2018 Member Agreement
We, the farm, wish to provide you with fresh, local, seasonal produce / flowers / seedlings; and you, the member, wish to receive a portion of our harvest. By registering for our Vegetable, Flower, and/or Seedling Shares this year, we (the farm) and you (the member) agree to the shared commitments outlined in this document.
There are 6 parts to this agreement:
- Our Farm and our Commitments to our Members
- Member Commitments
- Shared Commitments
- Member Fees
- Communicating with us
- Refund Policy
Part 1: Our Farm and our Commitments to our Members
Bee Loved Gardens
33399 Fifth Line
Iona Station, ON N0L 1P0
Mailing address: Box 161, Shedden, ON N0L 2E0
A Vegetable Share / Flower Share / Seedling Share is a form of Community Support Agriculture (CSA), which is a relationship between our farm and you as our customer. Rather than simply purchasing food or flowers, our customers become “members” of this CSA farm, and receive a weekly portion of the farm’s harvest.
A) Our Harvest Season
- Our Spring CSA program (for produce / flowers) runs for 6 weeks, from early May to mid June.
- Our Summer CSA program (for produce / flowers) runs for 16 weeks, from late June to early October.
- Our Seedling Share is monthly, from late April to late July.
We reserve the right to adjust the start date of the programs, depending on weather conditions.
B) Our Products
For Vegetable Shares: we will provide 5 – 6 types of vegetables per week, per share, equivalent to ~ 1 grocery bag of produce. The variety of produce will change through the season, and you always have the option to add additional produce to this small share. This additional produce will be billed monthly through the season.
For Flower Shares: we will provide one bouquet of fresh-cut flowers weekly, per share.
For Seedling Shares: we will provide healthy, organically-grown seedlings once per month, for 4 months; the number of plants each month depends on the size of the share you choose.
The variety and quantity contained in any of the shares may vary from week to week.
C) Our Growing Practices
Our farm is not currently certified organic, but we follow organic growing practices. We grow our produce, flowers and seedlings without using pesticides, herbicides or fungicides; without sewage sludge, bioengineering or ionizing radiation.
We do use cover crops, active compost, microbial inoculants (like “probiotics” for the soil), and nutritional amendments for the soil and plants.
For more information about our growing practices, please ask. We’d be happy to tell you more!
D) Food Safety
We take the safety of your food seriously, and do our best to handle our produce in safe ways. For example:
- we always harvest into clean containers that are dedicated for use with clean produce
- we are very conscious of using clean hands and utensils for harvesting
- we use municipal water for washing and processing our produce
- we refrigerate our produce immediately after harvesting / washing
- we use clean, single-use packaging for salad greens, etc.
If you have any questions about our processing methods, feel free to ask!
E) The products we expect to have available to you in 2018
The chart below outlines some of the produce we expect to deliver and when you may see them in your share. This is based on our best estimate, but of course, weather, pests and other events may affect what is actually harvested.
*There will be a rotating variety of produce in the Shares each week; not every vegetable will be in every week’s Share
*There will be a rotating variety of flowers in the Flower Share bouquets each week
*There will be a variety of other seedlings available too!
PART 2: Member Commitments
A) Members are responsible for showing up at the pickup site each week to pick up your share of freshly harvested produce and/or flowers (and each month for seedlings).
B) Members are responsible for observing the drop site rules, which are as follows:
- Pick up your share within the timeframe stated (we will finalize the pickup times closer to the start of the harvest season).
- We will deliver high quality produce and flowers to the site, and they may decline quickly if not picked up on time. We are not responsible for the quality of the produce or flowers after we leave the pickup site.
- Be respectful of our drop site host’s property / farm property.
C) If you cannot pickup your share, you must arrange for someone else to pick it up for you. You are responsible for explaining the pickup location and procedures to the person you send.
- Alternately, your share can be put on hold, by emailing us at least 1 week in advance.
Shares that are not retrieved within the pickup time will be donated to a food pantry, the drop site host, or another family. Or, if a share is not retrieved from the farm, it may also be processed in the farm kitchen.
We take the safety of your food seriously (see section 1). For your added protection:
- wash all produce before eating
- keep perishable foods refrigerated
- put frozen products in the freezer as soon as possible
Members are responsible for submitting weekly orders by the cut-off time; we cannot guarantee that we can fill late orders. (We will have a variety of other farm goods - and will be sourcing additional items, such as fruit, meats, cheese, flour, etc - that will be available to you on a weekly or monthly basis.)
PART 3: Shared Commitments
A) Sharing in the risk of crop failure
We promise to do our best to provide you with a consistent value of produce each week, and pride ourselves on meeting that goal so that you don’t end up with a scanty share some weeks and a glut on other weeks.
The quantity of (produce/ flowers) MAY vary from week to week, month to month, or season to season due to factors beyond our control (such as extreme weather, insects, or other production factors that occur despite our best efforts).
By joining our CSA, you are agreeing to share the risk of crop failure with us and other members. In the unlikely event of a crop failure, our procedure is as follows:
- If only a small portion of crops fail, we compensate for the failed crops by filling your share with other crops grown on the farm that are ready for harvest at that time. We try to always have a couple crops “in reserve”, to fill in if needed.
- For example, the biggest failure we have experienced so far was the loss of our greenhouse and all of its contents in November 2017. Therefore, we were not able to supply greens to the Winter Share members until late winter, but we had other crops to fill in for the value of the greens in the CSA shares.
- If a large portion of crops fail, we may not be able to deliver any product some weeks. (This has never yet happened!)
- We may cover for a crop loss by buying some produce from another local organic farm, and will keep you updated on that. This may not be a feasible option for all crops because of cost or widespread failure.
- For example, we lost several frost-sensitive crops due to a freak late frost in June 2016. We replanted these crops, but could see that we wouldn’t have peppers until very late in the season. Therefore, we bought peppers from another organic farm for the CSA Shares for the first few weeks of the pepper season, to bridge the gap.
We do our best to prevent crop failure with irrigation, knowledge of insect and disease control, use of materials to protect from frost, etc.
2nd grade produce: we do our best to provide 1st grade produce each week. However, we MAY, on occasion, and with notice, give you something that has cosmetic flaws but is still in very edible condition (for example: tomatoes that aren’t perfectly round, carrots with a blemish on the surface, basil with a minor hole in a leaf, etc). We will only do this if there is insufficient perfect produce.
B) Sharing in the reward of crop surplus
In the event of very abundant harvests:
- we will add additional produce to the CSA Shares. We don’t want to overwhelm our members with too much of any one item, so anything that is beyond a generous portion will be:
- available to members to purchase for preserving
- processed in the farm kitchen (eg, fermented, frozen, or made into soup)
- available to anyone at the on-farm market
- we sometimes experiment with new varieties of crops; these will be distributed as equitably as possible, but all members may not receive all items that we trial each year, depending on the volume of the trial crop.
A note on flowers: Flower Share members receive the priority with our flowers. We also grow flowers for weddings and events; these flowers are grown specifically for those uses, and won’t interfere with the availability of blooms for the Flower Shares. Any surplus blooms that were grown for weddings may be used in the Flower Shares.
SECTION 4: Member Fees
By selling membership in advance of the growing season, a Share program / CSA reduces the burden of up-front costs for the farmer. Your membership fees provide us with working capital for seed, equipment, supplies, repairs, and labour before the season starts, and we appreciate your commitment.
By consenting to this agreement, you are agreeing to pay the membership fee for the shares you’ve selected on the registration form.
- Payment (in full, or 50% deposit) is due within 1 week / 7 days of registration
- Interest of $5 per week, per share will be added if payment is not received within 7 days
- If paying with a 50% deposit, the balance is due by April 15th, or 2 weeks prior to the start of the harvest season
- Another installment plan can be made, if needed; please contact us for details
Payment can be made by:
- Cheque (payable to Deanna van den Dries, and mailed to Box 161, Shedden, ON N0L 2E0)
- E-transfer (sent to email@example.com, using the password: farmfreshgoods
Our policy for bounced cheques: a $25 surcharge will be added
Our policy for e-transfers with a different password than the one provided: a $5 surcharge may be added
SECTION 5: Communicating with us
The best way to communicate with us is by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please contact us with any news of the following: changes to your postal or email address, problems with your drop site or dissatisfaction with your share.
Our primary communication with you will be via email. (For gmail users: you may need to click & drag our email from your Promotions folder to your Primary folder, to ensure that you receive our emails.)
- When you sign up, you will be added to our email list. Please read your email from us. We depend on being able to communicate important information such as necessary changes to our distribution schedule or to our farm events.
- Every 1 - 2weeks, we will email an update giving you information about the crops available that week, recipe ideas, links to resources for you on our website, and farm-related news.
If you need to contact us by phone, the best times are: 8am – 6pm, Monday to Saturday. Please do not call or text after 8pm. We take Sundays off, and answer messages and calls from Monday to Saturday.
- If we are not able to answer your call, please leave a message.
- We will do our best to respond as soon as possible, but please understand that we spend most of our time in the field growing your food and flowers, and we do not always have the phone with us (or, our hands may be too wet or muddy to use the phone).
SECTION 6: Refund Policy
We understand – life happens! If you are moving, or if circumstances arise that you won’t be able to continue with the Vegetable, Flower, and / or Seedling share throughout the remainder of the season, we will offer a pro-rated refund according to the number of weeks remaining in the season.
We issue refunds after the first month (4 weeks) of harvests; the payment for the first 4 weeks of the season is non-refundable.
By registering for one or more of our shares, and consenting to this agreement, you also acknowledge that, although unlikely, the farm may make minor changes to parts of this agreement related to production and distribution from time to time, and will contact you via email in advance of any changes to this agreement.