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  • What is a CSA?
    Started in the 1980’s, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a model of farming which enables people to purchase fresh food directly from a local farmer. This arrangement enables subscribing members to experience first-hand where the food they eat comes from and provides the opportunity to engage with the farmer producing their food.
  • Why does the CSA run from May to December?
    The reason for this is primarily due to the growing rhythms of the plants. The majority of vegetable plants need temperatures of above 10 degrees to start photosynthesising for growth, which means that here in Scotland this begins around April. Most vegetable plants are dormant between December and March and as we don't use artificial heat and light sources, this means our produce is then only naturally ready to harvest at the beginning of May.
  • What do we mean by seasonal produce?
    For us, seasonal produce means harvesting what's naturally growing at that particular time of the year. For example, spring onions in Spring, Tomatoes from July and pumpkins in late September. We do not buy in any produce from wholesalers to supplement the weekly Share. Our focus is on enjoying the wide variety of produce that is naturally abundant throughout the year.
  • What do we mean by fresh produce?
    The majority of the produce is harvested on the morning of the pick-up day, or the afternoon before. By harvesting on the day, we aim to ensure our CSA members receive produce that is full of vitality and is totally fresh.
  • When can I pick up my Share?
    We run two pick-up days during the week: Wednesday 3pm - 7pm Saturday 11am-3pm When you are signing up to the CSA you will be asked to choose which day you would like to pick-up on. We recognise that now and again unexpected situations crop up which mean you might not be able to make it to the pick-up on your chosen day. Should this occur, let us know and it is usually possible to switch to the other pick-up day if that suits you. You can switch your pick-up day during the season if your circumstances change and the alternative pick-up day would suit you better.
  • What variety of produce can I expect in the share every week?
    We aim to have a base make up of a selection of leafy greens, roots and herbs in the Share every week. The Share will be made up of 8-10 items from produce that is at the ideal harvesting stage that week. CSA members receive a weekly email before the pick-up with a list of produce to expect in the Share that week. In the Spring, the produce available is: Salad mix, rocket, head lettuce, spring onions, spinach, chard, pea shoots, beetroot, baby carrots, radish, salad turnips, rhubarb, green garlic, garlic scapes, coriander, dill, parsley, kholrabi, chives, edible flowers. In Summer: Salad mix, rocket, head lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, aubergines, celery, pointed cabbage, savoy cabbage, kale, runner beans, french beans, broad beans, cauliflower, broccoli, purple sprouting broccoli, romanesco, red peppers, chilies, melons, sweetcorn, courgettes, plums, pears, beetroot, carrots, onions, potatoes, garlic, chard, spinach, coriander, dill, parsley, basil, mint, chives, thyme, sage, oregano, spring onions. Autumn/Winter: Salad mix, head lettuce, rocket, spinach, chard, white cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, kale, leeks, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, celeriac, onions, garlic, pumpkins, squash, peppers, chilies, swede, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli, apples, grapes, parsley, sage, thyme.
  • Where do I pick-up my Share from?
    We have a pick-up room set in the outbuildings of the walled garden at Balmakewan Farm, CSA members come every week on their chosen pick up day to collect their produce. Having the pick up room down at the walled garden enables CSA members to take a walk around the garden to see how things are growing, pick their own sweet peas (when in season) and to chat with myself or Flora. For an exact location, click on the map which is at the bottom of the pages on the website.
  • Will my vegetables be washed?
    With the exception of salad leaves, most produce will be unwashed unless exceptionally muddy . Vegetables and fruits store better if unwashed as they have a natural protective coating on them. Roots stay firmer for longer if some soil is left on them. We encourage our members to hold off washing their produce until its time to prep it for cooking.
  • Will the vegetables come packaged?
    No, at Fieldfare CSA we strive to minimize waste and packaging. All produce will be loose and members bring their own bags or containers to put the produce into. Tongs and scoops will be provided for taking set quantities of delicate items such as salad leaves.
  • Why might there be a difference in appearance between Share and supermarket produce?
    For packaging and handling purposes supermarkets choose particular shapes and sizes to suit their systems. We do not need to work within these constraints, so we are free to focus on heritage varieties that have a natural variation in appearance and are chosen for their flavour and keeping qualities.
  • Why don't we use artificial heat and light to extend the season?
    We aim to grow all our produce in the way it would naturally grow, which means outside with the heat and light of the sun, the rain, wind and other environmental factors. This makes for hardier, robust and higher quality produce all round. Produce that is grown in a forced manner, with the use of artificial heat and light so it can be supplied when it would not naturally be in season, requires a lot of fossil fuels and is very expensive to grow.
  • Can I help with the harvesting?
    All CSA members are welcome to sign up to help harvest produce. From June - October there is a calendar in the pick up room with the harvest days and times indicated on it. You are welcome to put your name down on any of the indicated days and come as many times as you like. Coming to help harvest is completely optional. The activities involved will include harvesting, washing produce and preparing the pick-up room for member collection.
  • Do you offer pick your own?
    Once in season, there will be a PYO (pick your own) bed of flowers. We will place a board in the pick up room once the flowers are ready to pick with a few picking tips and tools for the job. The flower bed is usually in one of the middle beds in the garden - as you head out to it you will pass the other beds with various crops growing in them, giving you a glimpse of what is to come!
  • What if I am away on Holiday?
    If you are planning to go on holiday you can either: - Arrange for someone to collect your share on your behalf. - Let us know in advance the dates you are not able to make collection. This allows us to adjust the weekly harvest to avoid waste. However, we encourage you to find someone to enjoy your share during your absence.
  • What if my circumstances change?
    Adapting to the rhythm of a CSA can take several weeks. However, if you find a few months in that the CSA really doesn’t suit, you might consider whether anyone you know would like to take on your share. The structure of the CSA model is such that it is not possible to provide refunds as the money from each share will have already helped to pay for the seed and equipment needed to grow the food for your share. However, if you manage to find someone willing to take on your subscription, or perhaps if there is someone on the CSA waiting list, you can at least recover some of your money through them buying the remaining subscription from you.
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