Wickham Farms
 
 

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

FAQ & Policies

join Community Supported Agriculture csa vegetable fruit farm shareWhy does Wickham Farms run a CSA, and not sell vegetables at the farm?
We have tried selling retail vegetables in the past, but there’s a huge amount of waste. Something as simple as a rainy day can mean that people don’t come out to purchase vegetables, and you’re either selling less-than-fresh produce, or dumping it in the compost heap.

In the CSA model there's very little waste and everything is fresh. We know how much to plant and harvest each day. Most of what is left over is donated to the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf, so the waste is almost nil.

We believe in the CSA concept so strongly that we do not offer our vegetables for retail sale.

How long have you had a CSA?
The 2016 season will be our fifth season as a CSA. Our program has grown every year.

Where will the produce be grown?
With the exception of sweet corn, our produce is grown at our farm in Penfield. Sweet corn is provided by a Wickham family member’s farm in Canandaigua and will be picked fresh the morning of pick-up day. In rare cases, when we are not happy with a particular harvest, we may supplement our harvest by purchasing produce from a nearby farm.

Will I be expected to volunteer?
We do not require volunteering. For our first two years, we announced volunteer opportunities but found that there was little interest in participating.

May I split a share with a friend?
Yes, but bear in mind that the shares may not split evenly. As an example, a share may contain one watermelon or one bulb of garlic. Also, full and biweekly shares must be picked up in one visit to the farm. Your entire account will need to be paid in full to participate in the first harvest distribution.

When does the CSA start and end?
We aim to start distribution early June. If we have a cold, wet spring, we may start a week or two later. We will communicate our official start date by email as we get closer to our first harvest. The CSA will end 18 weeks after we start distribution. If we start later in June than expected, your pick-up will continue well into October.

What if I can’t pick up my share on my assigned day?
You paid for all of the weeks in your share, and we will do our very best to make sure you get them! In most cases, your best bet it to have a friend pick up the share for you. You do not need to notify us in advance if a friend is picking up for you.

If you have a full or biweekly share, you may reschedule your pickup day if you call us 24 hours in advance. If you have a Grab & Go share, you may temporarily or permanently change your pickup location with 24 hours notice.

If these options won’t work, call us in advance and we’ll try to work out an alternative.

What fruits are included?
Our CSA includes watermelons and melons. We also offer Concord and Niagara grapes as u-pick bonuses offered to full and biweekly members (our CSA land was originally a vineyard, and we kept several rows of the grapes). In 2016, we have added berries, cherries, and apples to the shares.

Can my children be involved?
Absolutely! Our CSA members have told us that their children are motivated to try new vegetables from “their farm.” Here are a few ways you can involve your children:

  1. Allow them to select, weigh, and count on pick-up day.
  2. Involve them in your weekly menu planning with the vegetables you bring home.
  3. Invite them to help pick u-pick bonuses.
  4. Encourage them to meet the Wickham farmers and ask us questions.

Is this an organic CSA? Do you use pesticides?
We are not an organic farm, although we practice many things organic farms do – cover crops, crop rotation, drip irrigation, planting under plastic mulch, etc. -- to ensure the health of the plant.

That said, we need all the tools we can get to ensure that we can deliver a high-quality crop to our CSA members. As a result, we retain an integrated pest management consultant who visits our farm weekly and inspects our crops for damage. When pest pressure reaches a statistical threshold that will cause significant and unacceptable damage to the crop, and the only practical choice is a non-organic chemical, then we will spray, using the lowest effective concentration.

Know that the Wickham family eats CSA produce, so they want safe produce, too. Bill Wickham has a degree in agriculture from Cornell, as well as additional training in applying these chemicals, so he's very careful to ensure that everything is treated with the highest level of safety in mind.

Still have questions? Don't hesitate to email us at csa@wickhamfarms.com.

  


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