Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions we receive in our CSA.
When does the CSA begin?
In 2017, we plan to start the week of June 11-17. This will continue for 18 weekly deliveries. There will be one week that we will skip box delivery so that we can go away on vacation (usually around the 4th of July). The final week of distribution is scheduled to be October 15-21.
How much does it cost?
To join our CSA you must purchase a vegetable membership. You can choose from a half vegetable share ($385) or a full share ($720). After that, you have the choice to add on other types of shares such as a fruit share ($385), coffee share ($226), egg share ($82), or a cheese share ($200). Half shares are also available for coffee shares ($113) and egg shares ($41) — this means you receive the product every other week instead of every week.
Should I get a half share or a full share?
If you are new to the CSA, we recommend getting the half share priced at $385. The majority of our customers use this size. If you know you consume a LOT of vegetables or you like to store things away for the winter, then choose the full share for $720. The full share is exactly twice the amount of veggies as the half share.
Do I get to pick out what I want each week for my box?
Yes and no. The “core” box is pre-packed for you at our packing house. This usually consists of 5 base items that you would consider staples as well as our featured veggie of the week. After you claim your box, you then have the chance to take whatever you want from our “extras” bins. We bring lots of extra crates of other veggies to help you mix and match a box that pushes you to try new things.
What is going to be in my box each week?
To help answer this, please visit this link to our Vegetable Harvest Calendar. This PDF gives you a good idea of our plan for what will go into your box each week. This is not 100% accurate since we can’t “force” Mother Nature to have exactly what we want on a set date. But it gives you a rough idea of when certain veggies are in season, and how often we hope to give you them.
Is everything in my box certified organic?
It matters to us that we are completely transparent about how we grow our food. All our vegetables are grown using organic practices. Last summer, our farm became USDA certified organic. This means you can feel really good about the healthiness of your food from our farm. There are occasions when we “buy in” vegetables from other farms — for products that are cost-prohibitive to grow (for instance green beans). When we do this, we always purchase them from other certified organic growers. And we will let you know when we do so you can know who the farmer was that provided that product.
Please note: our fruit share and our sweet corn are not organic. This sweet corn is bought in from our parents David and Cindy Bench, and it is a non-GMO variety. However, conventional pesticides and herbicides are used.
What if I go on vacation and have to miss my box pick-up. Can I switch my pick up date?
Yes. In order to do this, you must give us 7 days notice. With 400 members, our packing system cannot handle changes at the last minute. If you have to miss the whole week, we do not credit your account or hold your box until the following week. In those cases, we ask that you would designate a friend to pick up your box for you and benefit from or store your share. If you do not arrive to pick up your share and you do not notify us in time, your box will flow into the food bank associated with that site, and someone will greatly benefit from your share.
I was late to my pick-up site and I missed my box. Can I get it later?
If you are able to reach us via text or phone prior to the site closing, we can hold your box and take it back to our farm, where you can pick it up within 24 hours. If you fail to contact us before we close the site, your box will be donated to a food bank associated with that site upon our departure.
We donate our unused produce to “Food for Thought,” the food pantry at Grace United Methodist Church in Perrysburg, specific local needy families in Elmore, or the JFS Food Pantry.
Can I send someone else to pick up my box if I can’t be there?
Yes! If you cannot pick up your share yourself, simply send a substitute! All they have to do is give us your name. Your substitute will not be allowed to take home the actual container – just the produce inside. So tell them to bring some bags to transfer the produce into.
We offer a money-back guarantee. If you are for any reason dissatisfied with your membership and wish to cancel, or if you have to move out of the area and cannot continue your share, please communicate this as early as you can. We will arrange a refund on a pro-rated basis.
How do I pay?
We ask you to pay a deposit of 50% down once you sign up. The remaining balance can be sent to us before June 1. You can send us both checks — pro-rated for the date you want us to cash them. You can also pay via cash or ACH bank check.
Do you take credit card payments?
Sorry, no. We used to, but those credit card fees were killing us! Payment can be made via check, cash, or ACH bank check.
Where to Send Your Payment
Full payment is due by June 1st. Mail your check (made out to Shared Legacy Farms) to 3701 S. Schultz Portage Rd, Elmore, OH 43416.
What are the risks of joining your CSA?
As a member, you share in the abundance of our harvest, as well as in the risks that come with farming. We cannot stress this part enough! Although we have learned how to avoid or manage around most problems, it is likely that in any given year Mother Nature may throw us a curve-ball, and we may lose a crop to drought, flooding, disease, bugs, hail, or other acts of God. This may mean that you will not receive that particular affected crop for that season.
How will I know what’s in my box each week?
Each Sunday, we will email you the contents of your box for that week, along with your newsletter. This list is usually about 75% accurate, but there are almost always changes, especially since we have multiple harvest nights. This list will include reminders about where to store each veggie, common uses for that veggie, and whether you can freeze it.
Where and when do I pick up my share each week?
Elmore Customers: Tuesday, 5:30-6:30 PM Our farm is located at 3701 S. Schultz Portage Rd, Elmore, OH 43416. Drive down the long ¼ mile driveway to the big red barn and park your car. Due to the large number of people at this site, we are experiencing some parking congestion. We ask you to pull around the turn-around, then park facing the road on the right side of our driveway, before you get out to pick up your veggies. Then customers that come behind you can fill in as needed. Once you arrive and park, come find your share in the packing shed, which is the slightly smaller barn next to the big red one. We will be there to greet you and swap your boxes.
Sylvania JFS customers: Tuesday, 5:30-6:30 PM — Park your cars in the NE Parking Lot of Temple Congregation Shomer Emunim, (adjacent to Jewish Family Services), at 6453 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania, OH 43560.Our tent will be located on the sidewalk/parking lot outside the side of the building.
Port Clinton Customers: Wednesday, 6-6:30 PM — Sutton Center parking lot; 1848-1856 E Perry St, Port Clinton, OH 43452
Grace United Methodist Church, Perrysburg: Thursday, 4:30-6:30 PM — This site happens at the same time as the Perrysburg Farmer’s Market, so you can zoom in, grab your items and continue on to the market. We are in the large, wide-open parking lot of the church adjacent to the park. Look for our tent, trailer, and tables! This is a very secure location with no traffic or congestion (you can even leave your kids in the car while you jump out and grab your share). There will be a Shared Legacy Staff member to assist you.
Toledo-Farmer’s Market customers: Saturday, 9-10 am – We are usually on one of the side alleys.
How do you communicate with me during the season?
Via EMAIL: We do all our primary communication via email – usually on Sunday evenings when we send our newsletter. But you will also receive an additional email during the week to remind you of pick up. If you do not check email, we fear you will be “out of the loop,” and may not have as positive a CSA experience.
Please be sure to put us in your address book, so we don’t end up in your SPAM folder. And if you ever stop getting weekly newsletters from us, then something is wrong! Email us so we can figure out what’s gone awry.
Via Facebook Private Member Group: We provide weekly tutorials and video training in our private Facebook group which is for members only. A lot of group interaction occurs here between members as they share advice and tips for making the most of your box.
Via Instagram: We are also on Instagram @slfarms2.
Via Website: All important news is also posted on our website www.SharedLegacyFarms.com, including our weekly recipe meal plans. Members also have access to a “hidden” resource library of vegetable ebooks and video tutorial links.
Picking Up Your Box — How It Works
When you arrive at your site,
- Check in with the staff member holding the clipboard, and give them your customer name. Our list will contain your complete order for that week, including anything extra you may have purchased through the online store.
- The staff person will give you your share(s) – vegetable, fruit, coffee, cheese, or egg share.
- Starting on the second week, give back the bins from the prior week to the staff person. (If you forget your bin, we will make a note of it on our clipboard, and you will have to transfer your produce from the new bin into your own containers/bags. You will NOT be allowed to take home the actual plastic bin that week – just the produce. Then just bring your tote the next week).
- Add additional produce from the “Extras” bins, following the instructions on the bin labels.
- If you have a half share, you will receive that share every other week. Members are assigned either A or B week. A members receive the half share on odd numbered weeks of the season, and B members receive it on the even-numbered weeks of the 18 weeks season.
How do I know what to do with the veggies you give me?
One of the strengths of our CSA is teaching you how to cook the CSA way. We have developed a roadmap to CSA success, based on research of our CSA “Masters.” This roadmap will be shared with you during the season to guide you to becoming confident in the kitchen. You’ll learn the checklist of basic cooking techniques you need to master, what kitchen tools are a must for CSA success, how to store your produce to keep it from spoiling, how to curate your recipe collection, and common vegetable “exit strategies” if you get overwhelmed with too much of a good thing.
We also have a CSA coach and dietitian on staff named Cadie Jardin who researches recipes for you each week. Cadie provides you with 2 tracks for meal plans each week, using the veggies from your box. One is a simple and quick meal plan — using few ingredients and simple techniques. The other is for those who love to experiment and work with more unusual ingredients. Cadie does a weekly unpacking of the box on Facebook LIVE and she even give ideas on whether you can freeze something, and how to do it!
Where are you on Social Media?
Facebook: We invite you to become a part of our Facebook community. This has become a really important way for us to share our farm with you. We post interesting tidbits daily – whether they are pictures of things going on at the farm, short videos, other links and news we’ve discovered in the foodie/agricultural circuit, or just brief announcements.
Instagram: Look for our best pictures on @slfarms2
YouTube: Search For Shared Legacy Farms to find the latest videos uploaded for the week.
Pinterest: We’ve created our own Pinterest Group Page for the Farm, which features all kinds of recipes organized by vegetable, gardening tips, Corinna’s Favorites, and more. Look for us under the handle @slfarmscsa.
Can I come out to help you harvest sometime?
Volunteering is not required as part of your CSA membership. We offer our customers the opportunity each week to come to our farm and help harvest during our CSA harvest times. We harvest Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-8 PM. This is completely optional. But we welcome your help! It makes the harvest go so much faster, and it gives you a chance to see how our operation works and develop a sense of ownership with our farm. Simply let us know if you’d like to come, and we will have a job for you! It may be digging up potatoes. It may be picking cherry tomatoes. It may be cleaning carrots. Dress appropriately to get dirty and bring lots of water and sunscreen! You may stay as long or as short as you like.
We also have several other options for volunteering. To find out what they are visit www.sharedlegacyfarms.com/volunteer
When do you send the newsletter?
The newsletter link will be sent to you on Sunday evening as a PDF file. You should be sure to download Adobe Reader on your computer so you can read them. This publication will feature a Menu Plan for the week, CSA rookie training tips, our dog’s weekly diary, info on farm events, and general news about the farm.
In case of inclement weather on pick up day, what do I do?
We define “inclement weather” as severe thunderstorm, hail, tornado warning, scary lightening storms – anything that would prevent us from safely standing outside. If you’re in your basement seeking shelter, then we’re probably not passing out our shares. If it’s dangerous to leave your house, do not leave to pick up your veggies! Stay home! If you come to the pick up site and we are not there, you can assume we have “given up” and headed for shelter (and eventually home). At this point, you should check your email, website, or Facebook page to find out what to do next. If we had to leave the site for safety reasons, then we will schedule a second drop off time the following day to redeliver the boxes.
How do I store these vegetables?
Keeping your vegetables fresh for an entire week takes effort. Part of that is our responsibility. We are very careful about when we harvest your produce, to insure that we pick it at its peak of ripeness and in ideal harvesting weather conditions to keep it lasting as long as possible. But part of it is your responsibility as well. If you want to extend the life of your produce, it is imperative that you get your vegetables and fruits into a cool location asap. Leaving your box (or your eggs!) in your hot car is a very bad idea, and your produce will spoil very fast.
We do a couple things to help you with this.
1. We encourage you to bring a cooler or insulated bag with ice packs to pick up your produce. You can then transfer your items into your bag and get them home in a cool container. This will extend the life of your produce. We will be selling insulated bags with our logo on them.
2. We will be teaching you where to store your produce. Each week, you’ll get a cheat sheet that summarizes where every item in your box should be stored.
3. You can download our A to Z Vegetable Guide here which spells out exactly where everything should be stored. It also includes a picture of every item we might grow on our farm. Use this to help you identify and master each vegetable.
Why do I need to clean my bins?
Washing and sanitizing the boxes is an important step we take each week to insure that your produce is safe to eat. With over 400 boxes to fill each week, it is very costly for us to pay someone to scrub bins that are caked with dried-on dirt. We ask you to help us out by pre-rinsing the bin before you return it.
I am composting my food at the end of the week! Is that normal?
When you come to the end of the first week or two, you may find that there are some veggies in your box that you just never got to, or that you don’t like. And they end up getting tossed into the compost pile. This can seem like a waste of food, and you may feel guilty about it. We want to encourage you to expect the fact that no matter how great you are at eating veggies, you will almost certainly compost a certain portion of your share this summer. It’s unavoidable. That being said, if you find that it’s happening a lot, we encourage you to find friends or neighbors to share with. We plan to teach you lots of “exit strategies” this year to help keep this from happening too much. As a last resort, we invite you to leave some of your unpopular varieties in the extras box at pick-up for someone else. It will take some diligence on your part to eat your share. But it can be done!
Do you offer farm events?
One of the benefits of membership in our CSA is entry into our myriad farm events each season. These events are free for our members, and are meant to give you a chance to meet our family and other members, see the fields, and enjoy some of our delicious produce. We will promote these events in our newsletters a few weeks in advance. These events vary from year to year and include things like: Pesto Fest, Tomato Canning Workshops, Capture the Flag game, Farm Olympics, Garlic Scaping, Flashlight Pumpkin Hunt and Campfire, and our annual Potluck and Hayride.
You’ll find the list of farm events on our website in the Membership Portal.
How do I find a recipe on your website?
Our past recipes from the last 9 seasons can be found on our website under the RECIPES box. A drop-down menu on the right column of the page listed “RECIPE INDEX” will appear, alphabetized by vegetable. Simply look for the vegetable you want to feature and click! A list of all our past and present recipes will appear – since 2009. We’ll also be teaching you different places to source and curate recipes of your own as part of our CSA Training course.