Frequently Asked Questions

This is just a sample of the questions you may have. If there is something that is not answered, just ask us! administrator@pennypackfarm.org

What are Summer pick-up hours?
We are open from 2:30pm to 7:30 pm. Please do not come earlier than 2:30 pm, as it takes us until then to harvest and wash and display the shares. Our greeter needs to close the Harvest House by 7:30pm.

When is the first pick-up  of the Summer season?
Our first week pick-up is usually the last week in May or the first week of June (around Memorial Day). We will let you know the exact date via email, and post it on our website, in mid-May. We will have 24 weeks of distribution, which takes us to the beginning of November. 

What if I forget to pick-up my share?
If you forget to pick up on your assigned day, you cannot just show up on another day and collect your share. We have harvested for you, it is your responsibility to be there to pick it up, or send someone on your behalf. We donate food to local food pantries several times each week. We are not able to hold food for you to pick-up on another day. If you know ahead of time and want to request a one-time switch of pickup day, please email the Farm Manager with details and we will see if we can accomodate.

Can I switch my pickup day?
If you need to switch your pickup day once during the summer, please email us a few days ahead of time so we can harvest accordingly. If you're looking to switch a day for the rest of the summer, you will need the farm manager's approval.

What if I go on vacation?
Most of our members have a friend or neighbor pick up their share. It is important that you plan ahead and, if possible, bring that person with you at least once for a pickup at the farm. This way you can show them the system:  where to sign in, how to weigh things out, where the U-Pick crops are, etc. Be sure they bring bags. Of course, our greeter will be happy to help them. If you know ahead of time that you will not be picking up that week, you can email the Farm Manager. If no one picks up your share, it will be included in our donation to food pantries.

Are you closed for summer holidays?
We are closed on Memorial Day and Independence Day. If your pickup day is affected by the holiday, we will move it to the closest next day, which may be a Tuesday or Thursday. 

Bathrooms? Picnics?
There is a Port-a-Pot near the driveway with a hand wash station. Members are welcome to use the picnic tables in the Edible Classroom.

Are children welcome at the farm?
Of course! We love to introduce children to where their food is grown. Please do keep in mind that we are a working farm and have machines operating at the times of CSA pickup. You must keep your children with you at all times. Children are not permitted on tractors or any other farm equipment. A family-friendly area is our Edible Classroom.

How about pets?
Leashed dogs are welcome on the farm, but not in the harvest house. If you walk on the farm with your dog, please stay on the path. You must pickup after your dog.

If I am splitting a share, what are the rules?
Splitting a share is the responsibility of the members. Be sure to make arrangements with your share partner so that you can pick up the entire share at one time each week. You can meet your share partner at the farm  or you can alternate pick-up weeks with your share partner if that works better for you. Please be sure to follow the rules about unit limits.
 
What is the work requirement (Share Duty) all about?
We ask for 4 hours of work over the course of the season from each farm share. We believe this is important so that you get a chance to see what goes into growing organic vegetables on a working farm. The work requirement hours are a great time to meet other farm members, and the best time to talk to your farmers. We send out emails to members when share duty volunteer opportunities are available.
 
We have opportunities for people who are unable to do hard physical work. We have light work around the farm or administrative projects that need volunteers. We would also welcome assistance with our annual fall harvest festival, or organizing other social events and activities. If you have a special skill, please let us know as we have many areas of the organization that we welcome volunteers.
 
Please review the general pickup instructions
  • When you arrive at the farm, sign-in at the Harvest House.
  • Remember to bring your own bags.
  • Read the large white dry erase board. This board lists the share for the day. It will note each vegetable and the amount to take, plus any relevant comments. Some things will be bunched, others will require you to weigh them. Some items will be “take one” others will be in bigger supply. Have the greeters explain our unit system thoroughly so that you take the correct amounts.
  • U-Pick crops: These are items that are easy to pick, but too time-consuming for the farmers to harvest cost-efficiently. It is one of the most enjoyable parts of the pickup. Kids love it!              

Following are hints to make the U-Pick experience more enjoyable:

  • Your greeter will guide you to the correct location of U-Picks. There will also be signposts marking the beds to be picked.
  • Walk in the paths between the beds.
  • Use the quart and pint baskets provided to measure out your share and to pick into, but leave them at the farm.
  • Some members get into the habit of bringing rigid containers to transport fragile crops (strawberries, etc).
  • Wear a sun hat, change into comfortabe shoes, water to drink, a basket to carry your things in.  
  •  Bring your own clippers/scissors.
  • If you are unsure of how to harvest a crop, please ask your greeter.
Ask questions!
There will always be a farm staff person or greeter at the CSA pick-up to answer your questions about the pick-up, pick-your-own crops, or our farming practices. Our staff loves to talk about farming, so please don't hesitate to ask.
 
Try something new
Try new recipes, become an adventurous eater. Your fellow farm members and greeter are excellent resources for using vegetables. Use this opportunity to swap cooking tips and recipes.
 
Pick-your-own flowers
In the summer and early fall months there will be rows of pick-your-own flowers. (Please do not cut flowers from the edible classroom). Here are some helpful tips to extend the life of your bouquet:
  • Please only cut one bunch of flowers that will reasonably fit into a vase.
  • Bring a vessel you can fill up with water at the farm. Cut your flowers right into it.
  • TIP: For a portable vase, take a plastic gallon milk or juice container with a handle and cut a larger opening.
  • Strip the stems. No leaves under water!! 
  • Make a homemade preservative: Mix 1 tsp vinegar, 1 T sugar, and 1 aspirin tablet to 24 ounces of water.

 

 

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