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FAQ

Organic CSA

 1. What is a CSA?

 CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture”, a concept originated in Japan in the 1960s to foster a relationship between the farmer and the community. Members buy shares in the farm’s produce much before the season starts and partake in the harvests as the season progresses. Through this partnership the farmer receives the vital capital when it’s most needed and is able to stay focused on farming during the growing season as there is no worry of how and where to sell the produce. Exclusive benefits of CSA include access to organic and sustainably grown local produce loaded with nutrients thus contributing to better health and better earth.

 Why Gopal Farm’s organic CSA?

Traditionally CSAs have been quite limited in what farmers were able to offer each week, leaving CSA members partially satisfied. Members generally have not had much choice in selecting the produce. Many members usually have generously put up with these inconveniences to keep availing of local produce, support the local farmer and contribute to the communities, etc. Our CSA model is unique!

You can choose from a great variety of heirloom Indian organic vegetables, seasonal organic fruits and organic herbs like fresh neem, mango, jackfruit, betel leaves and so on. From season 2021 we are happy to offer organic groceries, spices and millets as an add on to your weekly CSA. The best part is we deliver your organic groceries and produce for a flat fee of 10$.

• You get completely chemical free vegetables and fruits. We do not use any fertilizer, pesticide or fungicide.

• Your weekly CSA cart is completely customizable. You can add or edit your items until the pickup window closes. In case you missed placing your order, you can contact our customer service to help you.

• Our annual season plan members can skip their box for a total of 3 weeks. We offer an immediate refund or replacement for any damaged or misplaced produce.

• You can gift a box to your friends and family or donate to any charity.

• We offer member discounts for the events on the farm throughout the year (when things come back to normalcy). Please subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the know.

• Read more on ‘how it works’ page.

What are you doing in Coronavirus Pandemic

We have doubled and tripled our Vegetable Production to provide for more families. We have adopted a Safety Policy for our Farm Workers to keep them safe as well as to keep the produce Safe. We have also provided them with N95 masks and Sanitizers We have revamped our Packaging Policy to keep you safe when you handle the Farm Box

I was a member of another Farm CSA earlier but I was not satisfied.

Traditionally the CSAs have been quite constricted in what farmers put in the CSA box, when they deliver or when you pick up leaving CSA members not fully satisfied. Members generally have not had much choice in selecting the boxes. Many members usually have put up with these inconveniences so as to keep availing of local farm produce, support a local farmer, keeping in touch with farming community etc.

Our CSA model is Completely unique where our members may almost fully customize their weekly boxes, in addition to receiving the other benefits of signing up for a Farm CSA. We are able to do so as we take all leftover produce, that our members do not put in their weekly online shopping carts, to our booth at Union Square Farmers Market in NYC.

Main areas of Customizations possible
  • Weekly Select Vegetables & Quantity that would go in the online Shopping Cart
  • Select the Grocery List ( Which is different from Subscription )
  • Wide area of Delivery&Shipping (NY, NJ, CT, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, MA, MI, OH, IL, NC, SC, GA, WV, TN, KY, RI, ME, VT and more..)
  • Customize quantity/delivery schedule for Vacation weeks, Vacation days, Parties and more.
  • Carry over unused credits to next season
  • Extended Season due to GHs / partnered FL Organic Farm
  • Pay using CC & Apply Pay
  • PAYMENT

    Why do you ask for advance payment for the CSA box?

    This is how traditionally CSA farms in USA have been able to function. It is quite expensive to grow Organic vegetables by small farms like us where all expenses to grow the crops (like labor, seeds, land preparation etc.) have to be borne by the farmer for 3-4 months before the first crops are harvested. We grow only for the number of members who sign up for a box before the season starts. Hence by subscribing early you are able to support the farmer and thereby also avail of the bountiful harvest of fresh organic vegetables for your family. You receive a early-bird discount while also securing your share for the whole season.

    Do you have an Installment plan?

    No. You may Do a trial Box . It is at the full price. which is a 4-week minimum as we have experienced that members generally take 4 weeks to get a good exposure to Farm CSA boxes. In 4 weeks one would generally receive varied produce, and also be able to try out a month of changed buying habit of getting produce from a local farm and cooking habit of getting seasonal produce Contact Us for Trial Box. 

    Note: There is a Fee involved when you want to convert your trial to a full season subscription Please contact us for details. 

     .Do you offer Monthly plans?

    No. We do not offer monthly plans. The reason is that we need most of the funds prior is to pay for the labor, seeds, growing seedlings, land preparations, yearly supplies, etc. But you may sign up for a trial Box subscription by contacting Customer support. 

     Do you offer a trial subscription?

    Yes, for season 2021 we are offering a trial box subscription. Please contact our customer service.

     Do you offer a Bi-weekly option?

    No, we do not offer a bi-weekly plan currently. If we receive many requests, we will try to accommodate. We have an annual plan and trial box option, please visit The Indian Farm Box page to subscribe.

    Is there a limit to the numbers of members who can sign up?

    Yes. For year 2021, our limit is 1000 members that we are fast approaching. After that we would put you on waiting list.

    Can we join in to the CSA during the year?

    Generally, no. As we grow only for members who have signed up for the season, before the season. But you may Contact Us for vacancies during the season.

    Do you provide any discounts?

    Yes. We have early bird discounts. Please check the CSA box option for respective discounts.

    We also have member discounts for on-the-farm events. Kindly subscribe to our newsletter to receive information about them

    Can one cancel the subscription?

    Yes. Our Cancellation policy is a 2-week advance notice (to find replacement members). The Cancellation fee is $100 to be able to cover losses - the changeover is not always smooth and uninterrupted. So there are losses and administrative costs that need to be covered so that we can continue to be financially sustainable to continue to provide the service to those who depend on our farm produce weekly. 

    CONTENT OF CSA BOX

    What is the size / weight of each Box?

    It Varies. It depends on what you weekly select in the shopping cart with the credits (size and frequency of the box) that you have subscribed to. You may even use more or less of the weekly credits to balance out all credits by the end of the season. We give a lot of flexibility to all members. We are unlike other CSAs where the farmer would make a share for you.

    Generally, members are able to order in the:

    Indian farm box: 10-14 vegetables for the week’s cooking.
    But you may choose to add more of some vegetables while reducing the qty of others or adding a smaller number of vegetables. It is entirely up to you how you choose to construct your Farm Box. Think of it as going to your grocery store. One week you may be in a mood to make lots of pasta so you may be loading up on lots of tomatoes, while reducing on the cauliflower that week.

    The difference from going to an Organic Grocery store is that there will mostly be seasonal vegetables available in our Farm Box – and they are fresher and more flavorful in taste. Eating in season is also more nutritious and healthier for our bodies.

     What to do if I have missing produce or bad produce?

    Human error rarely occurs, but we will make it right. If the produce is missing, send us a picture of the receipt. And if it is damaged, send a picture of the fruit/vegetable before the end of the delivery day. For example, if Thursday is your delivery day, please send it in before 11.59pm, the same day. We cannot accept refund requests sent on the next day. We will review your purchase and contact you for credit or replacement within 1 business day.

     How do I add on grocery to my weekly cart?

    After you log in to the store, you will see a grocery tab. You can click on it, select from the available weekly grocery list and checkout along with the vegetables and fruits. Please note, groceries are to be paid at the checkout separately. They are not part of the prepaid CSA subscription.

     Should I finish my shopping while the weekly online store is open?

    Yes, it is important to place your order before the shopping window ends as this will give us the exact number of shares we have to harvest and helps us to stay organized and deliver without missing produce for some. In case you were not able to for any reason, please contact us and we will place your order. Thank you for cooperating with us.

     

    Organic Indian Groceries

     

     Can I buy groceries from my prepaid CSA credit?

    No, CSA credit is exclusively for our farm fresh organic produce. You can add on the organic groceries to your weekly CSA cart and pay separately at the checkout.

     Can I get organic groceries delivered or shipped without becoming a CSA member?

    Yes, we can certainly ship the groceries with a Minimum order Purchase but cannot deliver them since delivery is exclusively for our Indian Farm Box CSA members. We ship via UPS ground and the shipping fee is calculated at the checkout. Please note that we do not offer subsidized prices to nonmembers.

     I am an existing CSA member. Can I order groceries separately from my weekly CSA?

    You can order groceries along with your CSA box to be delivered to your home. In case any member wants them off the schedule, we can ship via UPS ground with a subsidized price. Shipping fee might cost $10-25 up to 50 lbs.

     

    CSA - Pricing

    How is your pricing? Can we compare the prices to local conventional grocery stores?

    Our pricing for Indian vegetables is generally 1.5 times the prices of the conventionally grown vegetables found in local stores. Our heirloom organic Indian vegetables are mostly unavailable in local stores to even offer a comparison. The prices of common vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, beets, squashes and peppers are mostly comparable to prices from local organic farms. (The Vegetables available in local Indian Grocery Stores are largely grown in Central America to keep the prices low, mainly because of the lower labor costs. They are harvested weeks before they reach their prime to last their long journey contributing partly to a lack of taste. Moreover, hybrid seeds are used to yield more and last longer but suffer nutritionally. And to top it all the mandated pest treatments and a heavy use of pesticides, fertilizers and the factory preservation techniques that are widely accepted as detrimental to our health.)

    Does the pricing vary during the season?

    There might be minor fluctuations in the price depending on the harvest times during the season. We either reduce the price or increase the quantity.

    Do you provide any discounts?

    Yes. We have early bird discounts. Please check the Indian Farm Box option for respective discounts. We also have member discounts for on-the-farm events. Kindly subscribe to our newsletter to receive information about them.

    PRODUCE

    What do you grow?

    We have a variety of vegetables sourced from different regions to cater to the needs of the Indian community hailing from different states and practicing different cuisines. We are also happy to offer organic tropical fruits like mango, chikoo, sugar apple, sugarcane etc. We also grow herbs of medicinal value.

    Can I completely depend on the CSA and do not have to visit the grocery store for produce?

    Probably not, it however depends on your food choices. As a farm we can only offer seasonal produce and there is a chance that there might be unavailability of all vegetables in all the weeks as farming is seasonal unlike the grocery stores which bring the vegetables from outside the country. Though our goal is to promote eating strictly seasonal as much as possible, we do realize how a few unseasonal vegetables etcetera have become an integral part of our cuisines. We are trying to grow such kinds of unseasonal and commonly used produce (chillies, cucumbers, tomatoes…) in our Florida farm to extend the season. We stay local and almost always seasonal!

    Do the vegetables stay fresh?

    Yes, they stay fresh because you receive the produce directly from the farm in a few hours in our refrigerated truck. For the shipping option, we use high quality insulated packaging to make sure you receive them in a fresh condition. We are ever improving our methods and we welcome feedback and suggestions as the season progresses.

     

    VACATION / PARTY

    I am going away for a few days this week, can I order less this particular week?

    Yes. You may use less of your credit one week and use more in the next weeks.

    Min Order weekly - 35$

    MAX - No Limit

    I am going to have a party next week, can I order more than my credit share so I can share the farm fresh vegetables with my guests?

    Yes. You may use more of your credit one week and use less in the next weeks.

    I am going away on a vacation for 4 weeks. What do I do with my weekly boxes?

    You can do a few things:

    1. You could put a hold for those 4 weeks. No boxes will go out to you. We give you credit for 4 total weeks in the season for weekly subscriptions and 2 total weeks in the season for bi-weekly subscriptions. Why we cannot give more is that we may not be able to find replacement receiver for the produce grown for you beyond the 4 weeks.
    2. You may change delivery address to:
    • As a gift to your friend or relative to inspire them to also use Farm fresh organic vegetables in their diet.
    • As a donation to a deserving person who may not usually be able to afford organic vegetables.
    • In these times, gift of Farm Fresh Seasonal Vegetables will be much appreciated by many especially the Seniors. 

      Or a combination of the above. You should be able to make these changes on your account on www.gopal.farm. You may Contact us if you need any help setting this up.

      What happens to the unused Credits at the end of the season?

      We will credit you this amount towards the subscription to the next season minus a 20% admin fee.

      PRICES

      How are comparative prices of your Organic Vegetables compared with Whole Foods?

      The prices are generally equal for Standard Vegetables, 

      Most of our Unique vegetables are not available in Organic Stores and if they are then they are not available from a local farm and are mostly not organic. Hence Prices are difficult to compare.

      DELIVERY
      Do you provide home delivery?

      Yes. We use our own Refrigerated truck and We charge $10 Flat rate for Delivery in the Marked region Below which comes with Indian & Standard Vegetables, Tropical Fruits & Grocery Items all for  $10 which will be charged to CSA members at the weekly order check out. lease read in details Delivery Page. 

      Is your packing recyclable/eco-friendly?

      Yes. Gopal Farm has developed a unique Safe eco friendly method of packaging for Grocery delivery. Please see our packaging policy for details.

      Do the Vegetables and Fruit stay fresh?

      Yes. They stay fresh for 2 days because:

      1. The vegetables are generally harvested and Delivered / Shipped to you the same day Delivery and arrive next day for shipping areas.
      2. Due to our unique innovative eco-friendly packaging the produce remains fresh in hot/cold weather.

      We are ever improving our methods and we welcome feedback and suggestions as the season continues. 

      BULK SALES
      Do you sell to grocery stores?

      Yes. We may sell some of the excess vegetables to some local Specialty food stores. We do not sell to Indian Grocery Stores.

      Do you do wholesale distribution?

      Yes, if there is any excess produce. Kindly Contact us

      Do you sell to restaurants?

      Yes. Kindly Contact us.

      Do you do bulk orders for temples, weddings, family gatherings, etc...?

      Yes. We can do bulk orders. But we can spare only excess seasonal produce rather than choice produce unless booked pre-season. Kindly Contact us for availability and bulk pricing.

      DAIRY / FRUITS

      Do you provide milk & milk products?

      We will be selling our Ethical A2 grass fed Organic Milk and other Dairy products by the Summer of 2021. 

      Vice.com article.

      Do you provide fruits?

      Yes. We do a great variety of Indian tropical and Northeastern fruits. More information on the Indian Farm Box Page .

      GROWING

      How are you able to grow in winter?

      We have green houses and we also have partnered with Organic Farm in Florida both of which we use to provide Winter Produce.

      EVENTS

      Do you conduct any Farm events?

      Yes. We do conduct events and they are announced in the weekly Newsletter. Please subscribe here.

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