2018 Starting A YEAR of Food Together

Welcome to the 2018 TapRoot  Community Share Agriculture!

CSA deliveries start Monday January 15th. 

Please check your invoice or log in to your account to ensure  the location and pickup times are what you are planning for. 

There are many details for us to cover on our first week together so please stay with me. RETURNING MEMBERS PLEASE READ 1 and 2 for sure. 

1) Choice 

After considering the feedback from last year and previous years, we are going to test run some options for members to have more choice. 

You will notice, the share list is posted and one of the items says YOU CHOOSE Turnip or Cabbage. You can sign in on your account and the first heading of add on options, that are located below the list of items in the share will show two options Turnip or Cabbage. You can select which option you would like, but please only select one. IF you don't want to select, or you forget, or just don't have time, we will put either a cabbage or a turnip in your share box. 

On the delivery report,  it will show if you choose a turnip or a cabbage in the notes section beside your name. Please take a share that has either a turnip or cabbage sticker on it. No sticker means you didn't specify so please take the share without a sticker.  IF things get too convoluted than we will rethink how to do this. 

2) Swap Box

At as many locations as we can accommodate we will have a swap box. This swap box will have a few of the items that you can swap (this week turnip and cabbage) You are welcome to swap out anything you like for what is in the box. We started out having this  many years ago and we decided to stop many years ago because it was providing people the option of not taking things they don't like and part of the purpose of joining the CSA is to push ourselves to try new recipes or ways of eating vegetables we might not want, for the purpose of eating well in season. It feels like it is time to try again and we can keep you posted on what we are observing.  Please don't just swap out a turnip because you hate them, can we work together to find ways to enjoy it??

3) Pick-up - How it works

Next week the first week of pickups/drop offs begin. Our TapRoot van will deliver your CSA share to the pickup location. Your produce arrives in a box. This box is reused as many times as possible before going into the compost. You are invited to take the box home with you and bring it back the following week. OR you can bring along your own bag or box and leave the TapRoot box for us to bring back to the farm. Here is a short demo on how to break down the box so that we can reuse it.

We strive to arrive on time. Sometimes if the traffic is outrageous for some reason we may be a few minutes late. This is not the norm so if it happens we very much appreciate your understanding. There have been a couple of occasions where we have had to delay a delivery and when this occurs we try to email or call as many people as possible.

At the pickup there will be a list. Please mark yourself off this list by telling Steve whoever is the volunteer/TapRoot crew member there. This list has your name on it, phone number, what your share is and any add on's that you have purchased. If there is anything incorrect about what is on this list when you get to your pickup please let us know as soon as possible. If you are not on the list and you should be, no worries, let us know and we will sort it out. We will have extra boxes for the first week in the event we have errors.

4)  TapRoot volunteers

It is really important that everyone understands that the volunteers are providing their space, their time and their kindness. They are not informed of anything happening with the farm or your accounts.They are members themselves who are committed to seeing local food and supporting our farm and their families. They are not paid to host a pickup. For this reason it is very important to us that all members get to their pickups on time and communicate directly with us when it comes to your membership/add on's/alternate arrangement for pickups, etc. Thanks so much for understanding. Thanks so much to our volunteers!

5) Feedback

A year of sharing our food on the farm is a long term journey. In order for us to realize a mutually rewarding experience we need to communicate and be open to change. Over the past few years we have learned a lot and we have been working to respond to the requests of members. In our first year we had very few carrots and potatoes. Members let us know that they wanted more of those and also larger volumes of peas and beans. We have worked to increase the offering of those items, while keeping a balance of other new and fresh items. It is a constant balance for us and sometimes because of the season we have more or less of some things. This will, for some of you, take some time to adapt to. Also, our ability to make shifts is a multi year turn around time. So if in August we don't have enough lettuce for example, we will not be able to fix that until the following year.  So please provide us with feedback and send it as soon as you think of it. We accept it and appreciate it anytime. If we hear nothing we will hope it means all is well:))

6) Add On's

Throughout the year we have different items that you can order each week that will arrive in addition to your CSA share. To order you log in and select what you would like that is below the list of items that will be in your share. You can then choose to pay with paypal or with cheque or cash.

7) Visiting the farm

We love when members come out to the farm. You do not need to let us know, you can just come and go for a walk any time you like. We will host farm days throughout the year. There will be between 2 and 4 events. It is great to meet everyone and to learn from each other. Please do try to come out and see the farm throughout the year. We have two location 1736 Church Street and 451 Canard Street. 

8) How to reach us

We try hard to be very accessible. It does happen sometimes that our inbox gets very full and something is missed. If you haven't heard from us in 3 days this may be the case.

Here are some ways to stay connected: 

Farm Office 8 AM - 5 PM, gone for lunch from 12 PM -1PM  phone: 902.542.3277 

CSA desk email: csa@taprootfarms.ca 

Patricia email: patricia@taprootfarms.ca or cel 902 670 3277

Josh email: josh@taprootfarms.ca or cel 902 670 4538

9) Send us a family photo

We have a members wall of photos in our work space. We love this and want to keep it updated. Please take a picture and send it along to us in the snail mail 1736 Church Street Port Williams NS B0P 1T0. Please use a permanent marker to indicate who you all are in the photo, and it is okay with us for that to be on the front of the photo so we can see your names and faces together.  Please try to do this for us because we so much appreciated seeing your faces each day. 

10) Your Account

We use Quickbooks as our accounting program. This is not connected to our website. We will send out monthly statements via email from Quickbooks. We enter everything in both places so you have an accurate TapRoot account you can log in to.

11) Adjusting to the CSA

Over the past few years we have heard from families that there can be some ups and downs to adjusting to a CSA. People who like to have meals all planned out in advance can find it difficult to adjust to the uncertainy of what is in your CSA. To accomodate our various needs, we post a list of what we intend to have included in the share for the following week. This is listed on the website and you can also see it by logging in.

Often people will find at times that they are challenged to prepare and eat foods that they would not typically choose for themselves. This can be a hard and rewarding at the same time. We want to support you in having positive feelings about your CSA share and membership. There are lots of recipes and ideas on our blog from the past years. In the weekly newsletters we provide suggestions of recipes and/or meal suggestions. If a member has prepared a meal that they wish to share, we invite you to share it with us and we post it onto the blog. You can also do this on facebook. Lately members give ideas to each other on facebook.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by something, please share with us and seek our support in generating ideas or ways to make it more fun. Eating differently doesn't need to be burdensome but exciting and healthy and refreshing. We have heard and can see that it makes a big difference when your whole family is involved and is asked to be a part of the food journey. The kids love to be a part of deciding about recipes and helping to cook the food. Often when they are invited to participate they are inspired to eat all sorts of new things. 

One final point on adjusting that we have noticed over time. As consumers  items available to us are typically bright, shiny, and appear virtually perfect in everyway. With the CSA your veggies and fruit will be perfectly delicious and nutrious in every way but might not always be perfect looking in every way. Meaning that if you see a blemish on a potato or wire worm damage on a carrot, you can still eat it. Just cut around it and carry on. Also, sometimes you will notice that your CSA veggies have more dirt on them than you are use to at the grocery store. This may be because we just harvested before the truck departed or it may be because our wash station was broken down or because we needed to prioritize jobs. We strive to have them all washed for you, but just in case I wanted you to be prepared:)

12) Bad Apple Policy

If you get an item in your share that is not of acceptable quality, please immediately take a picture and email it to us. We will replace the item the following week. 

13)Everything else

Thank you for being a member of TapRoot Farms. Our past and our future is shaped by our CSA members and we are truly thankful for this. 

Next week we will send out pickup reminders and additional details you need to know specific for that location. 

See you soon and welcome to the farm!

Patricia