FAQ

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Click here if you have questions specifically about the Online Member System

Potential Member Questions

How long do I have to join for?
When can I start?
Can I pick what comes in the box and how much is in it?
But you do have a say in the box contents
What if I try it, but it’s too little/too much for me?
I’m not the greatest cook…
What else do I need to know?

How long do I have to join for?
We ask for a one month minimum subscription.

When can I start?
You will be able to pickup your first box the very next week! Confirmation details will be supplied when you join.

Can I pick what comes in the box and how much is in it?
The boxes are not packed individually, so no. However, the three different box sizes reflect three different household meal types. We have a Quiz you can take to determine which would suit you best. Each box is still put together by Pablito and Pablote, who make their own meals from the box each week and have provided CSA subscribers with very well planned box contents for years. According to our long time subscribers, this accounts for our long term success as organic farmers.

But you do have a say in the box contents. ..
We are fully open to input from our members, which we use to help guide us. If there is an item you want more or less of, just let us know. We’re always listening.

What if I try it, but it’s too little/too much for me?
Please feel free to change your subscription to a larger or smaller box. Households change, appetites change. Our subscriptions are easily changed as well. We’ll always need seven days to accommodate, but you’ll see which box size was sent for you on the sign off sheet.

I’m not the greatest cook…
The secret of cooking is ingredients. The second is reliable, easy recipes. Pablito provides us with recipes every week that coordinate with the box contents. The CSA boxes are planned carefully so that you have the staples you need to cook with as well as gourmet main courses (some recipes do suggest a few ingredients you would need to buy.) The Back to Basics page is a handy online reference to how to cook each individual item so you can invent your own recipe creations.

What else do I need to know?
If you haven’t already, refer to the policy letter to review the basic agreement between city dweller and farmer. There are many things in there it is good to know in advance to have the best possible CSA experience!

Thank you for Supporting Sustainable Agriculture!!

New Member Questions

How do I do this?
1. Sign up online

2. Once I’ve confirmed your membership details you’ll know where to pickup and when to start. When your first box is delivered, go to the pickup site, cross your name off the sign off sheet, and you may grab a newsletter from the clipboard. The newsletter will include any upcoming schedule changes so it’s worth at least a quick perusal, and it will be emailed to you weekly. Thanksgiving and year end tend to be the only weeks there may be changes in delivery. Take the box labelled for you, and if you ever have a friend pickup for you, be sure they know the boxes are labelled by member.

3. Return the wax boxes folded down and without the papers to the pickup site the next week. Stack them neatly and please keep your site free of trash.

4. You can set up automatic payments, or emailed reminders will let you know when a payment is due. To make payments, just login and pay online. We do not accept checks.

5. Remember to respect the site hours. If you find yourself having difficulty, check our site list for a more convenient site, or start your own. But we can’t control what happens to your box after the pickup times are over, so please don’t contact us for a credit of any type if you didn’t make it on time.

What is my account id?
Please be sure to include your name as on the sign off sheet in all communications, and the email address that is your sign in. Email me to change it if you get a new one.

Current Member Questions

What if I’m going on vacation?
What if I want to pick up at a different site?
What do I owe?
How do I get discounts?
Can I pay online?
Why Do I have a Balance?
What if I already have automatic payments set up through my bank or paypal?
Can I leave a check at the drop off site?
What if my name is not on the list?
I’m running late or I can’t make it tonight- do I still get a box?
What about Pesticides?

What if I’m going on vacation?
We need seven days notice before a vacation hold. We’re growing the veggies for you based on a monthly subscription, and the credits for vacations are proportionately small. This reflects the cost to us of the unused produce, and we are hoping to discourage overuse of vacations. Vacations weeks are charged as: $4 small, $8 medium, or $11 large . If you have a friend pickup your box, and they enjoy it and become a member, you’ll get a referral credit of $18. Ask them to let our CSA coordinator know about the referral when they join. People who would like to donate their boxes to a worhty cause can ask our CSA coordinator to coordinate it (with seven days notice). To donate with less then seven days notice, you can call Food Runners directly 415-929-1866. They are all volunteer and need only one hour notice.

What if I want to pick up at a different site?
To switch sites just sign in to your online account and choose another site! The lists for the week are generally made Monday, so try to make changes before Sunday the week before.

What do I owe?
You can log into your account online and see your balance at any time! Recent payments are there, as well as the weekly charges for delivery.

How do I get discounts?
A payment of $300 qualifies you for a 3% Discount. $309 will be applied to your balance.
A payment of $850 qualifies you for a 5% Discount. $892 will be applied to your balance.
A payment of $1400 qualifies you for a 7% Discount. $1498 will be applied to your balance.

Can I pay online?
Yes, you can through your online csa account.

Why Do I have a Balance?
Having a balance is now a good thing! This is money you have prepaid that will cover your boxes, which are deducted each week on the delivery day. Coming soon you will be able to see your payments and the delivery charges on your account.

What if I already have automatic payments set up through my bank or paypal?
We recommend you switch your payments to the new system online. If you have more than five deliveries in a month or change box sizes, your old payments will
leave you short. To see what you have set up through paypal,

  • Click My Account.
  • Click History at the top of the page.
  • Select Subscriptions from the Show menu.
  • Check the From box and change the date back 2 years.
  • Click Search.
  • Click Details to view the details of a specific Subscription Creation.
  • Click Cancel Subscription.
  • Click Cancel Subscription again.

Can I leave a check at the drop off site?
Our site hosts are friends and members of the farm who nicely share their spaces for our boxes. They do not handle billing or farm correspondance. Mail or e-mail checks and notes directly to the farm..

What if my name is not on the list?
If your name is not on the list we have unfortunately not arranged a box for you. Please log in and see if your account is on hold for lack of funds. Take only the box labelled for you, Don’t take someone elses property! Email our CSA coordinator to troubleshoot any other issues.

I’m running late or I can’t make it tonight- do I still get a box?
We can’t guarantee that you will get a box if you don’t pickup during the site times. You may want to drive by and see if it was left out. In consideration for the many families with sleeping children who host our sites, please don’t go late at night, check for your box in the mornings. If your site host has expressed preferences on late pickups, follow that, but please don’t forget the farm is no longer involved after the pickup time is over. We don’t encourage or coordinate after hours pickups.

What about Pesticides?

1) Terra Firma follows the national organic standards law as enforced by the National Organic Program. We are certified organic by CCOF, which only allows us to use pesticides and fertilizers approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). For a full list of materials allowed, go to.

2) There currently exist a very small number of organically approved pesticides. Very few are “toxic” in the true sense of the word. Smothering agents, usually natural oils or soaps are one class. Sulfur and copper-based fungicides are used to treat foliar and fruit diseases. Biological materials use bacteria or fungi to target specific pests or diseases. Bt, the naturally occurring caterpillar toxin, is the most common of these but new ones are being discovered and marketed every year. Biological materials biodegrade rapidly in the farm environment and thus present little or no risk to anything other than the target pest.

3) Synthetic materials are prohibited for use, but just because a chemical is naturally occurring doesn’t mean it is allowed in organic farming. Several effective, non-synthetic pesticides are highly toxic to birds, fish, or wildlife and have been banned or restricted by the NOP. These include rotenone, an insecticide, and copper sulfate, a fungicide.

4) We practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on our farm, meaning we only use pesticides when the threat of economic damage to our crops exists. That said, we have used, and continue to use, the majority of the pesticides listed by OMRI whenever necessary.

5) We advise our CSA subscribers any time we feel that their boxes contains an item that may have pesticide residue on it. In particular, the presence of natural sulfur dust on grapes may cause an allergic reaction in some people, generally limited to sneezing and stuffy nose.

6) Organic farming is about much more than simply “not using pesticides”. Terra Firma in particular follows an array of ecological farming practices that help minimize the impact of food production on the environment.

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