoes, onions, winter squashes, dry beans, etc. may be stored for some time before reaching your CSA box. Because we use very minimal pest treatments, it is likely you will encounter the occasional insect at one point or another. Be sure to thoroughly wash all produce before eating for your added protection.
We offer a range of share types to fit each member’s needs.
- Traditional full share. Our largest traditional share option is also the most cost – effective. This share gives you the widest variety of produce grown over an entire season, as chosen by the farm, so you’ll see lots of different items. Your box will typically include 6-8 different types of produce in meal-sized portions, and it will usually fill a regular-sized reusable grocery bag. For example, a box in mid-summer might include two pounds each of potatoes, tomatoes, and green beans, a pound of carrots, a large onion, two green bell peppers, and a bundle of fresh basil. Full shares work well for families of 2-3 who cook 5-7 nights a week, or larger families of 4-5 who cook less often. A full-sized share can easily be split between friends as well. Runs the full season.
- Traditional half share. The half share comes with about half the produce of a regular full-sized share. Depending on the week, your pre-packed box will usually come with 4-6 different types of produce. For example, a summertime box could include one pound each of potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, a large onion, and a bell pepper. The full and half sized shares will not always include the same produce from week to week – half shares tend to have the produce variety spread out more over the course of the season. Half shares work well for singles or families who don’t have time to cook every night but enjoy fresh produce. Runs the full season.
- Summer share. You also have the option to sign up for an 11-week period during peak summer production. This share does not have as much variety of produce as full season shares; instead, this share focuses primarily on staple crops, such as tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, onions, and a few other popular summertime veggies. It will not include greens, herbs, or less common veggies. Summer shares are offered as traditional CSA boxes only.
- Flex share (large). Pick up this CSA box at our farm stand, and you have the option to select the produce that goes into it. Large flex shares will come with 6-8 different veggies, chosen from a dozen or so different in-season options every week. These are a good size for larger families, or for splitting between friends. Typically, the large share will fill a big reusable grocery bag each week. Runs the full season.
- Flex share (small). Pick up this CSA box at our farm stand, and you have the option to select the produce that goes into it. Small flex shares will come with 4-5 different veggies, chosen from a dozen or so different in-season options every week. These are a good size for couples and smaller families. Runs the full season.
Communicating with Us
The best way to communicate with us is via email: email@example.com. You can also call or text Dusty at 815-953-4384. We will do our best to respond as quickly as possible, but understand this can be difficult when we are out in the field for most of the day. We will primarily communicate with you via email, and when you sign up, you will be added to our mailing list. We depend on being able to communicate important information such as necessary changes to your distribution schedule or to our farm events. You will receive an email once a week, usually on Tuesdays, with the list of your produce for that week’s share, recipe ideas, storage tips, and other farm updates. We make the produce list as accurate as possible, but your individual share may sometimes vary.
Sign up here. Payments for full and half shares are due in full by May 24th, 2018. Summer shares are due by June 15th.