Come to a CSA orientation
Our CSA orientations are held in May (read your newsletter for more specifics) and include a tour of the farm, a run-through of the pick-up system, and a personal introduction to our farm manager and farm staff. Orientations are great opportunities for new shareholders to tour the farm, meet the farm staff, and ask questions before CSA distributions begin.
Read your weekly share newsletter
Our newsletter will include a list of what crops are being harvested that week, recipes, and any important dates or information that you need to know. Our newsletter is the primary way we stay in touch with our shareholders during the growing season.
Bring your own bags
Members are expected to bring their own bags to pick-up. But don't worry if you forget your bags! Members graciously donate extra bags to the share room for the use of other members. This tote of extra bags is located in the corner of the Share Room. Feel free to add any extra grocery or paper bags to the pile!
Talk with the Greeters
The greeters are around to answer any questions about the vegetables and pick-up procedures. They are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. They also know many amazing recipes on how to use all of the vegetabes in case you need a little help with a new veggie or need some new inspiration.
Don't be afraid to try something new!
Many of the veggies we grow are the familiar staples, but you might come across some new varieties or entirely new vegetables! The beauty of a market-style CSA is that you can pick exactly what you want, but we definitely encourage you to try some of the new items you see in the share. You might be surprised and find a new favorite! We also dare you to try a vegetable you might think you dislke. Farm-fresh veggies are a world of difference from those found in grocery stores, so you might discover things you thought you didn't like have a fantastic flavor!
Make it an outing
When you-pick season is in full swing, make sure you allow yourself and those you bring to the farm enough time to enjoy picking all the crops in the fields. Enjoy the peacefulness of the farm and expect to get way-layed by exploring the back patches of the you-pick fields or leisurely collecting flowers for your bouquet. We also have "pay-it-forward" you-picks: those who are able to go into the fields bring back pre-picked you-picks to the share room for those members who cannot get out into the fields. So even if you have picked your allotment of you-picks, you can keep picking and pay it forward to someone else!
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 comfortable 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.
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 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.
Pennypack Farm is an actual working farm. Any member/guest entering the property must abide by the posted Pennypack Farm Safety Policy. Climbing on or use of any farm equipment is expressly forbidden. Share members should only enter fields marked as U-Picks or with the permission of an authorized farm member. Children must be supervised at all times. Dogs are also welcome but must be kept on a leash at all times. Dog waste is not compatible with an organic farm and must be picked up and disposed of off the property. Dogs are not permitted in the harvest house (building where veggies are picked up).
Keep in mind, access paths will be often be uneven and sometimes muddy, with the occasional pipes, wires, equipment and similar hazards that can cause injury. Vines, thorns, bugs, ticks, and critters are to be expected in the fields. Share members should maintain awareness of hazards and exercise care when in the fields. Appropriate clothing is recommended (sun hat, long-sleeve shirts, long pants or slacks, foot-covering shoes, and gloves).