Main Season CSA Policies and FAQ


What is a CSA?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a unique model of local agriculture in which a community and farmer develop a direct and close relationship with one another. In doing so, CSA participants are able to insert themselves back into the food system and share in both the risk and the rewards that farmers face each and every season – and it’s one of the main reasons we refer to our participants as “Shareholders.” CSA Shareholders invest in a portion of the season’s harvest at the beginning of the year; their investment helps provide their farmer with the support to invest in the seeds, fertility, and equipment needed for the coming growing season. In return, the farm provides a healthy bounty of produce to their Shareholders throughout the season.

There are many forms of CSA programs: some are exclusively delivery-based where members pick up or receive a box from a distribution site; others invite Shareholders to the farm to pick up their vegetables in-person, directly from the farmers. Regardless of each CSA’s structure, the core tenets remain consistent: Shareholders receive delicious local food, cultivate a closer relationship with their farmer, develop familiarity with how their food is grown, and become connected to the seasonality of their region.  

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What is the difference between being a CSA Shareholder and an Oxbow Member?

Oxbow’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and Member Program are two of the many ways that you can support Oxbow’s work and mission. What’s the difference between the two programs? 

CSA Shareholders make an up-front investment that supports our farmers in all aspects of the CSA seasons. In return, Shareholders receive a weekly “Share” of produce that they select themselves at our on-site Farm Stand, or at select Seattle-area Farmers Markets. Oxbow’s CSA gives participants the choice to select the veggies they want and need, provides regular U-Pick access, and connects them directly to the people who grow their food and care for the land! Learn more about Oxbow’s CSA here.

Oxbow’s Member Program supports all areas of Oxbow’s work. Membership is valid for 365 days, during which Members have access to a host of benefits including event invitations, U-Pick access during our public Oxbow Saturdays, Farm Stand discounts, and more. If you’re not able to come out to Oxbow frequently or don’t need your fridge stocked with a weekly haul of veggies, the Member Program is a great way to show your support of our work and mission!

Oxbow Members get a 10% discount on CSA Shares and a 10% discount at the Farm Stand.

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What makes Oxbow’s farm and CSA unique?

Oxbow is not only a farm; it’s a nonprofit organization that recognizes each integral part needed to build a thriving and sustainable ecosystem. Oxbow grows food and native plants, restores and maintains the land, and educates people about nature and farming so that the cycle can continue, generation after generation. You can learn more about Oxbow’s work and mission here.

Oxbow is committed to connecting our Shareholders to the land and to the people who care for it. Our goal is to grow a strong community around our CSA program, and by sharing our farm with you, cultivate passionate land stewards and advocates for local agriculture.

Because of our commitment to connecting our Shareholders to the land and to our farmers, we encourage pickup of our Market Style CSA on the farm in Carnation, WA*. During the designated weekly pickup window, Shareholders are welcome to explore, picnic, and enjoy the land. Shareholders also get access to our seasonal U-Pick offerings – see more info below!

*Shareholders may also pick up at Oxbow’s booth at Mercer Island Farmers Market and Issaquah Farmers Market.

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What is a Market Style CSA?

Shareholders have the flexibility to choose the produce that their household will most enjoy in the quantity they want every week. Boxes are not pre-packed for the 20-week Main Season*; instead, you visit our CSA Farm Stand** every week, bring your own reusable tote bags or boxes, and fill them with a Share that you choose. Need extra carrots for the kids? No problem. Already stocked up on parsley? You can skip it! Our CSA is designed to give you more of what you will use, encouraging less food waste and offering more flexibility to work with your weekly produce needs.

While at Oxbow, Shareholders can cut their own flowers, pick the perfect herbs for the week’s meals, and harvest seasonal favorites like raspberries, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, and more! Learn more about U-pick at Oxbow here.

Shareholders will also have access to local honey, organic fruit, and mushrooms available at the CSA Farm Stand, depending on seasonal availability. (Partner products are not available at Farmers Markets.)

*Note that boxes ARE pre-packed for our 6-week Spring and Late Fall CSA programs
**Shareholders may also pick up at Oxbow’s booth at Mercer Island Farmers Market and Issaquah Farmers Market

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public entrance sign

Where is Oxbow Located?

We are a King County farm located in beautiful Carnation, WA, just 25 miles east of Seattle. Oxbow’s address is 10819 Carnation-Duvall Rd NE. NOTE: Google maps may take you to the incorrect entrance. Please pay careful attention to signage. Look for a large “Welcome to Oxbow” sign marking the new driveway. Other entrances used in past years will be CLOSED and may be difficult to back out of.

 

The map below shows a pin point marking the turning point for the Public Entrance.

  • Drive slowly (10 MPH) on all farm roads and watch for other guests.
  • Follow the signs directing you to the parking area.
  • Do not drive past the Farm Stand and into the Oxbow grounds unless you’ve been instructed to by Oxbow staff.


What health and safety measures is the farm taking to protect CSA Shareholders?

The health and safety of our Shareholders and our staff are Oxbow’s number one priorities. Only one person may enter the Farm Stand to pick up at a time, and social distancing and wearing face coverings while at Oxbow are required at this time. Please do not come to pick up your CSA if you are feeling sick. Let us know if you have any questions by emailing farmers@oxbow.org or click here to learn more about Oxbow’s health and safety practices on the farm.

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Cost

Investment in Oxbow’s CSA gives Shareholders 20 weeks of fresh organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers, while also helping our farm purchase the seeds, organic fertilizers, and equipment we need to farm each season. 

The total cost for the full 20-week season is $600 (get $25 off when you sign up before February 7th, 2021), payable in one lump sum* prior to the start of the season. 

*A payment plan is available – transaction fees apply. Please contact us directly to set up your payment plan:  farmers@oxbow.org.

Because our CSA is a free choice market-style program, Shareholders can use their account dollars at the rate they want throughout the course of the season. We recommend spending about $30-$40 each week to keep you on track over the course of the 20-week season. Produce items will be marked with pricing information at the Farm Stand.

If credits remain in your account at the end of the CSA season, it will be considered a donation in support of Oxbow’s work and mission. We are unable to roll credit over to the following year’s CSA. We’re happy to give you updates of your available CSA credit, just let us know. We’ll also be in touch with reminders throughout the season to help you stay on track.

Scholarships: We want our CSA to be accessible to as many people as possible. If CSA costs pose a hardship, please contact us for more information about our scholarship program.

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Add Credit to Your Account

If you’re as passionate about vegetables as we are, it’s possible to spend your initial $600 before the end of the 20-week CSA season. Fear not! Credit can be added to your account at the following rate:

  • 60 credits for $50
  • 120 credits for $100

Please contact us directly to have additional credit applied to your account.

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Bringing Guests to Oxbow

As a CSA Shareholder you are welcome to bring friends and family to Oxbow when picking up your week’s Share. Enjoy exploring Oxbow and U-picking (when in season) with your group. We only ask that guests are respectful during their visit and meet the pickup etiquette expectations outlined in the Shareholder Agreement.

With the exception of registered service animals, pets of any kind are NOT permitted on the Oxbow property, including in the parking lot. We love dogs, but please leave your furry friends at home to ensure food safety and a positive experience for all visitors.

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U-Pick

Shareholders have access to seasonal U-pick veggies, orchard fruit, and berries. Pricing will be indicated at the Farm Stand, and U-pick purchases will be subtracted from your account credit. Flowers and herbs are FREE and unlimited! 

Please visit our U-Pick Page for important guidelines.

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Payment Policy

A one-time payment of $600 is due at the time of signup. Payment by credit card or e-check is preferred. Please contact us if you need to make alternate payment arrangements. Your Shareholder spot is secured at the time of payment. 

Payment plan: Contact us directly at farmers@oxbow.org to arrange for a payment plan – we are happy to accommodate. Please note that payment plans are not eligible for early bird discounts. Transaction fees apply.

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Pick-up Information

Oxbow’s CSA season runs for 20 weeks from June 23rd to November 3, 2021.

Oxbow Farm Stand
Wednesdays 3pm-7pm
Saturdays 10am-4pm
Sundays 10am-4pm

Issaquah Farmers Market
Saturdays 9am-2pm

Mercer Island Farmers Market
Sundays 10am-3pm

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Vacation/Missed Weeks

Our CSA is built for flexibility. If you’re unable to pick up your Share one week, for whatever reason, you won’t lose that credit – you can choose extra produce the next time you pick up. Just remember that spending around 30 dollars each week will help keep you on track for the entire season

If you are out of town and concerned about food waste, rest assured that any extra produce from that week’s CSA pickup will be donated to Oxbow’s partnering hunger relief organizations. We are committed to reducing food waste and ensuring that community members beyond our CSA have access to organic food.

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Shareholder Agreement

Prior to the start of the season, we ask that all Shareholders sign a Shareholder Agreement. The document outlines basic expectations for both Shareholders and Oxbow related to U-pick, on-farm pickup, basic farm etiquette, etc. The Shareholder Agreement will be distributed to all CSA Shareholders via email and must be returned to us before the official start of the season. 

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Cancellations

As a true Community Supported Agriculture program, our Shareholders partner with Oxbow farmers to share in both the risks and successes of a growing season. Shareholders provide critical funds to help our farmers purchase the seeds and equipment needed to start the season, long before the first crops appear in the fields. We plan our crops based on Shareholder participation and commitment for the entire season, and are unable to offer refunds past 6/22/21. We will review cancellation requests when extenuating circumstances arise.

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