*Our most common question:
What if I will be out of town or need to pick up a different day one particular week?
What is a CSA and how is THE GOOD FOOD COLLECTIVE different?
The GFC runs very much like a Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA program, but there are important differences. Our version of CSA represents a cooperative relationship between consumers and farmers allowing people to buy fresh vegetables and fruit directly from local farmers. Like traditional CSA, our members pay in advance of the growing season and then receive fresh, quality produce during each week of the season. This model provides local farmers with an established market in advance of the growing season and provides members with access to GOOD FOOD and real value for their investment.
Traditional CSA usually represents a more significant relationship with a farm and the farmers working that land. It is focused on that very direct relationship and an actual sharing of the risks of farming. Members of a traditional CSA often go out to the farm to get their weekly goods (or to a community based location), and they commit themselves to that farm’s harvests for the year. On good years members share in the bounty and on tough years members have still supported that farm with their membership and help to keep the farm viable. Traditional CSA is not meant to be convenient or fully reliable as a consistent source of food, it is about a relationship with a farm and a willingness to be part of that specific community and agricultural adventure. It is beautiful in its focus on relationship and an interesting model that seeks to create a consistent viability for farms in the not consistent world of farming.
We have worked to expand on the CSA model and develop our version of a Multi-Farm CSA style program. We partner with a network of local farmers and plan our version of CSA as a group of growers. Although we work to hold on to many of the core characteristics of CSA, we also shift some to allow for our vision of really scaling up local, sustainable agriculture. We think of our project as “Agriculture Supporting Community” or ASC (hoping not to confuse people with more acronyms). WE are shifting from building a community around and with a farm (traditional CSA), to building a network of farms around and with a city (our direction with ASC).
We continue to support small to medium size, sustainable growers and share the risk with our partner farms in many ways. However, we also have worked to create a really accessible and convenient way for people to participate in this type of program. We have worked hard to assure our members of a diverse, bountiful, and consistent way to connect with local, sustainable, GOOD FOOD! And we have worked hard to provide local, sustainable growers with access to a large market and a great connection to the Rochester community. Our strategy attempts to create a REAL WIN-WIN situation, and a very effective way for our community to work together to build a fantastic, sustainable, local food system for the Rochester area!
Still don’t understand the difference between traditional CSA and The GFC? Email Chris, he loves to talk about this stuff! firstname.lastname@example.org
What will a weekly share look like?
Use our PRODUCT SCHEDULE to see what foods will be available during the different months of the growing season. Each season with The Good Food Collective is unique and represents the foods and flavors available during that time of year. For detailed information about the quantity and variety of food each seasonal membership makes available: VISIT HERE.
To pick up your share, GFC members will either have signed up to meet us at one of our GREEN TRUCK DISTRIBUTIONS or to pick up at a specific drop-spot for our PRE-BOX SHARES.
Members who will show up to one of our GREEN TRUCK DISTRIBUTION locations will find an extensive and convenient display of that week’s vegetables and fruit at our “mobile market” distribution set up. Members will be able to take from each variety displayed, filling their own bags or bags we can supply at distribution.
At some designated workplace locations, shares comes PRE-BOXED in one of our reusable boxes. Shares are dropped off at a designated time and place and members grab their box and take their share home with them.
When and where will distribution take place?
The GFC distributes throughout the week at our various workplace and community-based locations. Each season offers some of the same core location options as well as some unique just to that season. See our LOCATIONS & TIMES page to see the complete list and more specific details.
Is there a payment plan option?
YES! We offer two different methods of payment, members can pay in full using a secure, on-line credit card payment or members can choose to pay by check. When paying by check, members can either send in a check for your full membership fee OR send a nonrefundable deposit of $75 to reserve your spot, remaining payment is due by the beginning of distributions for that season.
Is the food Organic?
All of our farms (except for a few well noted exceptions) are either Certified Organic or using organic practices but are not officially certified. These producers represent the best in our area’s efforts of sustainable agriculture. The integrity of the food within the GFC is the very top, and our farmers are some of the very best!
Exceptions: Some of the fruit distributed through the GFC is certified organic or grown using organic methods. Some of our fruit comes from local farmers using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and low spray techniques but is not grown organically. Fruit is more challenging to grow in our area using organic practices. The GFC is working hard to network with sustainable fruit growers and to partner with our existing growers in their efforts to grow using organic methods.
Any food that is not grown using organic methods will be noted in our weekly eletter.
The GFC recommends that members who will be out of town for distribution prearrange to have someone pick the share up for them or have that person take it home.
Members can also arrange to pick up their shares at another location on another day via our Location Change Request form. Please submit this form at least 24 hours in advance, so our distribution team can prepare.
Members can always ask that their share not be delivered on any given week. However, the GFC does not refund any of the membership cost in such a situation. The food in that case would be donated to local agencies and food cupboards. Any shares that have not been picked up at the end of distribution will also be donated after all of our distributions have finished. The GFC will be able to provide some opportunity for picking up a share later in the day, at another location or the following day. But members will have to contact us to arrange that. We are always happy to help figure something out!
How do I work towards getting my workplace or community location as a distribution location?
For employers, employees, or community members interested in having their workplace or community location become a distribution location, CONTACT US so we can begin the conversation. In so doing, our team is able to work with your business or organization to see if a necessary level of interest exists and what the most convenient and effective distribution process could be.
Can businesses and organizations support and subsidize membership?
The GFC is excited to work with businesses and health insurance providers to explore ways for employees to receive support in making and affording healthy food choices. CONTACT US to begin the conversation around how we can customize a situation that works towards your desired goals, including allowing your institution to oversee enrollment and thus offer payroll deduction as a method of payment or health insurance programs offering subsidies for membership.
How can I support Good Food for All?
The GFC seeks to work in collaboration with community, business, and foundation support to offer subsidized membership in the GFC for low income individuals and families in Rochester.
Please CONTACT US to learn more about the program and how you may be able to support this important effort.
Why a Winter Program?
That’s an easy question. The Good Food Collective wants to provide the Rochester community with local, sustainably grown fruits and vegetables all year round. Due to the fact that winter is not exactly the most productive season for our farmers, we will be offering a variety of frozen, stored, and fresh produce from local and regional farms as well as additional local products such as eggs, meat, and bread. We hope that the Winter Share will allow us to continue to expand our product offerings while evaluating the possibility of processing fruits and vegetables right here in Rochester.
Why is the Good Food Collective offering Winter Sun Farms products?
Winter Sun Farms (WSF) works with a network of small farms in the Hudson Valley in New York State to source summer produce which is then processed, frozen, and distributed during the winter. We have teamed up with WSF to supply regional, frozen fruits and vegetables to the Rochester Community while we study the feasibility of setting up processing facilities here in Rochester. While the frozen products aren’t local, they’re certainly regional, making a very minimal carbon footprint compared to most frozen produce which is shipped in from other states or even countries.
Is the frozen food organic?
Most of the 15-20 farms WSF works with are certified organic, but some of the smaller ones are not. They are un-certified organic CSA’s or Certified Naturally Grown. If WSF required all farms to be USDA Certified Organic they couldn’t work with the smaller farms. Last year for example the blueberries came from a wonderful u-pick farm and were completely no spray. All other berries come from organic farms.
Also this year frozen corn will be offered. On a large scale corn is to tough crop to grow strictly organic, but WSF has been working with the farms to use low spray or no spray methods. In short, all of the farms are organic except for the no-spray blueberries and corn.
The Good Food Collective storage and fresh products will come from our same group of sustainable growers, some certified organic, some using organic practices but not certified, and some IPM fruit producers.
Beyond the weekly food shares, do you offer ADDITIONAL SHARES?
YOU BET! We have all sorts of products available from local farms and producers. Eggs, Meat, Fruit, Bread and MORE!
I’m able to get to the Green Truck Location, but, can I have my share BOXED UP when I get there?
Absolutely, We have had a number of members who would like to speed up the process and have us pack up their share for a quicker pick up. This year we are piloting an “EXPRESS BOX” for an small additional fee to accommodate our members with this desire.
My friend told me you can deliver a weekly share to MY WORKPLACE?
WE SURE CAN! Some people want to be part of our growing food system buy can not make it to one of our Green Truck locations during their busy work schedule. We have created a PRE-BOX SHARE DELIVERY program. It is an additional service that boxes up the same food everyone gets in a weekly share and delivers it to your approved workplace (8 or more members). Please contact us with your interest about this service: CONTACT US!
Please CONTACT US to learn more about the program and how you may be able to support this important effort