How does our CSA work?
At Earth Spring we offer a simple way for people to receive fresh, local produce while supporting a small local family farm. Members who buy a share of the harvest will receive a weekly box of seasonally available vegetables. Starting in June and going thru October we harvest, pack and deliver your boxes to drop points in your neighborhood. When the produce is ready to pick on our farm then you will see it in your box that week... you ride the harvest with us! Here's what to expect...
Spring: lettuces, kales, collards, carrots, radish, beets, broccoli, peas
Summer: tomatoes, beans, squash, peppers, onions, garlic, eggplants, corn, potatoes, cucumbers
Fall: winter squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, greens, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, arugula, broccoli
How much does it cost?
Small Share (Pennsylvania)- $400 ($425 starting May 1st)
Large Share (Pennsylvania)- $500 ($525 starting May 1st)
Small Share (Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia)- $500 ($525 starting May 1st)
Large Share (Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia)- $600 ($625 starting May 1st)
What is included in the price of my CSA share?
When you sign up for a membership you have the choice of a Small or Large vegetable share (click here for prices). This includes getting one box of produce every week for 20 weeks from June through October. If you signed up during a promotional season and received “free box”, note that the “free box” is included in the 20 weeks (i.e., you paid for 19 weeks and will get a box for 20 weeks). Fruit, eggs, cheese, and possibly meat can also be purchased and delivered with your weekly vegetable box... these however are EXTRA and are NOT included in the price of your CSA share. For more information scroll down on this page to the question "Are there other options in addition to vegetables?" or visit our Product Descriptions and Prices pages.
When does the 2013 CSA Season begin and end?
The 2013 Season will begin the week of June 11th and continue for 20 weeks through the week of October 22nd continue for 20 weeks through late October/early November.
What day will I receive my box?
For the 2013 Season, we anticipate the following delivery schedule...
Tuesdays: PA Drop Points (1st box=June 11, last box=Oct 22)
Wednesdays: DC Drop Points (1st box=June 12, last box=Oct 23)
Thursdays: VA and MD Drop Points (1st box=June 13, last box=Oct 24)
If these days change we will let you know.
How do deliveries work?
We deliver the boxes each week on the same day to specific delivery points near to your home or work. In order to determine where the drop off points are located we look at where the membership is concentrated and look for places that we can drop off the boxes in a weather -protected space that members can pick it up. Drop points an be someone's home, place of work, or a safe public space like a church, yoga center or community meeting place. Each drop point will have a time window in which the produce must be picked up. You must arrive at your drop point on the right day and within the right time frame and then pick up your correct size box, go home and start eating!
The boxes are pre-sorted and everything is in there! PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU TAKE THE RIGHT SIZE BOX… there are 2 sizes- Small and Large… please take the correct size! This is all on the honor system. If you also have a Fruit Share, you will have to pick your fruit out of a wooden bin… there will be a sign that tells you how many pieces of fruit to take (that will also be in the newsletter each week). If you have an Egg Share, or ordered cheese or meat, it will be in a cooler at the drop point. If you forget what size box you get, whether or not you have a fruit or egg share, and whether or not you ordered cheese or meat, no worries! Each week there will be a list of each member and what items you should take. Please check your name when you pick up your items! For additional “Drop Point Procedures” visit our Drop Points page.
For more details on deliveries please see questions below.
How often are boxes delivered?
The boxes are delivered once a week on the same day for 20 weeks (see above question for start date).
What time will my box arrive at my drop point?
We start deliveries in the morning and continue until deliveries for that day are complete. We deliver the boxes to the drop points in the same order every week. Therefore, while we can’t give you an exact time when your boxes will be at your drop point every week we will have a good idea of a time frame for each drop point once we get through the first couple of weeks. Also, every week we will send you an email when your box has arrived at your drop point.
How long do I have to pick up my box on delivery day?
We will send you an email when your box has arrived at your drop point every week. You will have until 8pm that day to pick up your box, unless you have made other arrangements with the host. Please be respectful of our drop point hosts… please do not call or email them to ask when/if your box has arrived as they do not know anymore about delivery times than our regular members… again we will be sending you an email when your box has arrived. Also please understand that many of our drop points are on the porch of a home… that is why we ask that you pick up your box by 9pm to respect the privacy of their home (and, for example, to not have their dog bark at someone coming to their home at 10pm!). [Note that private buisness drop points may have a different window of time in which you can pick up your box- you will get this information at the start of the season.] If your box is not picked up by 9pm the day of delivery it becomes the property of the host (along with any fruit, eggs, cheese, or meat that has not picked up). If you are running late one week, please contact the host as early in the day as possible, or contact us and we will contact the host.
How fresh can I expect my produce to be?
All of the produce is picked within a day or two of your delivery day so you can be sure it is fresh!
Is the produce in my box treated with chemicals?
No! We have been using all organic practices since the farm started in 2010, though we are not currently "Certified Organic".
Why do we grow without harmful chemicals?
The answer is simple - it's the best for all of us! There is no better food source than that which is grown using growing practices that minimize our impact on the planet while maximizing output from the farm.
At Earth Spring, as with so many other farms who use non-conventional practices, we are keenly interested in good soil health. Healthy soils are the backbone of the farm and from them we can expect healthy plants that are free from pests and disease. The healthier the soils the less work we have to do in the season dealing with harmful bugs and disease.
Our food system in this country is a wreck! We have become used to and dependent on a few crops to provide us with most of the staples in our diets as well as the diets of our animals and even our fish! (Ahem, corn)
Large corporate farms and big business have tried to monopolize our food choices and reduce the diversity of crops that we eat. Corn, soy & wheat dominate our diets. Supporting local farms that grow a diversity of crops helps us all to improve our diets while expanding the multitude of food choices available in the world.
What can I expect in the box each week?
Each weekly box will have seasonal fresh vegetables. In other words, when the produce is ready to harvest on the farm then it will be in your box that week. You ride the harvest with us. We grow a wide variety of crops we have a nice choice for you in the box each week. If one crop does poorly in the field then we know we can rely on another to do replace it. Diversity at its best.
Early in the season (mid to late May) you will have a lot of fresh greens like lettuce, kale, collards, spinach, radishes, peas, and broccoli. As the season progresses you can expect beans, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, basil, peppers, carrots, beets, garlic, swiss chard, potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and winter squash like butternut, acorn and pumpkins. Visit our Product Descriptions page for examples from previous years.
Each week you will receive a newsletter telling you what to expect in the box, as well as some recipes you might want to try!
* NEW FOR 2013! In our 2012 End-of-Season Survey (click HERE for results and click HERE for a summary), members suggested we give more produce per item, with less diversity in a box (not less diversity throughout the season!). For example, instead of getting 3 beets, you'd get 6 so you can make a nice little side dish with them. Or instead of getting 2 sweet peppers for two weeks in a row, get 4 or 5 one week so you can make a recipe liked stuffed peppers, and don't get any the following week. Because of this change, you'll notice we modified the # of items per box for each size on our Product Description page. You'll still be getting the same amount of produce overall, but you'll have more of certain items, and less different types of produce. If this is unclear let us know!
Are there other options in addition to vegetables?
Yes! We do offer options for other food from local PA farms to our CSA Members, including fruit, eggs, cheese, and possibly meat. Visit our Product Descriptions and Prices pages fro more details on these products!
Fruit such as berries and trees take 2 to 4 years to establish. Therefore, until our fruit is established on the farm, we will be working with local Pennsylvania orchards to provide fruit as an option (this is not included in your share price- it is extra). Fruit can be purchased as an extra option for the length of the season (i.e., fruit must be purchased for the entire season, not on a weekly basis). The fruit share price includes getting 1 quart of fruit (with the exception of blueberries which are in pints) per week. Each quart will be one type of fruit (i.e., it will not be a quart of mixed fruit). See the Product Descriptions page for an approximate schedule below for an idea of what you may be getting throughout the season.
Eggs from pasture-raised chickens can be purchased as an extra option for the length of the season (i.e., Egg Shares must be purchased for the entire season, not on a weekly basis). Options include 1 dozen/week, 1 dozen/2 weeks, 1 dozen/month. Egg Share prices are based on $5/dozen.
Cheese is an option that can be purchased as "extra". While fruit and eggs are options that must be purchased for the season, cheese is an option that can be purchased weekly. Cheese orders are delivered weekly. Your order will have to be the week prior to when you want it delivered with your box of produce, and it must be ordered through this website. The approximately 1/2 lb blocks are $6-7/block and may include varieties such as baby swiss, garlic & herb, chives & dill, sharp chedadr, smoked sharp cheddar, havarti, monterey jack, pepper jack, and goat cheeses.
Meat is an option that can be purchased as "extra". While fruit and eggs are options that must be purchased for the season, meat is an option that can be purchased bi-weekly. Meat orders are delivered twice a month. Your order will have to be the week prior to when you want it delivered with your box of produce, and it must be ordered through this website. Pastured chicken options wil include whole broilers, boneless breasts, and legs/thighs. Pastured pork options will include sausages (chorizo, Lincolnshire, sweet Italian, hot Italian), bratwurst, chops, ribs, and shoulder roasts. Grassfed beef options will include delmonico steak, sirloin steak, New York strip steak, chuck roast, and ground beef.
Is there a way to get additional produce from Earth Spring Farm?
Yes! If you start with a small box and would like to upgrade to a large box in the beginning of the season, send us an email.
You can also visit us at one of our markets or farm stands if you would like to pick up additional produce. Visit our Markets page for more info.
You can also give the gift of fresh local organically-grown produce by purchasing Gift Certificates that can either be redeemed for a CSA box during the season or at markets. For more information or to place an order please visit our Gift Certificates page.
Can I make changes to my membership before or during the season?
There is a feature on our website that allows you to make changes to your membership—with limitations. For example, you can make changes to your address, phone #, email, and can add contact info if there are people sharing your box by clicking here. If you already signed up for a CSA membership and want to add a Fruit or Egg Share you can do so by clicking here (however, once the season starts you have to send us an email if you want to add a Fruit or Egg Share- you will not be able to do that yourself at that point). If you want to change the size box you signed up for, or change your drop point, you will have to send us an email at email@example.com- you cannot do that yourself.
Can I make an online payment to my account?
If you originally signed up to make payments by check, and want to make a full or partial payment online, you can click here to make an online payment.
I can't remember what size share I signed up for...
I want to check my balance...
How do I do that?
You can request an automated email that will give you an update on your membership status by clicking here.