March 25, 2020 at 2:28 pm #974236
We are hosting Growing Washington’s new 6 week CSA starting April 2nd! Lots of veggies for sure and then week 2 and on they hope to offer add ons like eggs, pasta, meat, etc! There are a lot of WS drop locations. (We are listed as West Seattle 4056 49th Ave (Closest house to Genesee Hill Elementary! :)) Below is A LOT of info right from Growing Washington on how to sign up and what to expect.
Message from Growing Washington:
With that said, we are NOW ACCEPTING MEMBERS to this 6-week delivery program. Registration will only be open this week and we anticipate selling out quickly, so SIGN UP SOON! Deliveries will be every Thursday starting April 2nd, and will continue through May 7th. Depending upon the restrictions upon our society, whether our farmers markets are open by May 7th, and if this project proves popular, we will either extend it into the summer or cease after six weeks. Since none of us has any idea what the next 6 weeks hold in store, we feel that being cautious but doing something that is needed and safe right now is our best course of action.
Now, for the action-phase of this message:
You can register now by following this link: https://csa.farmigo.com/join/growingwashington
1) This goes against the cliché of being pride-filled farmers, but given how broke we are and how much work this is going to be for us, we have started a Go Fund Me Fundraiser and we are asking each interested member to help chip in a small amount and spread the word to help us get this thing going and bring food to you NEXT WEEK!
a. Here is a link to our fundraiser: https://www.gofundme.com/f/covid19-emergency-food-amp-farm…/
b. Please strongly consider donating and please also strongly consider sharing this link on your social media or with your networks/friends/family/etc.
c. It is hard to ask for help, but we need it! We firmly believe that this is a needed project that will help both consumers and farmers. Otherwise, we wouldn’t bother. In fact, we think that it is going to be an AWESOME testament to the power of community.
2) We are trying to keep it simple, so at this point there are two options: A small box of mixed produce that will cost $30 a week or a large produce box that will cost $50 a week. More details about the two shares will be found when following the link above. Basically, you just choose where you want your Food Box to go, what share size you want, and then pay for your share. Members will be required to pay the total amount for 6 weeks upfront, and we encourage you to use the “ACH Check” option at checkout to save us on the credit card fees, though using a credit card is fine, too.
3) For the last 15 years we have operated Washington’s largest Community Supported Agriculture program, so rest assured that we are professionals at bringing farm fresh food to neighborhoods throughout our region. That said, we normally do not commence until mid-June when local food is really starting to pour out of the fields, and it normally takes several staff members a couple months to get everything set up. In this case, just a few of us have put this together in a week. So, it won’t be perfect, but we feel like it is the best option available to get healthy food brought to your neighborhood in a way that respects social distancing while simultaneously supporting farms who are struggling right now.
I don’t want to make this a 3 page message that puts everyone to sleep, but there are some important details that we want to discuss before you commit.
· For nearly 15 years our farm has prided itself on running the state’s largest locally sourced CSA program. Given the current situation, the fact that it was just winter last week, and the fact that we are trying to put this together during a time when local farms have the LEAST amount of food, we need to be transparent in our approach.
· We will try to source the entire contents of your box locally, and will seek local food first, but depending upon how many people sign up, the weather, transportation logistics, etc. we will most likely have to use some locally owned distributors to bring in food, especially in the first couple of weeks. So, we’d like you to think of this project as a response to an emergency that won’t be perfect, but we’ll damn-well do our best. Right now farms are running through their storage crops and seeding and planting for the upcoming year. None of us farmers have much food right now, and none of us has much money. But, it is critical that we sell what we have to give us the resources to plant for summer and fall. So, expect a lot of greens, a lot of fast-growing root crops like radishes and turnips, storage crops like potatoes, onions, beets, carrots, and seasonal favorites in a couple weeks like asparagus, rhubarb, spring onions, etc. But, don’t be surprised if you see something in your box that you wouldn’t normally find at the farmers market in late March. Our goal here is to feed folks in a safe way and feed farmers who need income.
· What is REALLY cool about this project is the response from the community. So, while you may receive some food from a farm that isn’t local, you will providing income to a number of local farmers who are going to help us pick up and aggregate food, help pack boxes, and help deliver. So, you are not only helping to buy food from local farms, but you will also be providing them with work in a time when they need it most!
· Taking the notion of community one step further, we have been literally floored by the number of folks who have volunteered to be site hosts, and even more FLOORED by how many have volunteered to help get food to folks in their neighborhood who can’t do it alone. As you sign up you’ll see that nearly every pick-up site is a “Pay it Forward” site, which means that the site host has volunteered to pay it forward by bringing boxes dropped at their homes to the homes of their neighbors. That said, we are setting this system up to be considerably safer than shopping at a grocery store. So, these wonderful site hosts who have volunteered to help community members get their boxes will only be delivering to those who leave close (think within a half mile) and absolutely NEED their food delivered. For the purpose of this project, the notion of *need* means that this individual is elderly, sick, immunocompromised, or without any transportation. In these cases, members will need to contact their site hosts (we can help), given them the address, and make sure it works for the host. If it does, the host will drop off the food outside the door, knock, and then be on their way.
· Social Distancing and Food Safety: While food doesn’t present much of a threat to spreading COVID-19, surfaces and hands do. So, on the farm we’ll be wearing gloves when we pack your food. We’ll be sanitizing lots of surfaces. Our staff will keep a distance from one another. We’ll wash our hands a lot. We’ll follow all recommendations by the pros. Your food will be packed in produce boxes, but we’ll use a new and recyclable plastic liner (a fancy word for a clear trash bag) so that your food remains safe from contamination on the farm, in our cooler, in the trucks, and at your site. Your box will be left at our sites outdoors (generally in the shade or in a covered area). We want to have at least 5 boxes at every site (to make it worth the trip), but no more than 25 or so (to allow for social distancing). When you arrive at your site, if you see someone else picking up at the same time, just stay 6 feet away. This approach to getting your food is probably the safest way right now because it is handled very little, does not travel far, does not originate in a grocery store (if you do grocery delivery), you don’t have to go to a grocery to get it, you won’t need to open doors or touch surfaces, no standing in a line, no handling of cash, etc.
· Once we get through the first week successfully we will likely start adding on additional items that you can order a la carte via our online member store. Historically we have had a robust online store where members can order additional things like eggs, cheese, meat, pasta, bulk vegetables, jam, honey, etc. Before we add too much complexity to this project we first want to make sure that we get week one done right! So, stay tuned for more information on additional offerings.
OK, I think that covers most of the BIG topics. Don’t forget to sign up soon and donate to our fundraiser if you can!
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