VEGGIE COOP – 2016 SEASON
RETURNING MEMBERS: PLEASE RENEW BY MAY 22!
Welcome back! We look forward to seeing you at the first pick-up Please use the membership form and send it back to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 and email the membership form (click here to download) to email@example.com, even if you have written us before. (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. Do this as soon as possible. This will get your name on the current waiting list for this season. Do not send money!!! until we have confirmed your membership for the 2016 Season. The priority after returning members are the people who have been on the waiting list since last season, then we will begin to process people inquiring for the 2016 Season.
WHAT ARE MY CHANCES ?
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 20 prospective new members to respond, your chances are very good.
However, getting the bag size you prefer may be more challenging. In order to help us coordinate our on-farm picking and packing, we divide the over-all numbers between smaller bags and larger bags. Usually, there are more requests for smaller bags than we can accommodate.
SEASON LENGTH AND HOLIDAYS.
The 2016 Season will be 14 weeks with the option of either 2 or 3 weeks holidays (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 Week 15 and 16) as a replacement. 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
As you might expect, the cost of everything we need for farming including labour, fuel, equipment purchases and repairs as well as soil building materials is increasing. This year has been especially difficult because most of our seeds and supplies are priced in U.S. dollars. When we ordered there was a 40% premium on the U.S. dollar. Since then, the value of the Canadian dollar has been increasing, but there is still a sharp differential. Since our last price increase our direct and indirect labour costs have increased by over 15%. In addition, because of the very cold weather last July our productivity markedly decreased. We were very pleased to have fulfilled our obligations to Veggie Coop members but other customers had access to fewer vegetables. As many of you know, the prices of vegetables at the supermarket have increased markedly this winter. The prices we are charging for individual vegetables appears below. Our price increase of 12.5% for Veggie Coop membership is well below what is happening in the larger market and should buy you approximately the same quantity of vegetables you received last year. We hope it is not too steep for our members.
Small bag is $504.00 for 14 weeks, $36 per week average.
Large bag is $693.00 for 14 weeks, $49.50 per week average.
You can arrange your payments in the form of 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. In order to keep our bookkeeping straight forward, we prefer cheques and e-transfers to cash.
SCHEDULE AND PLACE FOR DELIVERIES! !
Smaller bag deliveries will return to Mondays with Week 1 being on either June 20th or 27th. Larger bags will continue to be delivered on Wednesdays. (the first delivery will be either on June 22 or June 29th). 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. 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.
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, and 2015 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.
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 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 for their own gardens.
In 2008 and 2009, we hosted over 500 school children, who visited the farm to pick and taste veggies . In 2010, we helped the children at Bishop Field Elementary School make the world’s largest salad for Health week in September; along with donating salads for the Eastern Edge Art Marathon and other healthy eating campaigns. Oz, our son, did some “organic farm” teaching at an elementary school the past three years; as a result the students/teacher have developed a garden on the school grounds..
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.
The relationships we have built over the years with our many CSA customers is an important aspect of our history. The Veggie Coop is a large, extended family of people who have become friends of the farm. As a member of the Veggie Coop, you are helping with a collective effort that is much 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 enough farmers and individuals to grow food so that Newfoundlanders can rise above 9 percent self-sufficiency in food production. By doing so, healthy foods can be available to everyone and we can reduce the rates of obesity and diabetes that are reported to be the highest in Canada.
Mike and Melba Rabinowitz, Co-Owners
Phone: (709) 895-2884
THE ORGANIC FARM: 2016 SEASON
Price List for Veggie Coop
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 (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
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 as available if they wish.