CSA Workday Frequently Asked Questions
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.