Farm to Family delivers fresh produce and local meats, dairy, and other grocery items to customers in Washington, DC and Richmond, VA.
Q: What is a CSA share?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, where an individual or a household subscribes to receive farm-fresh food for the growing season. This is a great way for you to reconnect with your food and the farmers who grow it. Our CSA has been sourcing low pasteurized, naturally raised, hormone and chemical free food from local farms since 2009. Our CSA runs for 24 weeks, starting the week of March 19, 2018.
Q: When do I need to sign up?
You can sign up anytime.
Q: How do I sign up?
To sign up, go to your storefront and choose your share. Even if the season has already started you can still sign up. We will prorate your share! You may pay directly and securely with a credit card through our website, or make a check payable to Farm to Family, LLC. Please note that we must receive your payment before we can begin deliveries!
You may mail checks to:
Farm to Family, LLC
2817 Mechanicsville Turnpike
Richmond VA 23223
Q: Who do I make my check out to?
Farm to Family, LLC.
Q: What is the membership fee?
As our CSA offers multiple shares and flexibility, we are only able to charge the cost of food via the website - otherwise members with multiple items would be charged multiple times. Thus we are not able to add in our cost of business to the cost of goods: everything that deals with getting your food to you. All members will be charged a membership fee that includes delivery and administrative costs, which is pro-rated with the number of shares purchased. For weekly shares, that comes to $90 for DC members and $45 for bi-weekly shares. It is $50/25 for Richmond member. This fee is charged separately from your CSA food charges, which come through this software system. This will be charged shortly after you join, to the card on file, or if you wish, via check or cash. It will be pro-rated for those who join after the season starts.
Q: How do payment installments work?
Installment Billing/Payment Plan: When you sign your contract, you click “agree” to an installment schedule that is monthly until your share is paid. When you click “agree,” you are agreeing to be billed the first portion of your bill the day you join, and then to be billed every 30 days after until your account is paid off, usually 3 or 4 installments. This is different than some payment plans where payments are made in more staggered increments. The nature of the CSA model is that members usually pay in full up front for the season, so that money/working capital is available for us to work with farmers throughout the season - most CSAs do not have payment plans at all. This partnership with you helps keep the fragile farm micro-economy intact and moving. In some ways it is like buying stock, and instead of dividends, you receive food. We do allow flexibility with these payment plans, as we know not everyone can pay up front. This hybrid installment schedule helps us get payment earlier than later, but still allowing you to split it up, so we can continue to work with small farmers.
Q: How does Home Delivery work?
We have partnered with Schlep It bike delivery service on Capitol Hill to deliver shares in an efficient and eco-friendly manner. $10 fee extra/time will be billed to your card on file at the start of the season, along with member fee. Richmond, VA home delivery is free within our delivery area (5 mile radius from Farm to Family) and will be done via truck.
Q: What is Seasonal Selection:
We source our products locally within the Mid-Atlantic food shed. Selection will vary based on what's available/ in season in our region. Share contents are subject to change without notice, and you may receive the same item several times in a row because that is what is in season (i.e. lettuce/salad greens in spring/fall, kale/greens in winter.) We try to vary our selections as much as possible within these parameters to suit different palates. Early or late season may have limited selection due to growing season and weather, and you may receive pantry or other value added items.
Q: How can I plan my meals? Will I know what I'm getting before it arrives?
Yes and no. We send out an email every week in addition to the auto-reminder you get from CSAware telling you to pick up your share. In this email we may give you a recipe, a little information about our vendors, and "The List." Please note that this is a list of what we THINK will be in your share, not what will absolutely be in your share. We often pick items up from the farm the day of the share, which means that everything is as fresh as possible.
However, it also means that the share can be a little unpredictable. Sometimes one item at the farm will look much more appetizing than what was previously discussed with the producer, and Mark will swap it out. Sometimes there is a special item of which there is only enough for one of the smaller drop sites. We work with a number of different producers, and we are dealing with a myriad of logistical factors, as well as with the unpredictability of Mother Nature. The last 24 hours before the share can get hectic and sometimes items are changed out. You may not get something that was on the list. You may get an item that was not on the list at all. You may get items you got last time, or the time before. We know that this can be disappointing and confusing for members who think they are getting one thing and then get another, but we ask that you are understanding and patient. Eating locally from small farms calls for flexibility.
Q: How will I be billed if I sign up for the Installment Plan/Recurring Payments?
When you sign your contract, you click “agree” to a billing
policy, but many people fail to read this policy. That’s ok, it happens. When
you click “agree,” you are agreeing to be billed the first portion of your bill
the day you join, and then to be billed every 30 days after until your account is paid
off., usually 3 or 4 installments. This is different than some payment plans
where payments are made in more staggered increments. The nature of the
CSA model is that members usually pay in full up front for the
season, so that money is available for us to work with farmers throughout the
season - most CSAs do not have payment plans at all. In some ways it is
like investing in your food -- you buy a membership, instead of buying stock, and instead of dividends, you receive food. We do
allow flexibility and payment plans, as we know not everyone can pay up
front, and we wanted to make it more affordable, but we still need to
get payment earlier than later so we can do what we do and provide quality and value for your good food.
Your membership fee, however, is manually billed separately, upon onboarding. We will
notify you when we are going to bill the membership fee.
Q: I paid by check. How do I access my account information?
You will need a login invitation sent directly to you by email to link into your account. If you have not been emailed a login invitation, please contact us.
Q: Can I make changes to my delivery?
Yes! You can add items onto your delivery, make requests and put your share on hold. You are able to make these changes yourself through your account. However, please note that the deadline for such changes is 5 pm the Friday prior to the drop.
If you do not see the item you would like to add on, please contact us by email. We have many items available that are not yet on the website such as meats. We will be happy to work with you on this.
Q: What if I go out of town?
If you are unable to pick up your share for any reason, we can accommodate you. There are a few options.
We encourage you to donate your share. Part of our mission is to source healthy, fresh, and local food to underserved families. We work with a list of families in need in our area and would be happy to donate your share for you.
You may also share your share with friends, family or neighbors, just please let us know through CSAware that someone new will be picking up. Let us know by 5 pm on the prior Friday.
If you are not able to donate your share, you have two holds for the season. You may put your share on hold through your account, but it must be done by 5 pm on the Friday before your delivery. When you put a share on hold, please email us to let us know how you would like to redeem this share. You may pick up on an "off" week, but you must let us know before hand that you plan to pick up that week. We can also put the value of your share into your "Cash Account" credit. This credit can be used to shop for extra items, and it will carry over to the following season. If you do not plan to sign up for the next season, you must use your credit before the end of the season. If for some reason you have an emergency or need more than two holds, please contact us and we can handle this on a case-by-base basis.
If you do NOT make arrangements for your share, do not contact us, and do not pick it up, your share will be donated to our network of families in need.
Q: How do I place a Hold or Donation?
First, remember you must do this before 5 pm Friday prior to your next delivery or the software won’t allow you to place the hold.
Log into to http://thefarmbus.csaware.com, select the My Account tab to get to your dashboard. From the Member Dashboard Page, notice the calendar on the right side of the page. Click on the date you wish to hold.
Click on the date and a summary of your order will appear. It will show your share frequency and type, plus any add-on’s you had ordered.
There’s a ‘HOLD’ button on this page.
Click that, and you can choose the Donate or Hold option. Once you apply the hold or donation, the calendar will display that date in grey, indicating a hold. You may also be able to move your share backwards, forwards, or to a different drop location depending on your share location.
Q: What can I expect of my meat/veggie/dairy share? How much food will I be getting?
This is a common concern, especially for someone who is not sure if they need the weekly or bi-weekly share. We are aiming to give you the dollar value of your share, so the sizes of the shares vary depending on what is available on a given week.
To help give you an idea of the share sizes, we have included a few pictures of “typical” shares on our Facebook page.
Dairy consists of a ½ gallon of milk, a butter, a cheese, a Qt of yogurt (kefir also available), and a dozen eggs. We are able to swap things out if needed, send an email.
Meat varies depending on the value of the meat you are getting and typically consists of two to three different items averaging to 3-5 lbs. of meat (sometimes more or less). We try to alternate value and specialty items to suit different reasons/family needs and may not 100% suit you every time (ie. ground beef/chicken quarters vs lamb chops/steaks/chicken breast).
The Produce Share typically consists of 10-15 different item and will fill a large shopping bag.
Q: What is the order deadline for the next delivery?
Our order deadline is Friday at 5pm for the following week. This is when most of our big vendors have their deadlines with us. Anything ordered after this will go onto your next scheduled delivery. If you make a mistake, email us and we can manually move things around for you.
Q: Can I change my share frequency if I need more/less frequent pick-ups?
Once you have seen your share, you may want more or less than you are currently getting. We can accommodate you, just contact us.
Q: OMG, something has come up and I need to cancel my share!
Life is crazy and maybe you have been transferred to Africa. It happens. Please call us! We handle these special circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
Please know that local farm operations are subject to acts of Mother Nature and can change at any time. We make every effort to provide substitutes etc should this arise. Drops may also be rescheduled due to acts of nature/inclement weather.
Please address any questions or concerns with us as soon as possible so we can provide you with the best possible customer service, along with the best foods our food shed has to offer.
Q: Can I try before I buy? What if my schedule is unpredictable, or I only want food once in a while?