Join CSA
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Is the Farm and CSA open to the public?
 
 

Yes, the farm is open to all. We have a broad customer base and appreciate everyone who thinks our food is good and chooses to purchase from us. We are truly honored to feed any and all of you who trust us to grow food for you. We love you all.

Willowsford is a grand experiment in neighborhood, food production, recreation and conservation, and it is an ambitious and unprecedented goal for the farm to be supported entirely by the Willowsford community–if this were to happen, wow! That will give new meaning to the idea of Community Supported Agriculture, and maybe to the idea of Agriculture Supported Community. Let’s do it!

In the meantime, we are a fairly large farm and it is our responsibility to operate a viable farm business to keep these 300-acres of open space productive and self-sustaining. If we come to that bridge, we will surely find a way to provide for everyone.

 
 
I don’t live in Willowsford. May I still participate in the CSA?
 
 

Yes! The farm is open to all and delivers CSA shares to several places outside of the community.

 
 
May I visit the farm?
 
 

Yes. We host several tours throughout the season and the Farm Stand is open four days a week. Bring friends and family too! Check our calendar for tour dates and locations. Because we are a bustling production farm and operate on three non-contiguous properties, we ask that farm visits take place during formal tours only, or pre-arranged with us directly.

 
 
I'm interested in volunteering. Where do I sign up?
 
 

We have several volunteer positions open each year. Please visit our Get Involved page to apply.

 
 
Is the vegetable CSA right for our family?
 
 

Do you want to ensure a share of fresh, local, delicious food from the farm? Do you like to cook or want to learn to cook more creatively? Are you adventurous, do you like to try new things?

Yes? Try CSA.

Do you eat out often or not like to cook? Are you away on vacation for many weeks during the season? Do you like to eat just a few kinds of vegetables, like corn and tomatoes?

Yes? Sign up for the Farm Stand Debit program. Then visit our Farm Stand each week and shop a la carte.

 
 
What about Egg, Flower, and Milk Shares?
 
 

As with vegetables, the CSA program helps us plan our production for the year, and though we are growing there are limits to our production capacity. Ordering shares of these items ensures their availability throughout the season, particularly eggs. CSA registration helps us plan production in a given year–we raise enough laying hens, for example, to provide eggs to CSA members, and sell through the Farm Stand.

 
 
What size box should I get?
 
 

8-12 items can be a lot of food! But it’s very hard to say just how many people that feeds, that depends on how big your household is, much you cook (how much you cook, not how much you’d like to cook!) and how much you use vegetables in your cooking. If you are an occasional cook or have a small household, we recommend sharing a “large share” with a friend or neighbor*, or starting with a “small share”. We offer two size shares: Large (our standard box) and Small (4-6 items).

Try this quick survey if you’re not sure what to order. Add up the numerical value of your answers when you’ve finished. Don’t take the numbers too seriously, these are just general guidelines:

  • How many people are in your household?
  • How many nights a week do you cook?
  • How many vegetarians in the house?
  • How many of you hate vegetables (these are negative numbers)?

If you score 1-3: buy the Farm Stand Debit and come by the Farm Stand each week.

If you score 4-9: try sharing a Large share with a friend or neighbor,* or buy a Small share.

If you score 10 or more: buy a full vegetable share

*You are responsible for dividing shares for yourselves – the farm does not do this for you. Some share members divide their vegetables each week and others alternate weeks picking up the full box. Our vegetables are harvested fresh and with proper storage can last far longer than store-bought veggies.

 
 
Can I choose what I get in my share?
 
 

Not in the traditional CSA model, no, but our “Market-Style” pick-up locations offer some choice, for example, between two root crops or several different herbs. For the most part, we choose what goes into a share each week based on what is ripe and ready to harvest. Enjoy the adventure! If you wish for more choice your items, our produce is also available at our Farm Stand and via the Farm Stand Debit program.

 
 
What if I miss my pick-up?
 
 

Failure to pick up a share without advanced, written communication will result in a forfeited share. At our farm, forfeited shares are donated to the local food bank after each pick-up window closes. A written request to retrieve a missed share at a later date may be granted, but there is a $5.00 convenience fee.

 
 
If I know I am going to miss a pick-up, what are my options? Can I pick-up at the farm or on another pick-up day?
 
 

As stated in our Member Agreement, shares are non-refundable. If you expect to miss a pick-up, we recommend sending a friend or neighbor to pick up on your behalf. You can also change your pick-up day or location in a given share-week, using the CSA account you create when you sign up.

We cannot double up shares to accommodate a missed pick-up nor interrupt farm operations outside of normal market and pick-up hours throughout the season. Special considerations may be made with written notice seven business days in advance.

Please note that there is a feature in your CSA account that allows you to place a hold on your share or to switch pick-up days. If you will be away and do not have someone to pick up for you, placing a Hold on your share tells us not to pack a share for you. We will keep your veggies in the cooler and donate them to our local Food Bank(s). They are always very appreciative of fresh veggies and we enjoy getting our veggies to those who might not otherwise eat them.

If you would like to change your pick-up day during a CSA week, you can do this too. We know things come up and can make a box for you on Wednesday, say, if you can’t make your Saturday pick-up. We do ask you to use his only in a pinch! We spread our shares evenly through the week to match how our crops mature, and this allows us to give you produce as fresh as possible. Please make these changes no later than Monday 7 a.m. the week of the change.

 
 
Can I change my pick-up location?
 
 

For the season–We do our best to accommodate a permanent change request and as long as there is room in our delivery vehicles and at the pick-up site.  While we can usually accommodate this change, we cannot not guarantee and nor are obligated to per the CSA membership agreement.

We ask that you keep your pick-up day during the season–because we harvest fresh for each CSA day, shares are spread over the week to balance crop production. Crops like beans, melons, and tomatoes won’t produce more on Wednesdays than on Saturdays. This year we’ve split the season up, with the Fall season beginning right around the beginning of the new year, when schedules commonly change.

If you need to make a one-time change for a single week, you can do so using the account you created when you purchased your share. Changes must be made at least seven days in advance of your normal pick-up.

 
 
May I split a share with friends?
 
 

Yes, this is a great way to do CSA. We are not responsible for splitting or dividing your shares, but we encourage you to split if a full share is more than you are prepared to eat (see above). Some partners divide their share each week, while others alternate weeks to pick up a whole share. Let us know who you are sharing with when you sign up so we can communicate with all of you. One party will have to make payment through the online registration system. Let us know who you are sharing with when you sign up so we can communicate with all of you.

 
 
What is “bi-weekly” delivery frequency?
 
 

Delivery of a full share every other week. This is another way to get less than a large or small weekly share. A biweekly share allows you to receive a great diversity of produce. Many of our vegetables store much longer than commercial produce from the supermarket.

 
 
What is Farm Stand Debit?
 
 

Farm Stand Debit is a way to participate in Community Supported Agriculture, but with more flexibility in choice and pick-up hours. Debit cards can be used at the Farm Stand to purchase everything we sell, however the early bird, 10% discount only applies to items produced on our farm: veggies, eggs, meat and prepared foods from our kitchen.Every time you make a purchase, we will deduct the amount from your card. This is a nice complement to a CSA share, but also great for those who prefer to choose your vegetables or who go away several weeks through the season. You do not need to be a CSA member to participate in the program.

 
 
Can I get a refund if I cancel?
 
 

No, joining the CSA secures your spot for the entire growing season, a spot that we could have otherwise given to a member on our waiting list. It is your commitment to us, too, which is why members sign an agreement with their purchase. One of the many reasons we like CSA is that we are able to dedicate our time to caring for crops during the season, knowing they have been purchased and will be enjoyed.

 
 
Can I purchase other items when I pick up my CSA share?
 
 

If you pick up your share at the farm stand, yes, of course! If you pick up at one of our other locations, no, we do not currently deliver any additional retail items to drop spots.

 
 
Are CSA members able to pick their own produce at the farm?
 
 

No, not at the farm. Our team of trained and talented farmers do all the picking. There are, however, pick-your-own beds of herbs and flowers in the Farm Garden.

 
 
How does the pick-your-own portion of the Farm Garden work?
 
 

The garden beds are open for picking when the Farm Stand is open. Flowers, fruit and vegetables and herbs, as available, may be picked and clipped for a small fee, noted one signs at the end of each bed. Ask at the farm Stand for what beds are open each week.

 
 
Do you sell raw milk?
 
 

No, it is illegal to sell raw milk in the Virginia Commonwealth and we don’t have any animals for dairy. Raw milk is available only through cow-share programs, there is a small number of these serving the state. We sell minimally pasteurized milk from Trickling Springs Creamery. Trickling Springs Creamery milk tastes great and all cows are grass-fed and pasture-raised.  We know and admire several of their dairymen. In addition to common types of milk, TSC also sells a “pasteurized but not homogenized” whole milk, their Creamline product.

 
 
What do I do with all these veggies?
 
 

Check out our recipe, blog and ‘All About’ pages!

 
 
What happens to the leftover food from the Farm Stand?
 
 

We donate food every week to Loudoun Interfaith Relief or the Dulles South Food Pantry.

 
 
I live in Willowsford, do I pay for the farm with my HOA fees?
 
 

No. The Farm is an enterprise of the Willowsford Conservancy, and independent 501(c)  organization that manages over 2,000-acres of open space at Willowsford. The Farm is intended to be a viable farm operation, supporting itself through sales on- and off- the farm.

 
 
What are your CSA Member Policies?
 
 

Willowsford Farm CSA Membership
2018 Policies and Agreement

Thank you for joining and welcome to Willowsford Farm!

By joining our CSA program, you acknowledge and understand that Willowsford Farm will act in good faith to provide a weekly share of produce for approximately 27 weeks, from mid-May to late-November. It is our work to turn sunlight into an abundance of fresh and nutritious food that tastes good, and we work diligently to ensure its availability.

By joining our CSA program, you agree to share in the rewards and the risks inherent to farming – this is the nature of the endeavor, and is part of the close relationship you have with your food through the farm. There are always risks in farming and there is no guarantee on the exact amount of produce you will receive for your share. Some crops may never be planted or may die due to forces or conditions beyond our control.

We generally plant enough of a given vegetable to make it available in normal amounts during the time of year that vegetable is in season in our climate. There are many factors that allow us to offer more or less of a vegetable in a given week: convention, weather and Mother Nature, time, space, and labor availability. So the amount and the variety of harvest will vary depending on the season and conditions, favoring different crops at different times of year. Some crops are available for only a few weeks a year, while others may be available for many weeks in succession. The Farm chooses what goes into a share each week based on what is ripe and ready to harvest. This is part of the fun of growing and eating in CSA!

 

We are likewise committed to and responsible for providing eggs and all other share options during the season stated at purchase. For items that we do not produce ourselves, we are responsible for making available during that share’s season. We promise transparency and reliability in bringing these items to you!

 

Commitment:

CSA is a commitment.  Please be prepared to come and pick up your share every week during the growing season!  Of course, if you can’t make it one week please arrange for a friend or neighbor to pick up your share.

 

You agree to pick up your weekly share available as assembled each week at your designated day, time, and location for the length of the season.

* Because we harvest fresh for each pickup day and harvests are balanced through the week, the number of shares available on a given pickup day is limited. Please understand that there are limited numbers of shares for each pickup day, and likewise that you are agreeing to pick up your share on your designated day for the length of the season.  We do our best to ensure your pickup time matches your preference but cannot guarantee your choice of pickup day. These will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis via the online sign-up process.

 

Communication

Please provide us with at least one email address so that we can stay in contact throughout the season.  This is important!  Email communication allows us to share important information about your shares, the farm and Farm Stand, and the community.

You agree to read and to stay informed through all of our CSA newsletters and private emails.  Important and vital information will be marked as “Important”.  Please add us to your address book to protect our communication from spam filters.

 

Agreement

By joining the Willowsford Farm CSA you agree to follow these guidelines:

  • I will observe pick-up times. I understand that shares are not available until the specified pick-up time, and likewise, will not be available after the pick-up window has closed.
  • I cannot double up on missed shares. If I cannot make a pick-up, I will send a friend or neighbor or use the hold feature in my online account to forfeit the share. Forfeited shares will be donated to Loudoun Interfaith Relief or to the Dulles South Food Pantry.
  •  I will sign in before gathering my share(s) and make sure anyone who picks up my share for me is aware of this policy.
  •  I understand and agree that failure to retrieve my share(s) during the designated time for the week will not result in a refund; my subscription is nonrefundable.
  • I understand that there will be a $5.00 convenience fee if my request to pick up my share after missing a pickup is granted.

 

AGREED AND ACKNOWLEDGED:

 

______________________________

Name: ________________________

Date:__________________________

 

PRIVACY POLICY:
At Willowsford Farm, we respect your privacy absolutely. You have our word that we will not sell, barter, give away, or rent out your personal information.

 

 
Willowsford Conservancy

44095 Pipeline Plaza, Ashburn, VA 20147

Phone: 571-252-3980

info@willowsfordconservancy.org

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Willowsford Farm Stand

23595 Founders Drive, Ashburn, VA 20148

Phone: 571-297-6900

farm@willowsfordfarm.com

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