The Tipsy Toad Grove CSA is back!
In 2014 we ran a small veggie box program as part of our first year of farming. It was a great success, but involved a lot of travel time, as most of our customers were in Halifax. As a result, we decided to try selling at farmers markets instead, and we’ve done just that for the past two years. Last year we sold a handful of veggie boxes to happy customers, as well as selling at market. Having tried both ways of selling, we’ve come to the conclusion that the CSA model suits us the best, so once again we’re offering shares in the products our farm produces for 2018.
What is CSA?!?
CSA stand for Community Supported (or Shared) Agriculture. It’s kind of like crowd source funding for farmers but you get stuff as a result. The premise is simple – a farmer sells CSA shares at the beginning of the production season and then members of the CSA get deliveries of whatever is fresh and available each week. Each CSA is as unique as the farm that offers it, varying in price, products, and duration.
We are keeping our CSA small again this year. We would rather offer our customers nice full boxes of quality produce than feel stretched to fill an unreasonable amount of shares. This will allow us to grow a wider variety of fruits, herbs and veggies in small quantities so that you’re not getting the same thing week after week. Our CSA will, on occasion, also include goat milk products such as our wonderful soaps, as well as preserves.
How Does it Work?
Each CSA share will include 20 weeks of delivery, beginning around the end of May (actual start time will be determined by the weather and deliveries may start slightly earlier or later depending on when we’re able to get seeds in the ground). The contents of your CSA box will vary from week to week as produce becomes ready to harvest. Boxes will be delivered to a central pick up spot in the Kingston / Greenwood area on two different days each week, so members can choose the pickup time that is most convenient for them. Once our members have signed up we will try to choose delivery times that suit them. Home delivery may also be possible between Wilmot and Coldbrook.
What are the Benefits?
- Tipsy Toad Grove products are guaranteed to be free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Our happy pastured animals provide the stuff that makes our produce grow. We grow things the hard way… no sprays allowed. Our eggs and goat milk products come from animals who enjoy real grass and the freedom to move… critters living the way they’re meant to.
- You’ll receive a different box every week. Participating in a CSA is an easy way to ensure that you’re eating the freshest food at the time it’s locally in season. That’s good for you and for the planet. We ripen on the vine, not in a truck driving across the continent.
- Support local farmers (that’s us!) and pump money into the local economy. You’ll be able to ask us how things are grown, what varieties we produce, and you’ll have a real connection to your food.
- Learn how to cook and enjoy produce you may never have experienced before. We’ll update our website frequently with cooking suggestions and recipes for the items in your box.
- We will hold a farm visit day for our members where you can come see how we do things, meet the animals, and pick your own CSA box, if you so desire. You will also receive an invite to our annual pig roast, usually held in August or September.
What Can I Expect?
- Each box will give you some of whatever we have each week – a combination of some or all of vegetables, fruits, fresh herbs, goat milk products, and preserves . You can also purchase eggs as part of your CSA. Some weeks may be a little sparse but others will be abundant, based on the growing season. You can expect your box to grow as the season does.
- Delivery to a central location in Kingston / Greenwood, or to your home. We will deliver two days a week and we’ll poll our shareholders about which days are best before we determine what those days and times will be. We are also offering home delivery between Wilmot and Coldbrook.
- Healthy, fresh produce guaranteed. That said, we are not adverse to “ugly” vegetables and we ask our customers to embrace them, too. You will never receive produce that is rotten, old, or unpalatable in any way. The fact that we grow without sprays does mean that sometimes you’ll get a cabbage with a few holes or a 3-legged carrot. For more about “ugly” produce, and why we think it’s important to promote its acceptance, please read this.
- Although we grow a wide variety of items, we can’t possibly grow everything. Occasionally you may receive something in your box that was grown at another farm (for example, cranberries or corn). Rest assured that if we do include something we didn’t grow it will be sourced from a farm using the same practices we use. It will also be labeled with the grower’s name and location so that you know where it came from.
What if I go on vacation or move? Can I pay weekly instead of up front?
Your CSA share is more than a produce purchase – it’s a show of support for a healthy local food production system and it helps us to offer good clean food at a reasonable price. When we fill our subscriptions we are asking you to commit for the season so that we can plan to grow appropriate quantities. This year we are offering a couple of different payment plans to our customers so that you can pay monthly instead of all at once, if you choose. We will ask for a small non-refundable deposit to reserve your subscription so that we know our customers are committed when we order seeds for the season. That deposit will be deducted from your final payment if you choose to pay monthly, or when your season payment is made if you’re paying for the whole thing.
If you have to miss a week or two, we’d appreciate it if you could try to find a friend who’d take over the share that you can’t enjoy. We will not be able to offer refunds on any portion of the share that you are unable to use, so if you have to drop out of the program we would encourage you to try and find someone willing to purchase your remaining weeks from you. We will contact you by email each week to remind you of your scheduled pick up or delivery. If you miss the pick up or are unavailable to accept delivery we will donate the contents of your box that week to a local food bank.
What if I don’t like some of the items in my box?
One of the joys of a CSA box is the opportunity to try new and sometimes interesting things. As a former veggie hater I can tell you first hand that having fresh produce makes a world of difference to how tasty it can be. That said, not everyone likes everything. We will keep our website stocked with yummy ideas for the items you receive, but if you just can’t stand to look a potato in the eye, please try to swap for another item with someone at pick up.
What does it cost?
The CSA will include one delivery per week for a total of 20 weeks. Each weeks’ box is priced at $20. A discount of 10% is applied for customers who choose to pay the full season in advance
- Monthly payments: Number of deliveries in the month x $20 (total of $400 over the full season)
- Full Season payment: $360 ($400 minus 10% discount of $40)
- Pastured eggs: $4/dozen, as available
A Non-refundable deposit of $30 is due at time you reserve your CSA. The first monthly payment or payment in full is due on the first day of delivery.
Sign me up – I want to support ethical and sustainable local food production!
We are offering 12 CSA shares for 2018 on a first come first serve basis. A non-refundable deposit of $30 will be required to hold your spot. We can accept payment by e-transfer or Paypal.
Please email Sue@tipsytoadgrove.com for answers to any questions you may have.