What's the go with 'Name your price'?
In alignment with the concept of ‘risk sharing’, TFG is experimenting with a ‘Name Your Price’ model.
The basic premise is that affluent members of our community who can afford to, can elect to contribute more towards their share, in order to enable less fortunate members to access shares at a lower cost.
We hope that the average price that members choose, is about equal to the ‘suggested price’. Please value your share fairly.
What do I get in my box?
The contents of your box will change as the season progress. Our season starts with cherries and apricots, moves into peaches, nectarines and plums, and finishes with apples and pears. Sometime the box will be a diverse mix, other times it may have less variety.
Can I choose what goes into my box?
What if I don't like something in my box?
Herein lies the beauty of CSA. You can wrap it in tissue paper and gift it to a friend to make them smile; you can cook it into something and take it to a party; you can learn a new way of preserving it that you might grow to enjoy.
It is this style of creative solution that grows connection, community and culture around vibrant delicious food.
What if I get too much of something?
As per our MoU, I will endeavour to offer strategies to cope with excess varieties if we have a bumper crop.
We are offering a variety of different sized shares to cater for different needs. If you still have too much of one thing you can preserve it for the off season (who doesn’t like stewed plums in the winter or apricot jam!?).
What is a 'Hub'/'Hub Host'?
We deliver CSA fruit boxes to central points in various locations (Bendigo, Castlemaine, Kyneton, Woodend, Daylesford, Carlton, Coburg) – these delivery points are our ‘Hubs’. Our members then collect their fruit box from that hub (within a certain time frame yet to be confirmed).
The owner of our delivery Hub is our ‘Hub Host’ -anyone can be a hub host! All you need is an undercover space where a small number of fruit boxes can be left for the local members. This space needs to be accessible when the Hub Host is not home.
Hub Hosts don’t have to go anywhere to get their fruit!
We are seeking Hub Hosts, so if you think thats you, get in touch asap! We are also open to new deliver locations so let us know if you want us to start a new hub.
What if I go on holidays?
As much as I wish they did, fruit trees don’t take holidays mid season – the fruit will keep on coming! You have several options:
– Pay it forward. This is our preferred option. Put a smile on someones face and gift your delicious fruit box to a friend or a stranger. All you need to do is tell them where to pick it up. No notice required. Alternatively, you can ask us to donate it to someone in need.
– Put your box on hold. This means we still pack it, but hold it in our chiller for an extra week. You will receive it, along with a new box the following week. You can hold up to three weeks per season (together or on separate occasions). Although our chiller is an effective way to store fruit keep in mind the quality of the fruit may drop. You must request your hold at least three days before delivery day.
– Request an early box. If you’re going away and you want to take a stash of fruit with you, you can ask for a box in advance. This means you will receive two boxes on one week and none the following week. This can be done once per season. You will need to request your advance box at least three days prior to delivery day.
– Cancel your box. You may cancel your box for up to two weeks per season. This means you are forfeiting your box. A replacement box may be provided at the end of the season at our discretion (this will depend on available produce and transport logistics). You must request your cancel at least seven days before delivery day.
What if I forget to pick my box up?
Can I visit the farm?
Yes! We love visitors. As a CSA member you will be subscribed to our newsletter to hear about opening hours, events, farm tours, workshops and ‘pick your own’ days.
We may also host special CSA member-only events.
Check in with someone at the farm shop when you get here (in the big green shed).
Groups or tour buses need to contact us in advance.
Why sign up when I can see you at the markets?
Aside from the addition value you as a member receive (e.g. first access to premium/limited fruit like cherries or ‘Cox Orange Pippin’ apples), CSA aims to address many systemic issues through collectivisation and solidarity (eg. food sovereignty and solidarity economy). Read more about the benefits of CSA here.
Also, some markets are only monthly, whereas our delivery cycle is weekly/fortnightly.
How is CSA different to other box schemes?
CSA is based on the ‘Teikei Principles’ and is a risk sharing, direct relationship between farmers and eaters.
It aims to address systemic health, community, economic, environmental and political issues.
What does 'risk sharing' actually mean?
Growing food is risky business. There are factors such as weather, pestilence and natural disaster that are out of the control of the farmer.
Farmers provide crucial support for their communities by feeding them. CSA is about asking for that support to be mutual. If the risk is shared amongst the community, the impact is softened rather than one person/family taking the full brunt of it.
eg. In the event of crop failure each CSA member may eat less fruit or a lower quality as opposed to the farmer being stuck with a huge loss. This support network is required to help reduce farmer attrition and improve the mental health of farmers. Read some stories of successful CSAs here.
It is my job as a farmer to mitigate this risk and improvise solutions where possible. Diversity of crop varieties, encouraging ecology and value adding are some methods of doing this. CSA provides us with the guaranteed income so that we can invite in these solutions and build a more resilient farming system.
Why share the risk with an new farmer?
That’s how you ‘grow the grower’.
Twenty odd years ago there were eighteen orchardists in this area. Now there are eight. Control of our food system is slipping from the hands of the people and into the laps of corporate agribusiness, whose purpose is to feed shareholders, not healthy communities.
Supporting new farmers is the answer to our waning food sovereignty and our ageing farming population.
To counter my lack of experience, I am only releasing a small number of CSA shares that is equal to half the amount of fruit produced in the worst year to date. Further, I have a lifetime worth of experience in my mentors Hugh and Katie (actually a few lifetimes since Katie is 3rd gen orchardist!).