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1. Why do CSA veggies look different than what I see from the same farmer at the Farmers' Market?

Any occasional difference in appearance is just that - a difference in appearance. The vegetables a farmer sells as part of a CSA share are the same nutritious, delicious vegetables he sells at a Farmers' Market.  The sometimes variable look is a matter of labor and marketing.  To get the tomatoes at Union Square to sparkle, our farmer hires laborers to shine them!!  He knows that people shopping at Union Square might not buy a crooked zucchini, despite the fact that it is just as healthy and delicious as a straight one.  Perfectly good food that would not sell at retail would go to waste if not for savvy CSA consumers who know better.  Zaid doesn't sell us damaged or spoiled food. 

2. Why is this cheaper than a single share at Astoria CSA (or wherever)?

Because the share size is smaller, intended to provide vegetables for 2 - 3 people.

3. But wait, that's a lot more expensive than my half share at Astoria CSA!

While smaller than Astoria CSA's full share, it is not the same as a half share.  In addition, not all CSAs are equal.  Prices are set by the farmer, according to his costs and the quality of his products.  We think Zaid's produce is worth every penny.

4. I'm interested in add-ons, but I don't think I want x every week.  Can I order as I go?

There will be three market days throughout the season for which you will be able to place orders of add-on goods of which you do not wish to buy a full share.  Our knowledgeable add-ons coordinator, Stephanie, can explain everything in detail and will manage all add-on orders for your convenience.  Feel free to email her at add-ons@harvestastoria.com.

5. May I split a share?  

Yes, however we are not organizing share partners.  If you wish to find a share partner, other members have had success on such sites as astorians.com and craigslist.org.  If you do arrange to split a share, it must still be picked up only once per distribution (rather than each partner separately picking up a portion of the share), and you can then divvy up the share between partners after pick-up.

6. Can someone else pick up my share for me?

Yes.  If someone else will regularly pick up your share, please indicate that on your membership application.  If it is a one-time event, please e-mail the site-coordinator in advance and let us know the name of the person who will be picking up your share -- we don't want to give your food away to the wrong person!

7. What if I move/lose my job/decide to go on an all red-meat diet/break up with the partner I was splitting my share with in the middle of the season?  Can I sell the share back to you?

You cannot sell the share back, however you are free to sell the remaining portion of your share to someone else and inform us of the change.  We recommend finding someone on your own, but in the event that we develop a waiting list, we may be able to assist you in finding someone to take over your share.

8. What happens if I don't pick up my share one week?

We strongly encourage you to collect your share every week or to designate a substitute for any weeks you cannot pick up or use your food.  In the event that a share does not get collected, however, we will donate it either to our distribution site for use in its community outreach efforts, or we will donate it to a local food bank.

9. What if I just really can't volunteer for one of the distribution shifts -- is there anything else I can do to fulfill my time commitment?

A minimum six-hour work commitment is a requirement for membership in Harvest Astoria, and we strongly encourage you to fulfill it through working delivery or distribution shifts.  Not only do we really need the labor, it is a great way to connect with fellow members of your CSA.  If you absolutely cannot work any shifts, you may fulfill the work obligation another way to be arranged through our volunteer coordinators.  Alternatives may come in the form of donation of specialized skills (design, marketing, legal, etc.) or through helping to organize and execute other CSA activities, such as cooking demonstrations or field trips.

10. Where is Norwich Meadows Farm?

Norwich is Chenango County, NY.  Its location in the central part of the state (40 miles north of Binghamton & 60 miles SE of Syracuse) is approximately 215 miles from NYC.

11. Uh, we have to weigh/measure/count out our share each week? Sounds like work . . . 

Pre-boxed shares involve extra time and labor on the part of the farmer.  Like most CSA farmers, Zaid does everything he can to keep costs low.

12.  When is the last day for me to sign up & pay for the 2019 season?

April 30th, 2019.  All shares and add-ons must be allotted and paid in full by this date.

13. I really want to buy a share, but I can't pay the whole share cost right now.  Is there anything I can do?

Yes, if you are able to pay for your share in full by April 30, we are happy to take a 1/3 deposit now to hold your share with the understanding that you must pay in full before April 22.  If you can afford the total cost, but cannot pay in full by 4/30/19, please speak to us to discuss options to pay through the season.  There are also discounted payment options for those who can demonstrate need; please see our Community page (www.harvestastoria.com/community) and/or email us at community@harvestastoria.com.

14.  Can I just buy a fruit or add-on share? 

No.  All optional shares may be purchased only in conjunction with a full vegetable share.

15.  Is the fruit share also organic?

The fruit share is not certified organic.  Zaid partners with farmers in the area to provide fruit grown through an integrated pest management (IPM) system.  Email us at info@harvestastoria.com or check out www.redjacketorchards.com, if you'd like to know more. 

Basically, the climate in the NE makes it almost impossible to grow completely 'organic' (pesticide free) fruit.  That's why a lot of the organic fruit that you do see at supermarkets is from more arid regions like Cali.  The humidity and moisture out here is a perfect breeding ground for fungus and other pests.  Paula Lukats, the CSA coordinator at Just Food, is not aware of any CSA in the city that offers 'organic' fruit.  We support IPM because it uses a host of other biological and organic methods before any chemicals are sprayed, and even then it's used sparingly and only according to need.