CSA Member Agreement & Guidelines
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between the farmer and you with both of us sharing some of the risks, as well as the bounty, of the farm. This agreement outlines our shared commitments.
Section 1. Red Shirt Farm (RSF) CSA
A. RSF's Growing Practices
RSF is not certified organic; however, our farming practices meet or exceed the national organic standards. We do not use synthetic chemical herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers. In fact, we do not even use organically certifed pesticides because of the danger to native pollinators. We use minimal tillage, cover crops, mulch and compost to preserve and enhance soil structure and health. In addition, we are committed to being a 100% transparent farm. We welcome our members, and anyone else, to visit and take a tour of the farm.
B. Products included in a share
The following is a list of some of the produce we expect during the year. This list is not all-inclusive, as we grow many different types of vegetables and it is based on our best estimate. Weather, pests and other events will affect actual production and thus the variety and quantity of produce provided.
June: Asian greens, arugula, baby lettuce, beets, broccoli raab, cauliflower, chard, garlic scapes, kale, peas, radishes, rhubarb, scallions, spinach and turnips.
July & August: Beets, carrots, cucumbers, egg plant, garlic, green beans, lettuce, melon, peppers (hot & sweet), potatoes, summer squash, tomatoes, and zucchini.
September & October: Beets, brussels sprouts, carrots, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, potatoes, radishes, rutagabaga, turnips and winter squash.
Culinary herbs and flowers are available as u-pick throughout the season. Peas and beans are also u-pick.
RSF offers eggs and chicken for sale, though they are not included as part of your CSA Membership. When there is a surplus of an item suitable for canning or freezing (e.g. tomatoes, beans or basil), those items will be available as an additional purchase.
C. CSA Membership
Members will receive a weekly share of vegetables. The CSA season for members with Full and Partial shares runs from early June to late October. The season for Summer-Only shares runs from early June to the end of August.
Members are responsible for picking up shares each week at RSF. More detailed information about share pickups is described below.
Splitting Shares: CSA shares represent a substantial portion of our farm income and we encourage you to purchase the share size that meet your household's needs. A Full Share is perfect for a small family who eats a normal amount of vegetables or a couple who enjoys a vegetable-centric diet. A Partial Share will meet the produce needs of 1-2 adults. We ask that two separate households each buy a Partial Share rather than splitting a Full Share. However, if you are a single person who can't eat all the vegetables in a Partial Share, by all means, split the share with another person. If you do split a share, we need to know with whom you are sharing. You are responsible for how the share will be divided and we prefer one payment for both parties.
Combining Shares: Large families or those who eat a lot of vegetables may want to purchase multiple shares. You may combine shares in any permutation you choose—multiple Full shares, multiple Partial shares, or a combination of Full and Partial shares.
No work commitment required: Unlike some CSA's, we do not require that you work as part of your membership. However, we do welcome volunteers for tasks like weeding or harvesting garlic and potatoes. If you do want to volunteer, we ask that you call ahead and schedule so we are available to work with you or get you started on the task.
Section 2. Sharing the risk of crop failure
We promise to do our best to provide you with a bountiful share each week. We use irrigation, row cover, integrated pest management and other sustainable practices to minimize the risk of crop loss. Despite these efforts, the quantity of produce may vary from week to week and season to season due to extreme weather, insects or other production factors. By joining our CSA, you are agreeing to share the risk of crop failure with us and other members.
Section 3. Picking up your share
You are responsible for picking up your share each week at RSF during the specified day and time that you choose—either Wednesdays from 5:00pm–8:00pm or Saturdays from 9:00–noon.
We encourage you to bring your own bags, boxes or cooler to carry your vegetables home. However, we do supply recycled plastic shopping bags in case you forget your own.
B. Unable to pick up share
If you are unable to pick up your share, please give us as much advanced notice as possible—ideally, at least 24 hours. You then have the following options:
- You may have someone else pick up your share. Please let us know who will be coming in your place.
- If you can come the following day, we will put your share in a labeled bin in the walk-in cooler and you may pick it up then. We can do this on occasion but prefer not to make it a habit.
- With at least 24 hours notice, you may switch your pick-up day to the alternate day (either Wednesday or Saturday). We prefer that you pick one day and stick with it, but we can accommodate occasional changes.
- You may pick up a "double share" the preceding or following week; however, members often find that the y cannot use all of the vegetables
C. Switching Pick-up Day
Pickups are on Wednesdays from 5:00-8:00pm and Saturdays from 9:00am-noon. We ask that you pick a day and try to stay with that day throughout the season. If you need to change your day one week, we ask that you give us as much notice as possible, but at least one day in advance. If you realize that the day you chose is not working out and need to change your pickup day permanently, just let us know and we'll make the switch. What we want to avoid is frequent changes back and forth between days.
D. Early arrival
You are welcome to come early and enjoy the farm—visit the animals and pick flowers and herbs or just relax in the shade. However, the distribution area will not be ready for you to get your vegetables until the appointed start time: 5:00pm on Wednesday and 9:00am on Saturday.
E. No weather cancellations
Pickup will happen rain or shine; it will not be cancelled due to inclement weather.
Section 4: Safety & Logistics
We have a single lane driveway. Please drive slowly. If there is a car coming in the opposite direction feel free to pull over onto the grass.
Perpendicular parking is available on the grass off to the side of the driveway by the house. Please make sure that you are not blocking anyone’s exit. Exercise caution when backing out.
C. Farm hazards
We do our best to minimize risks to you and your family when you are visiting; however, we are a working farm and it is impossible to eliminate all hazards.
- Uneven ground: Please exercise caution when walking around the farm—especially in the lower field where there may be potholes, slippery grass or other tripping hazards.
- Electric fence: We use electric fence to contain our animals and protect them from predators. We try to turn off all sections before CSA pickup; however, to avoid an unpleasant jolt you should assume that all fence is “hot” and don’t touch it without asking first.
- Farm animals: We raise chickens, turkeys and pigs throughout the season. They are fascinating to watch and we encourage you to do so. However, we ask that you do not feed them, pet them or enter their enclosures unless one of the farm staff is present.
- Farm equipme nt: Please do not climb on, operate or move any farm equipment or tools.
Visiting RSF is a wonderful experience for the entire family and we feel that every child should be able to see how their food is grown and how farm animals are raised. We try to make RSF as family friendly as possible; however, as outlined above, there are potential hazards for children. Please supervise your children at all times. If you have older children, please discuss these guidelines with them. When time permits, we enjoy taking the kids on tours of the farm—remind your kids that you or a farm staff member must be with them at all times whenever they leave the distribution area.
We love dogs and have one of our own. However, there are many animals on the farm as well as other CSA members and their children who may not be as comfortable around dogs. We ask you to assess your own dog—if s/he is very well-behaved around animals, adults and children, you may bring him/her to the farm. Your dog must be on a leash and restrained by you at all times. If s/he he gets overly excited by all the farm stimulation, we ask that you return your dog to your car.
Section 5. Payment
A. Deposit and payment schedule
By selling membership in advance of the growing season, CSA reduces the burden of up-front costs for the farmer. Your membership fees provide us with capital to purchase seed and equipment before the season starts, and we appreciate your commitment.
All shares require a non-refundable $100 deposit for us to hold your spot. The balance is due by May 1.
We feel strongly that everyone should have access to the nutritious food that we grow at RSF and we will work with those in financial need to make this possible. We offer payment plans for those on limited budgets. We provide subsidized shares through the Share the Bounty program. We accept SNAP and HIP benefits. Please contact us to discuss the options if you (or someone you know who would like to join our CSA)
B. Cancellation and Refund policy
A 2-week trial period is offered to confirm suitability, as we understand a CSA Membership is not for everyone and every situation. If in the first two weeks you decide to cancel your RSF CSA membership, we will give a prorated refund minus the $100 non-refundable deposit. Please allow two to four weeks for your refund.
Section 5. Communication
The best way to communicate with us is via email. Our general email inbox is firstname.lastname@example.org If you prefer to call, our phone is (413) 822-9250. We will do our best to respond within 24 hours. Please contact us with any news of the following: changes to your postal or email address, any week(s) you are unable to pick up your share, dissatisfaction with your share or anything else you would like us to know.
We will communicate with you by email. When you sign up, you will be added to our distribution list, which we will use to communicate important information about our CSA and farm events. Every week, we will email a newsletter giving you information about the crops available, recipe ideas, photos (when available) and other farm related news.
Though unlikely, RSF reserves the right to change any part of this Membership Agreement & Guidelines document. I understand that RSF will contact me via email in advance of any changes to this agreement.