This is where you should get answers to the most common questions you might have. If you did not find an answer to your question don’t be shy, that is what the Contact Us page is for!
Why ORGANIC vegetables?
Growing vegetables organically is a lot more involved than simply being chemical free. We have all heard the expression, “you are what you eat”. If the soil the vegetables are planted in is absent of microorganisms that assist in the absorption of nutrients because a fungicide has been applied or if it is depleted of nutrients because of an improper crop rotation schedule then, in effect, what you are harvesting is a flavorless remnant void of its true nutritional potential.
Applied organic compost, hand tilled soil beds, companion planting, row covers, planned crop rotation, carefully selected heirloom seeds and calibrated irrigation are all part of an overall strategy to create a bio-dynamic environment in which the crop will not simply grow…but thrive!
Also, growing locally does not mean organically, and growing organically does not necessarily mean it is grown locally. So this is a different ‘thing’ but often confused as being the same. Just like bread, the fresher the vegetable the better. While on that subject, here is a fun fact; did you know that most imported vegetables are not inspected here in Canada? And less than ten percent of the imported food that IS inspected is mandated to meet Health Canada guidelines for food production? It’s true.
A very cool documentary that is completely worth watching either by yourself or as a family is Symphony of the Soil. If you haven’t seen it…please.. it’s only an hour and it’s really worth your time.
What is CSA?
Community-supported agriculture (CSA; or community-shared agriculture) is an alternative, locally-based model of farming and food distribution. CSA members or subscribers pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest. Once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and or fruit, beef or poultry. In CSA model the farmers and consumers share both the risks and rewards of food production.
Why would I want to purchase a vegetable CSA share?
• Freshness and quality are not just slogans at Mike’s Garden Harvest, they are a reality. You are receiving organic vegetable boxes that were harvested for you just a few hours ago.
• You know who. You develop a relationship with the farmer that grows the food that you and your family eat.
• You know how. You have the opportunity to come and see how your food is grown.
• Broader selection of fresh organic vegetables right on your kitchen counter.
• No running around! The baskets are either delivered to your door or made available for a convenient pick up at the farm.
• Preferential selection of the harvest is dedicated to the CSA members, but please don’t tell anyone else that we told you that :-p
• It is good value. Over the course of the season you will pay about 10 percent less for a full share than if you had bought all of that at the Farmer’s Market.
How much is a CSA share? What sizes are there? What or who is Harvie Farms?
This is simple math really. The total annual cost of the vegetable CSA share is divided by the number of deliveries to arrive with approximate value of each share. Each week, I assemble a basket of vegetables for you that is worth about $36.00 (for a full season share) which includes delivery. Please note: Upon Sign-up, there is a 25% non refundable deposit. This is the money we use to get our season started and makes you an important part of the farm for the season. After week 4, the rest of the season is paid for in weekly payments that amount to the value of your share that week.
The 3 sizes of shares that are available on either a weekly or an every other week basis are:
Mike’s Max Share: Best value. Great for a family of vegan/vegetarians, a large family who want to can and preserve.
Mike’s Full Share: For a regular family of 4 to 5 or a small Vegan/Vegetarian family.
Mike’s Half Share: For seniors, a couple or young family who just like a nibble of veggies on their plate.
This year there will be 16 weeks of delivery through the summer and early fall. All share sizes are fully customizable, have the same great weekly selection and come with tailored recipies that match your share. We also will be aiming to offer a late fall Roots & Greens share to help you get through the winter. Variety and selection depends on the time of year but the crop plan is designed so that the harvest is interesting. There will be anywhere from 10 to 16 vegetables to choose from each week. On a daily basis I carefully inspect our fields to determine that which is ready for harvest and communicate that in an email so that you know what to expect.
Harvie Farms is an agricultural software platform that we subscribe to, to help us manage our CSA. With this service, we are able to offer customized boxes, an online store and a payment plan that makes our shares more acessible. When you go to sign up, or manage your CSA box it is done on a very secure landing page that they have created for us. While these things are all very helpful, please remember, we are still a local farm and if there is an issue, you are welcome to just to reach out and talk to us directly…you know… old school 🙂
Will I received actual baskets?
The term ‘basket’ defined in this usage is a unit of measure (as opposed to a physical container) that refers to one part of the total amount of produce for the number of weeks you have purchased in a given season. Volume and variety may vary if extreme weather, insects, or other production factors despite my best efforts adversely affect the yield. At the end of the day, what is most important to me is that you get good value in both goods AND service. Please feel free to read some of the testimonies from last season on our Home page.
Can I buy more than my weekly allotment (having company for a dinner)?
Yes, that is not a problem at all. You are able to order extra from that which is available and it will just be added to your order 🙂
Do I have to buy a whole share?
It is important to us that you purchase the size share that is a perfect fit for your needs. No one likes waste. You can always order extra and have it added. Just having you a part of our season is awesome and our goal is that you are delighted with your box.
What if I go on holiday during the summer?
We ask for a minimum of two days’ notice. More notice is better as I am harvesting for you. You can have a maximum of two dates put on HOLD. The week you return you will get a double order (or whatever is arranged). There is no cash re-sale value to a weekly vegetable CSA share. So either you pick it up, arrange to have it deferred or offer it to a friend.
Delivery to my door…really?
Yup! The farm is on River Road just in line with the airport. We are primarily serving homes and business located in the area of Riverside South, Barrhaven, Hunt Club and up through the central part of the city as far north as The Glebe and as far west as Centerpointe and as far east as Gloucester. Our delivery areas and schedules are constantly changing to meet demand so it is good to go to https://www.harvie.farm/signup/mikes-garden-harvest or contact us directly if you want to make sure we are delivering to your neighborhood.
If you believe your neighborhood is one that is CSA friendly and I can develop it to include a number of your families that would certainly go along way to ensuring you are included on ‘the route’. If you would like your home/office to be set up as a pick up point there is a value to that and I invite you to contact me and we will talk about how that can be organized.
If I am picking up – can someone else pick up my share for me?
Yes, that’s fine. Just give me a heads up please by email so I know.
What if I forget or miss a pick up?
These vegetables are fresh and they were harvested for you in a timely manner so that they are at their premium for you to enjoy. Experience has taught me that it is a really good idea at the beginning of the season to mark all your pick up days on a calendar or in your phone because you already likely have lots you are trying to keep track of. Call as soon as you can. Life happens and we will do what we can to accommodate.
Can I come and visit the farm?
Yes, of course! I welcome it but just please communicate with me first. There will be farm gate sales and I have extended an invitation to other farmers to establish a mid week market. I expect to arrange a few CSA Open Field days (well at least one) so everyone who wants to can come out and you can all meet one another and tour the field. Organizing an outdoor pot luck at the farm is a fun idea
How can I communicate with you?
The best way to communicate with me is via the Contact Us feature on this website. I will do my best to respond as soon as possible, but please understand that I spend most of my time in the field growing your food and not at my desk.
Please contact me with any news of the following: changes to your postal or email address, changes to your drop-site location, problems with your drop-site, or dissatisfaction with your share. Share members are welcome to call if the situation merits it. Any farm visits (member or not) need to be arranged in advance with myself. While we are on the subject of communicating….let it be said that any contact information that I gather from anyone is considered highly confidential and will not be shared with anyone for any reason without your expressed permission.
Is it true what I have heard about you?