If you find yourself unable to pick up every week, you can take any of the following options. There is no need to notify us if you can’t come during your usual time.
- If you can't make it on your primary pickup day, simply come when you can within any of our designated hours. We ask you to choose a primary day when you sign up, but you’re not obligated to come on that day every time.
- You can skip a week and pick up double the following week any time. In fact, many of our members prefer to pick up on an every-other-week schedule. There are no limits to the number of times you may skip. You can reach back one week into the past to pick up a skipped share along with the current week’s share. Shares over one week old that are not picked up are forfeited.
- Arrange for someone else to pick it up for you. You are responsible for explaining the pickup location and procedures to your substitute. We’ll treat them well and give them assistance once they arrive, of course.
Don’t worry! Our goal is to have the display as full and fresh for the last person as it was for the first. Each crop ebbs and flows throughout the season. We may offer any particular item for several weeks in a row. There is usually a smaller amount of each crop available at the beginning and end of its harvest cycle. Our goal is to have plenty of each crop in the middle of its harvest cycle so that the first and the last member to arrive at pickup could choose to add that crop to his or her basket.
During the beginning and end of the harvest cycle, or if a certain crop never produces as much as expected, the first members to arrive will have the first chance to take these scarce items. From our experience, those members who arrive early will take the limited crops at the beginning of the cycle, but they will move on to something else by the time the crop’s availability is coming to an end, and that gives those members who arrive later a chance to enjoy those crops, too.
The farmer is typically on hand for conversation at all pickups.
|Wednesdays*||4:00-5:30pm||EP True Chiropractic
1905 EP True Pkwy #207 West DM
*Winter hours at E.P. True Chiropractic are 4:30-5:30 (November to May).
The farm address is 33737 H Avenue, Earlham, Iowa.
You may have heard our type of arrangement called CSA or Community Supported Agriculture.
Membership is a direct relationship between our farm and our customers. Rather than simply purchasing food, our customers become “members” of our farm and receive a portion or share of the farm’s harvest.
Joining a CSA can be risky, and it isn't for everyone. Only two things are certain:
- Every year there will be at least one crop we attempt to grow that will fail despite our best efforts. Some years, several crops will fail. Your favorite vegetable may be among them.
- Every year is different. Weather conditions vary widely. Pests come and go. Human error happens. Some years are fantastic, others are not as wonderful.
It is also important to remember that we aren't a grocery store. We don't have every vegetable on display every week. Instead, the variety changes with the local seasons. For a chart showing our best estimate of what we expect to harvest and when, find the colorful page in our 2019 CSA Member Agreement.
Section 2 of our Membership Agreement outlines the concept of shared risk and reward for our CSA members. You can read the parts pertaining to vegetables below. If you're not prepared to take the risk with us, you should not join our CSA. On the other hand, if you're up for adventure and a connection to real life on a farm, you should give it a try!
A. Sharing in the Risk of Crop Failure
We promise to do our best to provide you with a bountiful share each week. The quantity of produce, 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 crop failure, our procedure is as follows:
If the total volume of crops available to be harvested in any particular week is less than the total volume of paid memberships, we will ask members to reduce what they take by a fraction that corresponds with the produce available. (For example, if we only have enough produce to fill 50 large baskets but expect members to pick up the equivalent of 100 large baskets, we’d ask each member to only fill their basket half full.)
Each crop ebbs and flows throughout the season. We may offer any particular for several weeks in a row. There is usually a smaller amount of each crop available at the beginning and end of its harvest cycle. Our goal is to have plenty of each crop in the middle of its harvest cycle so that the first and the last member to arrive at pickup could choose to add that crop to his or her basket. During the beginning and end of the harvest cycle, or if a certain crop never produces as much as expected, the first members to arrive will have the first chance to take these scarce items. From our experience, those members who arrive early will take the scare crops at the beginning of the cycle, but they will move on to something else by the time the crop’s availability is coming to an end, and that gives those members who arrive later a chance to enjoy more of those scare crops.
If a large portion of crops fail, it is possible that we may skip a pickup week altogether.
Our farm is exclusively a CSA farm and all our vegetable production is planned for the CSA. When crops are especially abundant, we will encourage you to take more than what will fit in your share basket. Sometimes we will handle surplus items by marking them as “unlimited”. Even if your share basket is already full, you may take additional items from the designated unlimited items in any quantity. These items are intended for members’ household use only, not for resale. We hope members will utilize these surplus items for off season preservation (canning, freezing, ferments, or dehydrating).
The organic label is designed for farmers who don’t get to interact with their end consumers. The label indicates that the farmer is paying a third party to monitor his or her growing practices. Because most of our members visit the farm every week, they can know first hand how their food is grown by talking directly to us and by seeing the fields for themselves. Therefore, we see certification as an unnecessary expense. If you'd like more specifics, see our growing practices.
If you choose to pay the membership fee in installments, you will pay 1/4 of the total due immediately upon sign up, 1/4 one month after sign up, 1/4 two months after sign up, and the final 1/4 three months after sign up. In other words, you’ll divide your total amount due by four to find the individual payment amounts.
Installment payments must be made by check. Paying in full can be accomplished online with a credit or debit card.
You might think of our farm as a members-only farmer’s market. Instead of paying by the pound or per item, you pay for a membership for a basket size. You get to choose exactly what goes into your basket from any of the produce on display. We typically provide the choice of 9-15 different items each week. Of course we'd love for you to try something new, and we'll provide all the support and encouragement you'd like if you want to experiment with new ways to prepare the harvest. You can find recipe ideas and cooking tips in our weekly emails, on our website, and in our members-only Facebook group.
We grow fairly mainstream crops for the most part, but we like to try new things each year just for fun. The chart below outlines the main crops we hope to harvest and when they may be available. The chart lists broad categories within which we plan to grow multiple varieties. For example, winter squash may include pie pumpkins, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, and butternut, among others.
Herbs are not listed on the chart, but we do grow peppermint, thyme, dill, sage, oregano, basil, and cilantro and make these available at no extra charge to our members. This chart is based on our best estimate, but of course weather, pests, and other events will affect actual production.
Our 90 foot row of heirloom bushes produces strongly for about two weeks in early July and two more weeks in early September. Once we see that the bushes are producing well, we will work with raspberry share members to create a picking schedule. Each member who has purchased a raspberry share will have their own day for picking, usually Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. In the event of severe weather, we may re-arrange the schedule, but always allow for a one day gap between harvests. The time of day for picking is up to you, and you do not need to check in with us before or after picking. Please bring your own containers for picking. We estimate that you could expect approximately 1 to 2 quarts of berries at each picking.
Yes, this is a CSA, which is different from a co-op.
In a co-op, or cooperative, the members are owners of the business and often make management decisions and sometimes work a certain number of hours. Profits are passed on to the members.
In a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) arrangement, customers purchase a membership for a specific period of time with the aim of establishing a direct relationship with the farm. Rather than owning and managing the farm, or simply paying for food, the customers become “members” of the farm and receive a portion or "share" of the farm’s harvest.
You can find everything you want to know about being a member in our Membership Agreement.