CSA Member FAQ
When you sign up for a subscription, you create an account. This is your hub for payments, customization, and vacation holds. You can log in anytime to make changes to your account. You may only customize your box/add purchases during the ‘open’ hours of the webstore, which will be 7 a.m. Saturday – 11 p.m. Tuesday. Please see account links to the right.
Email is an essential part of our CSA program. System notifications, newsletter, and personal communications are all via email. It is absolutely necessary that you keep on top of email. For the purposes of spam filters, you need to explicitly allow all communications from littleredorganics.com, csa.farmigo.com, and mailchimp.com. We cannot be held responsible for emails trapped in spam folders.
Customizing your subscription
This is a new one, so read carefully. Each week you will receive an email reminding you that the webstore is open. Members may log in during this window to customize their box and purchase additional items the next delivery.
Important: If you do not log in, you will receive a regular farmers’ choice box – just like last year. You are not required to customize your box – it is merely an option!
- Why won’t the store let you add more of an item? This can happen for two reasons: 1) We have set an inventory limit (our supplies are not unlimited). 2) We have either a highly desireable item, or one with low inventory numbers (aka Brussels sprouts that are just beginning to come on) and want to spread that small number over as many members as possible.
Customization vs ‘add ons’
Each week you will have a set number of ‘credits’ to use in your CSA box. The number of credits is static and based upon your subscription size (Sauble 34, Forest Trail 52, Nordhouse 68). Using the credits-based system, you can swap veggies in and out to make your desired box. You must use all available credits each week! Credits do not roll over from week to week. This is to help us better predict and manage our end of things, and to keep members from accumulating large credits with nowhere to spend them at the end of the season.
Once you’ve finished customizing you may choose to purchase add-on items such as bulk produce, eggs, fruits, etc. – whatever is available in the webstore and priced in dollars (not credits) – to your weekly delivery. These items are NOT considered part of the CSA, and are considered additional. These items will be billed separately on a weekly basis.
You can always purchase more products than your share has credits for, but you will be billed after delivery for the difference. Aka, you want three pounds of salad mix for a party, but you still want a variety of veggies for the week. If you have 32 credits to spend, but 42 credits in the store, you will be billed $5.00 for the additional purchases.
Changes to your share
Through the online management system members may change their subscription size or delivery location. This may be done at any time during the season; however, changes must be made at least 48 hours prior to a delivery, otherwise those changes will take effect the following week.
Pick up day
Your CSA box(es) will be labeled with your name. All you need to do is head to your chosen location (on THURSDAYS!) during the posted hours and pick up your box. If you’ve forgotten where/when to pick up, you can log in and find all the information in your account. Please, do not take or open anyone else’s box! If you’ve ordered a large quantity of produce, double check to see if you have more than one box.
If you arrive to your pick up spot and your box is not there, contact us immediately. It (rarely) happens that someone takes the wrong box, and we’ll clear it up ASAP!
If you have ANY issues with your box, or the pickup site you need to contact the farm directly. Please do not contact a pickup site directly regarding share issues (pickup time, location of your box, hours of operation, etc). Our pickup sites are ‘unpaid volunteers’ and are in no way responsible for providing customer support for our CSA.
Once you have recieved the first week’s delivery, please be sure to return your boxes each week! Alternatively, a popular solution is to bring reusable grocery bags, empty your box into those and leave the box at the pickup location.
You can put your share on hold for a week during the season. We prefer that you limit your vacation week to one delivery. Members need to email the farm to put vacation holds on their accounts. Credits unused during vacation will be available as a one time additional share that can then be customized to your liking. You can put a vacation hold on your account emailing the farm. Changes must be made 7 days in advance of the vacation hold.
Cleaning your Produce
We caution that all produce should be cleaned before use. Since we grow on some fine West Michigan sand, there may be some dirt in your veggies. They are, after all, a raw agricultural product.
Suggestions for cleaning: fill your sink to a depth greater than the volume of produce you wish to clean and agitate the veggies in question. Consider unbunching things like cilantro, kale, chard or parsley. Chop leaf lettuces to desired size before soaking and agitating. Give spinach some extra time and agitation. Flat leaves do not give up their agricultural roots easily.
If you don’t have one, invest in a quality salad spinner. We have an OXO, purchased second hand for $3 that does the trick. Storing veggies in the salad spinner is also suggested, when possible.
We do provide some recipes in our newsletter, however CSA members are responsible for being self-sufficient in digging around for ideas.
We offer a limited number of CSA memberships through workshares. Our workshare program allows you to get a share for in exchange for labor, and is trade based. Typical workshare hours are the day before delivery for 3-4 hours. Tasks are primarily prepping for CSA boxing (washing, bagging, cleaning produce), but may also include field work from time to time. Contact us if interested.
Credit Cards, ACH, and Recurring Payments
Our online CSA system requires either a credit card or ACH account on file, and that account must be set to accept recurring payments (this is done automatically). Why are these things required? During the CSA main season, anything that you add to your box which exceeds your credits will be charged to your account on the evening after delivery. For the fall season, since there is no prepaid CSA share, the total amount on the checkout screen will be debited the evening after delivery. These methods of payment give the farm timely payments, and keep the farmers farming instead of chasing down past due amounts and checks that have already been mailed.
CSA Share Fee
CSA is, typically, more expensive to operate than a farmers’ market. When you purchase a share, you do not get 100% of that value back in produce. We charge a $1 a week fee from all members, or $16 a season. That fee defers costs directly associated with putting together the CSA. Our online store, credit card transactions, newsletter, and CSA packaging have direct costs for our CSA. This ‘fee’ makes all of these direct costs possible.