FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a CSA?

 

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. When you join a CSA you are purchasing the food you eat directly from the farmer who grows it. Generally you sign up for a CSA for a whole season, giving the farmer a known market for her or his food. In return, the customer knows the source of their food, receives fresh, local food, actively reduces greenhouse gas emissions and supports the stewardship of the local environment.

More about the CSA model →

What’s unique about the Local Choice Food Box?

The Local Choice Food Box is the only CSA in Washington that lets you choose EVERY item in your box each week. No surprises, no substitutions, only the food you choose. We harvest the food you want and have it to your table in less than 36 hours.

 

Furthermore, the food we provide comes from LOCAL growers. Other CSAs sometimes buy food from a distributor...that food can come from Oregon, California, even Chile! Everything we provide comes from a local Washington farmer or producer.

The Local Choice Food Box offers over 100 different varieties of vegetables, fruits and herbs. Most of those are grown at our flagship farm, Alm Hill Gardens in Everson, WA. Apples, pears and stone fruits come from other great organic growers. In addition, we have partnered with other artisan producers offering milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, sour cream, honey, jams, salad dressings, fresh pasta, and coffee.

Where and when can I pick up my food?

Our current list of pick-up locations →

 

Click the "Map" tab on the above link to see the list in map form. Don't see one that works for you? Give us a call or e-mail. You can also volunteer your home or business as a neighborhood drop-off location and save $25 on your CSA share for the privilege of having your food delivered directly to your door.

Can I change my pick-up location?

 

If you need to switch sites (even for a week), just login to your account and choose another site under the Summary section on the right. You may change your pick-up site at any time during the Food Box season, but must do so by Sunday at midnight.

Can I skip a week?

 

If you need to suspend your service for a week, login to your account and click the "Delivery Hold" tab. Let us know when you will be on vacation as far in advance as possible. The absolute latest that you can notify us of a weekly cancellation is Sunday by midnight. Delivery holds cannot be placed more than THREE times during the 20 week season. For missed weeks, we offer the ability to receive a double order the preceeding or following week. To customize when your double box will be available, contact gabrielle@growingwashington.org.

What if I forget to order?

 

We send you a weekly e-mail reminding you to order your food. However, if you should forget, we will pack you a Farmer's Choice box full of the best food on the farm that week.

What if I forget to pick up my box?

 

Each week we'll e-mail you a reminder you to pick up your food box. However, should you forget to or be prevented from picking up your box, call us at (206) 458-0264 and see if arrangements can be made.

 

In most cases, food box customers will not be able to retrieve their box after their designated pick-up time, and refunds will not be issued. At residential pick-up sites, we feel that leaving their porches open to customers beyond the designated pick-up time is too much to ask of site hosts. Exceptions will be made on occasion in response to unusual circumstances (e.g., an emergency prevented a customer from retrieving his/her box).

Can I order something I don't see listed?

 

We may not grow the crop. Give us a call and we will see if we can grow it for you or find someone who does.

 

Otherwise, it's more likely that the crop you desire is out of season (for example, we won't have melons in June), or other customers have already cleaned our fields of the items you wanted. Be sure to select your items early in your order window for the best availability!

Do I need to return my box?

YES. Our boxes are expensive, but can be used several times before they need to be taken out of circulation. In order to help control costs, as well as do our best to reduce, reuse and recycle, we ask that members return their box from the previous week to their pick-up location. Boxes need to be broken down flat and stacked to keep the pick-up sites tidy.

 

Here are a couple of video links to show you how to properly flatten our small and large boxes:

   

Due to food safety concerns, we can not accept the used plastic bag liners.

What if I have a problem with an item?

 

We do our best to minimize mistakes when packing food boxes. If we mistakenly leave an item out of a customer's box, we will include the item in the following week's order (in addition to the customer's usual order). If you receive something that does not meet your standards (bruised, wilted, etc.), we will replace it the following week. Please notify us as soon as you notice missing or unsatisfactory items.

 

We have a 100% satisfaction guaranteed policy---so if we mess up, just let us know and we will make it right---guaranteed. Your feedback will help us provide better service to all of our customers in the future. It will also allow us to make things right with you!

 

We reserve right to substitute varieties when necessary. We anticipate there will be rare occasions when we have the crop you would like, but not the variety. For example, you may want a yellow slicing tomato and we only have red, orange or purple. Or you want green leaf lettuce and we have only red. We do reserve the right to substitute varieties in these situations, after trying to get you exactly what you want from one of our partner farms. We do NOT substitute different crops...you won't get a radish instead of a tomato, or a winter squash instead of a summer squash.

Are there discounts/payment plans available?

 

 We offer several discounts to make eating locally even more affordable (you can even combo these discounts!)

 

  1. Register early! Purchase your food box before April 1st and receive a $25 discount. Enter the "earlybird" on the coupon code space on the registration page.

  2. Host a pick-up location at your home or office! Get your box delivered to your door and save $25 off the cost of your box for the privilege. Call or email Gabrielle for all the details.

  3. Refer a friend! The Local Choice Food Box has grown considerably over the years, largely due to happy customers telling their friends and family about our program. Spread the word and earn $25 off the cost of your box for each person you refer!*

 

*Inter-office referrals not eligible.

We use a secure, web-based software program called Farmigo to manage our CSA. Customers may choose to pay by cash, check, e-check, or by credit card. You can pay for your entire share up front, or choose our payment plan. Members choosing the payment plan option will be charged for ¼ of the total cost of their share upon sign-up, and 3 equal monthly installments in July, August and September. If you choose to pay by check, we will notify you via e-mail when your next payment is due so that you may send in your payment. Any accounts more than 15 days past due will be suspended until payment is current.

 

Can I join or leave mid-season?

Whenever possible, Growing Washington is welcoming of late-comers to our food box program. If you or someone you know would like to sign up for a Food Box after the season has already begun and we are able to accommodate you, the cost of your order will be prorated to reflect the number of weeks remaining in the season. This said, we often fill up available spots and recommend you register as early as possible to guarantee participation in our program.

Generally speaking, when you participate in a CSA you are agreeing to participate and support local farmers for the full growing season. This said, we're reasonable folks and we try to be as flexible as possible. If your situation changes, please contact us and we'll do the best we can to find a reasonable solution.

 

Further questions?

We are always happy to talk about the Food Box! E-mail Gabby at gabrielle@growingwashington.org or call, (206) 458-0264. Joining the Local Choice Food Box CSA is one of the best ways to support the local food movement, to support your local economy, and to eat fresh, healthy food.

Thank you for being a member!