Q: I would love a cheese share but I have a specific allergy/condition that prevents me from getting one or more of the varieties listed. Can I get something else?
A: For the shares that offer many varieties like cheese, members will typically have more than 1 option to choose from at pick-up. Having said that, you should contact Lauren (firstname.lastname@example.org) to inform her at the beginning of the season so we can let the farm know in advance to put aside a share that would work for you each week.
Q: I have limited resources; do you offer any payment plans?
A: After receiving a deposit to hold your share(s), we allow members to pay their balance in monthly installments. The duration of installments will depend upon the date when you sign up. Typically, all shares must be paid in full before the season begins in June, but check our online membership form for options and details. If you need further consideration, please contact Lauren (email@example.com). No matter your financial situation, we will do our best to ensure your participation!
Q: Do you accept food stamps/SNAP payments?
A: At this time, we do not. However, we are working on making this a possibility for future seasons. If our monthly payment plans aren’t enough and you need further consideration, please email Lauren (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss possible solutions.
Late pick up or no pick up
Q: If I get delayed because of work or some other reason, can I still collect my shares after the 7:30 PM deadline?
A: We understand that things happen from time to time that make us late! When the unforeseen does happen, you can call or text one of our site coordinators who will let you know if we can put aside your shares for your later pick-up for as long as the church will be open that particular Tuesday. Please keep in mind that we cannot keep anything cold after the end of distribution. If you don’t arrive by that end time, your shares will get donated to the food pantry.
Q: What if I can't pick up my share one week?
A: You can always have a friend or neighbor pick up your share for you any week(s) you are unable to do so yourself. Simply tell your sub to state your name when they check in at the site. It’s good for them to announce they are not you but are picking up on your behalf. A site coordinator will explain what shares to collect. Please remind them to bring their own bags if they are picking up Add-On Options! While we realize this may not always be possible, we also appreciate your notifying us by contacting Lauren (email@example.com) if you are unable to come in so we can plan accordingly.
A: If you are going to be away for several weeks, then please check out our Vacationer’s Share, which we offer specifically for those who travel a lot during the summer months of July and August. If you’re only going to be away a week (or 2 or 3), it’s not uncommon for members to “sell” their share to a friend or neighbor. (You can determine the cost of your week’s shares by logging onto your account.) Whether you are missing 1 week or 2, sending a substitute is actually a great way to introduce someone who is unfamiliar with the CSA because they can participate with little or no commitment!
Q: How do I sign up?
A: Go to the Members Only page on the website (see the menu on the left hand side of this page). Click on Volunteer Sign-Up. We post shifts on a rolling basis, so if you don't see the date you’re looking for yet, check back again later.
Q: I’m super excited to join and would love to get more involved in the core group; what opportunities are available?
A: Lots! We always welcome and appreciate additional member involvement so please reach out! Email Lauren (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up a date and time to discuss your desires and unique talents. Together we’re sure to find a good fit.
Q: I am part of a group that owns one share. How many times am I expected to volunteer?
A: Each full-season share is responsible for three volunteer shifts, and Vacationer and Summer shares are responsible for two volunteer shifts. If there is more than one household in a share, you may divide up those three shifts amongst yourselves however you like. Please be sure to identify the name of the primary shareholder (primary e-mail address) when you sign up to make sure the share gets credit.
Q: How do I change a date once I've signed up?
A: You must send an e-mail to Lauren (email@example.com). The volunteer coordinator will take you off the list for the date you can't make. You cannot change a date without contacting the volunteer coordinator.
Q: What do I do if I'm running late?
A: Hurry up :) And call the cell phone number for the shift coordinator. You will get the number by e-mail the weekend before your scheduled shift.
Q: I'm pregnant or I have a newborn baby. Must I volunteer?
A: At COTC we strive to make eating healthier easier and stress-free for everyone, especially for our pregnant moms/moms with a newborn, which is why we allow those moms a volunteer exemption when needed. If it’s possible to get another member of your household to volunteer in your place, great! If not, perhaps there is another task you can do from home. You can contact Lauren (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out what at-home opportunities are available.
Q: I have another good reason for not being able to volunteer on site (other than being pregnant or having a newborn). What do I do?
A: Contact Lauren (email@example.com) to arrange for an off-site opportunity BEFORE THE START OF THE SEASON. If that doesn't work out, you can pay $75 if a full-season shareholder or $50 if a Vacationer or Summer shareholder in lieu of volunteering onsite. We know there are many good reasons members can't volunteer; that's why we have the option of paying the fee. But we don't give exemptions except for pregnancy or having a newborn.
Q: Is Cream of the Crop produce Certified Organic?
A: Our veggies and berries from Hepworth Farms are all Certified Organic. With the remainder of their fruit they practice Integrative Pest Management.
Q: I’m allergic to some vegetable(s); can I get something else instead?
A: Whatever your allergies or dietary restrictions are, please tell us in advance so we can try to solve the challenge together. At COTC, we work with our members to ensure their CSA experience is all that they want/need it to be. In addition to our various membership options, we allow members to further customize their shares by using the exchange bin at the distribution site each week. Our exchange bin offers members the opportunity to exchange undesired items for preferred ones.
Q: I'm not sure if I'll still be in NYC when the season starts but want to be sure I don't get shut out. What should I do?
A: Our recommendation is you join as soon as you can to ensure membership. If, before the season begins, you can't fulfill your commitment because you’re moving away, we will refund your payment in full. The same holds true if you need to leave us mid-season and are unable to find someone to take over your share.
We are in the process of determining whether we will be able to offer Winter shares for the 2022-2023 season. Please check back in the Fall for more info!
Cream of the Crop CSA - Purveyors of fine urban nature to NYC's UWS