CSA Service Agreement
We hope you enjoy participating as a member in our local food Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program! It'll be great to have you on board with us and we hope you enjoy the local food that your farmers and food producers have to offer.
The below terms of service explain what it means to take part in our CSA and how we wish to serve you as a member of our food community. You as a CSA member make what we do possible as small-scale regenerative farmers on PEI.
The following document is the agreement for CSA programs with Maple Bloom Farm (also operating as Eat Local PEI). By submitting your order, you are agreeing to the following terms of service.
- Contents -
Section 1 | Our CSA Service
Section 2 | Our Shared Commitments
Section 3 | Our Policies
Section 4 | Receiving Your Orders
Section 5 | Communication
Member Statement of Agreement
Appendices | Additional Information
A. Growing Practices
B. Food Safety
C. Visitor & Volunteer Information | Guidelines & Rules to Understand before Coming to Our Farm
Maple Bloom - Farm Contact Information:
Maple Bloom Farm, Grand Tracadie, PE
Email (preferred method of contact): email@example.com
Mailing Address: 490 Queen Street, Apt. 201, Charlottetown, PE, C1A8R9
- Section 1 | Our CSA – Community Supported Agriculture -
The Basics of Our Local Food Box CSA Program
Precise number of weeks and months of service may vary from year to year according to product availability or growing conditions. At the time of this writing, we are currently offering a Seasonal Membership of approximately 18-20 weeks in the summer and winter, or a Perennial Membership that runs approximately 48 weeks per year (with the exception of poor or unsafe weather), subject to change in the future.
We offer multiple food distribution options between home deliveries and pickups. Specific service days are subject to change seasonally. You can change your location and pickup day from week to week as needed to suit your schedule or convenience (see Section 3 for details).
Each week, you will receive food according to what you order in our online store. We source most or all of our food from PEI and the Atlantic region. Due to seasonal harvest availability and local supply chains, selection during the colder months will normally be more limited, while selection in the warmer months tends to offer more variety.
- Section 2 | Shared Commitments: Ours & Yours -
By signing up for your membership in advance of the growing season, you help provide our farm and our partner farms with a steady market for the food we grow. This reduces the burden of upfront costs so we can simply focus on growing great food for you. Your down payment before the season provides us with money upfront to pay for seeds, equipment, labour, and other expenses before the harvest season begins.
CSAs are not for everyone. The purpose of CSA is to build community around agriculture, hence "Community Supported Agriculture". This includes taking on part of the risk of farming as a customer.
A. Our Commitment to You - Sharing the Bounty
We are committed to providing you with friendly, courteous, and prompt customer service in the distribution of local food and produce that you order from us. We greatly appreciate your commitment and wish to repay that commitment with a generous and bountiful share of food on a weekly basis for you and your family.
B. Your Commitment to Us - Sharing in the Risk of Crop Failure
We promise to do our best to provide you with a bountiful share of produce each week. Due to the nature of farming, however, harvest availability may fluctuate from week to week due to inclement weather, pests, disease, or other production factors despite our best efforts.
Your CSA membership fees help us ensure the financial sustainability of our farm in the event of crop failure.
In the event of a crop failure or any other circumstance causing a shortage in a given product, our procedure is as follows:
- If only a small portion of crops fail, we will compensate by filling our online store and/or your order with other foods that are available at that time, offering close substitutes whenever possible.
- If a large portion of crops fail, product selection may have to be reduced accordingly. We may purchase more produce from partner farms to the extent that we are able to. We do not issue refunds beyond the date of our advertised grace period or 'money-back' guarantees (30 days at the time of this writing). After this point, we reserve the right to not issue refunds for any reason, including crop failures or product unavailability that result in an inability for us to fulfill orders.
- All this said, since the founding of our farm in 2015, we have yet to have any major crop failures resulting in an inability to provide customers with food orders in a given week.
This is one way that makes sure CSAs are truly Community Supported Agriculture. By sharing in the risk of farming together, we are entering into a relationship that helps our farm and our partner farms stay on the land and continue farming for the long haul even through bad seasons.
Each week, we will attempt to provide you with food according to the order you submit to us each week in our online store. However, weather, pests, and many other factors beyond our control as farmers play a role in the availability of produce. Therefore, the selection of food listed in our online store is not a guarantee, but rather a plan of what we hope to have available for you as our customer.
- Section 3 | Our Policies -
We hope you have the most enjoyable experience possible as our customer. The following policies exist in the event that we or a customer wants to make changes to membership status for whatever reason:
- 30-Day No-Risk Guarantee: If you decide that our CSA is not for you within 30 days of our service beginning, then at your request, we will refund the full value of unused CSA credits to you. After 30 days, we have a no-refund policy. Perennial (year-round) members have the option to pause payments for up to four weeks per six month period.
- Downgrade Share Size: If you find you are receiving more food than you can use in a given week, or have more credits than you can spend, and would simply like to switch to a smaller share size, we will happily do this and refund the remainder. This option to reduce your share size is limited to the first 30 days of service.
- Store Credits / Unused Credits:
- You are given store credits to use in our online store at the beginning of each season (June and December for perennial members).
- It is each CSA member's responsibility to use their CSA credits within the time frame given before credits expire.
- If a seasonal member has any remaining CSA credits at the end of the year, they are non-refundable and cannot be used for future CSA seasons.
- Perennial (year-round) members may roll forward up to four weeks' worth of store credits per six month period (example: a $35/week customer may forward up to $140 of unused store credits every 6 months toward the next season)
- Cancellation Policy: If you decide to cancel your membership, a $50 fee will be charged for administration fees.
- Suspension Policy: In the event that a member fails to pay for their shares according to the agreed upon schedule, we reserve the right to suspend membership until payment is made.
Termination Policy: We will not tolerate violence, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, intimidation, or threats toward us, our workers, or any of our CSA members. If this policy is violated, we reserve the right to terminate memberships without warning or refund.
- Section 4 | Receiving Your Orders -
It is the CSA member's responsibility to remember to pick up your shares or receive your deliveries. As a courtesy, we may send you reminders prior to deliveries or pickups each week.
- The following applies to all customers:
- Change requests for time and/or location:
- If you would like to make pickup/delivery changes in any given week, please try to provide at least 48 hours’ notice so that we have time to adjust our harvest needs and delivery schedule.
- Unexpected absence:
You are responsible for picking up your shares each week at the agreed location and time.
If you will be unavailable for any reason to receive your order, please provide at least 48 hours’ notice so we can make alternative arrangements with you. We will provide an alternative pickup arrangement when feasible. You may also opt to:
- a) have a friend receive your order
- b) donate your order to charity.
In the event of last-minute change of circumstances, please call us at 902-940-3598 so we can make alternative arrangements with you, especially for delivery orders.
- Home delivery customers:
- You are responsible for receiving your delivery orders each week during the agreed upon time. If you do not answer the door, we may call the phone number provided with the order. If there is no answer, you forfeit your share for that week and still be charged.
- At times when the weather permits, if you believe you may not be home, you can leave a cooler outside your door for us to leave your order in. This option is available for homes only, not offices, apartment buildings, or other shared spaces where tampering or theft are a high risk.
- We do not recommend leaving food unattended for longer than an hour, especially dairy, meat, and other more perishable products, especially in conditions of high heat or freezing temperatures where coolers will not provide sufficient protection
By leaving a cooler or bin out for us, you accept all risk for spoiled, stolen, or tampered food and we will not provide a refund for unattended products that have been damaged.
- Other pickup or delivery arrangements may be considered on a case-by-case basis, especially for reasons of sickness, handicap, or other disability. Please contact us if you have a special case for us to consider and we will do our best to accommodate you.
- Section 5 | How We Communicate -
Since we have many CSA members, most of our communication is done via email to the entire group, rather than by phone or text.
- Please read the emails you receive from us or respond when necessary.
- Our communications will often contain important information related to our service to you. It is very important that you do not unsubscribe from our newsletter, or else you risk missing important updates, including last-minute service cancellations due to weather, time or location changes to pickups or deliveries, etc.
- Our preferred method of communication is email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We will do our best to respond as soon as possible, but please understand that we spend most of our time during the growing season in the field away from our computers.
- We will email in most situations if there is a sudden service interruption or emergency.
- Member Statement of Agreement –
The terms and conditions contained in this document, including the Appendices below, are in place in order to set a baseline standard for our farm's business practices, establish communication methods and to clarify our mutual roles and responsibilities between our farm, our customers, visitors, volunteers, employees, and any other person or who interacts with our farm.
By submitting your order, you are agreeing to abide by all of the terms and conditions contained in this document, and to pay the membership fee for the CSA share you have signed up for in the time laid out in the time frame of the payment option you have selected (weekly, monthly, or in full).
Maple Bloom Farm reserves the right to change portions of this agreement whenever it is deemed necessary.
Thank you for joining our CSA. It will be great to have you on board with us this growing season and we hope you enjoy the local food that your farmers and food producers have to offer.
Maple Bloom Farm / Eat Local PEI
- Appendices | Additional Information -
A. Growing Practices & Food Production Methods
Growing healthy food as sustainably as possible in harmony with the environment is our farm's top priority. We believe small-scale agriculture is changing the world and we strive to make every decision in the support of that belief and vision for the future of farming in our province.
All of Maple Bloom Farm's soil-grown produce is grown organically without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. We grow indoor hydroponics in the winter season using fertilizers, also completely without the use of any synthetic pesticides or herbicides.
We also buy in food for our CSA members from partner farms across PEI and the Atlantic region. We strive to source certified organic and uncertified organic (spray free, no artificial additives or preservatives) as much as possible. The "Organic" label in our online store refers to certified organic food, while the "Spray Free" label refers to uncertified organic food. Some items are not locally available as organic or spray free, so we will apply a "Conventional" label to these items in our online store to show when items are not organic or spray free.
For more information about our growing methods, please ask. We would be happy to tell you more. We believe the more our CSA members know about the way their food is grown, the more informed choices we can make together as growers and customers.
B. Food Safety
We take the safety of your food seriously. We ensure our hands are clean when harvesting, washing, bagging, and otherwise handling produce. Whenever possible, we wash or rinse vegetables that require washing before being placed in our shares or being taken to market. This makes for a more sanitary and enjoyable eating experience.
We do not guarantee the absence of any allergens in our produce. However, we do our best to keep different crops stored in separate bins to help prevent cross-contamination. For your added safety, we recommend always washing produce before eating. Please notify us if you have any food sensitivities or allergies we should be aware of.
For your added safety, we recommend always washing produce before eating.
C. Visitor & Volunteer Information | Guidelines & Rules to Understand before Coming to Our Farm
We open our farm to the public at special events to provide opportunities to volunteer and help in our work, or tour our farm and enjoy a rural farm setting with your friends and family. In general, impromptu and unannounced visitors are discouraged as they can interrupt our workflow and our ability to conduct our business.
All visitors and volunteers must understand that we must protect our farm from all risks and liabilities associated with allowing visitors and volunteers on our farm.
By stepping foot on any of our farm properties, you are accepting the associated risks and are agreeing to the following rules when considering visiting or volunteering on our farm:
Call or email in advance to arrange a suitable time before attempting to visit or volunteer on our farm.
Do not arrive unannounced at our farm, we are usually busy working and unable to entertain unexpected visitors; you will likely be unable to stay without requesting permission to visit.
- Do not bring animals to the farm. Animals can cause damage to crops and can introduce food safety risks into our growing process. The safety of our food for our staff and customers is our highest priority.
- Park in designated areas. Never drive on bare soil at any time.
- Understand that, for liability reasons, the property owner(s) assume no responsibility for any harm that may come to you, your children, or your property while visiting the farm.
- Understand that a farm can be a dangerous place with dangerous machinery and sharp tools.
- Children must be supervised at all times by their parents or guardians. We are not responsible for any harm that may come to unsupervised children on our property.
- If you, your children, or anyone else in your company or care, damage farm property, either intentionally or unintentionally, while visiting or volunteering on our farm, you accept the responsibility of compensating us for the full market retail value of the damaged property.
- If you bring anyone with you to the farm, it is your responsibility to inform them of this information, as all of these rules apply to them as well.
- These guidelines, rules, and policies can be made available to you upon request via email, phone, or text.
- By entering into this agreement with our farm, entering our farm property, or engaging with ourselves or our farm in any way whatsoever, you accept the terms and conditions contained in this document.
If you have any questions or comments about our farm or service, please email us and we will be happy to help.
Maple Bloom Farm