Terms and Conditions
A subscription in a Community Shared Agriculture program is a commitment, both in terms of time and finances. Before you make a decision about subscribing, we would ask that you read these terms and conditions. You will be asked to confirm that you have read this before you sign up for a subscription.
Our Community Shared Agriculture program is an opportunity to be a partner in our farm operation. It allows you the opportunity to purchase a share of the harvest, bypassing the conventional supply chain and directly contributing to the viability of a small-scale, organic farm in your region. You are supplying a local farm with operating capital at the beginning of the season, when farming expenses are incurred. You are making a choice to invest in a local, organic farm operation -- this is a social and environmental commitment on your part! In joining a Community Shared Agriculture program, you are also sharing the risk of the season with the farmer and other members.
Some things you should consider before signing up include:
- The greatest abundance of crops occurs at the height of summer (particularly August) when some people are away on holidays;
- The produce is only available when it is mature -- if you are away on a week when a particular crop is ripe, we generally cannot offer it at another point;
- The contents of the CSA box are determined by the farm's crop plan. Although contents are diverse, they can be unpredictable;
- The volume of some boxes will be significant. In order to make full use of the box's contents you might need to take the time to juice, freeze, can or dehydrate produce;
- Overall, when you visit a grocery store or farmers market, you are seeing the result of produce from hundreds of farm operations. When you join a CSA, you see the results of one farm operation -- we don't have everything available all of the time.
Of course, there are creative ways to deal with the opportunities presented by a CSA:
- Agree to split a box with friends, neighbours or co-workers;
- Resolve to eat seasonally, preparing meals that make the greatest use of vegetables available each week.
Your support early in the season helps the farmer avoid conventional debt. It also allows the farmers to plant crops with a reliable market in mind. In exchange, you receive nutritious, locally grown organic food and a connection to a farm close to your home. We do all we can to assure a full, diverse and wonderful harvest and we have a proven track record for delivering a quality box of produce throughout the season. Nonetheless, certain things are beyond our control, and may reduce yields, create substitutions, or result in complete losses. For example, in 2012 we experienced significant flooding in June and July during the Fraser River freshet (we still managed to deliver boxes throughout the season, but with less diversity than normal). There is an element of risk involved in any CSA program.
It is important to note that a CSA does not work for everyone. Please consider whether this is the right fit for you before signing up. If you would like to speak to us personally before making a commitment, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About our farm operation
Close to Home Organics Ltd. and Earth Apple Organic Farm operate at Glen Valley Organic Farm, a 50-acre certified organic farm in Abbotsford. The fields at Glen Valley Organic Farm are located on the Fraser River floodplain. This means we grow on some of the richest, most fertile soil in British Columbia. It also means that our crops plans are impacted by the water levels of the Fraser River. Close to Home Organics is run by Chris Bodnar and Paige Dampier. Earth Apple Organic Farm is operated by Shirlene Cote.
Due to our bioregion, there are limitations to what we can grow. Leafy greens (kale, chard, spinach and lettuce), onions (scallions, leeks, sweet onions, garlic, cooking onions), carrots, beets, beans, cabbage rhubarb and potatoes form the basis of our Main Seasion CSA program. In addition, we rotate herbs (parsley, dill, cilantro), cucumbers, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, fennel and berries in the boxes as weather permits. Our Late Season CSA program will include storage crops such as onions, squash, root crops (carrots, beets, parsnips, sunroots, celeriac) and hardy greens (kale, collards, radicchio, brussels sprouts).
We have a wet growing season on the coast, generally punctuated by two months of hot, dry weather. As a result, our primary CSA share does not include tree fruit. To offer a more complete option to our subscribers, we are offering an optional fruit share, sourced from other certified organic farms in BC. In 2018, we will source most of the fruit from Snowy Mountain Organic Farm in Cawston. This will include cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, apples, pears, and apples.
The Risk of Joining a CSA
Glen Valley Organic Farm cannot guarantee the delivery of specific crops at specific times in specific quantities. Our crop availability is subject to weather, harvest timing, labour availability and quality of crops. All of our produce is graded and, with the exception of berries, is washed before packing. We will, occasionally, send produce in our CSA boxes that is blemished or mis-shapen if the crop has grown that way and we would otherwise not have that product available for you; we will do this to avoid waste and to ensure variety in your boxes and we will always explain why something may look different.
Due to weather conditions, your box size might change throughout the season. In particular, box sizes are often smaller for the first two weeks. We make up for the difference by sending you larger boxes later in the season and/or adding an additional box at the end of the season.
We deliver CSA subscriptions in Rubbermaid containers. These boxes are durable (we re-use them) and help to keep your produce fresh from packing through to pick-up. The cost of these containers is not included in your subscription price and remain the property of Glen Valley Organic Farm. Some produce in the boxes is weighed out into plastic bags. We do everything we can to avoid the use of additional plastic bags, while still remaining efficient in our operations.
You are able to pay for your subscription by personal cheque (payable to Glen Valley Organic Farm) mailed to 8550 Bradner Road, Abbotsford BC V4X 2H5, through Interac E-Transfer to email@example.com or through Paypal. Using Paypal adds additional fees to our operations; we know cheques and postal services are old fashioned for many people, but sending a cheque helps us keep our costs down and your money stays in the local economy.
Refund, Cancellation and NSF Policy
Prior to the start of the season, we will refund CSA subscriptions, minus a $30 processing fee. This fee covers costs associated with establishing your account, processing your payments and processing your refund.
We stand behind our products. We also want the CSA experience to be pleasurable for you. If you are unhappy with your CSA box for any reason or if you need to cancel due to a change in life circumstances, we will refund you the remaining value of your subscription.
You may put your box on hold during the season up to two times. You will receive a credit on your account for that week. The credit must be used in our online farm store or at one of our farmers markets during the 2018 season.
If you know your holiday schedule in advance (by 1 May), we will put your account on hold and refund you for unused weeks. We must receive your hold dates by 1 May to take advantage of this option.
We reserve the right to cancel your subscription at any time and provide you with a refund pro-rated to the portion of your subscription that has been unfulfilled.
We use an online CSA management system. We do this for a few reasons:
- It allows you to have control over your subscription. You can change your pick-up location, schedule your payments, put your box on hold and add items from our farm store;
- It streamlines the work on our end. We want to farm and to run an efficient CSA, not be overwhelmed by paperwork and administrative details;
- Our experience to this point demonstrated that we could do a better job by employing a tool designed to make the CSA program more enjoyable for farmer and subscriber alike.
The CSA management software is provided and maintained by Farmigo.com.
We will never share your personal information with any third party for any purpose other than managing your CSA subscription.
Connection with the farm
As a CSA subscriber, you will get a weekly update about the farm and the growing season, including links to recipes and notes about local food-related events. You will also have the opportunity to visit the farm during the season during an open house. We enjoy communicating with our CSA subscribers and encourage you to maintain a dialogue with us during the season -- we will communicate as best we can during the busy summer months.
- To deliver your CSA subscription to your designated pick-up location by the confirmed pick-up time;
- To provide you with a weekly e-mail detailing the contents of your CSA box, providing information about the growing season, the crops and suggestions for using items in your box;
- To respond to problems in a timely and efficient manner (our goal is to resolve issues within 24 hours of being reported);
- To host an open house event at the farm for CSA members;
- To provide you with the best and first selection of produce from our farm - we put our obligations to our CSA members ahead of all other markets and customers.
As a CSA subscriber, you have the following responsibilities:
- To pay for your subscription in full by the dates you agreed to when signing up. Payment by cheque must be made payable to "Glen Valley Organic Farm." and mailed to 8550 Bradner Road, Abbotsford BC V4X 2H5. To pay using Interac E-transfer, please send payments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you elect to set up automatic payments in Farmigo (PayPal), it is your responsibility to manage this feature in your account and to keep your credit card updated in your PayPal account.
- To pick up your weekly share of food from your chosen pickup location during the designated timeframe and being respectful of the location hosting your pick-up depot;
- To assign someone else to pick-up your box and/or change or cancel your pickup location if you are unable to pick up your subscription of food on any given week. Unclaimed shares will be donated to an interested party or facility or composted. There are no refunds or credits for unclaimed boxes if you did not put your account on hold;
- To manage your subscription account through the Farmigo program. This involves ensuring that your subscription information is accurate;
- To report any problems with your subscription box within 24 hours of pick-up;
- To open and read e-mails from Glen Valley Organic Farm and Farmigo (including payment notices) in order to stay informed of the status of the growing season, box contents, changes in CSA policy and special events and offers;
- To leave your clean, empty CSA box at the pick-up depot on a weekly basis.
We look forward to having you as a part of our farming season.