Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?

A.       Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is the relationship between a local farm/farmer and those that eat the food they produce. Most consumers not only are unaware of where their food comes from, but who is growing it and how it is produced. The CSA seeks to end our disconnection from the farmer and the land that sustains us. Joining a CSA helps to continue the ancient practices of land stewardship, while at the same time supporting local farmers. By becoming a member of a CSA, you are committing to sustain a local farm and a sustainable food system.

            Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a new idea in farming, one that has been gaining momentum since its introduction to the United States from Europe in the mid-1980s. The CSA concept originated in the 1960s in Switzerland and Japan, where consumers interested in safe food and farmers seeking stable markets for their crops joined together in economic partnerships. Today, CSA farms in the U.S., known as CSAs, currently number more than 400. Most are located near urban centers in New England, the Mid-Atlantic States, and the Great Lakes region, with growing numbers in other areas, including the West Coast.

            In basic terms, CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community's farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production.

Q. How do the pricing levels work?

A. There are four different payment levels ($20, $25, $40 -- $17 is available for students and low income persons. Please contact us for more information). All the boxes are the same, however, the pricing difference is like a sliding scale and increased monetary support of the farm. We encourage folks to consider how much they would like to support their small farm as they choose a level. The $40 option, also provides a box for you and then we give one to a family in need.

Q. Why does the box cost what it does?

A. Our farm expenses include our land lease, water bill, electric bill, fuel costs, equipment costs (we have tractors), labor, seeds, compost, packaging materials, and more. The CSA covers a small portion of those costs. Conventional produce sold in supermarkets is artificially cheap due to government subsidies geared towards large-scale producers and the ability of agribusiness companies to farm cheaply on an immense scale. There are hidden costs in these low prices including the cost to our health from eating food polluted with chemicals and devoid of nutrients and the cost to our environment including water, soil, and air.

Q. How much produce is in a box?

A. Our boxes are the size of a bushel (11x17x12). It is large enough to feed two people for two weeks or a family of four for one week, however, this could vary depending on how much people cook each week and what is in the box that week (i.e. watermelon versus spinach)

Q. What if I do not recognize some items in the box?

A. You can find out what is in a box each week at our CSA website: http://sites.google.com/site/scfcsa/Home/what-is-in-a-box-this-week.

Q. Can I choose which fruits and vegetables I receive?

A. No you cannot choose what is in your box. We make up the boxes with the veggies and fruits that we picked the day prior. Each box is the same for that day of delivery.

Q. Are your Veggies certified organic?

A. The South Central Farmers’ Cooperative farms on organically certified land. We are currently certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers or “CCOF”. CCOF provides certification services to all stages of the organic food chain from farms to processors, restaurants and retailers. CCOF certifies to the USDA National Organic Program standards2 and to CCOF international standards.

Q. What happens to my share if I am going to be out of town on my day?

A. If you notify us a week in advance we can make up the box you will miss on an alternative day. We can also donate the box to a local soup kitchen or family unable to afford their one.

Q. What happens if I forget to pick up my box?

A. If you forget to pick up your box, we cannot replace it. You will receive a delivery schedule when you sign up. We try our best to adhere to that schedule and expect that you will too.

Q. Who is the South Central Farmers’ Cooperative?

A. The South Central Farmers’ Cooperative (SCFC) is a grassroots economic development of the South Central Farmers’ Health and Education Fund, a 501c(3) public benefit organization, that is committed to engaging and empowering community members around attaining food sovereignty and access to high quality organic produce.

     All produce is grown and harvested on land that is currently leased by SCFC located in Bakersfield, California. Community members from Los Angeles, travel to the Bakersfield farm each week to plant, clean, and harvest the produce.

Q. Is it possible to visit the farm?

A. Absolutely! We love visitors. People are welcome to pre-arrange a visit almost any Saturday during the year. We also have formally organized bi-yearly visits to the farm in Bakersfield.

Q. Can I cancel my subscription?

A. We reimburse monthly and seasonal member subscriptions for the following reasons: you’re moving, significant financial burden, or the drop off location is terminated. We will handle all other requests for cancellations or refunds on a case by case basis.  

Q. What happens if there is a crop failure?

A. We plant several successions of a variety of crops. It is rare that we have a complete crop failure. If we were to have a complete crop failure, it could be for a relatively short time until the next crop rotation matures. Thus any crop failure will have a limited impact on our CSA. This is the advantage of growing multiple successions of a variety of crops. Nevertheless, joining a CSA connects the consumer to the farmer and to all the risks and bounty inherent in farming.

For any other questions…please contact the CSA Coordinator, Sarah Nolan, at:

csa@southcentralfarmers.com     or      1-800-249-5240

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