When will Porter Farms begin sign-up for the 2013 season?
We will mail our annual letter to existing members in mid-February and will accept payments beginning March 1.
Are shares available to new members for the 2013 season?
Yes, we have shares available! To receive a copy of our annual letter, please email us at email@example.com with your contact information.
How do I sign up?
To sign up, simply mail a check payable to Porter Farms. Our address is: PO Box 416, Elba, NY 14058. Please indicate which distribution group you would like to join (full list is available under "Pick-Up Sites") and provide us with your name, address, phone number, and email address. This information remains private, but allows us to get in touch with you in the event of a program change. Remember -- you are not officially a member until payment is received.
What forms do I need to fill out?
We need a basic contact information form filled out on all members. This helps us maintain an accurate mailing list and enables us to contact you in the event of a program change. All of your information is confidential and is not shared with anyone, ever. Buffalo/local-area members can click HERE to download and print the membership form, which must be returned to us with your check before your membership is effective. Rochester-area members, click HERE to download and print your form.
Can I join after the season is already underway?
YES! We are always accepting new members. Please contact us for a pro-rated price.
When will vegetables be available?
We plan to begin our 2013 season in late June. Please look for a postcard in late May or early June with pick-up site information and your site coordinator's contact information.
Do you grow fruit?
We planted a 10 acre organic fruit orchard in 2009, including Asian pears, apples, peaches and raspberries. Some of the trees/plants appear to be established and we are hopeful that they will produce fruit in the 2013 season. Any fruit we are able to harvest will be included in your regular share without additional cost. To stay up-to-date on the progress of our orchard, please be sure to read your weekly newsletters!
How much food is in the bag each week?
Shares are offered in one size only. Generally, we estimate a share would be appropriate for an average family of four, or two vegetarians, for a week. We try to keep an assortment of about 6-10 different vegetables in each bag, varying with each week and season.
What if a share is too much food for me?
We suggest that you find a friend, relative or neighbor with whom you can split your share. There are different ways you can accomplish this. Either divide the vegetables each week, or you take the bag one week and your friend takes it the next. When mailing payment, please include both your checks together in one envelope and include contact information for all households.
Do I get to choose what is in my bag each week?
Sorry, no. We harvest only what is in season and at the peak of ripeness each week. Since the majority of our members do not come to the farm, it is impossible to customize each bag for delivery. We believe this represents an awesome opportunity for you to explore new vegetables and try new recipes as part of one's quest to lead a healthier lifestyle.
What time can I expect to be able to pick up my bag?
The bags are filled on Saturday morning from 6am to 9am. If you are a local member you may pick up any time after 9. If you can't make it before 11:00am, we will put your bag in the cooler, where it will remain until you can pick it up. If you are a driver from Buffalo, we ask that you arrive between 9 and 11am, this will ensure that the bags arrive at their drop off sites by noon. For the Rochester members the exact schedule will not be determined until the driver has done the route and we know exactly how many bags we have to deliver. However, it is our goal to get the bags to their drop-off site by 1:00pm.
How does this work for Rochester-area members?
Rochester-area members will choose a pick-up site most convenient for them, and our driver will deliver to the site by 1:00pm. Your site coordinator will contact you with details. Click here for the 2013 Rochester-Area Membership Form.
How does this work for Buffalo-area members?
Buffalo area members will choose a pick-up site most convenient for them, and then will rotate driving to the farm to pick up the bags for their group. Depending on the size of the group the members only have to drive between 1 and 3 times over the 22 week season. It's crucial to remember that it's your responsibility to pick up the bags by 11 a.m. on Saturday morning when it's your turn; being late to the drop-off site will impact everyone in your group if you forget or are running late. Click here for the 2013 Buffalo-Area Membership Form.
Where is the farm located?
The farm is located on Edgerton Road in Elba, just north of Batavia, about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester. To get to the farm, take the Batavia Exit 48 off the Thruway (turn right) on Route 98 going North, continue 3 miles. Turn right onto Edgerton Road another 2 miles, and look for the Porter Farms sign on the left. Produce is in the barn at the end of the driveway on the left.
What if I can't get to pick up my bag until Sunday?
If you know you will not be able to get your bag on Saturday, please let your site host know so they can make sure your bag is put in a protected place until you can get there. If you normally pick up your bag at the farm each week, we have a cooler where your bag will be stored.
What if I am going out of town and cannot pick up my bag?
We encourage members to find a friend, neighbor, house sitter or co-worker to give the bag to. If you absolutely cannot find anyone to give your bag to, let us know by phone or e-mail and we will donate your bag to a local family or organization.
I have a friend who is interested in CSA, but isn’t sure if it’s for her. Can she get a free bag to try it out?
Yes! If you know someone who might be interested in our program, they can try a bag for one week, free! Just call the farm at (585) 757-6823, and provide your name and the guest's name as well as the group to which they would like to have it delivered. If they would like to join after they receive the gift bag, they may call for a pro-rated price and let us know which delivery site they prefer. Keep in mind that we have pick-up sites in both the Buffalo and Rochester areas.
Do you offer a refund policy?
We offer a one-week free trial for any member who is unsure about signing on for CSA membership, and encourage you to take advantage of it before making your decision. We also encourage you to thoroughly read the FAQ or ask us for clarification to make sure you understand the parameters of the program. Once you have become a member, we will refund your membership fees only in the event of an extenuating circumstance (moving out of the area, illness, etc.). Remember that the basic idea behind CSA membership is to contribute toward the expenses the farm will have in the coming year. Budgets are made and supplies are purchased based on our membership totals before the season even begins.
How do I get in touch with Porter Farms?
If you still have questions after reviewing our website, you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (585) 757-6823. Remember to read our Fresh Picks newsletter for the most up-to-date information as well. Please keep in mind that Mike is a full-time farmer and is only in the office once or twice a day to check messages. All other family members who help with the CSA have full-time jobs off the farm and help in their spare time. Please be understanding and patient with us if it takes us a few days to get back to you. We do our best to respond to your questions as quickly as possible.
How can I help reduce costs?
You are already doing one of them - reading our website! We try to cut down on the number and frequency of our hard-copy communications in order to reduce our environmental impact, in line with our commitment to sustainability. Our new website was designed with you, the end-user, in mind. That's why we've uploaded all the information you need here, including newsletters, the vegetable availability chart, weekly 'What's in the Bag' updates, membership forms, etc. In order to decrease our costs and promote a greener environment, we kindly request that you forgo written communications in favor of those available here on this website at any time.
What is Porter Farms' policy on returned checks?
Bounce a check, and we'll forgive you, for $25! A bounced check definitely adds to our administrative costs and headaches.