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CSA FAQ

 

JOINING / MEMBERSHIP/ ACCOUNTS

How do I join?
Click the CSA DESCRIPTION tab to verify that we are open for new members, and if so, go to the SIGN UP tab and let us know you're interested. We will contact you about what happens next ... usually meaning placing a trial order.  You are always welcome to stop by the farm truck in advance so you can meet us, talk to other CSA members, check out the produce, location and ask questions.

How can I find out what my account balance is?
Once a member, your account balance is posted online under MY ACCOUNT in the store and you can check your balance at any time. If you look while the store is open, you can access your account from the top black header bar. If it's during the week when the store is set to show produce but not allow orders, you'll have to go to the bottom of the page to sign in to check your balance.

Can I review past orders?
We wish you could. That was one of our hopes with our 2014 store rebuild, but it hasn't worked out that way. Every week when we're done with processing orders, we need to archive them to get them out of the work area of the back end of the store or it gets totally cluttered, but archiving them wipes them out of your account record also. Poor design, but we can't undo the code. If you want to know about something you ordered in a recent week, just go back and check your order confirmation email from that week.

How long is the CSA season?
We are a year-round CSA. Keep ordering until you use up your balance. If you want to continue after you use up your balance (as about 90% of our members do), re-ups are $100, $200 or $300 (your choice, cash, check or credit card) and keep ordering!

How long does my CSA membership last if I don’t order for a long time?
Membership is tied to account balance and indefinite, as long as you order at least once every 12 months. If you go AWOL that long, we email you a reminder and then, if we don’t get an order or hear back from you within 30 days, your account is closed and any balance forfeited. This has evolved as dozens of people "disappear" every year without any communication with us and we don't know if they're still in our CSA or not.

ORDERING / MISSING ORDERS

Do I have to order every week?
No. Order only when you want an order on that Saturday.

Can I just place a standing order?
No. We require you to tell us (via placing an order) what you want on the weeks that you want it.

Do you have a "traditional" CSA box option where the farm chooses the contents?
No. We tried it for 10 years and couldn't afford the planning time and the unsold produce when we reserved a certain amount for the box and then people didn't order it.

Is there a limit to how much or how little I can order in any given week?
No. A lot or a little, it’s up to you. If you forget to order something the first time you're in the store, you can go back and place a second order or hope we have it at the truck on Saturday and just sign for it there. (Or sing for it, if you're good!)

Can I cancel my order if something else comes up for Saturday?
Only in cases of emergency. If you place an order, you take that produce out of our store inventory so no one else can buy it, and we lose our chance to sell it. Have someone else come and pick it up for you, or for them, or tell us to hold it until the following trip to town when you can collect it.

When and where do I pick up my order?
The location is our white delivery truck along Columbia Road near 18th. (Note that the other vegetable farm at the market also has a white truck where they hand out CSA orders. Ours says “STAR HOLLOW FARM” on the cab doors and a big roll-up canopy over the side door, which the other does not.) Pick-up hours are 9 AM – 1 PM.

When I shop at the truck can I have it debited from my CSA account?
Yes! So if you forget to order something you really wanted, or you didn’t order at all because you thought you’d be out of town, come on by the truck, where Randy brings along extras of some items.

What if I don’t pick up my order?
We bring it back to the farm. Depending on the temperature, it may or may not still be usable (most items usually are, except during very hot or very cold Saturdays). If you email us by the Tuesday evening after, (3 days), telling us you still want your box, we’ll bring it back the next time we come. By Wednesday morning, we're filling up the cooler with the current week's produce and we rapidly run out of room, and unclaimed boxes are eliminated.

If I miss the ordering time slot, can I call in or email you my order?
No. No phone orders, no email orders, no standing orders. Get your order placed in the store during its open hours or come to the truck, shop, and have your purchase debited from your account. Late orders don't work for us.

FARM VISITS / WORK

Can I visit the farm?
Certainly! Our "open farm" event date is usually in early August. Or, if you find yourself in the area, call or email and set up a visit!

Do I have to do a work share at your farm like some CSAs do?
No. Our farm 100 miles from DC and that would be a long ride to work.

LEAVING THE DISTRICT

I'm leaving DC and wonder what I can do with my remaining balance?
There are no refunds. Place big orders until you leave, order a bunch of non-perishables to take with you or give friends, transfer your balance to an existing member or donate the remainder to the CSA. Lots of other possibilities have been proffered by departing members, but limit yourself to the ones we listed, please.


[Photo] CSA member boxes in our packing shed.

 


[Photo] CSA member boxes in our truck on Saturday morning in the winter.

 




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