Frequently Asked Questions
Our farm is certified organic, and we promise that every item you see on our farmers market table or receive in your customized CSA share was grown on our farm. Organic farming means that we do not use synthetic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, synthetic herbicides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our production. We are also certified by the Real Organic Project which means that everything is grown in soil – we do not use hydroponic growing systems. We do use several different methods to improve soil and plant health and ward off pests. All of our growing methods follow organic standards recognized by the USDA. If you have a specific question about our growing methods just ask – we love to talk about all of the cool things that you can do without resorting to synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Did you know that we can reduce our fertilizer needs by rotating crops around the farm and planting cover crops in between veggie plantings? Or that you can repel deer with capsaicin spray (the oil that makes a hot pepper taste spicy)? Or that chrystanthemum plants (“mums”) naturally produce a compound that is useful in controlling aphids, thrips, and fruit flies? We could go on all day. Just ask!
We take food safety very seriously. Our farm is GAP Certified (good agricultural practices) and trained according to FSMA (food safety modernization act). We have taken extensive training courses and have developed practices throughout our farming operation to reduce contact points with your food and to ensure that all of our staff are working in a clean and safe manner. We believe that buying direct from a smaller local farm is one of the best ways to reduce the number of hands that touch your food.
What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. By paying in advance for a weekly delivery of harvest-fresh produce, CSA Members support the farm through their upfront investment in the all-natural, pesticide-free food they will receive during the growing season.
What does it mean to be a Member?
During the growing season (June through November), Members receive a weekly share of the farm’s produce, delivered to a farmer’s market or pick-up site within 24 hours of harvest. Members are also invited to special farm days. This season Members may also pick four bunches of flowers at the farm. After Members’ shares are filled, we make produce available to farmer’s markets, restaurants and wholesale accounts.
What size share should I get?
A small/half share is approximately 4 items per week. This is a great size for a couple who cooks 3-4 nights per week. A full/large share is approximately 8 items per week. This is the perfect size for a family or a couple who plans on cooking nearly every night of the week. If you are on the fence we encourage you to opt for a larger share. It is a great way to encourage healthier eating habits and spend more time around the table with your family!
Do you offer CSA add ons like fruit, cheese, bread, etc.?
We decided several years ago that it was very important to us that we only offer items that we grow on our farm in our CSA shares. We believe that the backbone of the CSA program is the trust that you put in your farmer. We want you to always know exactly where your food came from and how it was grown. To that end, we promise to only ever give you vegetables and meat that came from our farm. We do not buy veggies at auction and we do not source veggies from other farmers. We know that there are lots of other talented and trustworthy producers in our local foodshed. We are grateful for their contributions and we encourage you to support them. If you are looking for a recommendation on where to find items that are not available in our CSA shares we are more than happy to point you in the right direction.
We do have a limited number of pork CSA shares available from heritage breed hogs that we raise on our farm. Please contact us if you are interested in a pork CSA share.
Do I have to pay for my CSA share all in advance?
Payment plans are now available. If you don’t see a payment plan that works for you, let us know what would be comfortable for you.
How do I get my weekly share?
You pick up your share at a farmer’s market or a drop-off site. Look at the map and list of sites to select the one most convenient to you.
What will I receive in my share as the season progresses? Can I specify what produce comes in my share?
Our Harvest Calendar gives you a general idea of what your share might include, depending on the weather and growing conditions.
If you are picking up at a farmer’s market, you choose your items from the produce available. Members always get priority, so limited items may not be available to non-member market customers. Strawberries, for example, usually sell out to Members only.
When you sign up for a share at a customized drop off site, you will choose your pick-up location and your share size. Then you will rank the vegetables on a scale from “never” to “I love it.” Our CSA platform then designs your box. Each week it gives you the opportunity to adjust the selections – and, if you wish, to augment your box with additional items. For example, if you are having a party, you might need two more head of lettuce and another watermelon. Those items will be charged to your account.
Can I split my share with a family member or friend?
We encourage each family to sign up for their own membership. We have found that this helps avoid confusion and gives each family the best opportunity to choose their own CSA experience and get the most out of their relationship with our farm.
What happens if I go on vacation?
You may have a neighbor, friend or family member come and pick up your share. If you pick up from a farmers market, you can pick up a missed share the following week. If you get a customized share at a drop off site, you can put your share on hold and add the items other weeks. If you forget to put your share on hold, we will donate the share.
Can I switch share types in mid-season?
You can switch from small share to large share, but not from large to small.
May I cancel and receive a refund?
Once you join the CSA, your spot is secured for the entire growing season.
What happens if I don’t pick up my share?
For every ten shares at a site, the site earns one share to donate to a charity of their choice. If you do not pick up your share, it will be donated to your site’s charity.
Can I make crop suggestions for the farm?
Absolutely! We enjoy hearing from Members, especially about new crops you might like to try.
Why should I eat produce in season?
Seasonal eating means that you rely primarily on foods when nature makes them available. When you join a farm CSA, your body gets accustomed to being in tune with the rhythms of nature. You feel healthier because you’re eating the freshest food available, grown in harmony with the Earth. You’ll find it’s tastier, too!
How will I learn to prepare the produce I receive each week?
Follow this link to our pages of preparation tips and delicious recipes to enhance your table. Some are old favorites of our family, others we have created to make the best use of our seasonal produce, while others come from Members who have shared their cooking successes with our One Straw Farm family.
If I have other questions? Contact
How do I join One Straw Farm as member and guarantee my CSA share?
You can join HERE
You may choose to pay via credit card or you can mail your check to:
One Straw Farm
19718 Kirkwood Shop Rd.
White Hall, MD 21161