The Organic Farm is an organically certified vegetable farm and has been offering a seasonal veggie membership for over thirty years.
For the first time this year, in addition to the full season membership of 14 weeks, we are offering a part-time option. Those choosing this option can subscribe for three or more weeks.
The policies and practices for the Veggie Membership is the same as past years.
We plant some of our greenhouses in December and January. We offer winter greens during the off season to restaurants and private customers. We start planting seedling trays in February. The early seedlings (lettuce, Swiss chard, fennel, a variety of cole crops, onions, and several types of herbs) will be available, weather permitting, on Saturdays, beginning early May. The basil, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash and eggplant are planted in May and June.
When does the veggie Membership Season begin?
Ideally, we will begin a 14 week season, starting the week of June 19th with a three holiday week option for a total of 17 weeks. If the weather does not cooperate, the first Veggie delivery will occur in the last week in June and we will offer a 14 week subscription with two holiday weeks rather than three. Your cost will be the same in either case, but the 17 week season does add a bit of flexibility around your choice of holiday weeks.
Garden Centre will open First Saturday in May for the 2017 Season
Our Gardening Centre will be open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mike Rabinowitz, co-owner of the Organic Farm, will be around to give advice. (Please call ahead if the weather is bad, 895-2884).
We invite you to bring your family or friends to the farm on Churchill Rd, Portugal Cove to see where your food is growing. If your friends are back yard gardeners, please let them know, they can order edible flowers, herbs, and vegetable seedlings through our web-based service or come out to the farm to see what is available. See our seedling order by clicking here. Any size order can be picked up at the farm. We will not be delivering seedling orders under $100 at the Farmers’ Market. However, we will bring in lettuce, herb, cole crop, and pepper seedlings that can be purchased at our vendor table.
RETURNING MEMBERS: PLEASE RENEW BY MAY 14 FOR THE 2017 SEASON
Welcome back! We look forward to seeing you at the first pick-up Please use the membership form provided at the bottom of this letter. If there are no changes, simply put your name on the form. If there are changes in bag size, phone numbers, payment schedule, who you are sharing with, address, or place for pick up, please indicate this. We look forward to connecting again – at the Science Building or the farm. Not returning? If you have not already let us know, please send a short e-mail to that effect. This will help clear the way for new members for this season.
The first step is to fill out the membership form, even if you have written us before. On our membership form page, you will have the option to download the form to forward to us via email or to fill out our online form.
(Note – just fill in your name if you already have sent us a form.) Be sure to indicate your preference for a larger or smaller bag, or if you would be satisfied with either bag size. Part-time larger bag memberships will also be available. If you are interested in a smaller bag membership, do this as soon as possible. This will get your name on the current waiting list for this season.
If you are applying for a smaller bag membership, do not send money!!! until we have confirmed your membership for the 2017 Season. If you are applying for a larger bag full-time or part-time membership, we would appreciate receiving one or more post-dated cheques or an initial e-transfer payment.
WHAT ARE MY CHANCES?
If you would like to have a full season smaller bag membership, reply to this e-mail as soon as possible. The date on your reply will determine your position on the waiting list. There is usually a 25% drop out rate from season to season. Thus, if you are among the first 10 prospective new smaller bag members to respond, your chances are very good. Unless something unexpected occurs, all new members requesting a full season or part-time larger bag membership will become members of the Veggie Coop.
A NEW OPTION – PART TIME MEMBERSHIP
In order to accommodate our members and former members who plan to leave Newfoundland for more than a month this coming summer, we are offering a larger bag part-time option for the first time. Please check the weeks you would like to have a veggie bag on the part-time application that appears below. The pricing is based on the average cost of the bags delivered on each of the weeks during the 2015 and 2016 season. In general, the bags delivered later in the season were larger and will cost more. Since we were able to offer members more vegetables than the subscription cost in 2015 and 2016, the weekly costs are about 10 percent more expensive than a full season membership. An idea of the bag content for each of the weeks can be obtained by checking the 2015 and 2016 packing slips on our website: www.theorganicfarm.net In order to keep the record keeping relatively straightforward, we request that part-time memberships be prepaid using one to three cheques and that members choosing the part-time option will subscribe to three or more weeks. We will try to be flexible with part-time memberships. Members can add more weeks and change weeks if an emergency occurs.
SEASON LENGTH AND HOLIDAYS
The 2017 Season will be 14 weeks with the option of either 2 or 3 holiday weeks (weather dependent). Members who provide us with advanced notice for their holidays, please let us know at least one week ahead, get their week(s) replaced at the end of the season. For example, members who miss one week will get Week 15; those who miss two weeks would receive Weeks 15 and 16 as a replacement. If we are able to provide a 17 week season, then three replacement weeks will be available. If there is sufficient product, members who do not miss any of the regular season weeks or only missed one week, can opt to buy additional weeks at the end of the season.
COST AND BAG SIZE
***Cost below is for 2017 season. Cost is subject to change in future seasons.
We are holding prices constant this season.
Small bag is $36 per week average, $504.00 for 14 weeks.
Large bag is $49.50 per week average, $693.00 for 14 weeks.
You can arrange your payments in a series of post dated checks. Payment options are explained on the membership application that appears below. Some members opt to pay the total membership fee at the beginning of the season. This helps cover our labour costs early in the season before our crops are plentiful enough for distribution in the Veggie Coop. We prefer cheques and e-transfers to cash because both provide duplicate records of payment.
SCHEDULE AND PLACE FOR DELIVERIES
Smaller bag deliveries will be on Mondays with Week 1 being on either June 19th or 26th. Larger bags will be delivered on Wednesdays. (the first delivery will be either on June 21 or June 28th). On delivery days, bags can be picked up between 6 and 6:30 p.m. in the Science Building Parking Lot at MUN or anytime after 5:50 PM at the farm on Churchill Road in Portugal Cove. Pick ups at the farm can also occur a day or two later than the delivery day because the bags are kept in our walk in cooler. Arrangements around holidays, swap box, and pick-up are the same as last year and are reviewed for new members.
IF MEMBERSHIP COST IS A BARRIER
Perhaps you are a returning member and have an income loss since last year. This has happened to other families. We have spaces for a limited number of people to help at the farm, to reduce fees or to actually barter a full fee. Whether you are a returning member or a new member and unable to afford the full fee this year, please get in touch. We may be able to partially subsidize the costs.
WHAT NEW MEMBERS NEED TO KNOW
What kind of produce will be in the bag?
We hope to have a good supply of most things on the price list. The Veggie Coop is one of our core markets and the one that responds best to the bio-diversity of crops which we enjoy. Some years, the most desirable crops such as green beans do well, but in other years, like 2009, the bean crop was a failure but other crops such as onions and winter squash were abundant. On the other hand, the 2011 season was so cold that only the cool weather crops were plentiful while 2013 was warm and pretty much everything was abundant. Last year, we began experimenting with tomato grafting. Our initial trial was successful and if we can replicate our results on a larger scale this summer, you will have an occasional greenhouse grown beefsteak tomatoes in your bags.
The Concept of a CSA
The concept behind the Veggie Coop, which is known as a CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, is that members trust the farmers to do the best they can. In fact, the first CSA was a group of people who rented a piece of land and hired a farmer to grow food for them. Sometimes member families are as disappointed as we are if some crop does not work out, but it is important to understand that we are not a box store. We don’t simply ship in tomatoes from another supplier and pass the cost along to the members. In 2011, regardless of how much we struggled, we were not able to produce sufficient supplies of vegetables to fulfill the costs of the memberships. We were short about $10.00 for smaller bags members and more for large bag groups. To reduce the shortage, Week 15 was used for all members and there was only one holiday substitute. In 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 our produce was sufficiently abundant so that we were more than able to fulfill the costs of membership. One never knows in Newfoundland, but we are always hopeful that we can produce enough produce to exceed the cost of membership.
What if I don’t want a particular vegetable or herb?
All bags have the same items. We bring a swap box to each pick-up, so members can swap the unwanted item for another item of similar value. This usually works out well since people prefer different things. For example, one member swaps their garlic for peas; meanwhile someone else is waiting to see if there is any extra garlic. Members can also buy extra produce out of the swap box rather than swapping vegetables. We refer to this way of accessing extra vegetables as Tail Gate Sales.
The Organic Farm grows assorted herbs, such as basil, cress, coriander, dill, curly and flat leaf parsley, several kinds of mint, oregano, rosemary, tarragon and thyme. We supply veggie co-op members with herbs as they become available including basil and herb bouquets (sample of three to five herbs). Members can order additional herbs, such as basil, by special order if we have an adequate supply. We also provide tips on drying and freezing herbs.
Specialty Items. Occasionally, other specialty items are added to the weekly collection of veggies and herbs to add interest, for example, edible flowers, recipe samples or recipes such as Tabouli with core ingredients. Members can also exchange these items for basic veggies that are available if they wish.
How does the pricing work?
Each item in your bag will be listed and a total provided, much like the sales receipt at the super market. Early in the year, the total for the vegetables in the bag usually will be less than the $36.00 or $49.50 weekly cost you have paid for. Around the first to middle of August, the total will start to increase, until it evens out. Later in the fall, the bags will be bursting with vegetables. Hopefully, near the end of the season, there will be winter squash, pumpkin, beets, rutabaga, and parsnip.
YOUR INVESTMENT IN THE VEGGIE COOP MEMBERSHIP
When you buy a Veggie Coop membership you are supporting an ethical organic farm that has provided employment for many people over the years. We provide mentoring opportunities for people from around the world through a farm stay program. Part of our farm mission is to provide a place where old and young people can visit to see and learn about growing organically. Mike volunteers his time on Saturdays between 11 and 5 at the farm giving free consultation to anyone who comes to learn how to use organic methods.
Over the years, we have hosted hundreds of school children and their parents for classroom trips where children picked and tasted veggies. We continue to have visits from local Girl Guide and Scout troups and the annual “work” project for 12-15 youths from across Canada, arranged by a local church, where they collect in the family kitchen for dips and soup made from farm veggies. We helped the children at Bishop Field Elementary School make the world’s largest salad for Health week; have donated huge salads for the Eastern Edge Art Marathon and several fund raising campaigns each year. We participate in Earth Day Celebrations and the local Environmental Fair. Oz, our son has given a presentation on “organic farming” at an elementary school the past five years which has resulted in a garden on the school grounds. He is invited back every year to work with a new class and is still enjoying it.
Each year, students enrolled in the chef training course at the College of North Atlantic visit the farm with their Instructors to look and taste. People enrolled in a skills and employment program, offered through various community agencies such as the MacMorran Community Centre, frequently visit the farm as do dozens of community garden groups. We have provided mentoring for high school students from St. Bon`s. The students came on Saturdays to work with Mike, then put these skills to work in a community garden where they grew food for a local food bank. Several are now growing their own food. One of the young women worked part-time on the farm for a number of years before she went off to music school in the States.
Roots in Newfoundland
Often people from other parts of Canada and the U.S. seek out the Organic Farm to work or volunteer because they have roots in Newfoundland. A few years ago, a young man from Boston spent a month on the farm so he could visit his grandparents in Torbay, who he hadn’t seen in many years. Keagan, the apprentice last year visited with his counsin in St. John’s while living on the farm. Caroline, the new apprentice from Ontario has family in St. John’s and Bonavista.
Set Aside Time For Family Visits
The relationships we have built over the years with our many CSA customers is an important aspect of our history. We particularly enjoy having families who can visit from time to time, with their children or aging parents in a more relaxed atmosphere. Call ahead and try to leave time for a tea bun and cup of tea in the family kitchen. And an informal tour of our daughter Toby’s paintings and clay pieces can be arranged.
The Veggie Coop is a large, extended family of people who have become friends of the farm. As a member of the CSA, you are helping with a collective effort that is larger and more significant than the food we grow and the food you take home. You are part of an investment in the organic movement toward a healthier environment and a healthier life style for everyone. Our goal is to encourage farmers and individuals to grow food so that Newfoundland and Labrador can produce more than 9 percent of the food we eat. Moving our province toward self sufficiency is also one of the goals of our new premier and the provincial Agri-foods program. We all hope to reduce the rates of obesity and diabetes in our province that are reported to be the highest in Canada.
Mike and Melba Rabinowitz, Co-Owners April, 2017 Phone: (709) 895-2884
Veggie Membership 2017 – Summary
2017 MEMBERSHIP OPTIONS
- Smaller Bag at $36.00 per week: Total of $504.00 for the 14 week season.
- Larger Bag at $49.50 per week: Total of $693.00 for the 14 week season.
- Part-time Larger Bag, 3 or more weeks, priced by the week.
PICK-UP TIMES AND PLACES
- Smaller Bag Pick-up: Mondays, 6 PM, Science Building – Quad Parking Lot
- Larger Bag Pick-up: Wednesday, 6 PM., Science Building – Quad Parking Lot
- Part-time Larger Bag: Wednesday, 6 PM., Science Building – Quad Parking Lot
Your Veggie Coop bag can be picked up from the farm anytime after 5:50 PM on your delivery day or held in the chill room for you to pick up anytime later in the week. As outlined earlier, we plan to operate for 16 or 17 weeks so members can take two or three holidays without losing vegetables. If sufficient herbs and vegetables are available, members who don’t take holidays will be invited to purchase as many as three additional weeks at the regular weekly cost.
Please fill out and return your membership application form by e-mail or through the form available on the website.
If you are applying for a smaller bag membership, do not send any money unless you receive an e-mail confirming a place. When you get such an e-mail, then please send post-dated cheques by slow mail (Organic Farm, 42 Churchills Road, PCSP, NL A1M 2P6). Arrangements can be made for e-transfers.
FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME LARGER BAG MEMBERS.
Please fill out and return your membership application form by email or via the websiteand send post-dated cheques by slow mail (Organic Farm, 42 Churchills Road, PCSP, NL A1M 2P6). Arrangements can be made for e-transfers.
You can mail your post-dated checks or bring them to the first pick up if using slow mail is not convenient. Also, please provide e-mail and phone information for all those you are sharing with to make it easier for us to find a person to pick up the veggies on nights when someone doesn’t show up. Include contact information for everyone involved in using your veggie bag. We hope to get a blog set up for the The Veggie Coop or a page on the Organic Farm Website for dialogue, recipes, farm notes and building the veggie coop extended community: www.theorganicfarm.net Also please note that we are now on Facebook.
THE ORGANIC FARM: 2017 SEASON
Price List for Veggie Coop
***Cost below is for 2017 season. Cost is subject to change in future seasons.
Arugula $4.50/100g, $10.00/250g, $32/kg
Artichokes $3.00 – 5.00, depending on size
Beet greens (bunch) $5.00/250g
Beets/ winter $0.60/100g
Beets/ novelty baby 0.75 ea.(white,golden,candy strip)
Braising Mix (regular) $6.00/250g $21.00/kg (in larger quantities)
Braising Mix (small) $2.50/100g
Brussels Sprouts $6.00/500g or $8.00/stalk
Brussels Sprout Tops $2.00
Cabbage – Chinese $.75/100g
Cabbage – Red $.50/100g
Cabbage – green $.40/100g
Carrots (baby) $3.00/bunch
Carrots (bunch) $4.00/bunch
Cauliflower $5 – $6/head (depending on size and type)
Chard $5.00/250g bag
Collards $6.00/350g bag
Corn $1.25/ ear or $6.00/ half dozen
Cucumbers(English) $2.50 to $4/cucumber
Cucumbers(field) $1 to $2/cucumber
Cucumbers (pickling) $0.75/cucumber $8/dozen
Eggplant $2 to $5/ eggplant (depending on size)
Fava Beans $1.00/100g
Fennel Roots $3 to $5/bulb (depending on size)
Garlic – elephant $2.50/100g
Garlic (regular) $1.75/bulb or $10.00/500g if plentiful
Garlic Scapes $0.60/scape or $6.00/dozen
Green Onions $2.00 – 3.00 bunch, depending on size
Jerusalem Artichokes $1.50/100g
Juicing Mix $1.50/100g
Kale $6.00/300g bag, $18.00/kg
Kohlrabi $3 to $5/ bulb (depending on size)
Leeks $2.50 each or $6.00 for bunch of three
Lettuce Head $3.00 – $5.00 per head depending on size
Lettuce Leafy $5/250g bag
Lettuce Mix $7.00, 250g bag
Lettuce Romaine $5/250g bag
Mustard Mix (large) $7.00, 250g bag
Mustard Mix (small) $8.00, 250g bag
Micro Greens $10.00/100g bag
Onions/winter $1.50 – $2.00 each depending on size
Onions/winter (small) $0.70/100g
Pak Choi (small types) $1 to $2
Pak Choi (large types) $2.50/100g or $20/kg in large quantities
Peas (edible pod) $2.50/100g
Peas (shelling) $2.00/100g
Pea Shoots $8.00/100g
Peppers, sweet $0.75 to 4.00 each depending on size
Peppers, hot $0.33 to 3.00 each depending on size
Potatoes-fingerling $0.80/100g or $7/kg if plentiful
Potatoes-regular $0.50/100g or $4.50/kg if plentiful
Radish (regular) $2.50/bunch
Salad Mix $10.00, 250g bag or $18.00/500g in larger quantities
Spinach (baby) $3.00/100g
Spinach (regular) $2.50/100g
Sprouts (living) $6.00/quart
Sprouting Kit $6.00/each
Summer Squash $0.60/100g
Tomatoes (beefsteak) $9.00/kg
Tomatoes (cherry mixed) $7.00/pint
Tomatoes (cherry large) $9.00/quart
Tomatoes (Latah) $4.00/pint, $6.50/quart $8.50/kg
Turnip (summer) $0.50/100g
Winter Squash $0.50/100g
Herbs: $3.50 bunch
Herb Bouquet: $5.00
Basil $4.00/25g, $6.00/50g, $10.00/100g bag,
$22.00/250g bag, $50/kg