Food Box FAQ
What are the benefits of buying a food box subscription?
- Keeps your money in the local economy and supports certified organic food production.
- Supports the growth of local and sustainable agriculture in your community.
- Creates a close relationship between you and your local farmers.
- Lets you eat seasonally.
- Gives you a weekly assortment of local, pesticide-free, certified organic fruits and vegetables.
- Your produce will last longer than supermarket produce! Food box items are picked fresh within a day of pick-up, so they avoid the travel time and warehouse storage that supermarket produce undergoes before it reaches the store.
How much does it cost?
For 2018, there is only one food box, at a lower price than summer boxes of previous years: $25/week, a total of $425.
How does payment work?
- You can pay by cash, cheque or e-transfer. We have discontinued credit card payments this year because of banking charges and the extra work involved for our volunteers who administer the program.
- You can come to the farm and pay by cash, but please contact us first to make sure someone will be there to receive it and give you a receipt.
- You can pay by cheque: bring or send to the farm one cheque for the full amount, or 2 post-dated cheques (one must be current-dated).
- You can pay by e-transfer: please email payment to our farm email address and use password organic.
Can I cancel my subscription?
- We’d hate to lose you, but yes, you can.
- If you need to cancel, we will have to charge an administration fee ($25) to cover banking and other costs.
When does the food box start?
- One glorious box in 2018, starting June 20 and running until October 10.
- Pick-up is every Wednesday from 11am-6pm, at the farm.
- Email us to get on the list to be notified when we make our first announcement, usually in late January.
How will I know what I’m getting?
- We send subscribers a weekly email with what we are planning to harvest, together with some information about the food and a sample recipe or two.
- The food we actually offer may differ from what is described in the email – growing conditions, pests or weather can affect our harvest and require us to substitute items.
- There’s a list of sample produce on our website.
When & where do I pick up my food box?
- Pick-up day is Wednesday from 11am to 6pm.
- We set out the food box shares in our walk-in cooler, on the farm, at 741 Haliburton Road.
- We write the foods and the amounts to take on a blackboard and you fill your own bag or box accordingly, ticking off your name from the subscriber list.
- After much thought and discussion we discontinued the second pick-up location (Fairfield) effective 2017 in order to concentrate our resources on the farm pick-up. (Maybe a friend or neighbour would like to go in on a food box with you..?)
What happens If I can’t make it to pick up my food box?
- If you forget to pick up, let us know and we can set the food aside for you to pick up for up to one more day.
- If you’ll be on holidays or out of town, we ask that you arrange with a friend or neighbour to pick the food box up for you (hint: food boxes make great gifts for house, cat- and dog-sitters!)
- Any uncollected food is donated to farm volunteers or local food charities.
If I don’t like something in the food box selection, can I take more of something else?
- Unfortunately not. Taking more than the packaged selection means another subscriber won’t get the food they paid for.
- Some of the items are available at the farm stand on pick-up days; you can also get more at the farmers markets where we sell.
- We do our best to make a varied selection, but we have only grown and harvested specific quantities of each item for the food box. This is small scale production!
How many people does the food box feed?
- Like most things to do with food, it depends on how much you eat!
- Most of our subscribers in the past have found that the box feeds 2 people comfortably; some families use it to add to their weekly purchases.
What is in the food box?
- The boxes contain seasonal produce, grown on Haliburton’s certified organic farms.
- In spring/early summer, the food box tends to contain a lot of spring greens, salads and leafy greens.
- In the summer the food box contains a more varied mixture of fruits and vegetables.
- In the fall, there are tree fruits and late-harvest vegetables such as squash.
- You can see a list of example foods on the website.
Who should subscribe to a food box?
- People who like fresh, certified organic produce.
- People who are interested in trying new and unfamiliar foods.
- People who want to eat seasonally.
Who should not subscribe to a food box?
- People who don’t have time/aren’t interested in cooking from fresh.
- People who prefer to eat only familiar foods.
- People who prefer to pick and choose their items, supermarket style (come see us at the farmstand or farmers market instead!)
Can I have the food box delivered?
- Unfortunately not. We have experimented with deliveries in the past but didn’t get enough interest.
Can I pick up the food box at one of the local markets?
- Unfortunately not. Farmers market rules don’t allow us to combine food box distribution with market sales.
Do I need to wash the produce or have you already done that for me?
- You should always rinse fresh produce – whether from the supermarket or from your food box!
- We wash the produce (except berries) before packaging, but organic growing may mean you find a bit of grit or the odd unsprayed, chemical-free hitch-hiker hiding on a leaf.
- We don’t wash berries because that would make them go mouldy sooner. Rinse them immediately before eating.
What if I'm missing an item or I'm not happy with the quality of the selection?
- Please let us know as soon as possible!
- Speak to one of the farmers, if they’re around, and/or contact us by email or phone so we can sort out the problem.
What variety of produce can I expect to receive in my food box?
It varies by season. A sample spring food box from last year included:
- 1 bag arugula
1 bunch radishes
1 bunch garlic scapes
1 bunch cilantro
1 head lettuce
3 small Pac Choi
1 small bag snap peas
1 bunch kale
A sample summer food box from last year included:
- 2 medium sized leeks
2 slicing tomatoes
1 bunch carrots
1 small head broccoli
1 bag salad mix
1 lb bag potatoes
1 bunch radishes
1 medium English cucumber
1 bunch kale
1 bunch green beans
1 green or yellow zucchini
- In autumn, food boxes may look more like this:
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 butternut squash
2 heads garlic
1 bulb fennel
1 bunch collard greens
1 head radicchio
1 bag frozen raspberries
1 bunch sage
1 bundle sweet peppers
1 bunch chard