Our farm is certified organic, and we promise that every item you see on our farmers market table or receive in your customized CSA share was grown on our farm. Organic farming means that we do not use synthetic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, synthetic herbicides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our production. We are also certified by the Real Organic Project which means that everything is grown in soil - we do not use hydroponic growing systems. We do use several different methods to improve soil and plant health and ward off pests. All of our growing methods follow organic standards recognized by the USDA. If you have a specific question about our growing methods just ask - we love to talk about all of the cool things that you can do without resorting to synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Did you know that we can reduce our fertilizer needs by rotating crops around the farm and planting cover crops in between veggie plantings? Or that you can repel deer with capsaicin spray (the oil that makes a hot pepper taste spicy)? Or that chrystanthemum plants ("mums") naturally produce a compound that is useful in controlling aphids, thrips, and fruit flies? We could go on all day. Just ask!
We take food safety very seriously. Our farm is GAP Certified (good agricultural practices) and trained according to FSMA (food safety modernization act). We have taken extensive training courses and have developed practices throughout our farming operation to reduce contact points with your food and to ensure that all of our staff are working in a clean and safe manner. We believe that buying direct from a smaller local farm is one of the best ways to reduce the number of hands that touch your food.
What is the difference between farmers market sites and drop off sites?
If you choose to pick up your share from a farmers market, you can choose any items from the market stand each week. Shares are based on item counts (4 items for a half share, 8 items for a full share). You can customize your share each week when you come to the market - we do not pre-box shares or tell you what you have to get at farmers markets. If you would like to get extra items you can purchase them at the market.
If you choose to pick up your share at a drop off site you can customize your share in advance. You will receive an email reminder two days before your delivery day with a suggested share for the week. You will have 24 hours to log into your account and make changes to your share or to put a share on hold for a later week. Customized shares at the drop off sites are built on a dollar value per week. For example, if you have a small share you will receive $17 worth of veggies each week. This allows us to give you more flexibility in terms of item sizes (e.g. you could order two tomatoes instead of an entire quart) and allows you to get the most value and variety out of your share. This also allows you to purchase additional items if you are having company or would like some extra goodies in the height of summer.
Regardless of where you pick up, we are committed to providing you with high quality healthy, delicious produce that is only ever grown on our farm.
Which share size is right for me?
A small/half share is approximately 4 items per week. This is a great size for a couple who cooks 3-4 nights per week. A full/large share is approximately 8 items per week. This is the perfect size for a family or a couple who plans on cooking nearly every night of the week. If you are on the fence we encourage you to opt for a larger share. It is a great way to encourage healthier eating habits and spend more time around the table with your family!
Do you offer CSA add ons like fruit, cheese, bread, etc.?
We decided several years ago that it was very important to us that we only offer items that we grow on our farm in our CSA shares. We believe that the backbone of the CSA program is the trust that you put in your farmer. We want you to always know exactly where your food came from and how it was grown. To that end, we promise to only ever give you vegetables and meat that came from our farm. We do not buy veggies at auction and we do not source veggies from other farmers. We know that there are lots of other talented and trustworthy producers in our local foodshed. We are grateful for their contributions and we encourage you to support them. If you are looking for a recommendation on where to find items that are not available in our CSA shares we are more than happy to point you in the right direction.
We do have a limited number of pork CSA shares available from heritage breed hogs that we raise on our farm. Please contact us if you are interested in a pork CSA share.
Where and when do I pick up my share?
We distribute shares to over 30 sites in the greater Baltimore area. Check out our list of locations for a map of this year's sites along with delivery day and pickup times for each site. Once you select your share size, you will be able to pick your preferred site.
Can I change pickup sites during the season?
We do ask that you pick a regular site, but we also understand that schedules change and things come up during the season. If you would like to pickup from a different site for a week just let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.
What happens if I miss a pickup?
If you are picking up at a farmer's market location you can have a friend pick up your share for you or you can pick up extra veggies the following week to cover any markets that you miss.
If you are picking up from a drop off location, you have an option to log into your account and put your share on hold for a later date. Please note that if you do not place a week's share on hold and you miss your pickup we will not add a replacement share. Any shares that are not picked up from the drop off sites at the end of the day will be donated.
If the CSA season has already started can I still sign up?
We do ask everyone to sign up as early as possible so we can plan our planting schedule to provide everyone with an abundance of choices. If the season has already begun we will pro-rate the cost of any new CSA memberships to reflect the number of weeks left in the season.
Can I split my CSA share with a neighbor/friend/family member?
We encourage each family to sign up for their own membership. We have found that this helps avoid confusion and gives each family the best opportunity to choose their own CSA experience and get the most out of their relationship with our farm.
Do I need to join the CSA to buy veggies from your farm?
We believe that the CSA program is the best way to commit to eating healthy! Once you sign up you have a strong incentive to pick up your veggies each week and build new habits in the kitchen. We do attend several farmers markets each week around the Baltimore area and you do not need to be a CSA member to shop at our farmers markets. If you are a chef and you are interested in ordering for your restaurant please contact us and we will be happy to work with you.
Do I have to pay in full when I sign up?
We are offering two options for payment this year. You are always welcome to pay in full when you sign up, or you can elect to us our payment plan. With the payment plan option, the cost of your share will be split into four equal payments. The first payment is due at sign up. The remaining payments will be due April 1, May 1, and May 31.
What payment methods do you accept?
We welcome payments by check or credit/debit card. Checks can be mailed to One Straw Farm 19718 Kirkwood Shop Rd White Hall MD 21161. There is a 3% fee for paying by credit card. There is no added fee for check payments.
Can I cancel my CSA share? Do you offer refunds?
If you are not satisfied with any aspect of the CSA program, please contact us. Our biggest ask is that you give us an opportunity to fix an error and make things right. Signing up for a CSA share is a mutual commitment. We commit to growing you the best veggies possible and you commit to support our farm. We do not offer cancelations or refunds on CSA shares. If you are moving out of the area or have other extenuating circumstances please contact us.