Frequently Asked Questions
CSA stands for “community supported agriculture”. It is also sometimes referred to as a “farm share”.
Briefly speaking, it is a model of food distribution whereby consumers pay in advance and accept whatever produce the grower supplies in a box delivered weekly. Consumers are purchasing a “share” in the farmer’s future harvest.
This provides financial stablity for the farmer, who faces many unpredictable factors when growing their crops, such as pests and weather. When the farmer is supported financially, they can survive these vagaries and the consumer can feel secure that they will always be able to access locally grown food.
More information: What is community supported agriculture?
We sell two CSA shares based on these prices:
- Large box = $55/week + $8/week delivery
- Small box = $35/week + $8/week delivery
The LocalTable CSA delivers for 40 weeks each year, so the total commitment for each share is:
- Large box = $2,200 + $320 delivery
- Small box = $1,400 + $320 delivery
Shares (including delivery) are paid for in advance with an automatic charge to your credit card every 4 weeks, commencing the first day of delivery:
- Large box = 10 payments of $252
- Small box = 10 payments of $172
We deliver on Fridays.
No. The LocalTable CSA commences in October each year and ends in July the following year (a total of 40 weeks).
LocalTable only sources locally grown fruit & vegetables. Food production in this region slows down in the colder months, making it harder to source enough food to fill the boxes.
Not only that, farmers are people too and like to take an occasional, well deserved holiday, which they do in the slower months. This also impacts production. And I like to take a break too, for that matter. Everyone involved in bringing your weekly box of food is a small family business. None of us can sustain the workload required to supply all year round.
The alternative food production system factors in the human element. Doing this ensures the people who are producing and distributing the food will keep doing it and not burn out. Until the day comes when there are enough local farmers to supply enough food all year round, this is what sustainability looks like.
Let’s be frank — no.
At this small scale, it is logistically impossible to supply individually tailored boxes. Every effort is made to plan for as much variety as possible, but we have to design the contents of the boxes according to what is available.
In future years, as LocalTable develops, we hope to involve the shareholders in helping determine the contents, but for now, we are working with what we’ve got.
Locally grown food reflects the climate of the area. This means that you won’t ever get bananas or mangoes in your box, as they can’t be grown here on a commercial scale. It also means that in winter, for example, you’ll get a lot of leafy greens.
As much as possible, you will get a variety of fresh produce both within each box and week to week.
We will fill the box with as much produce as we can, according to the growers’ prices. So, if it’s a good year for stonefruit and prices are lower, you can expect lots of stonefruit. But if it’s been a terrible year for potatoes and prices are higher, you can expect fewer potatoes.
Very few local growers are certified organic, but many use organic production methods without the certification.
LocalTable’s first priority is to source food that is locally grown. Preference is given to locally grown food that is also grown using organic methods, but if necessary, locally grown food that is grown using conventional methods will be sourced.
Similarly, LocalTable will give preference to locally grown food that is soil grown, but if necessary, locally grown food that is hydroponically grown will be sourced.
The production method for every item in the box will be indicated each week.
These priorities reflect the preferences of consumers revealed in our market research conducted in early 2017.
Really? Are you sure you don’t like it?
Generally speaking, the box will contain familiar staples. But sometimes, we’ll put in something that isn’t as familiar like, say, fennel. Some people love fennel. Others have no idea what to do with it. So we’ll include recipes for you to try, using ingredients from your box, to help you broaden your palate and discover the possibilities of the food that is available locally.
If you really, really don’t like it… give it to a friend or neighbour! They might give you something in return.
How long is a piece of string?
This is a difficult question to answer. You will get as much value as we can negotiate with the growers. This depends on what the growing season is like and it’s impossible to predict that with any real certainty.
We are not part of the supermarket system of food production that supplies anything, anytime.
Some weeks, there might be less than you expect. In other weeks, there might be more. It’s important to remember that you have bought a share in the total harvest over 40 weeks. You will receive the full value of the share in that time, but it might not be perfectly divided up into 40 equal parts.
We know… it’s different to what you’re used to, but it’s well worth getting used to.
When it comes to saying how many people a large box or small box will feed, this also depends. Do you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables? Are you vegetarian or vegan? Do you have teenage boys in your family? Do you enjoy cooking? Do you find yourself throwing out a lot of what you buy?
The best way to answer this is to say that in some cases, a large box will supply most of your fruit and vegetables for the week, but in other cases, a small box might present you with some challenges to use all the food.
If you find yourself short of food, you might need to supplement it with a small shop at the green grocer or the farmers market. Or buy two shares!
If you find yourself swamped with food, try preserving some of it (we’ll help you with that) or just give it away and see what you get in return! Food makes friends.
You can pause your share for up to 4 weeks with no penalty. LocalTable will endeavour to sell your box for the weeks you’re away. This can be spread out over the whole 40-week CSA, or in one 4-week block.
Or you might like to let a friend or neighbour have your share while you’re away. Just let us know and we can deliver the box to the address you nominate.