LOCAL FOOD PROGRAM 

FAQ's

Q: What happens if I can’t pick up my food on Tuesday?


A: You have several options. Contact the pick up site by 5 PM that day and make arrangements with them to pick up another time–food can be held ONE DAY, maximum. Ask someone else to pick up for you; pick up is on the honor system. If you are are a CSA subscriber and are going on vacation or will otherwise be unable to use your produce that week, Crawford Organics offers some flexibility, with advance notice. See What if I go on vacation. If you don’t make arrangements and simply don’t show up, your food will be donated to the Church’s hunger relief programs.




Q: I’m concerned that if I enroll in the CSA, I may get produce that I am not accustomed to using or may not like or simply may not have the time to prepare.


A: We aim to provide both flexibility and education to help address these types of issues. We have a Swap Box set up at the Church where you can leave produce you don’t want and pick up something that appeals. Totally on the honor system and anything left in the Swap Box after 7 PM goes to the Church. You will receive an email from us on the Saturday or Sunday before pick-up to let you know what will be in your box next week...this will allow you to do a little planning; you may be able to pre-arrange a swap with one of the other CSA participants. You will also receive recipes for what’s in the box that week.




Q: What standards do you adhere to when selecting produce providers for this program?


A: We offer only 100% USDA Certified Organic produce. Non-organic produce is available from the West Chester Grower’s Market. We believe firmly in the value of standards and certification and the integrity of the National Organic Program. With a few exceptions, all of our food is from Chester, Lancaster, or York counties. Any items that we offer that cannot be sourced locally are always US-produced. We offer only pastured meats that are hormone free. Pastured animals obtain the majority of their diet through grazing and foraging, and produce a healthier, leaner meat. Eggs are from pastured hens.




Q: Why isn’t there more fruit in the produce share?


A: That gets back to the answer above. In our climate, it is exceedingly difficult to grow fruit, particularly tree fruit, organically, so local USDA Certified Organic fruit is very hard to come by. Crawford does offer a separate fruit share but only some of it is USDA Certified Organic and none of it is grown on their farm. See their website for sourcing. We will keep working on this and may have an update next year.




Q: What standards do you adhere to when selecting other (non-produce) farms to participate in this program?


A: Advancing sustainable and humane agriculture is part of our mission. When it comes to animal husbandry and animal products, standards and certifications are far less common. The National Organic Program may not insure what some consider humane treatment of animals nor meet other criteria that consumers are interested in. Furthermore, there is very little local USDA Certified Organic meat available. There are other well defined USDA standards that are important to consumers (e.g. hormone-free, pasture raised, grass fed, etc.), but there is no program to assure compliance with these standards. Practically all farms make claims about the sustainability of their products and these are, for the most part, impossible to verify. So we try to provide consumers with standardized information, based on USDA terms. Unless it is a Certified Organic product, the information is self-reported by the farmer. We hope that consumer confidence can emerge by building a farmer-to-consumer bond through our Local Food Program.




Q: What about using SNAP benefits?


A: Crawford Organics can become qualified to accept SNAP but has not done so due to lack of demand. If you would like to use SNAP benefits to purchase a Crawford CSA share, please contact us at info@westchester.coop to discuss.





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©2020 by West Chester Cooperative

PO Box 3502

West Chester, PA 19381

info@westchester.coop