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2017 Harvest Tide Organics CSA Membership Agreement

 

The purpose of a membership agreement is to be sure the farm and the members are all on the same page as we move towards the season. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a relationship between our farm and you as our customer. Rather than simply purchasing food, farm customers become “members” of this CSA, and receive a portion of the farm’s harvest. The relationship that exists between CSA farmers and CSA members is common, but somewhat unconventional in today’s world of buying and selling, so it’s important to lay the groundwork for expectations and a great growing and eating season.

 

About the CSA

Harvest Tide Organics Summer CSA runs for 21 of weeks, from Early June to November.  Members are responsible for showing up at pick-up site each week to pick up your share of freshly harvested produce.  Member will generally receive 5-7 or 7-9 (depending on share size) vegetables, approximately enough produce to supply an omnivore couple or family of four respectively.  Farmer and member commitments to the CSA model are discussed more below.  All produce is certified organic, grown on our farm exclusively, and seasonal in southern central Maine.

Commitments of the Farmers

     As growers for the CSA and the packagers, deliverers, and providers of your produce, it is the farmers’ job to plan for and execute farming activities to be sure that we have food of the highest quality in sufficient quantities to support the needs of each CSA member’s share.  

        As a certified organic farm and business owners committed to environmental stewardship, it is the farmers’ responsibility to manage the processes on the farm in a way that commits to the long term health of the land, water, and environment surrounding the farm.  Part of the farmers’ commitment to the CSA model and organics is transparency about our growing practices - for more information about organic growing or specific practices on the farm, all questions are welcome.

   A few basics about the farmers’ responsibilities:

 

  1. Shares will be packed, ready, and delivered on-time to each drop off site, public or employer.  
  2. Produce will be washed and packed to a reasonable standard.
  3. Produce will be certified organic by MOFGA and grown exclusively on farm.
  4. Produce will be seasonal to Maine’s Spring, Summer, and Fall weather, with the farmers’ best efforts to make delicious items available for the longest possible time.
  5. Best efforts will be made by farmers regarding transparency and communication. All members will get weekly newsletter detailing happenings on the farm and what is in this week’s share.  Farmers will communicate any major crop failures to members.  Farm will be open for public visits at least twice throughout the season, and more scheduled visits are possible.

Shared Commitments

       Shared risk of crop failure is an essential part of being a grower and member of a CSA farm.  Farming is imbued with risk beyond the farmers’ control: poor weather, plant disease, pests, droughts, and frosts and other unexpected happenings can quickly alter the availability of crops throughout the season. The farmers agree to anticipate and prepare for a wide array of possible crop outcomes and to incorporate growing practices that minimize risk of loss.  Farmers agree to communicate major losses with members so that they may plan for loss of the crop.

Members agree to support the farm throughout the season, with awareness of the risks that are part of farming.  Members understand that there is no guarantee on the exact amount or type of produce members will receive in their share.

Shared reward is the fun part! Based on weather, growing practices, soil conditions, and shear luck, there are years that some crops will be in serious abundance.  Farmers agree to pass this abundance on to members boosting the volumes of produce in their shares. Farmers agree to prioritize the needs of the CSA when abundances are available.  Members acknowledge that Harvest Tide Organics has other outlets for selling produce, and to avoid overloading members and causing food waste (and to contribute to the economic success of the farm) Harvest Tide produce may also be sold to other purchasing parties.

Member Commitments

        Members agree to the principles and practices of a Community Supported Agriculture agreement, including the principles of shared risk and shared reward.  Members agree to communicate all questions and concerns with the farmers

A few basics about the members’ responsibilities:

  1. Members will pick up their share in the designated pick-up hours for their location.
  2. If one cannot pick-up their share during that time in a given week, they are welcome to have the share pick-up by someone else.
  3. All shares not picked up during the designated pick-up time will be forfeited by the member and donated in a predetermined manner by the farmer.
  4. Splitting shares is welcome, but logistics are the responsibility of the sharing members.  This includes payment.
  5. Shares/deposits are non-refundable.
  6. Members acknowledge that public pick-up locations are partners with the CSA, but are not employees of the farm.  Members will respect the property of the pick-up location, and will follow all pick-up rules to be determined by location.  Any issues with the delivery or share at a pick-up location will be communicated to the farmer and not employees of the pick-up location.
  7. We take the safety of your food seriously.For your added protection, wash all produce before eating.

Communication between Farmers and Members

The best way to communicate with us is via email.  Our email is harvesttideorganics@gmail.com, should you need to reach us by phone, you can do so at

(207) 841-7432, anytime before 7 PM .  We welcome all communication and any questions from our members, and we strive to be as open and available as possible.  We will do our best to respond as soon as possible, but please understand that we spend most of our time in the field growing your food and not at our desk. Please contact us with any news of the following: changes to your postal or email address, changes to your drop-site location, problems with your drop-site, or dissatisfaction with your share.

 

We will communicate with you by email. When you sign up, you will be added to our distribution list. Please read your email from us. We depend on being able to communicate important information such as necessary changes to your distribution schedule or to our farm events. Every week, we will email and newsletter giving you information about the crops available that week, recipe ideas, or other farm related news.

By signing-up for Harvest Tide Organics’ CSA, I agree that I have read and understand the practices and principles behind this CSA, and I agree to the conditions stated above.  BY accepting your membership, Farmers Beth and Eric agree to all the farmers’ commitments and to do everything we can to provide a bounty of food and a great farm experience this summer season.