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Local Food’s Importance in a Time of Global Threat

Farm to Family/The FarmBus’ role as local food providers is critical, and is likely to become more so during the next few months. Promoting access to local and quality produce is what we do best. In this time of re-localization, and as more Americans are quarantined or practice the recommended social distancing, supply chains will get under stress, people will still need food, and you all are helping fulfill that need. We believe local food is more important than ever with the global threat currently facing our country especially in light of current shortages many of us are experiencing with key items in grocery and big box stores. We are working closely with our farmers and will to continue to provide you with the quality and convenience of local food. 

As many of you know, I studied Disaster Science/ Emergency Management at the University of Richmond 2007-09. The key course I took was called “Hazards and Threats of the Future.”  We had to pick a topic (mine was famine and severe hunger in the US and western developed countries) and do a 20 year forecast.  From all the info I gathered, I predicted a deliberate pandemic to control the world’s growing/over population. I read lots of material on Thomas Malthus and his Malthusian catastrophe mode – it’s worth a look if this kind of stuff interest you.  This was the catalyst that led me to start a new business –  Farm to Family and the Farmbus.  I wanted to create a sustainable food model in case our food supply chain was disrupted or halted all together.  Whether a pandemic is deliberate or not, I felt it of the utmost importance to focus on local food supply chains and food security.

We ask you to remain patient, fluid and agile as the landscape is changing very quickly. Our produce and fruit farmers are continuing to plant spring crops, the weather is perfect for strawberries and the bees are busy. Our meat and dairy farmers are occupied with stewarding newborn animals and the herds are enjoying outdoor grazing and sunshine. Luckily local food is not dependent on complex over stressed delivery chains.

After speaking with all our farmers and vendors we are not anticipating any disruptions, it’s business as usual, but as we know, things are very different today than earlier in the week. We are keeping a close eye on the rest of the world as well as what is happening in the US. Our farmers practice, and are certified Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) by the USDA. These are voluntary audits that verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored as safely as possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards. GAP & GHP audits verify adherence to the recommendations made in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (pdf) and industry recognized food safety practices. Our dairy and meat farmers are subject to USDA testing, inspection and sanitation practices and our vendors are certified thru VDAC and adhere to those regulations. We and all of our farmers are keeping your health our priority by practicing additional sanitation action.  

We recommend that you wash down any fruits and vegetables – here is an easy DIY solution to use – and practice good sanitation with any other foods and containers you may be receiving from us. 

As of now we are going forward with next week’s shares, and if there are any changes/modifications. we will let you know. We recommend social distancing like you would anywhere else in public at our group pickups. 

 At this time we are not anticipating delays to our March 31st start. We are in contact with Eastern Market and our drop sites. If you want to switch over to home delivery, let Suzi know.  We will continue to do our best to get your food to you in a timely manner.    If you have questions, concerns or would like to brainstorm with Mark, please email or call him directly at 804-397-7337.  We would encourage more than ever share our services with friends/family, strangers, neighbors and co-workers!  

We will get thru this together.  If we need to modify things or any sudden changes come about we will let you know as quickly as possible and again we ask for your patience as we navigate this together.

Sincerely,

Mark, Suzi and our Farm to Family team

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2020 Spring Summer CSA Season is LIVE! Time Sensitive Discounts now till 2/23/20

The FarmBus 2020 Spring/Summer CSA season is LIVE for subscription. It starts* the last week of March running 24 weeks thru the 4th week of September  (includes 2 one week breaks: the week of April 21/22, and the week of August 18/19th. Mark your calendars.)  Sign Up TodayDon’t delay! And please share us and these codes with your friends, family and coworkers – if they sign up and use your name during sign up, you will earn a $40 referral reward – share early and often!  Watch for a shareable social media post. *Start dates subject to change due to weather, acts of nature etc.

 FULL SHARE SAVINGS ALL SEASON – Sign up anytime this season and SAVE10% on Full Share purchase (this is for the combo produce, meat, dairy and bread share ONLY) use code: 10FullSS20 If you want any of the other modular shares, use the Early Bird code below.
ALL OTHER SHARE EARLYBIRD DISCOUNT NOW THRU FRIDAY 2/23/2010% discount on all other shares other than FULL use code: 1S20EARLY

ACTIVE MILITARY/VETERANS– Use our 10% military discount code to save on all CSA shares signing up anytime during the season. Please email with proof of your service for the code, as it has changed. 
*Make sure you are choosing Summer 2020 shares, as Fall/Winter is still up for a few more weeks. 

SHOPPING TIPS: Verify you are using the right code for your share/s to get the best value. When you get towards the end of the sign up process, you will be prompted to enter in the discount code in a field towards the top and the software will subtract it at checkout. In order to find out your price, go thru the process like you are purchasing – when you choose your frequency – weekly/biweekly in the drop down menu – your cost will also adjust. If you leave your cart and come back, make sure to clear your cart to avoid duplicate purchase.

THE DETAILS

Descriptions of each share/prices are on the website.
Add ons are available – eggs and all other dairy items, tofu, bread, certain pantry items, some meats etc.

1 time shares available for those who can’t commit/have erratic schedules.

Partial seasons available for people who may be moving (email for info – don’t sign up online. I will set you up manually.)

Memberships are modular, and flexible with payment plans and vacation holds. Credit rolls season to season.

PREFERRED PAYMENTS are cash, checks or online billypay, money orders. These should be made out to Farm to Family, LLC and can be mailed or given to Mark at Eastern Market/DC. You will be told your member/home delivery fee so you can add this to your check/cash payment. Credit/debit now have a 3.5% surcharge fee which you will be reminded of by CSAware if you choose this payment method. As a small business in an industry with thin margins and high rates of product shrinkage due to limited shelflife, along with other CSAs, farms and other food service providers, we chose to charge this fee instead of raising our prices to cover it. Choose the fee-free options provided to avoid the surcharge. 

DC

  • Starts Tuesday, 3/31 DC Eastern Market; weekly/biweekly; seasonal member fee $100/50*
  • Starts Tuesday,4/7 DC Home Delivery (Capitol Hill 20002, 20003 and Navy Yard); biweekly only, additional $10/time delivery fee charged separately; seasonal member fee $50*

RVA

  • Starts Wednesday, 4/1 Farm to Family/RVA 2817 Mechanicsville Turnpike, RVA 23223; weekly/biweekly; seasonal member fee $50/25*
  • Starts Wednesday,4/11 RVA Home Deliver (within 5 miles of Farm to Family includes Downtown, The Fan, Carytown, Church Hill, Forest Hill, Manchester, Northside, Old Mechanicsville, Ginter Park, Lakeside) biweekly only, additional $5/time delivery fee charged separately; seasonal member fee $25*

*seasonal member pro-rated if you join post-start. Member fee includes everything except cost of food. See Policies and FAQs for  more info. 

Questions? Email Suzi or call Mark at 804-397-7337.

Categories
CSA Farm Share Get Involved Local Food

Fall CSA Starts 10/1 DC and RVA – Help us Celebrate 10 Years of Local Food!

Our 2019 Fall/Winter CSA season is live for subscription and starts the first week of October running 22 weeks thru the 2nd week of March (includes 2 week Winter Holiday break). We are celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary!!. Sign Up TodayDon’t delay! And please share us with your friends!

Active military/veteran? Use our military discount vs the 10 Year anniversary code. Please email for the code.

THE DETAILS

Subscriptions (descriptions of each share/prices are on the website)

  • Produce/Fruit (will include a few pantry items as the season progresses)
  • Grass-fed Meats
  • Grass-fed Dairy/Eggs (Milk, Butter,Cheese, Eggs, Yogurt)
  • Full Share Package (Produce/Fruit, Meats, Dairy, Loaf of Bread)
  • Pantry – value added items like vinegar, jams, nut butters, krauts, popcorn, grains support our farmers year round as well as small artisan producers.
  • Add ons – eggs and all other dairy items, tofu, bread, certain pantry items, meats, holiday items, etc
  • 1 time shares available for those who can’t commit/have erratic schedules.
  • Partial seasons available for people who may be moving (email for info – don’t sign up online)
  • Holiday break-  no CSA weeks of 12/22 and 12/29, resuming week of 1/5. Your schedule may vary due to your location.
  • Memberships are modular, and flexible with payment plans and vacation holds. Credit rolls season to season.
  • Forms of payment include cash, checks (preferred made out to Farm to Family, LLC and can be mailed or given to Mark), and credit/debit.

DC

  • Starts Tuesday, 10/1 DC Eastern Market; weekly/biweekly; seasonal member fee $100/50*
  • Starts Tuesday,10/8 DC Home Delivery (Capitol Hill 20002, 20003 and Navy Yard); biweekly only, additional $15/time delivery fee charged separately; seasonal member fee $50*

RVA

  • Starts Wednesday, 10/2 Farm to Family/RVA 2817 Mechanicsville Turnpike, RVA 23223; weekly/biweekly; seasonal member fee $50/25*
  • Starts Wednesday,10/9 RVA Home Deliver (within 5 miles of Farm to Family includes Downtown, The Fan, Carytown, Church Hill, Forest Hill, Manchester, Northside, Old Mechanicsville, Ginter Park, Lakeside) biweekly only, additional $5/time delivery fee charged separately; seasonal member fee $25*

*seasonal member pro-rated if you join post-start. Member fee includes everything except cost of food. See Policies and FAQs for  more info. 

Shopping tips: When you get towards the end of the sign up process, you will be prompted to enter in the discount code in a field towards the top and the software will subtract it. In order to find out your price, go thru the process like you are purchasing – when you choose your frequency – weekly/biweekly in the drop down menu – your cost will also adjust. If you leave your cart and come back, make sure to clear your cart to avoid duplicate purcha

Questions? Email Suzi.

Sincerely,

Mark + Suzi

 

Categories
CSA Farm Share Get Educated Get Involved Local Food

Spring/Summer Farm to Family CSA Ready for Signups with Early Bird Discounts

The Spring/Summer season of the CSA is ready for sign ups!

The Farm to Family Spring/Summer CSA in Washington, DC (Capitol Hill) and RVA is ready for Early Bird Sign Up!

And there are discounts!!!

5% Early Bird DISCOUNT the whole month of February for ALL shares including installments!!!!  Use code “19S” at checkout.

10% Early Bird DISCOUNT for FULL SHARE PACKAGE (Veg, Meat, Dairy, Bread value $127/time) paid in FULL up front the whole month of February!!! Use code “19SF” at checkout. Good only for the Full Share Package paid in full (not installments or single shares i.e. dairy, meat or veg — please use 5% discount above if this is you.)10% Military Discount – For all active, retired, veteran military families. Email me for the code along with info on your service. Returning members – you will have to reenter the code, and it is the same. This discount carries over to everything you purchase all season. If you buy direct from Mark remind him you are military for your discount.  Thank you for your service.

Anyone you refer who joins, earns you a $25 Referral Reward = Free Food! 

2019 SPRING/SUMMER CHANGES:

24 weekly/biweekly deliveries.  2 week summer holiday break 8/1-8/20 

Start/end dates (Projected)

We are currently scheduled to start on 4/2, subject to change pending weather and what the farmers have.  End date includes two week holiday break.

DC:  24 Weekly/12 biweekly  – Tuesday – Start 4/2; End 9/17

  • Tuesdays – Eastern Market 4-7pm (weekly/biweekly)
  • Home Delivery – Tuesdays (via courier $24/time charged separately at onboarding) Home Delivery available on Capitol Hill 20002, 20003 and Navy Yard.
  • Full season member fee is $100/50 and will be charged separately at on-boarding.  It is pro-rated late join.

RVA : 12 Biweekly only Thursday – Farm to Family; RVA  Start 4/4 – End 9/20

  • Pickup at Farm to Family, or
  • Home Delivery (within 5 mi radius F2F) $5/fee per time  (full season $60) .
  • Full season member fee is $30 and is pro-rated late join.
  • All fees charged separately at onboarding.

PARTIAL SEASON/1xSTAND ALONE SHARES– Partial seasons are available. Email me with your start/end dates and I will manually set this up for you. Do not sign up thru the website. You also have the option to get 1x stand alone shares thru website as needed if you need more flexibility.

Start/end dates are as follows – We are currently scheduled to start on 4/2, but this is subject to change pending weather and what the farmers have.  If you are a current member, you will stay on the same schedule you have now. End date includes two week holiday break.

Please visit the website for specifics on pricing and shares.

Let Suzi know if you have additional questions – email is preferred: farmshares@thefarmbus.com or you can call Mark directly at 804-397-7337.

 

 

Thank you so much for being loyal CSA members and supporting your local food system!  Please share our info we could always use more members!  We are looking forward to a tremendous Spring and Summer Season!

Warmly,

Mark Lilly + Suzi Miles

Categories
CSA Farm Share CSA/Farm Market Get Involved Local Food Recipes

What’s in the share/Recipes – 11/28 + 29

Hi members, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are very grateful to have you all in our lives and as members this season. You are a very important part of the local food system and support the farmers we work with. I’m sure you don’t want to hear about more food, but maybe as Tuesday and Wednesday rolls around, you will be more ready. Recipes will follow, I just wanted to get this preview out so you can plan. Remember this list is subject to change. I will do my best to let you know of any changes.

And we will be taking orders for Christmas Trees and Wreaths! I’ll have info on pricing hopefully up on the website soon along with delivery availability, Mark is still working that out with our tree farmer, Gerald Jones. They are spray free Frasier Firs, very beautiful and fragrant, and well balanced.

PRODUCE

  • BREAD – Prairie Grain