City Commons CSA Member Handbook

A number of people have been e-mailing and calling to ask questions that are answered in our member handbook. We always welcome questions, but we did spend a lot of time creating this document, so we want to make sure people are reading it. Just in case you didn’t get it in our e-mail this spring, here’s a chance to revisit our instructions and policies! =)

 

 

City Commons CSA

2014 Summer CSA Member Guide

Welcome to City Commons CSA! We hope you find the following information useful in picking up and using your share.

 

I. CSA Membership and Risk

II. Member Responsibilities

III. Full vs. Half Shares

IV. Pick-Up Dates and Times

V. Pick-Up Instructions

VI. Options If I Can’t Pick Up My Box

VII. Recipes

VIII. Member Events

IX. Specific Site Hours and Directions

X. Refunds

XI.  Handling and Storing Your Produce

 

I. CSA Membership and Risk

This season, you will take a journey with our families as we work to produce healthy, delicious food from the soil. Being a CSA member means that you share in all the risk that is inherent in farming. Inevitably, it will be a banner year for certain crops and a terrible year for others. The delicate dance between all the unknowns, all the uncontrollables, and the vegetables themselves will be reflected in your box throughout the season. Through crop diversity and good planning, it is our aim that your box will be full of beautiful vegetables each week, despite what nature may throw our way.

 

II. Member Responsibilities

As the farmers, it is our responsibility to grow, pack, and deliver food to you with open communication. Members have responsibilities too. To make sure everyone gets their share each week, we ask that you follow the simple, yet critical directions we offer.

 

All CSA Members are expected to:

 

1. Read the member handbook in its entirety.

 

2. Know where and when to pick-up your CSA share.

Make sure anyone picking up your box on your behalf knows what to do as well. The farm will not issue credit or refunds for unclaimed or forgotten boxes.

 

3. Take home your produce in your own bag or box, if possible or if not, return our boxes in a timely manner.

 

4. Read all email communications from the farm.

 

5. Please understand that we can’t control the weather.

The quantity and quality of the produce you receive may be more or less than expected depending on many environmental variables.

 

III. Full vs. Half Shares

All full share members pick-up a box every week at their chosen pick-up site.

 

Half share members pick-up a box every other week at their chosen pick-up site. We split half shares into 2 groups; Odd week members pick up on odd numbered weeks (1,3,5, etc.) and even week members who pick up on even weeks.

 

Both full and half shares come in the same boxes.

 

IV. Pick-Up Dates and Times

Pick-up days are either Tuesdays from 4-7pm OR Saturdays from 10am-1pm.

 

Full shares pick-up starting June 17th (Tues) OR June 21st (Sat) and stop October 28th (Tues) OR November 1st (Sat).

 

Odd weeks pick-up on all odd-numbered weeks, beginning week #1 (June 17th OR June 21st ) and ending week #19 (October 21st OR October 25th).

 

Even weeks pick-up on all even-numbered weeks, beginning week #2 (June 24th OR June 28th) and ending week #20 (October 28th OR November 1st).

 

V. Pick-Up Instructions

1. Check-Sheets: Each week, please check-off your name on the check sheet to signify that you’ve received your box. This is extremely important in helping us help you! If you are splitting a share, please remember that you may be listed under the other household’s name.

 

2. Unpack Your Share into Your Own Bag: In an effort to re-use and recycle, we ask that you bring your own bag or box to take your produce home in. Once you unpack your CSA share into your own bags, please break down the box, and stack them in a neat pile next to the stack CSA boxes that haven’t yet been picked up. If you forget, please return the box the following week.

 

*Remember the TABS when assembling or breaking down the boxes. The tabs get tucked into the slots. If you grab the flaps of the box and pull, the tabs tear. Then the boxes can no longer be reused for later use. Please pile the boxes neatly in the designated spot.

 

3. Unclaimed Boxes: Boxes unclaimed by specified pick-up times will be donated. No credits or refunds will be issued for forgotten boxes.

 

VI. Options If I Can’t Pick Up My Box

If you can’t pick up your share (or get someone else to pick it up on your behalf), there are additional options available to you. Please let us know if you won’t be able to get your share so that we can make sure your food is not wasted. We are unable to hold shares or arrange a separate pick-up due to limited cooler space. Please note, we do not issue credits or refunds for boxes you are unable to pick-up. All special arrangements need to be set up PRIOR to the pick-up day, by Mondays at 5 p.m. or Fridays at 12pm. We are unable to accommodate requests on the day of pick-up. Members who miss 3 pick-ups in a row and have not contacted us forfeit their share for the remainder of the season.  To let us know if you are not picking up your share email us at citycommonscsa@gmail.com.

 

Options:

1. See if a family member, friend or neighbor would be willing to pick up for you. This helps you, helps us, and

gives someone new the opportunity to see what CSAs are all about and maybe try some of your veggies!

2. You can ask the farm not to make a box for you.

3. You can ask the farm to donate your box, either to a hard-working farm volunteer or to a local food pantry.

 

VII. Recipes

In addition to your vegetables, we provide you with weekly recipes and box contents on our website, http://www.citycommonscsa.com. You will also find farms’ highlights, information on how to store and prepare a featured vegetable, and cooking inspiration straight from our kitchens and around the web on our blog. We hope that in addition to receiving fresh, seasonal vegetables, you will learn a bit about the farms, the process of farming organically, and develop your skills in the kitchen a bit, too. You can also find regular updates and pictures from all the City Commons farms on our Facebook page.

 

Like us at www.facebook.com/CityCommonsCSA

 

VIII. Member Events

As a CSA member, you can get to know your farmers personally. Know your farmer, know your food.

In 2014 we have 2 different member events planned:

• June 19: Spring Kick-off Potluck at Food Field 1pm – 3:30 pm

• September 13: Harvest Potluck at Fields of Plenty

• In addition a number of our farms have weekly volunteer hours if you’re interested in getting your hands dirty.

For more information contact us at citycommonscsa@gmail.com.

We’ll send out more details about our member events closer to the day of the event. We hope to meet you!

 

IX. Specific Site Hours and Directions

CSA members must pick up their shares at the site that they have selected on the their sign-up form. We are not able to make switches from one site to another even for one week due to the number of families involved. This guideline is necessary to avoid any miscalculations and to maintain planning and harvesting efficiencies.:

 

Bloomfield Hills

Site Address:

6640 Valley Spring Dr., Bloomfield Hills, 48301

 

Site Hours:

Saturdays between 10am-1pm

 

On-Site Directions: The CSA boxes will be located in a white cooler box in the garage. The house has a horseshoe driveway. The boxes are in an insulated box, and fairly shaded. However, the closer to 4pm you can pick up, the better, as summer temperatures are not friendly to fresh produce. The quality and flavor of your veggies will be much better the sooner that you get them home and into a cool refrigerator to keep them fresh.

 

 

Food Field

Site Address:

1600 Lawrence St. (between Woodrow Wilson St. and Rosa Parks Blvd.), Detroit, 48206

 

Site Hours:

Saturdays between 10am-1pm

 

On-Site Directions: Please follow the driveway or park on Lawrence St when you get to the farm.  Share boxes will be outside on the picnic table or in the cooler and someone will be available to assist you if needed.  We may also have extra items for sale such as eggs, honey or pickles for those interested.  Let us know if you have any concerns about dogs since our friendly and mellow farm dog Henry will greet you on arrival!

 

Singing Tree Gardens

Site Address:

50 E Longwood Ave, Detroit, 48203 (some web searches list it as in Highland Park)

 

Site Hours:

Tuesdays between 4-7pm

OR

Saturdays between 10am-1pm

 

On-Site Directions: 30 E. Longwood is a gray house on the right side of street. Once at address, walk straight back to the left of the house. There will be a black/brown cooler shed where the shares will be held. The entrance to the shed is facing the farm. DO NOT close the latch on the shed, this locks the the shed so other members can’t get in! 

 

Vinewood Knoll

Site Address:

1130 Vinewood St, Detroit, 48216

 

Site Hours:

Tuesdays between 4-7pm

 

On-Site Directions: The CSA boxes are will be located in a white cooler box to the right of the house. When you walk up the front sidewalk veer right, rather than going up the front porch stairs. The boxes are in an insulated box, and fairly shaded. However, the closer to 4pm you can pick up, the better, as summer temperatures are not friendly to fresh produce. The quality and flavor of your veggies will be much better the sooner that you get them home and into a cool refrigerator to keep them fresh.

X. Refunds
We regret that we cannot offer refunds for shares once the season has begun unless there is someone on the waiting list who can take over your membership. All refunds are subject to a non-refundable $25 processing fee. If you find that you will not be able to use your share as planned, we suggest that you arrange for a friend or family member to take over your share for you.

 

XI. Handling and Storing Your Produce

 

  • Storage
    Produce is susceptible to damage if left in a hot car. Most produce should be stored in the refrigerator in clean plastic or canvas bags. Greens are delicate and should be placed gently in bags in the refrigerator as soon as you get home. When greens are exposed to air, even for a short time, they may begin to wilt, but they are still good to eat. To refresh the greens, soak them in a sink full of cold water until they are rehydrated. Potatoes, onions, garlic and winter squash should be stored in a cool, dry place. Some crops prefer temperatures warmer than found in your refrigerator. For example, tomatoes, winter squash and sweet potatoes like to be kept around 60 degrees F.

 

  • Washing
    Winter root crops (potatoes, carrots, celeriac, turnips, etc.) will store better with the soil on them, so at times we will leave the washing to you. Scrub thoroughly with a brush before using. Greens are usually washed in large batches at the farm. You can give them a more thorough washing at home in a sink full of cold water. In general, produce stores better the less it has been handled, so wash just prior to using.

 

  • Freezing
    Many types of produce can be frozen for eating at a later date. With the exceptions of peppers, tomatoes, cooked pumpkin or squash, onions and herbs, most vegetables need to be blanched before freezing. Blanch vegetables by submerging them in boiling water. Blanching times vary depending on the size and shape of the vegetables. Blanched vegetables need to be cooled in a large quantity of cold or ice water. Cool vegetables for the same amount of time that was used for cooking. Drain and store in airtight containers.

 

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We are full for now- but planning to add more members at a pro-rated cost after July 4. Please e-mail citycommonscsa@gmail.com and we will put your on our list and be in touch in early July.