CSA FAQ

What is CSA? What is a share?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It’s an alternative, locally-based model of food distribution with a diverse history that brings farmers and customers into a relationship in which customers purchase and receive a "share" of the harvest. 

A share is your weekly allotment of produce as a shareholder. The size and variety of your share will depend on the type of share(s) you purchase and the season.

What is distribution? Where do I pick up my share? 

This is where we distribute (and you pick up) your weekly share of produce! All CSA distributions take place in Poughkeepsie, with most taking place under the CSA tent at PFP, at the intersection of Hooker & Raymond. (Look for a brightly-painted barn).

To make shares available to those with limited access to transportation, we are also opening a distribution site in the City of Poughkeepsie for our full- and fall-season shares, including those purchased using SNAP benefits. This location is still TBA. If you are interested in the City of Poughkeepsie location, email hellocsa@farmproject.org

Can I choose what I receive?

Due to COVID, we have had to switch from offering a free-choice, market-style distribution to a standardized, pre-boxed share for all May, Full, and Fall season shares. To introduce some choice, most weeks during full- and fall-season shares we will offer “choice units” to allow for partial customization of your share. You will select these choice units when you pick up you share each week. 

How much produce will I receive each week? What is a unit?

The amount you receive each week will vary slightly based on the season and the type of share you selected. Whole shares receive 10 units, and half shares receive 5 units. Note that whole and half sizes are available only for full- and fall-season shares. Full- and fall- season shares can be increased with Pick Your Own crops which are included with your share. 

Samples of units could be: 2 lbs carrots, 2 lbs tomatoes, 3 lbs cucumbers, 1 bunch beets, 1 bunch scallions, 1 head of lettuce, 1 watermelon, 2 garlics, or 3 bell peppers. For more information on shares, visit our Shares page (coming soon!)

What is Pick Your Own? How does it work? 

In addition to the crops we harvest for you, which you receive at your distribution pick-up, we also grow crops for you to harvest yourself! All full- and fall-season vegetable CSA shares (both whole and half) are entitled to PYO. To learn more about how to participate in PYO and what you’ll be picking, visit our PYO page (coming soon!)

When does my share start? 

The start-date for your share depends on your share type (May, Full, Fall, Fruit, Winter, Egg, etc) and, if relevant, the location and day of the week you choose. For start and end dates, see product descriptions. 

What's included in my membership fee?

All Farm (CSA) Shares require the purchase of a membership. Your membership supports our Education and Food Share (donation) programs, and is an important way to engage not just with the physical farm space, but with the mission of PFP. Benefits of becoming a member vary depending on which tier you select:

  • Tiller ($35): Receive communications about PFP, discounts at PFP educational events
  • Planter ($55): Receive communications about PFP, discounts at PFP educational events, 1 free plant at plant sale
  • Cultivator ($75): Receive communications about PFP, discounts at PFP educational events, 2 free plants at plant sale, PFP tote bag 
  • Harvester ($150): Receive communications about PFP, discounts at PFP educational events, 4 free plants at plant sale, PFP tote bag
  • Farm Builder ($500): Receive communications about PFP, discounts at PFP educational events, 4 free plants at plant sale, PFP tote bag and hat
  • Community Circle ($1000): Receive communications about PFP, discounts at PFP educational events, 8 free plants at plant sale, PFP tote bag and hat

How much does a share cost?

The cost depends on the type and size of share you select, whether you choose a discount, or are paying using SNAP benefits. All CSA shares require the purchase of a membership. To learn more about available discounts and payment plans, visit our payment and pricing page (coming soon!)

Who is eligible to purchase discounted shares?

Though anyone is eligible to purchase a share, discounted shares are primarily for our economically disempowered neighbors. These discounted shares are offered to families earning under $25,000 per year, those on Medicaid, SNAP, Social Security, those who live in public housing, or those with extenuating circumstances. Please note, we have a number of limited discounted shares available to make this as accessible as possible during this time. We ask you to practice mindfulness as you choose your share, as this supports our efforts to ensure an equitable and accessible experience for all.

Beyond the 20% discounted shares, we also offer other CSA share payment assistance opportunities, including Sponsored shares, discounted payments with SNAP/EBT, and payment plans. 

Can I use my SNAP benefits? How much will I pay for my vegetables?

Yes! SNAP payments are accepted on a weekly basis when picking up your vegetables. Shares purchased using SNAP benefits receive a 50% discount, and cost $12/week for a half share. For more information on these shares, visit our CSA is a SNAP page. 

A Sponsored Share costs between $2 and $14 per week, depending on what you can afford. You may pay weekly, monthly, or up front at the beginning of the season, and can pay using cash, credit, check, or SNAP/EBT. 

What if I lose my SNAP benefits? Will there be a fee? 

There is no fee or penalty if your SNAP benefits change. While we hope you will stay with your share for the full season, you are not financially responsible for the remaining weeks of your share if you are unable to continue. If you lose your SNAP benefits and would like to continue with your CSA share, email hellocsa@farmproject.org

To check if you are eligible for SNAP following a move, change of income, or other life event, visit Dutchess County Community Family Services (DCFS). You may also apply in person at the DCFS Main Office at 60 Market Street, Poughkeepsie or at Dutchess County Community Action Partnership at 77 Cannon Street in Poughkeepsie. 

How do I apply for a SNAP-discounted or Sponsored share?

SNAP and Sponsored shares will be available for purchase on or around April 1. To express your interest in the meantime, you may fill out this form and/or email hellocsa@farmproject.org. 

Where can I get food now? 

If you are in need of free food now, there are many places where you can find support. Visit one of PFP’s fresh produce distributions (full list on our website FAQ page) or one of the locations below:

What is a barter share?

A barter share is a work-trade, where members contribute a certain number of hours or a certain skill set in exchange for a share. To learn more about barter shares, visit our barter share page (coming soon!). 

We currently have openings for our Fieldwork barter share, which requires either 2 or 4 hours of fieldwork on the farm weekly in exchange for a half or whole share, respectively. To express your interest, please email pat@farmproject.org. 

What is a Coffee (or CSCR) Share? 

CSCR stands for Community Supported Coffee Roaster. Receive 12oz of locally-roasted coffee from our friends at North River Roasters during select seasons. Coffee shares are purchased directly from NRR. Visit their website to purchase your share.

What is Early Bird? 

Our Early Bird share is a bonus pick-up the week before Thanksgiving that is offered to current shareholders who sign up for the next season during the Early Bird registration period. Early Bird registration happens in October, and is only available to current shareholders. After Early Bird registration closes, regular sign-up (which does not include the bonus pick-up before Thanksgiving) begins. As a current shareholder, you will receive notification of Early Bird registration in the fall. 

How do I make sure to not miss important communications? 

Add the following email addresses, all ending in @farmproject.org, to your contacts!

  • hellocsa@ - General CSA information including important start dates and reminders
  • pfpadmin@ - Information related to administrative and billing issues
  • pyo@ - Pick Your Own information including your weekly “Pick List” email 
  • shareinfo@ - Share information including your weekly “What’s Fresh” email

Also follow us on Instagram @poughkeepsiefarmproject or Facebook @farmproject, where we will post a variety of content including last-minute, weather-related changes to CSA distributions, on the rare occasions where those occur.