Frequently Asked Questions
What does "CSA" stand for?
Community Supported Agriculturetop
Is everything grown at Spiral Path Farm organic?
YES, Spiral Path Farm is a 100% certified organic operation since 1993.top
Where can I pick-up my membership box?
We offer pick-up sites in South-Central PA (both West Shore and East Shore locations), at Spiral Path Farm and at our Farmer's Market stands in Silver Spring, MD and Bethesda, MD
What are the CSA Pick Up days and times?
Your CSA box leaves the farm before 6 AM on every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday, depending on your chosen pick up site.
Central PA CSA delivery days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. We expect all Central PA deliveries to be completed by 3 PM at the latest! Please begin to pick up your produce sometime after 3:00 pm to allow for deliveries to be completed. Earlier pick up times will be established once the season begins and we will publish pick up times in the weekly newsletter once the truck has made a few delivery runs.
Silver Spring, MD is a Saturday pick up at our Market Stand @ the Silver Spring Farmer's Market.
Bethesda, MD is a Sunday pick up at our Market Stand @ the Bethesda Central Farmer's Market.
Please note: You do not have to be present at the time of delivery. Your produce is chilled before being packed in the boxes, is delivered in a refrigerated truck, and does quite well at our sheltered sites for the remainder of the day.top
How do I know what day to pick up my CSA Share?
You will be notified, via email, as to your specific pick up day upon joining. We deliver CSA Shares (to specific pick up sites) on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday.
What is a Full Share?
Our Full Share is designed for those who enjoy home-meal cooking & love vegetables. We expect the FULL share box to feed a family of 3 or more or a couple with an appetite heavy on veggies. Sometimes, the farm experiments with new crops in a season and if the crop is a success, the FULL Share members will receive that crop, even though that crop is not yet listed on the season's harvest chart. Depending on the crop, the weather and harvest times, FULL Share members might be the first to receive the first of a new crop coming in, i.e. sweet corn, beans. Usually MEDIUM Share and FULL Share members receive the same produce during the same week, but this does vary; the farm has its own rhythms and we make the best decisions for crop harvests and lots of time at the last minute. Each week FULL Share members receive approximately 8-10 produce items, occasionally more or less.top
What is a Medium Share?
Our Medium Share is designed to feed a family of two, which does depend greatly on amount of time you are involved in home-meal prep and the number of vegetable lovers in your household. MEDIUM Share members receive approximately 6-8 produce items, occasionally more or less. MEDIUM Share members will receive less produce, of course, than FULL Share members, but over the entire season, will receive most or all of the harvest chart items, except in the event of crop failure. When we pack the boxes here at the farm, MEDIUM Share members will receive a smaller portion of produce, i.e. med size cabbage for medium members, large size cabbage for FULL member & i.e. less ears of sweet corn, i.e. medium sized salad mix, and i.e. medium sized green beans. To accommodate variety and larger vegetables, selections are divided between weeks at our discretion, i.e. Medium Share members might receive a Butternut Squash every other week and the FULL share members could receive one butternut every week.top
What is the Total Season?
A member will receive a share box weekly from mid April to the week before Chrismas - 36 total weeks in season! Once in season, prices will be pro-rated to reflect the number of weeks remaining. The number of total deliveries will be determined by when in the season a member joins and what delivery location a member signs up for.top
What is the SUMMER SHARE?
A member will receive a share box weekly for the months of JUNE-JULY-AUGUST-SEPTEMBER-and mid-OCTOBER totaling to 20 weekstop
What is the Sampler Share?
Not sure CSA is for you? Try our Sampler Share! Choose a Full or Medium Share membership box for a month. Members choose the month they would like to sample! Shares will be delivered weekly, during that month only, to the pick-up site of your choice. If you enjoy the CSA membership, you may continue with deliveries for the remainder of the season at our pro-rated costs. You must contact The Farm Office @ 717-789-4433 to set up the Sampler Share or to continue your share.top
Can I upgrade from a Medium Share to a Full Share?
Yes you can. If you are undecided between a Full or Medium Share, our suggestion is to join with a Medium Share. Once you have joined and see that you would like more produce, you may upgrade to a Full Share at anytime during season at the prorated cost. We do not offer downgrade from Full Share to Medium Share. Please contact us if you want to upgradetop
Can I change delivery sites once I register?
Yes, you may change delivery sites any time during season, simply login to your account and select the site you would like to switch to.top
Do you ever need a new pick up site?
Yes, there are times when we seek a new pick up sites. For members who are interested in offering their home, church, or place of business as a potential delivery site please contact us to discuss this possibility. Contact Us: firstname.lastname@example.org for more informationtop
What happens if my share is not available at the pick-up site when I arrive?
Missing boxes do happen occasionally, for a variety of reasons. If you arrive at your site one day to find that all the boxes are gone, first ask yourself if you are picking up during the correct time frame, and on the right day. When you are sure that your box is truly missing, please contact your site host ( name is on the notebook at each site) as soon as possible and we will make every effort to get your share box to you and keep you satisfied or contact the farm office email@example.com
What if deliveries have begun, can I still join? Are there any deadlines?
You may register to join Spiral Path Farm CSA at any time during season. We pro-rate costs weekly after first delivery. However, you may not join one week at a time; registrations are for the remainder of the season.
Do you offer any senior or low-income discounts?
The discount we do offer is for Early-Bird Registration by March 15top
Can I pay by credit card or E-check?
Yes, we accept online credit card payments using Visa or Mastercards and we also accept E-check payment.top
Do you have an installment plan option?
Yes, we do offer an installment plan for payment. You will be able to select your payment plan at time of check out.top
Can I use my credit card to make a payments for installment plan
Yes, we accept both credit card and ECheck payments for the installment plan.top
Can I pay you with my credit card over the phone?
Yes, we are able to take credit card payments over the phone. However, it is more secure for you to join through our website and enter your credit card information yourself. On phone call to farm office, we will enter the credit card information for you.top
What is ~Open Farm Day~ "FOR MEMBERS ONLY" ?
On selected Saturdays, 9 am to 3 pm, we take time from our busy farming schedule to host Open Farm Days at Spiral Path Farm. Open Farm Days are for members only. On Open Farm Days, members can pick in-season strawberries, herbs, flowers,and other extra produce from the field, garden, and at our Open Farm Day Market. Open Farm Days provide our members with the opportunity to see the fields where your organic produce is grown and have your family experience a taste of farm life. At each Open Farm Day, we offer complimentary (with the exception of strawberries and cases of plum tomatoes) in-season produce on an as-available basis. Dates and details for Open Farm Days are announced during the season in the weekly newsletter, and in your membership confirmation letter. We look forward to seeing you out at the farm!!top
Can a member bring a friend or family member to Open House Farm Days?
Yes, you may bring someone along. You and your friend will be able to attend and take home your alloted share amount.top
Is there an extra charge to attend Open Farm Days?
Members do not pay an attendance fee to come and see how beautiful and productive our farm is on the scheduled Open Farm Days! BUT Open Farm Days are for Members Only. We want to share it all with you! On Open Farm days, we offer you the opportunity to Pick-Your-Own herbs and flowers from the CSA gardens. We also set-up a farmer's market, where we offer any available extra produce, free-of- charge (with the exception to Strawberries and cases of Plum Tomatoes), to our members on those days and we expect to divvy it up by setting a few limits and reasonable sharing on our member's part . Family members very welcome. Veggies are only available, of course, IF we have extra! It is our way of sharing the farm's bounty and expectations are not in order.top
What if I cannot attend the Open Farm Day-may I send someone in my place?
Sorry-no! Open Farm Days are a member-only perk and you must be present.top
Can I visit the farm at any time?
No, we farmers are very busy and need to focus on our many daily responsibilities. We are not able to take time out on any given day to greet/meet our members. We want to make sure we are farming and doing everything to help the produce grow well. However, we DO want to see you and meet with you and share our beautiful farm. Please join us here at the farm on one of our Open Farm Days
Does Spiral Path Farm offer any Pick-Your-Own (PYO) opportunities?
Yes, MEMBERS- ONLY PERK. Available for PYO @ Open Farm Days and as available: herbs, flowers, and other abundant produce.
Do you offer cases of organic produce for sale?
Yes, we do-to our members only and when we have an over abundance of organic produce, such as plum tomatoes, large watermelons, berries, peppers, pumpkins, cucumbers. They may be made available for sale by the case lots at at our Open Farm Days.top
I'm interested in your CSA, but I live outside of your delivery range. Can you still help me?
We do not ship membership share boxes via mail or UPS. Please check www.localharvest.org for listings of other CSA farms in the USAtop
Do you offer a gift certificate option?
Yes, we do. CSA memberships are an excellent choice for anniversary, wedding, Christmas gift, etc. Please contact us by phone or e-mail if you are interested.top
Can members share a box?
Yes, you can share a membership. We ask that the membership be listed under one name only. That membership name will be listed on the check-off sheet at your site. For our records, please provide us with contact information (name, address, phone & email) for all parties involved. We do ask that sharing members do not split their box at the delivery site. Please take your box home and do the splitting there.top
Can I order smaller quantities for a single person?
We suggest that you try the medium share or perhaps splitting a medium share with a friend/co-worker, neighbor.top
What do I do about vacation time?
With so many members, Team Spiral is unable to keep track of everyone's vacation times. But we can offer suggestions: Try to have a neighbor/friend/family/co-worker pick up for you. This can either be a freebie to them or work something out between each other. If you cannot find anyone to pick up your share, let us or your site host know and we can have your share box donated.top
Can we choose which veggies are in the boxes?
No. We offer a variety of fresh, all-organic produce in season. Every box is packed with the same selection of produce, according to what is being harvested that week. All boxes are packed identically according to share size.top
Will my produce be good quality, clean etc?
The quality of your vegetables is determined by a variety of factors. At the farm, we strive for bumper crops of all produce each time, even though we know this is not possible all the time. Almost everything delivered in the boxes is harvested within 48 hours of its arrival of delivery to your chosen pick-up location. We harvest as early in the day as possible, and immediately transport the vegetables into our Packingshed washing area. Most vegetables are then washed with cold water and moved into the coolers for storage. We have several different coolers set at different temperatures & humiditeis to keep each vegetable/fruit at its optimum temperature & humidity requirement. Once we deliver your vegetables, it's up to you to pick-up within your pick-sites hours, generally 3 pm to 8 pm. Despite our best farming efforts, we may have a few crops that do not flourish in the weather and pest conditions of that season. This is all a part of Mother Nature's great balancing act. Some seasons, we will grow star crops, one which do stellar and produce abundantly. As farmers, this is our aim, although we know that each season could see also a few B minus crops or even a crop failure. That is why we grow many different waves of the same crop. For instance, we seed tomatoes 5-7 times throughout the season to try and get peak crops at all times and to also spread our risks. In no way do we feel that it is acceptable to put vegetables of poor quality into a membership box. Try as hard as we may, sometimes things slip by our quality control during packing and washing of the produce. We are human and we do make mistakes. If you are not satisfied with the quality of the produce that you have received, please contact the farm and we will try to rectify the situation.top
What would I do with vegetables that I don't use enough of or like?
Many of our members have been pleasantly surprised to try our recipes with new vegetables, which they previously had never considered. If there are still some vegetables that you don't like, you can share them with family/friends/co-workers. If there are too many vegetable dislikes on the harvest chart, Spiral Path Farm CSA may not be for you. We cannot custom pack boxes per individual tastes.top
Do we still need to wash the vegetables we receive from Spiral Path Farm?
Yes. although, all vegetables have been washed and sorted in the packing house, it is still a good idea to wash at home. Some of the root crops, such as beets/carrots, may need extra rinsing, although all are pre-washed.top
Do any extra vegetables go to food banks?
Yes, since 1996, extra produce is given to Project Share Foodbank in Carlisle. We also support several organizations, weekly, with extra # 2 produce. In addition, after the close of our Farmer's Market Stands in Silver Spring & Bethesda MD, additional produce items are donated to area foodbanks and or shelters.top
Do you recycle boxes - is that safe?
We do re-use the membership boxes repeatedly. We take care to keep all of your produce safe both with organic inspections and food safety inspections. Each week we use a new liner in each box.The liners are bio-degradable.top
What is your "Green Tithing Program"?
Here at Spiral Path Farm, we believe in spreading the joy and nutrition of fresh organic produce to everyone, especially to those who are in need of it the most.
What about Food Safety?
Being organic growers, our mission is to produce food that is both safe and nutritious for your health.
We have in place both Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for our fields and Good Management Practices for our packing sheds and cold storage. We have Independent Third Party Audits completed during every growing season.top