CSA Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the farmer(s)?
Our farmer(s) are Victory Garden Initiative staff, interns, and participants in our Youth Green Jobs program. Our staff have significant experience in growing food and creating a healthy local option for food access and produce. Our lead agriculturist is our part-time staff member Ian Powell. He is out at the farm doing the majority of the day to day grind and experimenting with the land. Christine Kuhn, our Youth & Farm Programs Manager, is a full-time staff member who splits her time between delivering youth education programs, working on the farm alongside Ian, and working in the office to coordinate both youth & farm program logistics. Ian and Christine manage a variety of part-time adult and youth staff including college interns exploring urban agriculture and environmental issues and Earn & Learn youth ages 14-24 who work on the farm as their first job experience.
What is the difference between sustainably grown and organic?
Our emphasis is to encourage the use of sustainable growing practices which encompasses more than requiring certification paperwork. Although our food is grown using organic practices, we have no intention on pursuing organic certification. The certification process can involve considerable cost and paperwork as well as create a barrier for effectively growing healthy food on a small scale. Our goal is to build the soil which sustains the farm and to minimize the amount of input from outside the farm, while creating a community focused green space in the heart of Harambee. As a non-profit, we are not focused on the bottom dollar but rather on the impact our local, nutritious food has on our community.
Can I order Ala-Cart from the farm without being a CSA subscriber?
We do not currently have this option available. However, you may visit our Roadside Farmstand on Tuesdays from 4-6pm at 249 E. Concordia from June 11th-September 24th) for a selection of farm fresh produce. We will also be at the Riverwest Gardener’s Market on occasional Sundays throughout the season, exact dates TBD.
How do I pick-up my share (box)?
We have 3 options for picking up your share on Tuesdays:
- Victory Garden Initiative Farmhouse at 249 E. Concordia Avenue from 4-6pm
- Outpost in Bay View from 6:30-9pm
- Outpost in Wauwatosa from 5-9pm
At the Farmhouse, you will see our staff and youth participants staffing our Pay-What-You-Can Roadside Farmstand. They will assist you with picking up your box, returning your recycled packaging materials, answer questions, and help you trade or purchase additional items at the farmstand!
At the Outpost locations, please try to arrive no later than 8:50pm as the store closes at 9! Go to the front desk and let them know you are here to pick up your VGI CSA box. A staff member from the produce department will greet you and retrieve your box. Check your name off the list and be sure to leave your broken down CSA box and reusable packages from last week.
Can I stop delivery if I am out of town?
Yes. We will need a 3-days notice to stop a delivery of a CSA package so that we can coordinate our orders for the week. You may also have a friend or family member pick up your box, just be sure to contact us by the day before to give us this person’s name!
What if I forget or miss the pick-up time?
If at any time you think you won’t make the pick up, please contact Christine as soon as possible. It is Outpost policy that any boxes not picked up by 9pm when the store closes, the boxes will be donated to their food pantry partners. You MUST contact Christine by 3:30pm on Tuesday if you wish to have your box picked up at our Farmhouse that day instead of your usual Outpost location.
This year we are also adopting a similar policy for our Farmhouse location. Unless you have contacted us to make special arrangements, any boxes not picked up will be donated to Tricklebee Cafe on Wednesday morning. You *might* be able to stop by that morning to get your box, but Tricklebee will be swinging by to pick up donations between 9-10am and we make no guarantees. We want to do our best to make sure that everyone gets their boxes and will happily work with you to make other arrangements if you contact us ahead of time.
What is the Pay-What-You-Can Roadside Farmstand?
On the day of CSA pickup our Youth AgriCorps and Urban Farm Intern staff operate a Roadside Farmstand for the community. Many of our neighbors are food insecure and our price free stand is a way to get nutritious, local food to anyone who needs it. CSA shareholders are encouraged to visit the stand as well! You can trade an item in your box or purchase a few extra items for yourself, knowing that your contribution helps to support the Farmstand and our neighbors. At the Farmstand we will have a similar array of produce that you will find in your boxes as well as veggies that are more popular with our community (endless collard greens and green tomatoes!) and sometimes an early batch of a crop that isn’t producing enough yet for the CSA boxes. So you might be able to grab a few early cucumbers, some rare watermelons, or load up on extra tomatoes and herbs for the week! From time to time we may have honey, eggs, or other value added products as well.
What kind of produce can I expect in my box?
Click here for more information.