Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why should I join your CSA?

  • You will receive a weekly dose of fresh-picked, locally grown produce from a source you can trust. Your weekly box of bounty and our ever-increasing list of gourmet-tested recipes will provide you with the basis for delicious and healthy meals.
  • You can feed those scrumptious vegetables to your family without fear of even a trace of harmful chemicals or concerns for the environmental impact from their production.
  • You’ll learn about new vegetables and gain an appreciation for the seasons, growing to anticipate the changes in the weather that bring along the next family of produce.
  • You’ll build relationships with your local farmer and the growing community who shares your desire to buy local and provide the healthiest food to their families.
  • By joining Where the Redfearn Grows Natural Farms CSA you’ll have access to special buys on extra produce, eggs, and honey and in future years milk and U-pick fruits.
  • Our CSA offers two different membership options to fit your needs and is flexible to allow you to choose some of the content of your boxes.
  • We are confident that we will exceed your expectations! –> Become a member of the best CSA in Kansas City

What will be included in the 2016 season?

We have an extensive menu planned for you for the 2016 season. Since the growth of plants depends on local weather patterns, the selection and quantity of produce available for you to choose from will vary throughout the season. The chart below shows items you could expect to see either as farm selected items or available for your free choice items. For most of the vegetables listed we grow multiple varieties; for instance we grow several varieties of tomatoes and peppers, many types of lettuce and our Spring Salad Mix includes 11 types of baby leaves so you’ll receive an astonishing assortment of colors and flavors.

May and June

July and August

September and October

Arugula

Basil

Arugula

Onions

Bok Choi

Beets

Basil

Pumpkins

Broccoli

Cabbage

Beets

Spicy Peppers

Cabbage

Carrots

Bok Choi

Spring Greens

Green Onions

Cucumbers

Broccoli

Sweet Peppers

Kale

Eggplant

Cabbage

Sweet Potatoes

Kohlrabi

Fennel Bulbs

Carrots

Swiss Chard

Lettuce

Garlic

Chinese Cabbage

Tomatoes

Mizuna

Green Beans

Cucumbers

Turnips

Mustard Greens

Kale

Eggplant

Winter Squash

Radishes

Lettuce

Fennel Bulbs

Yellow Squash

Spinach

Onions

Garlic

Zucchini

Spring Salad Greens

Potatoes

Green Beans

 

Sugar Snap Peas

Spicy Peppers

Green Onions

 

Swiss Chard

Sweet Peppers

Jerusalem Artichokes

 

Turnips

Swiss Chard

Kale

 

 

Tomatoes

Kohlrabi

 

 

Turnips

Leeks

 

 

Yellow Squash

Lettuce

 

 

Zucchini

Mizuna

 

Keep in mind that weather conditions may delay or extend the harvest of some crops and pest pressure can sometimes limit the quantities of certain crops.  

 

Do I get to pick which vegetables I will receive in my box?

YES! You will get the chance to select some of the items in your box this year!  We tested this out at the end of last season and our members gave us such positive feedback that we are revamping the CSA to give you more selection!

Every week your farmers will select  three items that everyone will receive in their boxes.  These will be based upon crop yields and seasonality.  We will rotate these to insure that you don’t receive the same items every week (unless you choose to).  But we do need to have some predictability so that we can insure that we harvest (and grow) an adequate amount to cover our members needs.

But beyond those three items, members can select from many other available items to complete their box.  Members who join at the Basic level will choose two items and those who join at the Premium level will choose five items.  Premium members will also have the option of doubling up on some of their selections if they so choose.

Both the farm selected items and the choice items are based upon what is in season on that date.  We utilize all sorts of season extension techniques to get more variety throughout the season, but certain items are seasonal.  Snap peas for instance will only be available in the spring.

Every week we post recipes and basic preparation instructions to go with the the vegetables we have to offer so you don’t have to be afraid you’ll get stuck with something you just don’t know how to use.

Through our CSA you will gain a new-found connection to the seasons and the cycle of nature.  You’ll enjoy a new appreciation for cool-season lettuces, greens, sugary peas and crisp roots in spring, enjoy the transition to heat-loving zucchini, Tomatoes and Peppers in Summer, and then dive into the crescendo of flavors when heat-loving and cool-season vegetables collide in the fall.

Am I going to get lots of weird vegetables that I don’t know how to use?

We grow most every vegetable that you’ve ever heard of plus some you may not recognize.  When people think of garden produce they often think of old standbys like tomatoes, peppers, green beans, zucchini, etc.  We’ll have lots of those available, but those are all heat-loving crops.  You’ll be receiving your first share by mid-May just after we’ve set baby tomato plants out in the fields unprotected.  Besides that, we love variety and part of our mission is to introduce Kansas City to a wider-array of culinary delights.  Bok Choy, Mizuna, Chinese Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Kailan, Swiss Chard, and Kale are some vegetables that may be more rare in your kitchen, but they are such a delight that we think you’ll wonder how you lived without them.  We post recipes all the time to help inspire your culinary creations with these more unusual vegetables.   Many of our members tell us that those occasional first-time vegetable encounters are part of what makes being a member of the CSA so much fun.  Besides our Where the Redfearn Grows Natural Farms resident Chef Sheri posts great recipes that meet her rigorous standards.  We promise you won’t get too much weird stuff in your farm-selected items, just enough new things to spice up your dinner table.  We’ll offer limited quantities of the rarer vegetables to choose from if you are daring enough to take them.

Since the vegetables are all-natural, how long do they generally last?

Our vegetables are harvested closer to the time you will eat them, so they have better flavor and quality than grocery store produce.   If properly cared for, they should outlast grocery store produce.  We’ll include advice for storage of various vegetables as the season progresses.  For instance, putting tomatoes in the refrigerator greatly extends their shelf life, but storage at those temperatures has negative effects upon overall flavor.

What if I want to share my box with another person/family?

That’s great! We have had several members do that!  With the free choice options offered this year, you might need to make a phone call each week to whomever you are sharing with to confirm their choices, but if you can work it out, no problem on our end.  We don’t have a method for dividing produce between boxes or dividing payment responsibilities so you’ll need to work that out with your partner.  Just let us know the name and contact info for the partner if they are ever going to come to pick up your shared share.

Do you deliver?

We don’t deliver to your door, but we do have two convenient pickup locations: Where the Redfearn Grows Natural Farms in Independence and in downtown Lee’s Summit.  If you’d like to host a pickup at another convenient KC area location, let us know and we’ll see if we can work something out for next season.

What is the CSA pick up procedure?

New in 2016! Unlike previous seasons, we won’t have your boxes pre-packaged when you arrive because you will have the chance to choose part of the contents of your share.  You will need to bring a reusable produce bag to pick up your produce.  If you are picking up at the farm, you will find a farmers market setup with items clearly displayed showing which three items you will receive for the farm-selected items and then all of the items available to choose from for your 2 or 5 items (Basic and Premium memberships respectively).  We’ll have someone available to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.  If you selected Lee’s Summit pickup then you’ll just visit our farmer’s market booth at the Downtown Lee’s Summit Farmers Market and receive instructions and make your selections there.  If you are coming to the farm for pick up we’ll have more time to visit.  Feel free to look around the farm and see the progress.   Bring your kids and ask if they can help feed the chickens.

What if I’m going to be late to pick up?

Please try to come at the appointed time or make arrangements for someone else to pick up your produce.  Produce left over to the next day will be donated or fed to the chickens/goats unless we hear from you first.  

What do I do if I can’t make my scheduled pickup?

If they can’t make it, most members designate a friend to pick up their share for them.  If they are going to be out of town for the week, they’ll often let a friend pick up and enjoy the whole box.  Just contact us and let us know who will be picking up for you that week.  We love to give new folks opportunities to see first hand what our produce and farm look like. 

Why is there a work requirement as part of membership?

Our farm depends on extensive manual labor to produce the delicious produce you enjoy.  The work requirement is an effort to keep the CSA share price low by reducing the need for hiring paid labor.  Besides that, we enjoy working alongside you and having the opportunity to build community through the relationships we make as we converse while picking green beans or bagging salad greens together.  By fulfilling the work requirement you will be gaining first-hand knowledge of how your naturally grown produce came into being and a greater appreciation for the wonders of real food.  If you are unable fulfill the work requirement, we offer non-working shares for an additional fee.

How do I sign up to fulfill the work requirment

When you sign up to become a CSA member you will choose a member login and password.  You must be logged in to sign up for a workday.  Go to Workday Signup and choose the dates of the workdays that you would like to work through our Eventbrite ap.  You will receive an email confirmation for each workday you have selected.   For the best selection, sign up early since dates will fill up over time.  Saturday shifts are limited in quantity by design.  We especially need your help on CSA pickup days (Mondays 8:00AM to Noon) and Friday harvest mornings but we also are offering some Monday evening shifts where you can pick up your share and then help out a little.  So please sign up for weekday shifts if at all possible and allow room in the limited weekend slots for those who are absolutely unable to take a little time off from work during the week.  Please ensure that you sign-up for your required number of hours prior to the start of the season.  Feel free to sign up for more hours than are required with your CSA commitment.  We could definitely use the help!

What will we do on a normal work day?

Workdays are an opportunity for our members to get close and personal with the process of growing great food.  Monday and Friday morning workdays coincide with CSA pickups and farmers market harvest, so on those days the first priority will be harvesting, washing, dividing and packaging produce.  When we have extra people and extra time we will head to the fields, hoe-in-hand, and get physical with the weeds.  Other odd jobs might be watering, spreading compost or mulch or helping string up trellises.  The Monday and Saturday workdays may sometimes involve big multi-person harvesting jobs like when it’s time to get the garlic crop in (we’ve already got 3,600 heads growing for next season), or the potatoes, pumpkins or sweet potatoes.  Usually, though, these work days will be reserved for catching up on bigger projects around the farm.  We’ll be trellising tomatoes or cucumbers, building fences, laying drip irrigation lines, applying the greenhouse covering and of course, weeding.

What should I wear to work day?

Farm’n clothes of course!  Last year one member showed up with a straw hat and overalls, but you don’t have to look more like farmers than we do.  Wear rubber boots if you have them and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.  If it’s going to be hot, wear light colors and bring a water bottle either way!

Will you cancel workdays for bad weather?

On CSA harvest days (Monday and Friday mornings) we will have your the harvest ready no matter what the weather, so that means we have to harvest no matter what the circumstances.  We won’t send you out in a fierce lightening storm, but we can’t stop the harvest because of uncomfortable conditions.  Just think of the ancient Greek historian Herodotus when he hailed the Persian mounted postal couriers: “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”  Just bring a rain jacket and a water bottle and we’ll make it through together.  But for Saturday workdays, when not under the gun to deliver produce, we may cancel in cases of extreme weather.

What can I do if I’m not physically able to work in the field?

CSA harvest days (Monday and Friday morning) workdays we have plenty to do bagging produce, washing vegetables, and weighing and dividing produce, so if you aren’t able to do the more physical work in the fields but think you could manage these jobs, just let us know and we’ll accommodate your needs.  If you just can’t manage anything like this, but have some other skills that you’d like to apply to helping the farm like accounting, organization, building stuff, or web design, please contact us.  If none of these options is a fit for you, we do offer non-work shares for an additional fee.

Do kids count in fulfilling work requirements?

We love kids, and encourage you to bring them to the farm on pickup days.  They’ll love joining our children in feeding the chickens and goats!  But, no if they’re under 14 they won’t count toward the work requirements.  In fact, kids under 14 must to be supervised by a parent while on the farm.  We ask that on your scheduled workday you come without extremely young children.  Generally we find that children under 10 have difficulty on workdays, but that depends on maturity level.  Please use your discretion, about how young would be too young to bring along on workdays.  If you think your child can handle four hours of working or playing by your side without distracting you from your work or getting into trouble, then we will support you in your desire to educate them.  If you know your child won’t behave without your 100% attention, then feel free to bring them on pickup days for tours, petting the animals, swinging on the tire swing, etc.  Suggestion: bring some rubber boots for your child.  

What if I can’t make it to my scheduled work assignment?

PLEASE make it a top priority to honor your commitment!  If you’ve chosen a normal share or an extra-work share, your work shifts are part of your commitment at CSA signup and help to lower your share cost.  Harvesting for 75 families in a single day is a large task for us, and we are counting on having at least four members helping us on every harvest day.  If you can’t make it to your scheduled workday, please tell us in advance as early as possible.  We will attempt to contact another member to fill your spot.  You’ll also need to sign up for another date to fulfill your obligation.

How can I be sure you use natural growing practices?

One of the best things about the buy local, know-your-farmer movement is the trust that is built. Do you trust the multinational conglomerates that produce much of the food Americans consume? Unlike the big guys, we are a family feeding families. We are happy to have you visit our farm any time to see what we do and how we do it.

What membership level is right for me?

Your choice between a Premium and Basic membership level depends on how much choice you want and how much you like to cook.

If you are an adventurous cook or you want to figure out how to increase the role of vegetables in your diet, we would recommend the Premium Membership.

We can’t really say which level is right for you based upon family size because a single person who is a strict vegetarian and who cooks every meal might find even the Premium Membership share wasn’t enough, while a family of 5 with a busy schedule that eats most meals away from home might be fine with only a Basic Membership.

We offer these two different levels to allow you to customize your membership where you feel you can receive the best value.

Basic Share:  3 farm-selected items and a choice of two additional items.

Premium Share: 3 farm-selected items and a choice of five additional items (with the option of duplicating some items if desired)

Both membership levels will be selecting from the same available items each week.  Premium members will simply choose more of those items.

How do your prices compare to the grocery store?

First off, let’s make sure we are not comparing proverbial apples and oranges. We believe our produce has three key advantages over the “competition”: it’s healthier, more flavorful and more environmentally responsible. Most grocery store produce (even the organic produce) was harvested several days earlier before peak ripeness was achieved—this has negative impacts on both flavor and nutrient content. Conventionally grown produce was usually sprayed numerous times with chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers, all of which have been shown to remain in produce all the way to your dinner table. Lettuces and greens were often grown in soil-less hydroponic chemical drips consequently severely lack the micro-nutrients found in plants grown in rich organic soils. Finally, even commercially produced organic produce often depends on a tremendous waste stream of disposable plastic mulches and require lots of energy input to truck the produce in from out of state. Our commitment to our core values of Locally Grown, Small-Scale, and Natural Growing Practices result in higher production costs that have to be covered some how if we want to also be Sustainable and continue to provide the community with the resulting product we feel proud to share. If you take the share cost and divide that total cost by the number of weeks you will receive them, you’ll find that your weekly outlay for these amazing products is unbelievably reasonable.

Why do we pay upfront?

Many of the costs to produce the vegetables you will enjoy are incurred to the farmer well before you take your first bite. We have to arrange for spreading compost and manure, ordering seeds and plant starts, heating our greenhouse to raise our young plants for transplant, purchasing irrigation supplies, packaging supplies, required tools and equipment maintenance before we even distribute the first week of produce. The growth of our farm and of our ability to feed our community depends upon cash flow to cover these costs.  Please also consider signing up and paying as early as possible to help us cover all these upfront costs.

What if I decide not to be a member after signing up and paying

Generally, your payment is non-refundable.  We use sign ups before the season to buy non-GMO seed and fund all of the upfront costs of operating the farm. If you lose your job and have to move away or have some major life-changing event in your life, contact us and we’ll work something out.

What if I want to drop out during the season?

We’ve planted and prepared for each member in the CSA. By signing up you are committing to membership throughout the season. If you are unable to continue the season due to moving away or some other unforeseen event, we ask that you find someone to take over your share. They can pay you whatever you agree upon to take over your membership. Let us know you are doing this so we’ll be ready to greet the unfamiliar face.

How do I buy eggs?

We’re adding to the flock this year to account for your growing demand for awesome farm-fresh eggs. Just come visit us at the farm.  We’ll have dozens of eggs available for purchase on CSA pickup days or any other day for that matter.

How do I buy Honey?

Just ask us if we have any still available.  We harvest honey every September and eventually sell out.  We’ll let you know pricing and availability and as CSA members you’ll get the first opportunity to purchase, but this delicious item sells out fast, so don’t wait!