Frequently Asked Questions about Be Wise Ranch CSA
Can I choose which fruits and vegetables I receive?
Shares are pre-packed each week at the farm prior to delivery. Unlike a supermarket, everything in the box is grown in season for our local area.
Many CSA members report the great satisfaction they experience from opening their share each week. They enjoy learning what vegetables and fruits are in season, including some they might not otherwise purchase. Some members say it's like Christmas every week!
We make a serious and on-going effort here at the farm to balance diversity, interest and popularity when selecting items to grow and distribute to our CSA members.
What happens if there is a crop failure?
Variations in weather conditions may cause some crops to "fail" or to yield less than expected. In farming, this is inevitable. However, because we grow a large variety of crops and because we often have a surplus of other crops, we can usually compensate for a crop failure.
Fortunately, we have the advantage of mild weather here in San Diego. And, we have a many years of experience in selecting and growing varieties of produce that do well in our climate.
I like the idea, but will I end up spending a lot on my produce?
Be Wise Ranch produce is very affordable, and because it is picked just before delivery, can last longer after you take it home. In fact, according to a detailed, three-year study comparing the cost of supermarket produce (chemically grown) to the cost of a CSA farm, consumers who purchased the same amount of produce (as received from the CSA) from a supermarket would have paid 37% more at the supermarket!
A Santa Barbara CSA estimated that the "supermarket" value of a 1991 share (based on local supermarket prices for non-organic produce) was estimated to be 15% higher than the actual cost of the CSA share!
And, with certified organically-grown produce, there are no hidden costs incurred for the clean-up of water and other environmental resources contaminated by toxic pesticides and herbicides, medical or other costs associated with pesticide-related disease in human and animal populations.
Prices vary according to the local growing season, the fertility of the soil, the skill of the farmers and the cost of living in the area. At Be Wise Ranch, we have a very long growing season, very fertile soil and highly skilled farmers. Community Supported Agriculture is intended to provide food to all families in all income groups and efficiency is maximized by direct consumption with no waste.
What happens to my share if I am away on vacation or on business on distribution day?
If you are going to be away on your distribution day, you are responsible for arranging with a neighbor, friend or relative to pick up and/or use your share.
CANCELLATION POLICY: After the initial 4-week trial period we will invoice you for the remaining weeks in the quarter. Weekly members will be allowed only four (4) delivery cancellations and every other week members two (2) delivery cancellation total per quarter. Planning and planting in advance are key elements to the success of the csa program and the farm. If you need to cancel a box after you have used up your allowable cancellations, you will need to donate your share or arrange to have someone else pick it up at your delivery point. We understand that people have schedule changes and other life altering events however, we have to have some economic stability and continuity here at the farm. We hope that you will understand and we thank you in advance for your cooperation. Cancellations can be made by noon on Friday for the upcoming week that you wish to cancel. Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling (760) 746-6006 or faxing (760) 746-6011 You can leave a message on our answering service if the office is closed. When leaving a message, please say your first and last name slowly, date of cancellation and return phone number.
How do I pick-up my produce?
You will receive a weekly (or every other week delivery at the pick-up location that you choose when you subscribe to our CSA program. (See the Pick-up Locations page to find a location convenient to your home and to find out your delivery day and time).
We pack your share of the produce into boxes at the ranch and deliver your box to your location in a refrigerated truck. Sometimes, we will include a newsletter in your box, that will keep you up to date on Be Wise Ranch CSA activities and programs, as well as provide recipes from our members and information about the produce you will be receiving.
At your location on your delivery day, there will be a 3 hour time period during which you must pick up your order. The pick-up sites do not have refrigerated storage, so we ask you to be sure to pick up your box during this 3 hour period. We can only offer credit protection for the specific designated time period.
Please bring a bag or box with you to transfer your share into. This way we can re-use the waxed boxes that your orders are delivered in and keep the costs down.
Please remember to call a friend or neighbor to pick up your share if you can't be there on your delivery day. Please fold up your boxes after transferring contents.
Late fee policy:
Payments received after the start of the new quarter will be subject to a $10.00 late fee.
Accounts that are closed for non payment are subject to a $20.00 reactivation fee. Due to the program being impacted it may not be possible to reactivate closed accounts.