Frequently Asked Questions
What is all this talk I'm hearing about csa?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is the most direct way to have a relationship with your farmers and your food. By choosing to become a "shareholder," you will receive a weekly box of curated produce, picked just days before, with recipes and a newsletter specific to CSA members, ensuring that you will feel equipped and excited to use up every single vegetable each week for 30 weeks. Our produce is seeded, transplanted, cultivated, harvested, washed, and packed completely by us. We are not a co-op and are invested in growing all the vegetables, fruits, and eggs for each CSA share ourselves, as well as remaining thoughtfully homegrown in all aspects of how we do things at York Farm. We believe in the empowerment of making daily choices for health and in the delight that comes from the colors and variety of seasonal eating. Joining a CSA is much more than buying groceries from the store: it is a relationship with your farmers who dig in the dirt to bunch your carrots.
Who is a typical York farm csa member?
York Farm CSA members are those who value high standards of agricultural practices and who are excited to learn about how vegetables are grown. York Farm CSA members are explorers who create recipes, who use the contents of their weekly box in inventive ways, who teach us old family recipe secrets, and who take the time to cook on weeknights with their children. York Farm CSA members love the wide, open space of farmland and grow their own kitchen gardens, have filled their own trays by hand with dark potting mix. York Farm CSA members frequent farmers' markets, hike the Blue Ridge Mountains on the weekends, seek out unconventional produce, and understand the difference between store-bought eggs and the dozen from their own backyard flock. York Farm CSA members are from all backgrounds, joined together in the search for true, honest food and communities built through the daily sharing of food at the table. York Farm CSA members are trailblazers in their own communities and job circles, who ambassador the mission of healthy and local eating. York Farm CSA members defy typical categories and know they create goodness by participating in and facilitating seasonal, small-scale agriculture, grown by farmers who love what they get to do every day. York Farm CSA members share in our quest for awareness, abundance, health, story, truth, and the ability to live a good life.
why should i join with york farm as opposed to another local csa?
There are many great Community Supported Agriculture programs offered in our area. York Farm's Full Season CSA spans the length of 30 weeks, from the first week of May to Thanksgiving, which is longer than most other farms offer. In our CSA, members receive much more than the produce, which is Certified Naturally Grown and adheres to organic standards. Unlike most other CSA programs, we offer 7-8 items in each box and, on most weeks, members have choice of over half of the items in their box. Each week during the season, members receive The Field Walk newsletter in their inbox with descriptive writings on the events of the week, photographs, a list of recipes, and other resources to help educate on various farm-related topics. Additionally, CSA members receive a write-up in their weekly box which is completely specific to CSA and the contents of that week's box: this will include writings, photographs of harvesting, and recipes for using each item in the box. Other perks of our CSA program are events throughout the year on the farm, a heavily discounted price on eggs, a grow-your-own "kitchen garden" kit, and other little incentives because we know how much the small details count every day! Your farmers are a team of two, emboldened by the history of the farm, in which Kyle's great-grandfather moved to this land, in the North Carolina foothills, from Winston-Salem for health reasons (like us!), and the greater mission and belief that growing your own food just tastes and feels better. We want to share our story with each of you!
i want to join, but the price of the csa seems a little too much for my current budget. What are my options?
We work hard to make the CSA as affordable as we can, in the understanding that everyone should have access to local, organically grown produce for their health. For this reason, we have a few options:
1. Pay by the week or in a greater number of installments throughout the season. Our CSA program allows for you to pay in a deposit and two or three installments, but we are happy to offer a more broken-up payment system to fit your needs. The Peck option for the Full Season is equal to $25/week and the Bushel option for the Full Season is equal to around $33/week, which we feel is absolutely reasonable for the 7-8 items in each box.
2. Splitting a CSA share with a friend or family member is a great way to try out the CSA, while only having to pay for 1/2 of the season's share. We encourage splitting for members who are on-the-fence about joining a CSA because you and the friend you split with can become invaluable support-systems for one another!
3. In 2018, we are offering a Week-to-Week Box, which is not a CSA share outright but emulates a CSA model. The Week-to-Week Box contains at least 7 items, that your farmers will select for you, and can be delivered to any of our pick-up locations on Friday of each week. On Mondays during the season, we will send an email listing the items in the box for that week and ask that if you wish to receive the box for that week that you sign up and pay in full for the week by 12pm on Wednesday. The box resembles a Peck in size and is valued at $50/week. Find out more information: here. If you wish to be on the email list for Week-to-Week Boxes or to learn more about how it all works, please let us know!
4. Through generous donations from our CSA members and supporters, we are hoping to soon be able to offer a Community Box, which will carry a heavily discounted rate. Contact us directly and tell us a little about yourself if you are interested in a Community Box! If you are interested in donating to support discounted boxes to make our CSA more affordable and inclusive, you can donate online in our store by clicking here.
will i be able to use all of the vegetables in my box?
We do our best to appropriately size our CSA shares to accommodate different lifestyles, comfort-levels with vegetables, and households. The Peck size, which accommodates 1-2 people, will have one amount of each of the 7-8 items in the box (1 head of lettuce or 1 bunch of beets, for example). The Bushel size, which accommodates 3-4 people, will have two amounts of each of the 7-8 items in the weekly box (2 heads of lettuce or 2 bunches of beets). Although this may sound like a lot of vegetables to some of you, and not enough to others, joining CSA can be a great step in the journey to eating more vegetables! While a Peck size may be a perfect fit for one person who eats a mostly plant-forward diet, the same size may also be perfect for two people who are interested in trying new things and growing into eating more vegetables. Each week, we curate the box to have a variety of leaf, flower, and root crops specific to the season at hand. The CSA box is not only an expression of the seasons but an expression of what grows in our climate, varieties of interest that we, as curious farmers, choose to grow, and a CSA member's vision of what they would like to receive through their own choices each week. In this way, the CSA is curated by both the farm and the members who support it. Our biggest goal for members is that they would never waste a single item in their box throughout the 30 weeks! To help you along the way, we will provide recipes for using each item, or a combination of items, and support you in any way we can in eating more plant-forward, delicious, and inventive meals!
does the csa include work-share?
Our CSA program does not necessitate that members work in the fields as a part of their share in York Farm, but we are always excited and willing to host members to the farm on Saturdays through free, private walking tours and vegetable tastings. CSA members are welcome to send us an email to request a private tour! We are invested in making the farm a more educational and interactive space, which we hope will flourish into hands-on workshops, talks on various related topics, and (maybe even!) poetry readings.
We understand that many CSA members are on busy schedules, which sometimes means they will need to pick up their weekly box after work. For this reason, we pack all of our produce in insulated liners which fit inside the wax boxes. These liners will keep the produce fresh for 24 hours after we pack it. In past seasons, a member, or two, has forgotten to pick up their box until the next day and has told us that the produce was still fresh as if just picked!
how will my produce remain fresh if I'm picking up my box after work?
something has come up and i can't pick up my box this week!
We usually ask that CSA members let us know at least one week in advance if they know they will not be able to pick up their box any week in the season. However, we totally understand that sometimes life happens and you either forget to pick up your box or can't make it until the next day. We ask that as soon as you know you won't be able to pick up your box that you call your respective pick up location, first, to let them know! Then, either call, text, or email to let us know you didn't make it that Friday. Thankfully, all of our locations are open on Saturdays (for varying hours - please check these!) and it would be best to pick up your box as soon as you can the day after it is dropped off. On the following Monday (after the previous Friday drop-off), we have let our pick-up locations know that any leftover boxes are to be taken home by employees or discarded.
what does certified naturally grown mean exactly?
The Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) certification is a grassroots, non-governmental certification which mandates that the farm cannot use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or GMO seeds, just like USDA Certified Organic. The main difference between USDA Organic and CNG is the certification model, which relies on peer inspections, transparency, and direct relationships. Certified Naturally Grown also offers a longer certification period and is less expensive than USDA Organic, which is a deterrent for most farmers already growing organically. Check out the CNG website to learn more: http://www.cngfarming.org
what chicken feed do you use?
We use New Country Organics Whole Layer Feed With Corn, which is produced in Waynesboro, VA. This feed is Certified Organic and minimally processed, which our girls seem to like fine! We pasture and free range our hens, which are commonly used terms in today's shifting climate towards better conditions for chickens. What this means for our flock is simply this: they roost in a space we made in the old barn on the property and during the day, they have free reign on the farm. They go where they please, picking up grass, bugs, and seeds all day long. This is why the yolks are rich orange in color and taste great!
This is the comment we absolutely hope to receive from every CSA member who joins with us! We cannot say how much we are buoyed by the support from real people who work to eat more vegetables, who are open to learning more about small-scale agriculture, and who make the CSA a joyful part of their daily routine! Mostly, we would love to hear from you in any form. Constructive feedback is something that is invaluable to us as farmers, learners, writers, and educators who run a small business. If you could take the time to write to us about your experience with the CSA program (What made CSA shift your thinking? What did you love about it?), we would endlessly appreciate it. Another important way to help enable us to continue to offer the CSA program in future years is to tell your friends and family about your experience with us. Then, sign up with us again! We love CSA and want to refine our program to make it worthwhile to all!