FAQ

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a mutually beneficial relationship between our local farm and the community of people who receive the food.Our members purchase a “share” of the harvest before the growing season starts. In return, they  receive a weekly supply of fresh seasonal vegetables picked at their peak of ripeness and flavor. The members agree to share in the inherent benefits and risks of the agricultural season. This arrangement guarantees the farmer financial support and enables many smaller sustainable farms to stay in business. In a growing number of instances, this provides a way for people to consider a career in farming.

CSA is intended for individuals and families that eat at home, who enjoy cooking/trying new things, and have an interest in quality eating. If you eat out more than you eat in, this probably isn’t for you. If you passionately object to eating several varieties of common vegetables, this is not for you.

You need to be committed to picking up your share each week, as well as using it. You’ll need a degree of adventure in the kitchen and the desire to cook while experimenting with some new vegetables. There may be weeks, during the peak of each season, when we offer a surplus of vegetables. You will have the option to use large quantities of vegetables in your day to day meals and snacks. This surplus can be canned, frozen, or dried for use during the winter when fresh vegetables are hard to come by. If you preserve food and use it outside the CSA harvest season, your value is stretched beyond the months you paid for. (Preserving your shares is not necessary to maximize the benefits of the program. It is one  option that many members enjoy.) Anything you do not want, can be left on the table. It will be donated to local families in need. See Gorman giving back

Yes, we definitely think so. That cost analysis varies greatly from person to person. We have all developed a very particular way in which we shop, consume, and budget our dollars when it comes to food. At Gorman Farms, we have tracked every distribution for several years. The CSA food value has been several hundred dollars more than the price of the purchased share for that particular season. It is up to you how much you take and how you interact with it. For those that love preserving foods via canning, freezing, and drying, this value is drastically enhanced.

People, who fully embrace the CSA, do not compare their membership experience to the grocery store price table. Price comparison is important. However, participating in our CSA, is not just about doing a cost analysis of each vegetable you receive and then comparing it to grocery store prices.

With only 2% of Americans actually producing food for the other 98%, people are increasingly separated from the source of their food. Community Supported Agriculture is a response to this issue. It is a model that emphasizes locally grown, which promotes a local economy, and a safe food system. Participation in a CSA leads to a deeper understanding of our interdependence on one another and the land. The farm supplies nutritious and delicious chemical-free food, as well as an opportunity for a community to come together. Everyone can reconnect with the seasons of local food, and help preserve open space for working farms.

Only during strawberry season, or if you are a CSA member, on your selected pick up day.

Only during Pick your own Strawberry season and any other potential seasonal events.
Click for Pick Your Own Strawberries details.

Only by joining our CSA program

Not currently. We hope to in the future. If you are a school or college doing research, please send us an email and we will do our best to accommodate you, but there are no guarantees.

QUESTIONS about our csa

By credit card only on our website. Please visit the signup page. At the end of the signup process there will be a secure checkout page.
If you cannot pay with a credit card, please email us and, we will set you up with an invoice to pay by check. csa@gormanfarmscsa.com

No Problem, send us an email to csa@gormanfarmscsa.com. We will send you instructions and an invoice to pay by check. Please indicated your preferences and selections to the program. We will manually create your account on the back end and bill you for it.

Yes, you can choose and will have the option to choose, in the signup process. Although CSA is, first come first serve, we only have so many spots per day and your first choice may be taken, so please choose another day.

Of course and you should. Anyone can pick up on your behalf. They need to sign off under your name when picking up.

No problem, we understand the unexpected and want you to get your food!

  • You may send anyone on your behalf to pickup for you. Please have them sign in under your name at the pickup.
  • Please come on a different scheduled CSA pickup day. Pickup days are Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 2:00 – 7:00 pm. There is no need to notify us or ask permission. Please stick to your day on a regular basis. This privilege is for those rare occasions, family plans, emergencies, or times when it all didn’t work out, the way you thought it would! We understand that may happen a few times throughout the season.

*Please Note
This is not to be taken advantage of; you need to be responsible for your food each week.

Each week, all unpicked up produce will be donated to the Howard County Food Bank or local food pantries and donated to someone in need. It will not be wasted. Keep in mind, we want you to get your produce. We are flexible with emergency situations.

Yes, CSA pick up days are rain or shine.

Yes, all three days of pickups will be open from 2:00 – 7:00pm

Yes. Please follow the instructions ,while signing up, as it prompts you for shared members. Anyone can come to pick it up. You are responsible for dividing it up for your group. No special arrangements on pickups for divided shares. You may provide contact email information to all parties in your arranged group. Therefore all parties in your group can receive the updates/reminders/newsletters from us.
* Note: Splitting between more than two groups is not recommended on a full share. Splitting a medium share is not recommended. Please submit only one payment in full and work out your arrangements outside of our sign up process. A good way, to split a share is to alternate your pickups with your partner.

You will have an easy option to do so in the sign up process.

No, we only offer what we produce. We are a vegetable heavy CSA. With some fruits like tomatoes, strawberries, and melons if you consider these a fruit.
See our crop list

No, only take what works for you. Look at your selections list on the board and choose with in that.
Click to learn about all unclaimed produce.

For the past several seasons, we have grown 100% of the produce given to CSA members. Farming is not a constant and variables, outside of our control, can result in crop loss. We like to reserve the right to still satisfy our CSA members by supplementing the share with a partnering farm. This is not a likely event and not a part of our scheduled program. In this event those products will be clearly labeled and whether the farm is organic and its locale.

We only communicate with our members via email. It is important that you check your emails frequently so as not to miss out on any pertinent information. Contacts will be in the form of reminders, updates, specials, and newsletters. Any missed emails, on your part, should not result in you missing out on your purchase. Yet you may miss some extra benefits. We won’t be contacting you too much. If there are any changes to be made or information we’d like you to know, please understand we can’t make hundreds of phone calls.

Whether you are a new or returning member, you will have the option to update your contact information during the signup process. If you have already signed up and need to make a change. Send us an email to csa@gormanfarmscsa.com and let us know the change. We will confirm the update with you.

All CSA’s will be distributed at Gorman Farm:
10151 Gorman Rd. Laurel, MD. 20723.

see map

Pickup days for the 2018 season will be Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
From 2:00pm – 7:00pm – you will select your day, during the signup process.

As a member of Gorman Farm CSA, you will receive an assortment of vegetables for 20 weeks, (22-23 weeks, if you add the strawberry boost and 30-31 weeks if you add the Early Winter CSA) starting around the first week in June. You will come each week to the farm on your selected day for your pickups. We will have everything set up like a farmer’s market with boards and labels guiding you through your selections. The pickup process is interactive but also set up for those of you with time constraints. You can interact at your own discretion or just get your produce and go.

Pick up times days are Wednesday, Thursday or Friday from 2pm to 7 pm. at the farm.

We are a producer only CSA. This means we do not bring in produce from other farms. We are a vegetable farm only. We do not grow tree fruit. Your shares will be vegetable heavy. This should be your general interest.

We grow over 100 varieties of vegetables each year, so you can expect to see many of your favorites, along with some new items.  The spring and fall offer a variety of greens and roots, while the summer sees more meaty crops, like tomatoes, peppers, squash, watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers, etc. However, there are many variables out of our control and crop failures do occur. Therefore we can’t guarantee you any specific vegetables, yet we can guarantee you a good value in your share each week. We aim high, but every year is different in terms of weather, bugs, and disease. We always have the variables of unpredictable events in our fields. Being a CSA member means accepting these risks along side the farmer.

Click here to see our Crop List

Click here to see the Gorman Difference

Bread, Cheese, Dairy, Meats, Sweet Corn, and tree grown fruit

We all consume produce at different rates. For some people, a CSA share is more than enough food. Others  will choose to supplement their weekly consumption with other produce. It is impossible to tell anyone how much of a share their household needs. We can only recommend from our extensive experience and give you the most honest answers possible.

A Full Share commonly accommodates a strong vegetable consuming and/or vegetarian family of two. Full Share usually accommodates a 2+ member family that is a light vegetable, consuming family. Full Share often consists of approximately 8 – 12 items per week.

A Medium Share commonly feeds 1 or 2 people and is approximately 5 – 10 items each week. During the peak of the growing season, there will be more. Although this is not a definite rule, this is generally true. Depending on the success of each crop, you may get a surplus of any one item or smaller quantities of others. This is all seasonal dependent.

A Medium share is a bit larger than half of a full share. It is about 75% of a full share. You’ll notice that in the price as well as the share.

Full Share costs more, therefore they get more benefits. We end up giving the Full Share more in whatever way is available.

Full Share will usually get the benefit of the doubt or whenever harvest numbers come in less than anticipated, and there is not enough to suffice for both share types. In general, Full Share will also receive more items per week. On some occasions, this may equal more variety options. Many variety trials that take place on the farm, and sometimes harvest yields from trials will not come in sufficiently for both Full and Medium Share.

A Medium Share is not short-changed by any degree. Full share may have a touch more choices or options at certain pickups. Our program and planting plan is very detailed and calibrated to suit all members. The farm does not discriminate on any member type nor pickup day. We always distribute what we have available that day and week. We also keep detailed records on every member’s share and distribution day. Therefore we can balance everybody out. Hence, it is best to stick to your pick day each week. Plants are finicky and Mother Nature may only give us half of the harvest on one day and the other half 6 days later.

An item is an average usable and/or commonly purchasable portion of any one crop. We do our best to offer each crop as an item, in the same way we purchase produce from the store or a farmer’s market. Occasionally the amount of the crop will vary due to Mother Nature and elements out of our control.

I.E. a head of lettuce, a bag of spinach, a bundle of carrots, anywhere from 2-8 lbs. of tomatoes, one bundle of beets, one bundle of kale, a portion of peppers, 3-5 zucchinis, 1lb of green beans, 1 quart of sugar snap peas, 2 eggplants, a cabbage, a head of broccoli or 2 small heads, a watermelon, a bundle of basil, etc.

We are a working vegetable farm and a “Producer only CSA”.  Meaning, we do not supplement our CSA with off farm resources. We grow and produce all of your CSA shares on our farms.

Many other CSAs buy in from multiple sources and redistribute, we do not. We grow  30 – 40 different types of crops per year. This yields over 100 varieties of produce. Gorman Farms focuses on these crops selected for our CSA growing season. Timing and punctuality is key. You are buying the freshest produce. It is not packed, and repacked and trucked. It comes right from the field to the CSA display. Much of your produce will be harvested, the day you pick it up. You will notice this in the flavor and quality.

We do not offer breads, meats, dairy, tree fruit or sweet corn.

We are a veggie only CSA, including Tomatoes & Melons (for those that consider them a fruit).

Our shares are vegetable heavy, along with the common and popular staples. You will also experience a frequency of greens and possibly some varieties, you have not tried before or even heard of. (We do our best to provide info and ideas of recipes, storage, and cooking for the “not so common veggies” in our weekly newsletter.)

Our CSA pickups and distributions are maintained and staffed by a member of our Farm Crew. Staff is present to keep track of quality control. A staffed CSA distribution is different than many CSAs, as we can maintain quality control on a much higher level than others. We do our best to make sure, whether or not you are the first person or last person picking up for that day, that you have the same options and quality available. (This is hard for many CSAs to beat).

We offer flexibility in pickups. We don’t black list you when your schedule changes, take vacations, get stuck in traffic, work longer than expected, etc. Life happens, we know that, and we want you to receive your food. You may pick up on any other CSA pick up day, when needed. You do not need permission, a coupon, confirmation etc. to do so. Although we ask our members to stick to their pickup schedule, please be respectful and do not abuse this privilege.

We have convenient long pickup windows – three days per week with 5 hour windows from 2:00 – 7:00pm.

All of our CSA pickups are located on our farm.

For more info see the Gorman Difference