CSA Member Policies
This CSA is a subscription to local, clean, responsibly grown vegetables, herbs, fruits, and other household and pantry goods we grow or source. With your subscription, you are pledging to purchase a certain amount of goods from us, picked up at regular intervals, for a commitment of one year. It is then our responsibility to grow and source high quality, local, grown and crafted goods, and distribute them to you conveniently at a fair price.
This agreement outlines our shared commitments to that relationship.
Our growing practices & sourcing standards
We are not currently seeking any certification status for our farming practices; however, we have begun documentation of all of our growing methods to leave our options open for the future. We stress that we sell clean, responsibly grown, local produce. Things we do not use: chemical fertilizers, chemical herbicides, chemical pesticides, or GMOs. Things we do use: Dr. Bronner's peppermint castile soap, cayenne pepper, garlic, row covers, crop rotation, companion planting, encouragement of beneficial species, compost, worm castings, Dr. Earth organic soil amendments, bloodmeal, cover crops, mulching. We grow food that we eat ourselves.
We hold the same standards for food products we source as we those we grow ourselves—we'll occasionally distribute organic or natural food products from sources with certification, and they will be labeled as such. We give first priority to the most local products we can find, but our “local” products may be sourced anywhere within a roughly 150 mile radius from Johnson City. We will label any products within a 500 mile radius as regional if we find them appropriate for distribution.
Crop failure & surplus
We've identified the need to reduce the risk of both crop failure and surplus for our subscribers. Traditionally, a CSA's operation focused on this sharing of the burden to allow the farmer to take on a greater risk—the failure was shared by all and a crop failure loses its ability to completely wipe out a small farmer. We've been networking with our neighboring local farmers to create the safety net that improves this system. If we experience a crop failure at our farms, we can source a product elsewhere, meaning you never experience the effect. We'll have lost the money invested in the crop, but we won't be losing our customers. Additionally, because we're intentionally sourcing a portion of our goods to support other local producers, we won't be over planting. Extra food is used up by the restaurant, so your basket is never more than you can deal with. We won't over burden you with the task of making full use of too much food, but we do encourage seasonal consumption of goods through preservation.
Additionally, we've added value to our shares by insuring them with a secondary food source: your subscription comes with gift certificates to our restaurant, The Main Street Pizza Company. We want to thank you for your dedication to our farm, reduce the risk of crop failures effecting the bottom line of your investment, share with you what we're creating from the farm's goods, and treat you to dinner every once in a while! We always offer a percentage of your investment back in gift certificate dollars to the restaurant, substantially increasing the worth of your share! Your gift certificates are distributed regularly with your shares, a percentage of your purchase amount, available in the first share you pick up after payment. We do limit these gift certificates to dine in only Sunday-Thursday; our restaurant operates at full capacity on Friday and Saturdays, and we want to guarantee you receive the best possible experience we can offer you with these gifts. If you just can't find a way to fit these in to your schedule, consider gifting them to a friend.
You will receive notification of your upcoming share order on Tuesday of the week prior to your pickup. You will have the option of taking no action to receive your share as it has been defined by our farm manager, or you can log on to our web store to customize your share contents. Your customized share orders will be due by end of day Sunday before your share pickup to allow us time to harvest, portion and distribute. On rare occasions, we may experience a product shortage that will affect your order. You will be notified by email if we experience any availability issues.
Your payments are made as deposits to your account. You select your payment amount during our sign up process ($50 // $100 // $250 // $500 // $1000), and a recurring payment in this amount is automatically drafted each time your account balance is below $25. You will receive email notification of your scheduled draft.
We suggest selecting a payment system relevant to your share size and budgeting methods. Choose a payment amount that is larger than your single distribution share value for convenient payment processing and to capitalize on our bulk payment bonuses.
Larger payments allow us to plan and save us processing fees, so we pass those saving along, so we pass those savings along to our members in the form of account bonuses in the following amounts, with every payment throughout your membership: $1000 = 10% bonus [$100], $500 = 5% bonus [$25], $250 = 2% bonus [$5], $100 = 1% bonus [$1]. These bonuses are deposited directly to your account upon payment.
We securely accept all major credit and debit cards, PayPal, and electronic check through our website. We offer convenient payment plans to allow you to select a plan that works for you.
Your commitment to this subscription is for one year, but we hope you become a member forever; please see cancellation and refund policies specified below.
Pick up etiquette
By subscribing to this system, you are committing to your end of the bargain as well. We talk about food initiatives because we need our subscribers to understand the effort that it takes to be a small, ethically-driven food distributor within such large, open waters of corporate, national food distribution and grocery chains. It takes all of our efforts to sustain this alternative food source. We aim to operate our distribution system as simply as possible—we want it to be something that feels familiar to you, that's easy to work with and easy to access. We want you to experience success with this new way of consuming food; we ask a few minor responsibilities from you to help keep these systems operating smoothly for us all.
picking up your share
Your shares are distributed from the City Farm location at 232 S Commerce St in Johnson City, or at either location of The Main Street Pizza Company in Johnson City, or Kingsport. Pull in through the gate for convenient parking right on site at City Farm, or park as you normally would to enter either restaurant. We are currently distributing shares Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 12pm-6pm from City Farm, on Saturdays after 11am from The Main Street Pizza Company in JC, or on Thursdays after 11am from The Main street Pizza Company in Kingsport. Our staff is on hand during our pick up windows to assist you with your share. We do ask that you bring your own preferred grocery receptacle for transporting your produce back home--we have chosen not to issue cardboard boxes as many traditional CSAs do in an effort to offset the waste that we produce, and we don't want to burden our members by charging deposits on reusable baskets or bags. Our solution is to allow our members their own flexibility in choosing how to get their goods home. Whether you choose to repurpose an old basket or box, purchase something new, or just grab a few used grocery bags on the way out the door, be certain your goods will be protected during transport. It is pertinent that you uphold this end of your commitment to this system and bring your box/bag/basket with you at pick up every time. Please understand that this responsibility is your contribution to our efforts to reduce the environmental impact of this system. Plan for just a few minutes with us when you come to pick up--our staff will review the entire contents of your share with you as we pack your veggies to go home with you.
We offer multiple time slots for you to pick up your share. Please consider which will be most convenient for you. At the end of the pick up window, our staff will be leaving and locking the premises. It is imperative you pick up during your scheduled pickup window. Your pickup day is an appointment with us, and we'd expect you'd uphold this appointment for our service as you would any other professional service; we spend hours preparing your share for each pickup, and any missed pick up not only increases our administrative work substantially, but additionally impedes our system of distribution and increases the likelihood of a wasted share. While we harvest our produce fresh and pack it to last as long as possible in your home, we hate to see any product wasted. Please communicate with us as soon as you realize you have missed a pickup. We'll hold your product for you for a week total before it is donated, but again, encouraging your responsibility to the arranged schedule, at your expense, by number of nights your share is held in storage. A missed pick up will result in an initial storage fee of $5, and will still be available for pick up for one week from your original pick up date. Remember that your highest quality, and therefore most value, comes with freshly harvested produce, and make your scheduled pickup a priority. If you find you just can't make it, consider sharing with a friend if they're able to pick up for you. After one week, your share will be donated to a local food charity, and your account will still be debited for your share, and the storage fee.
We do understand that all of our daily lives are hectic, and sometimes our personal schedules must make room for other priorities. In order to avoid any missed pick ups, our system allows you to make changes to your pick up day and scheduling pick up holds; please find this information detailed in the following topic "changing your pickup schedule" and "account holds". You can do many of these functions online by simply logging into your account. You can also avoid the storage fee by either placing your account on hold up to three days before your scheduled pick up, or emailing customer service up to 24 hours before your scheduled pick up to reschedule.
We'll need three days notice to be able to accommodate your changes in distribution, as we make plans for harvest and packing shares within the days before your pickup. For example, if you normally pickup on Wednesday, any changes to your account can be made through Sunday night and will be reflected on that next pickup. Any changes after that time will not be reflected until your next distribution. In any emergency outside of these hours, please contact the farm; we'll make efforts to accommodate your request. Please communicate directly with the farm regarding any lengthy account holds
changing your scheduled pickup day
If you find need to change your scheduled pickup day or temporarily place your account on hold, you may do so by logging in to your account through the link on our homepage and under "account log in" under the CSA menu header at the top of the page. Once you have logged in to your account, you'll find a button labeled "Change Location" in the green box titled Summary. While we do not currently have more than one pickup location, this is where you have the ability to change a pick up day from one to another. If you do not expect to make your regularly scheduled pick up day, please take the time to schedule in a different pick up day for that week. This is not a temporary change; your pick up day will not revert back to the previous schedule without your manual input.
Delivery is now available to your home for a fee of $8 within the direct Tri Cities regions and surrounding areas. Shares will be delivered Thursday afternoons and will be left at your door if no one is home for receiving. The time your share is in transit should not affect the quality of your goods; however, please make arrangements to unpack your share as soon as possible and store your goods to their preferred methods to maximize freshness and quality. Please contact the farm immediately if you have not received your share or if it has been damaged in transit.
You may place your account on hold when you are unable to pick up your share during any day of your scheduled week of pick up by scheduling dates under the tab "Delivery Hold" within your account. A delivery hold does not move your share to another day or week, it simply defers your share until your next scheduled pick up, and your account will not be charged during your account hold. Again, account holds must be made within three days of your scheduled pick up day to allow us time to make changes to our distribution.
vacations and holidays
All shares the week of Thanksgiving and Christmas will be picked up on the Tuesday prior to the holiday to permit our members time with for meal preparation and time with their families through the weekend. We will notify members through email to confirm any holiday schedules.
If you are not available for pickup during due to other holidays, vacation or travel, please plan to put your account on hold.
Recipes, storage and preserving information
All information we provide on this website regarding cooking and storage methods for our food products are merely suggestions to help you make use of the full potential of your products. We want you to be satisfied with your goods, because we want you to comfortable with the lifestyle change ongoing, not just temporarily inconvenienced by the effort to support the local food supply system. We recommend you do your own research, and learn from experimentation and observation in your own environment when learning how to work with your produce at home. The internet has a robust offering of references regarding food culture including preparation and preservation methods and recipes.
Your payment and personal information is always safe. Our Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software is the industry standard and among the best software available today for commerce transactions. It encrypts all of your personal information, including credit card number, name, and address, so that it cannot be read over the internet.
We respect and are committed to protecting your privacy. We may collect personally identifiable information when you visit our site. We also automatically receive and record information on our server logs from your browser including your IP address, cookie information, and the page(s) you visited. We will not share or sell your personally identifiable information.
Refund & credit policy
There are no cash refunds once payments are made. All balances will be paid down to $0 in produce or gift certificates to The Main Street Pizza Company. A traditional CSA only receives payments at the start of a production season, so that the producers can plan for the crops they need to harvest. We want our new subscribers to join at any time and pay in any way that suits their budget, but our planning and our commitment for each member begins with the initial sign up of a CSA subscription. We are both invested from that point on.
River Creek Farm is willing to scrutinize within reason on a case by case basis any claim for credit due to quality of product distributed. We wash some of our produce, as many varieties are best held unwashed, and inspect the products we distribute, but some quality issues in produce are unforeseen until preparation. All refunds will be provided as credit to the account held with the farm, payable out in produce or in gift certificates to The Main Street Pizza Company.
Any returned payments will result in a $30 fee to your account.
We ask that you enter this system with a sincere intention of a twelve month minimum commitment. While allowing us to farm and plan accordingly, you also experience all four seasons of East Tennessee crops, transitioning between them, and the preservation methods that extend the use of these products throughout the year. After a year is over, we hope you stay with us, but your commitment is trusted, so from that point, just pay as you go.
There certainly are unforeseeable circumstances that may interrupt your ability to continue your subscription to this lifestyle—a move due to work, sick family members, etc. Please contact the farm if you need to cancel your subscription. We ask that you might consider gifting the remainder of your subscription to a friend or family member. When you first commit to a share, we make decisions on how much to grow and how to lay out rotations, etc. In order to make this system work toward a more sustainable future, we ask for your one year commitment. This can be a bit of a lifestyle change for people not used to cooking for themselves very often, so it takes some getting used to for some people. Quitting early results in expenses for us to absorb, so a small fee will be charged for canceling before one year. Canceling your subscription before your one year term has expired will result in a $30 fee applied to your account.