- What is CSA?
CSA stands for Community-Supported Agriculture. It is a partnership between community members and farmers to share in the bounty and the risks of farming. CSA is a style of doing business that supports local farmers selling fresh food directly to members of the community. It minimizes the farmer’s need for the middleman and often-restrictive bank loans, and therefore creates a more resilient local economy and food system.
To join a CSA, members make an investment in the spring, when farming output costs such as tools, labor, soil amendments, and seeds are high. In exchange, CSA members receive fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the growing season.
Cedar Circle Farm’s CSA is a unique model that takes into consideration the schedules and preferences of members. Our flexible CSA Card allows you to come in whenever you want and pick out whatever you want.
- When can I use my CSA Card?
Our CSA Cards are flexible which means you can come in anytime we’re open and purchase anything you want with your prepaid card. With the Produce Plus CSA card, the additional discount will be applied every time you buy CCF produce.
- Can I use my CSA card at local farmer’s markets?
Yes! Your CSA card can be used at our farmstand, Hello Café, and at our booth at the local farmers’ markets You don’t even need to bring your card to the farmer’s market to use it––we can just look your name up in our system and deduct from your card.
- Can I use my CSA Card in the Hello Café?
Absolutely! You can use your CSA Card to buy anything we sell in the Hello Café, Farmstand, and at our booth at the farmers’ markets. The only exclusions are that you cannot use your CSA Card to buy another CSA, or to pay for tuition-based education programs like Summer Day Camp or Cooking for Middle Schoolers.
- Can I use my CSA card to buy another CSA or to pay for educational programs?
Your card can be used to buy anything we sell in the farmstand or at farmers’ market, but cannot be used to pay for summer camp, other tuition-based education programs, the Bouquet CSA Share or the Friday Night Dinner Share. You can, however, use it to pay for our Little Farmers Program.
- Do I save money with the CSA Card?
Yes! All CSA cards have a built-in 10% discount (for example, a payment of $225 will add a $250 spending credit to your CSA Card). Produce Plus CSA members who sign up before June 1 will also get several Produce Plus Bonuses throughout the season, including an additional 5 or 10% discount on all Cedar Circle produce through the end of the calendar year. Other bonuses will vary season to season based on availability, but could include exclusive access to our PYO fields, member-only sales, and complimentary items.
- What if I use up all the money on my card?
You can add value to your card in increments of $250 at any point during the season (you pay $225, we add $250 to your card).
If you have a Produce Plus CSA Card, you will continue to get any Produce Plus bonuses, including your Produce Discount, throughout the end of the calendar year, regardless of whether or not you add value to your card.
- What if I don’t use up the balance on my card by the end of the year?
While we do encourage you to use up your card by the end of the calendar year, we understand that there may be times when this is not possible. In these cases, your remaining balance will roll over to the following year. Please note though, that Produce Plus bonuses, including the produce discount, will not roll over unless you purchase a new Produce Plus Card the following year.
- Once I sign up, where and when do I get my CSA card?
If you are a new CSA card member, you can plan to pick up your CSA card at the farmstand when we open for the season. Once you pick it up, you can start using it right away.
If you have had a CSA card in the past, we will add the value of your new CSA onto your existing card. Your new balance will be available to you when we open for the season. Please note: we do not need to have your card present to add the new CSA value, so even if you carry your card with you, your 2019 balance will be available to you when you come to the farmstand in the spring.
- Are there Early Bird benefits?
Yes, if you sign up for a Produce Plus CSA Card by January 31, you will get a 10% Produce Discount at the register through the end of the calendar year! (Compared to a 5% discount if you register between February 1 and June 1).
- What produce can I get with my CSA card and will there be a pickup list?
One major benefit of our CSA Card is that you can choose the veggies you want, in whatever quantity works best for you. We’ll provide a list of suggested items for inspiration, but whether you stock up on flats of berries for your freezer or come in each week for your weekly veggies, the choice is yours!
If you need a reminder of what is in season, check here.
- What if I go away during the summer or I’m not able to come in for a week or two?
It is totally fine to skip weeks! While we love seeing you every day, you can use the card whenever it is most convenient for you—whether you come every day, or a few times per season, your card will be at the farmstand waiting for you.
- What if I like the structure of a traditional CSA? Can a CSA card still work for me?
Yes! Although our CSA Cards allow you to choose whatever you want from our farmstand, Hello Café, and farmers’ markets, we also give you the option to follow a weekly CSA list. We know that some of our customers like the challenge of being “told” what to eat each week—it can help you be a more creative cook!
So, when you come in to shop, feel free to follow the weekly list of suggested items. This list will be there to provide inspiration if you need it, but you’re really welcome to pick out whatever items you want.
- I have gotten a traditional CSA box in the past, which CSA card do you recommend?
- Why did Cedar Circle switch over to CSA Cards?
We made this switch because we think it will work well for our members and it will be better for the farm.
As the local food movement grows, and people become more familiar with different kinds of veggies, we have noticed that our members are increasingly interested in the free choice CSA option. It just makes more sense for lots of people. Basically, we want a CSA membership to give you a good deal on what you want not what we think you want.
The free-choice model will allow us to farm more sustainably. This is a big one for us. We are a certified organic farm, which means we have to adhere to certain standards anyway, but it is important to us to go beyond organic certification and strive to farm in the way that is best for our land, our employees, and our community. The CSA Card model allows us to increase crop diversity, create less produce waste, increase crop rotation and cover cropping, increase labor efficiency, and reduce packaging and administrative time.