PANDEMIC FAQs–2020 CSA

FAQs:

These FAQs apply only to the 2020 season; we’re usually a laid-back group without a lot of rules and regulation. If the current situation eases up, so will we.

  I’ve pasted non-pandemic-related questions at the end.

Where and when?

Where?: CSA shares are picked up in front of Church of the Epiphany, 74th Street and York Avenue, on the York Avenue side.

When?: Every Tuesday, from 4-7 pm

When is the first week?: The first week is June 2. The season lasts for 24 weeks, ending on November 10.

How is Stoneledge handling sanitation:

You’ll find their plan here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G3qzcTiUunX6u7b87uzhcbTd0B0X5vlCF4DbRK6SAM8/edit

How will our shares be delivered?

All food will be boxed as individual shares; boxes will hold full shares or half shares. Fruit, mushrooms and other optional items will come in bags.

Where will we pick up our shares?

We will stack up the boxes in front of the church on the York Avenue side. We’ll mark distancing lines on the ground with chalk. Please respect the lines—there won’t be long waits because it will take very little time to pick up.

What if it rains?

The church will probably be closed for the first few weeks of the season. (We hope, for many reasons, that they open earlier, but we’re planning for worst-case scenario).  For members, it won’t be a problem—you will grab your shares in a matter of moments. We’re working on ways to keep our volunteers dry as they supervise pickup..

Can I just upack my box into my bag and leave the box?

Sorry, no. We want people to pick up as quickly and cleanly as possible and we think that having people unpack boxes at the site will take time and be messy. If you want to go around the corner, unpack, fold the box and bring it back, we can’t stop you but we don’t recommend it.

How will we carry home the boxes?

At the first delivery, we’ll get big tote bags; the boxes will fit in the bags. If you are reciving additional items, please bring an extra bag.

    PLEASE remember to bring your bags. We don’t have room to store a lot of stuff this year, until the church opens.

How can we recycle the boxes?

You can fold the boxes and store them in your home. Bring them back the next week. We’ll set up big plastic bags. Slip your box into the bag. The farm truck will pick them up the next week and they will be reused.

The virus does not live on cardboard—even plasticized cardboard—for more than five days, so by the time you bring them back, they will be disinfected.

Will there be a swap box?

We can’t figure out how to provide a swap box because people won’t be opening their boxes and because we want as little handling as possible. If someone comes up with a safe plan, we’ll reconsider.

What if I don’t like or am allergic to something?

We’re working on a way for you to be able to bring it back the next week; if you have any ideas, let us know. We know that no one wants anything to go to waste–but we can’t replace it with another item under the current conditions.

Will we be able to bring compost?

If the church opens, we’ll try to restart our compost pile. We think it is especially important because the city is no longer collecting compost. But we don’t know when the church will re-open.

What if I can’t pick up my share?

You can send anyone you want to pick up for you. You don’t have to let us know—just ask your surrogate to give us your name. Please give surrogates all the pickup instructions.

Do I have to volunteer to run the site?

No—our dedicated volunteers are coming back. They will supervise all pickups. If you want to volunteer, let us know.

What if I come late? Can you hold my share me?

In previous years, I’ve brought shares to my building for later pickup. This year, I don’t think my building will allow it, and it’s not fair to my neighbors. We’ll see if leaving a few boxes outside near the church steps is feasible.

Can I order other products from Lewis Waite or other vendors—meat, dairy, etc.?

As of right now, Lewis Waite is not planning to make deliveries to the site; they will send orders via UPS. They are working on other solutions and we’ll keep you posted. You will be able to order from Stoneledge Marketplace–honey, maple syrup, coffee, beans, and other items.

All these boxes and labor  must be a great financial burden on Stoneledge. Can I help?

At first, Stoneledge did not want to accept donations; site managers convinced them to make it easy for people to help if they wanted to—it’s totally your choice. You’ll find a link here:

https://www.stoneledge.farm/store/marketplace-categories.cfm?ID=15

The price for shares purchased after April 15 already include a $20 charge to defray additional costs.

The following questions are not related to the pandemic.

What is CSA?

Community Supported Agriculture is a relationship of support and commitment between a farm and a community. CSA members purchase shares of the farm’s entire growing season before the harvest begins. They then receive a share of the harvest throughout the season, grown and delivered by a farm they know and trust to a site in their neighborhood.

Payments from members enable the farm to cover yearly costs, almost all of which are incurred before the crops are ready for harvest. Because the farmers know that their crop is sold, they can concentrate on farming the best way they can rather than on marketing, sales, and accounting.

What is Stoneledge Farm?

Stoneledge Farm is a USDA-certified organic farm in South Cairo, NY about two hours north of the city. We’ve been working with farmers Deborah and Pete Kavakos for over 20 years; their son Peter and his wife Candice are now in the process of taking over. The Kavakoses grow more than 50 different crops and deliver to over 20 sites in New York City, Westchester, and Connecticut. To learn more about the farm, visit their website

www.stoneledge.farm

What is Yorkville CSA?

Yorkville CSA is a group of about 150 families and individuals that purchase shares in Stoneledge Farm; we’ve been doing it since 1998. Our group is 100% volunteer-run; no one is paid, though some of us receive all or part of shares for free.

Is all the food organic?

All the vegetables grown on the farm are USDA certified organic. The fruit comes from other farms. It is local, and the Kavakoses look for most sustainably-grown food they can find—but it is not organic. The mushrooms are not certified organic, but mushrooms are not grown the same way and pesticides or synthetic fertilizes are not used. The farm also offers corn shares during the summer; the corn is not organic.

How many people does a full share feed?

That’s a very tricky question; it depends how hungry you are. I’m single and take a full share. I usually finish it before the weekend—but I cook for other people and I freeze/preserve some. There are families of five that take a half share and say they have too much.

How many members are in the group?

We sell about 100 full shares; some of these are divided into half shares, split shares, and alternate-week shares. There are about 150 separate families and individuals on our roster. We usually sell out months before the season starts and could sell many more shares-–we’re limited by space in the truck.

What if bad weather or another disaster makes it impossible to deliver or harms the crop?

We all sign up with the knowledge that we are accepting the ups and downs of nature, along with the farmer. When nature cooperates (which is usually the case) crops are bountiful. Sometimes, bad weather harms a crop, but there are plenty of others that make up for it. On balance, most of us feel that we get a great deal—over 60% of our members return each year (many do not return because they leave the neighborhood). Over the past twenty years, there were two weeks when the farm could not deliver (once on 9/11/2001 and once right after Hurricane Sandy) and we lost several weeks of deliveries during Hurricane Irene. It’s important for members to know and understand this—even though the vast majority of the time, we get beautiful, delicious shares every week.

How do I sign up? Do I have to pay for it all at once?

Just go to the farm website and click on the “new members” button. You will be given prompts to set up an account and then to purchase shares. Once you’ve purchased a vegetable share, you will be able to add fruit, mushroom, and/or coffee shares—you can’t buy the extra shares without first buying a vegetable share. You can pay by credit, either all at once or in three installments. Or, you can click “pay by check” and mail a check to the farm.

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