Owl’s Nest Farm
Market CSA Member Agreement for 2018
Welcome to Owl’s Nest Farm
Greetings from Upper Marlboro, Maryland! We thrive as farmers and people thanks to the support of our community of fresh-food eaters. No two years are alike on a farm, but there are certain perks of being a CSA member that you can count on - like fresh vegetables, friendly farmers, and opportunities to learn about how your food is produced. This agreement explains what it means to join our Market CSA. Please read it carefully and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Market CSA Membership
Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a relationship between customers and producers in which everyone shares the risks and rewards of farming. CSA customers are shareholders who pay in advance for a portion, or share, of foods that will be harvested throughout the season.
The Market CSA option works differently from a traditional CSA, and differently from our other CSA options. As a Market CSA shareholder, you pay in advance to create an Owl's Nest Market CSA account, and then pick up your share by shopping at our stand at the Petworth Community Market. You choose your favorite produce items from our stand, and we debit your Owl's Nest CSA account each time you visit the market.
The Market CSA option is super flexible! You can come to the market as often as you wish and you can take whatever you want.
The schedule for our Market CSA follows the schedule of the Petworth Community Market. The market is Saturdays from 9:00am – 1:00p from early May to mid-November. It's in the 4100 block of 9th St., NW (at Georgia Ave between Upshur St. and Taylor St.). If the market is canceled due to extreme weather, the Owl's Nest Farm team will stay safe at home.
Market CSA Offerings
At the market, we aim to offer a wide variety of vegetables and herbs, plus a few fruits. Market offerings at the beginning of the season are typically lighter than later in the summer.
Here are some of the vegetables we’re growing this season and when we expect them to have them available at the market:
Spring: Arugula, beets, sprouting broccoli, scallions, carrots, chard, collards, cabbage, garlic scapes, kale, lettuce, radishes, spicy salad mix, spinach, tat soi, turnips, pea shoots, herbs, and seedlings.
Summer: Basil, chard, hot peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, sweet peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and yellow squash.
Fall: Remaining summer crops, plus sprouting broccoli, napa cabbage, carrots, chard, collards, kale, lettuce, potatoes, radishes, spicy salad mix, spinach, sweet potatoes, tat soi, turnips, pea shoots, arugula, and winter squash.
Sharing the Risks and Rewards of Farming
We want your CSA membership to be a great value and a great experience. We’ll do everything we can to ensure an abundant share for you. However, we cannot guarantee how well crops will produce or exactly what will be available from week to week. Extreme temperatures, too much rain, drought, four- and six-legged pests, weeds, and plant diseases can all lower vegetable yields. When a crop thrives, you’ll have lots of opportunities to enjoy it. When a crop suffers, we'll have less of that crop available. We appreciate your willingness to share these risks with us.
Market CSA Pickups
You’re responsible for picking up your CSA share from the Petworth Community Market. If there are multiple members of your household who may pick up your produce, let us know and we'll keep everyone's name on file. If you're sending someone else to pick up your produce, we appreciate 24 hours advance notice.
As a CSA member, you agree to:
Bring your own bags to carry your bounty! We don’t pack boxes or bags for you.
Visit the market during market hours. In order to remain in good standing at the market, we can't sell produce before 9am or after 1pm. However, as a Market CSA member, you can visit the market as often or as infrequently as you wish. We only debit your Owl's Nest CSA account when you pick up produce.
Our Growing Practices
We are Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) and the land we lease has been managed according to organic guidelines since 2011.
Here is a quick overview of our growing practices. If you’d like additional information, please let us know.
Soil fertility: We test our soil annually and amend it according to those test results. We maintain soil fertility by rotating crops, planting cover crops, and applying organically-approved fertilizers and micronutrients. The products we use include blood meal, fish emulsion, compost, lime, kelp, and a number of mineral supplements.
Weed control: We block weeds with landscape fabric (woven, reusable, plastic fabric), BioTelo (biodegradable plastic), straw mulch, and cover crops. When weeds appear among our vegetable crops, we remove them by hand, with hoes and other hand tools, and with tractor-mounted cultivators.
Pest control: We plant flowering farmscapes and cover crops to attract beneficial insects to the areas around our crops. We hand-pick pests and sometimes buy beneficial insects to be released where pest populations are causing crop loss. When necessary, we spray our crops with organically-approved controls, including Bacillus thuringiensis and Safer Insecticidal Soap. Rotating our vegetable crops also helps with pest control.
Plant diseases: We manage plant diseases by balancing soil nutrients, rotating vegetable crops, planting cover crops, and removing severely infected plants.
Buying a CSA Share
Buying a CSA share before the harvest season begins is a huge help to us. Having income early in the year enables us to purchase the seeds and equipment we need for the upcoming season.
For the 2017 season, Market CSA shares prices are
Pay $675 and we add 10%, so you have a total of $742.5 to spend at the market.
Pay $450 and we add 8%, so you'l have a total of $486 to spend at the market.
Pay $340 and we add 5%, so you'l have a total of $357 to spend at the market.
We track your spending throughout the season, we send you regular updates with your account balance. If you have a balance remaining at the end of the 29 weeks, we do not provide a refund.
You may pay by check or credit card.
To pay by credit card, visit our website.
To pay by check, mail a check payable to Owl’s Nest Farm to 2612 Ritchie Marlboro Road, Upper Marlboro MD 20774.
Thank you for investing in our farm. We appreciate your support and look forward to bringing you delicious, fresh, seasonal, healthy vegetables.
Communicating with Us
We invite you to contact us with questions, feedback, concerns, recipes, etc. You may reach us via email or phone:
Our email address is farmers[at]owls-nest-farm[dot]com
The best phone number for us is (847) 989-2347
We do our best to respond to email messages and phone calls within two business days.
We’ll communicate with you by email. When you buy a CSA share, we’ll add you to our distribution list and send you a weekly message about the crops available that week, recipe ideas, and other farm-related news. Your updated Market CSA balance is included in your email each week.
In the unlikely event that we need to change the time or location of a farm event or CSA pickup, we will notify you via email. Please read the messages we send you to make sure that you don’t miss important information.
By checking the Member Agreement box on the CSA signup form, you are declaring the following:
I have read this Agreement and accept the terms outlined herein. I understand that the Farm may need to make changes to this Agreement from time to time. I understand that Owl’s Nest Farmers will contact me via email in advance of any changes to this Agreement.