Bells Bend Farms 2017 Member Agreement
We, the farm, wish to provide you with fresh, local, seasonal food and you, the member, wish to receive a portion of our harvest. This agreement outlines our shared commitments to that relationship.
Section 1. Introducing Our CSA Farm
A. Becoming a Part of Our Farm
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a relationship between our farm and you as our customer. Rather than simply purchasing food, our customers become “members” of this CSA farm who receive a portion of the farm’s harvest.
Our CSA program runs for 30 weeks, from May to December. Members are responsible for showing up at the pick-up site each week to pick up your share of freshly harvested produce. You will generally receive about 1/2 bushel of vegetables during peak season. Detailed information regarding pick-up is discussed below in Section 3. Variety and quantity may vary, as described below in Section 2.
B. Our Growing Practices
We do not use any synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, or inputs of any sort. We believe that such synthetic inputs destroy soil life that is necessary for healthy plant growth, while growing food that is inferior in terms of nutrition, taste, and overall quality.
In fact, we use far fewer organically-approved pesticides and other inputs than many other USDA Certified Organic farms. "Beyond Organic" is how some would describe our growing practices.
To fertilize our gardens, we use mature, high-quality, Biodynamic compost that we make on-farm. We also add lime, granite powder, compost teas, and use cover-crops extensively.
We feel that organic certification is most useful to farms that rely on wholesale marketing and/or farms that ship food to less-local markets. Because we know and interact with the vast majority of our customers face to face, we enjoy an element of trust and transparency uncommon in today's food system. We invite our CSA members and others who enjoy our food to visit our farms in person to see exactly how we grow the food they enjoy.
If you have any questions about our growing practices, please feel free to contact us!
C. The Products We Expect for 2017
The list below outlines some of the vegetables we hope to deliver, and when you may see them in your share. This list is not meant to be exhaustive and is based on our best estimate; of course weather, pests, and other events will affect actual production.
April to May: Lettuce, Carrots, Peas, Chard, Green Onions, Garlic Scapes, Collards, Kale, Cabbage, Broccoli, Turnips, Beets, Radishes, Popcorn, etc.
June to September: Beans, Beets, Carrots, Melons, Edamame, Onions, Sweet Corn, Peppers, Tomatoes, Okra, Summer Squash, Garlic, Cucumbers, etc.
October to December: Kale, Collards, Asian Greens, Carrots, Beets, Spinach, Lettuce, Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash, Pumpkins, Cabbage, Winter Radishes, Turnips, etc.
Generally, the season begins with a relatively smaller share, peaks in the summer, and decreases again in December.
Section 2. Our Shared Commitments
A. Sharing in the Risk of Crop Failure
We promise to do our best to provide you with a bountiful share each week. The quantity of produce, however, may vary from week-to-week due to extreme weather, insects, or other production factors despite our best efforts. By joining our CSA, you are agreeing to share the risk of crop failure with us and other members. In the unlikely event of a crop failure, our procedure is as follows:
If only a small portion of crops fail, we compensate for the failed crops by filling your share with other crops grown on the farm that are ready for harvest at that time. We may cover for a crop loss by buying in from other local farmers with growing practices similar to ours and you will always be notified if this happens with any item. This may not be a feasible option for all crops because of cost or widespread failure.
Although every season is different and there is usually one or two crops each year that do not perform as usual, we rarely have any overall shortage of crops to harvest for you. This is our 9th season growing for a CSA and we have a fairly good system worked out to keep you full and happy!
B. Sharing in the Reward of Crop Surplus
In addition to our CSA, our farm sells at farmers’ markets and to restaurants. Although production is not segregated, our CSA receives priority. After filling our CSA share with the week’s harvest first, the remainder is sold to our other markets. If you notice a market item that is not available in the CSA a certain week, it is likely because the crop is just beginning to come in and there is only a small amount available to sell. Just ask us and, in most cases, you will be given the option to trade for that market item.
Section 3. Picking Up Shares
You are responsible for picking up your share each week, at the time and site you choose during sign up.
You are responsible for observing our drop site rules, which are as follows:
- Please bring your own bags. We will always have extra bags available if you forget, but reusable canvas bags really work well and result in less waste.
- Pick up your share within the timeframe stated.
- Be respectful of our drop site hosts’ property.
- Follow additional rules posted at your drop site regarding parking.
If you cannot pick-up your share, you must arrange for someone else to pick it up for you. You are responsible for explaining the pick-up location and procedures to your substitute. Shares that are not retrieved within the pick-up time will become property of Bells Bend Farms, to do with as we see fit (usually donated to Second Harvest Food Bank or neighbors in need).
Please wash all produce before eating.
Section 4. Member Fees
By selling membership in advance of the growing season, CSA reduces the burden of up-front costs for the farmer. Your membership fees provide us with money to purchase seed and equipment before the season starts, and we appreciate your commitment.
2017 Memberships are *$780 for on-farm pickup, and *$810 if picking up at the Nashville Farmers’ Market. A $250 deposit is required to reserve your membership, and the balance is due by June 1st, 2017. All payments are non-refundable.
*Cash price, credit card and check price is $20 more for processing
Section 5. Communicating with Us
The best way to communicate with us is via email. Please direct CSA related correspondences to Eric Wooldridge at Eric@bellsbendfarms.com. 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.
We will communicate with you by email. When you sign up, you will be added to our distribution list. Please read your emails 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 a newsletter giving you information about the crops available that week, recipe ideas, and other farm related news.