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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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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 Local Food Recipes

What’s in the CSA Share — 1/29/19 Eastern Market

We are almost ready to release info on the Spring/Summer season – so watch for that! Please tell your CSA curious friends that they can order 1x shares, and try us out! Perfect for folks who travel or hate to commit.

Here is what we think will be in the share next week, subject to change. Mark is still waiting to hear back on a few items.

 

PRODUCE – * Indicates it will be in the small share.

MEATS – still to be finalized, but here is what he is looking at depending on availability:

  • whole broiler chicken
  • lamb chops or Polyface Breakfast links (still to be finalized)

DAIRY

cheese – Eberly cheddar

BREAD — Billy Bread rustic

Categories
CSA Farm Share CSA/Farm Market Local Food Uncategorized

Gift Certificate and Winter Season Sale

Solve last minute gift dilemmas with the gift of local food and take advantage of our Gift Certificate/CSA Share SALE! Give (or receive!) the Gift of Local Food and Support our Farmers! Receive 20% off all Winter season CSA shares and Gift Certificates over $100 with discount coupon code HOL2017 thru 12/31 (Enter code at checkout when prompted.)

Gift certificates can be put towards Spring/Winter shares (when they go up) the current season, or any of our add-ons or Stand Alone items.  Visit our online storefront to purchase winter season shares and Stand Alone items (1x shares, add ons) which can be put in the name of your gifted one (or yourself.)

Our CSA serves the Richmond, VA and Capitol Hill/Washington, DC areas.  Happy gifting!