Q: I'm interested in having one or more of the Optional Shares but not the vegetables. Can I sign up for those?
A: Sadly, only members who have signed up for one of our Veggie Shares are eligible to purchase Optional Shares.
Q: I'm not sure I can tolerate raw milk so I'm wary of committing to a milk share. What should I do?
A: The best thing to do is to e-mail Emily and request to purchase a one-time trial of the raw milk, preferable before the season begins, so you can have it at the start of the season. Then, if you decide to continue the share, you will be able to opt in at the prorated amount for the remaining weeks.
Q: I would love a cheese or meat share but I don’t think I can go through even that small amount each week. Are there other options?
A: Please visit our Facebook page to see if there are other members who are also looking to split an Optional Share(s). It happens each year that some members collaborate to split and optional share(s), however please note that those 2 members would be responsible for working out payment for the share(s) as well as pick-up schedules with each other.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to inform her at the beginning of the season so we can let the farmer(s) know in advance and be sure 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 Bernie. 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 but we here at COTC we always try our hardest to make it work for anyone who desires organic farm fresh food! If our monthly payment plans aren’t enough and you need further consideration, please email Bernie 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 and we can put aside your shares for your late pick up (until 9:30 PM). If you don’t arrive by that 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. There is no need to contact us unless your substitute requires “special handling”. If that’s not the case, 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 a substitute. This way a site coordinator can remind them of what shares to collect and show them the pick-up drill. It’s also a good idea to forward your substitute that week’s newsletter in case we have any last minute distribution changes or announcements and lastly; if they don’t want to carry the produce home in a box home, they should bring their own bags.
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 volunteers page on the website. If you don't see the dates posted yet that means they will be posted soon but haven't been yet.
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 Bernie to set up a date/time to discuss your desires and unique talents. Together we’re sure to find a good fit. Besides having several coordinator positions and committees available, we may also have some compensated positions.
Q: I am part of a group that owns one share. How many times am I expected to volunteer?
A: Each share is responsible for three volunteer slots. If there is more than one household in a share, you may divide up those three slots among the member households 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 email@example.com. The volunteer coordinator will take you off the list for the date you can't make. You can not 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 Bernie to find out what at home opportunities are available but if you are unable to make any of these alternative arrangements, simply let the volunteer coordinator know and you will be exempt.
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 Bernie to arrange for an off-site opportunity BEFORE THE START OF THE SEASON. If that doesn't work out, you can pay $75. 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 new born.
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 always 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. If you choose a Small Veggie share, know that there will be many times when you will have a choice between 2 items so that will help you as well.
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 or something of the sort, we will refund your payment in full. The same holds true if you need to leave us midseason. Although not 100% guaranteed, its pretty much 99.9% guaranteed as each year we always have a VERY long waitlist with folks eager to participate.
Q: I can’t find the membership forms for Winter Shares. How do I sign up?
A: We begin accepting Winter Share memberships sometime in the Fall. If you would like to be notified when those membership forms are published, please email Bernie.
Q: Can anyone join your Winter CSA or is it only available for existing members?
A: Anyone who is interested can join our Winter CSA and thankfully we are able to accommodate as many members as needed.