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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a CSA?
What does a typical share have in it?
Can I choose which items I receive?
How long is your season?
How do I pick up my produce?
What happens if I’m out of town on distribution day?
Is your produce all organic?
Who grows the flowers and are they organic too?
What happens if your crops fail?
Can members visit the farm?
How much does it cost?
Can I try this out for a short time to see if I like it?
I want to join! How do I sign up?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a way for families to bypass the grocery stores and buy their produce directly from a local farm. As a member, you support the farm by providing cash at the beginning of the season, when farmers need it most to buy seed, compost, and supplies, and to pay for the labor of preparing the ground and planting and weeding. Then when the crops come in, the farmer provides the supporting members with weekly shares of fresh vegetables and fruits, picked ripe and delivered promptly to a pick-up site in your neighborhood.
Your weekly box of vegetables will vary with the seasons and from week to week. We try to give you a balanced mix of vegetables and fruits with the goal of supplying a family of four for one week. (Of course, those who eat at home every day will use more than the weekend gourmet, so some members share with other families while others may get two shares for a large household). Boxes typically include items like cooking greens, salad mix or lettuce, berries or other fruit, onions, root vegetables, herbs, beans, potatoes, squash, fennel, peppers, and tomatoes.
|Sample Box from May||Sample box from August||Sample box from October|
No. This is not a delivery service, but a membership share in a local farm. We grow everything in its season and pick it at its best. The share is a balanced mix of what the farm has available in the field. Our members tell us they love getting surprised each week, and they enjoy trying things they may not have otherwise bought from the store.
We deliver our produce and flowers for 36 weeks—from mid March to mid November. The season is divided into four 9-week sessions, but you can sign up at any time as long as we have room for you.
We are now offering a winter session, which is a bi-weekly delivery from the beginning of December through the end of February. There are a total of seven deliveries through winter.
We deliver shares to the Peninsula and South Bay on Wednesdays and to the Monterey Bay area (Santa Cruz county and Monterey county) on Thursdays. The boxes are at all the pick-up sites by 3 PM. On your pick-up day, you have several hours in which to stop by your pick-up site and get your share. You check off your name on the sign-in sheet, take your vegetables, and leave the box folded neatly at the site for us to reuse. If you ordered flowers or add-ons like additional fruit or honey, it will be indicated on the sign-in sheet.
We suggest you have a friend or relative pick up your share. What a great way to introduce the CSA concept to your friends! If no one can pick up your share for you, we have a relationship with a local soup kitchen (Loaves and Fishes in Watsonville) that we can donate your share to if you let us know at least 24 hours in advance. They are extremely appreciative of all the wonderful fresh produce they have received through member donations like this and have enthusiastic volunteers who will come pick up the produce from our cooler. Let us know if you need a receipt for tax purposes. You may also log onto your account and schedule a hold on your delivery.
Yes! High Ground Organics is certified organic by CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers). We are committed to a high standard of environmental stewardship, and do everything we can to protect water quality, prevent erosion, protect wildlife habitat at our farm borders, and maintain our land so it will be productive and healthy for generations to come. To learn more about what goes on at our farm, subscribe to the CSA newsletter (See sidebar: SIGN UP FOR HGO NEWSLETTER) or read essays from past newsletters in our Farm Journal.
The flowers are certified organic and grown here in neighboring Corralitos by Steve’s cousin Josh Thomas of Thomas Farm. Josh took over the family farm from his father Jerry a couple years ago, and has been doing a wonderful job growing flowers, fruits, and vegetables for farmers markets in the area. The flowers are an optional add-on to your order of produce.
Farmers are always at the mercy of weather, insects, and diseases that can disrupt their crop harvests. However, in all the years we have been farming using the CSA model, we have never needed the members to bear the burden of risk for crop failures. For one thing, we grow over 30 different vegetables and fruits. Unlike a large scale farmer who stands to lose his shirt when hundreds of acres of broccoli, tomatoes, or corn fails, we have a series of small plantings of different things. If the aphids hit hard on the broccoli crop on one part of the farm, we generally have a successive planting in another location that will be just fine when it comes in a couple weeks later. Meanwhile we likely have another vegetable ready to harvest that we can put in the boxes in the meantime. At those times when we’re having trouble keeping the boxes as well-rounded as they should be, we will turn to our friends at other local organic farms who have produce coming in that we think you’ll like. We will always tell you if produce in your box came from another farm and it will always be certified organic.
Yes! We offer several opportunities throughout the year for members to come see the farm. We hold an annual Harvest Fair and Pumpkin Patch the second Saturday in October. In addition, you are invited to come out to U-pick days during the growing season. The best way to find out about these events is to receive our newsletter (See sidebar: SIGN UP FOR HGO NEWSLETTER). We love showing off our farm, but it is also our home and we must balance tours with a very busy work schedule, so please come by only when there are scheduled events or u-picks.
A share costs $24 per week. Flowers are an additional $8 per week. Members must sign up for a minimum of 9 weeks, to keep our administrative costs down and to help us plan our plantings and harvests. We do allow new members to try us out for 4 weeks if they are nervous about committing to 9 weeks.
Go to our on-line sign up system by clicking the button below. The first window will take you to our pick-up sites, so you can find the one closest to you.
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