Everdale's Harvest Share program is like a vegetable subscription. Once you're a member you can visit the farm on a regular basis to choose the vegetables that suit your families needs. Please be sure to read the Full Details Package (linked below) before registering for a share.
Before proceeding with selecting a share size and number of pick-ups below, please review this guide (in PDF format).
I've read the guide now I would like to choose a share!
Harvest Share FAQ's
What is a Harvest Share?
Everdale’s Harvest Share program is based on the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. In a typical CSA, members sign up at the beginning of a pre-determined season to receive a weekly share from a farm. Usually, the share consists of a box of produce from that farm that members pick up from the farm or another convenient drop off location. There are all types of CSA’s out there. Everything from vegetables, to fruit, to meat and eggs, value added products, grains and even cut flowers. Members of the share pay all or most of the total cost upon registration before the CSA begins. This provides a tremendous benefit to the farmer as many of the associated costs with running an agricultural business are at the start of the season. Members are usually expected to share in the risk of the farm as well. If the lettuce crop fails, then members don’t get lettuce. It is an excellent model for the farmer as it provides some financial cushion and stability. It also works well for many members as they achieve a deeper connection with their food by getting to know the person who grows it. They often times come to appreciate all that goes into food production and running a farm as well. In addition, the value of food they receive is higher than what they had originally paid.
Our program, the Harvest Share, differs in a couple of ways. First, we offer our member’s full choice in what they receive and limited choice in how many weeks they receive their share. Second, much of the food that members can choose comes from Everdale. However, we do like to support other farms and offer our members that maximum amount of choice. For this reason, we do buy in food for our members, mainly for the fruits and vegetables we choose not to grow. We prioritize local produce but do buy from further afield for items that cannot be grown in our climate. Everything is clearly labelled as to what farm/country the food is coming from. This also takes away some of the risk for the consumer as if our lettuce crop fails we can sometimes buy in some from a neighbouring farmer.
How does the point system work?
One of the most common questions we get asked is about our point system that members sign up for. We sell four different sizes of share (24, 36, 54 and 72 points). For every pick-up a member signs up for, they receive that set number of points to ‘spend’ every pick-up. Every crop we grow or purchase is assigned a point value. Here are some examples:
One bunch of carrots (5 or 6) = 3 points
One bag of spinach (~1/3 lb) = 3 points
One bunch of kale (~ 8 stalks) = 3 points
One lbs of potatoes = 1 point
One bunch of broccoli = 4 points (sometimes 5 or 6 depending on the season)
Two or three apples = 1 point
We offer a wide selection of vegetables as well as fruits and berries. What’s available in any given pick-up depends on the season (ie. asparagus is only available for May-June).
Some items are bunched or pre-weighed and ready to take, some the members will have to weigh themselves and some items need to be counted. Many items may change values throughout the season (see the broccoli example above). One reason for this is that certain crops become easier to harvest when they become more plentiful. Zucchini’s and other summer squash are a good example of this. At the start of the season, the farmer really has to root around to find good ones so it takes a long time to harvest, they might be valued at 1 fruit = 2 points. As the season progresses and they become more plentiful the harvesting gets easier (not as much searching). They may be available for 2 fruits = 1 point. Then as the season winds down the value would increase again.
What size share should I choose?
This is another very common question people ask when signing up. It is also a very difficult question to answer. It depends on a large number of factors.
How many people will the share be feeding?
Will this be your only source of vegetables or is it just to supplement your food from other sources?
How often do you eat vegetables? Do you just eat them at dinner?
How often do you eat out?
Do you plan on doing a lot of preserving?
Do you plan on doing a lot of juicing?
Do you have a home garden of your own?
Do you only want to eat locally grown produce?
For all these reasons and others we don’t feel comfortable telling you what share size you need. Here are some very general guidelines.
Small Share (24 points) – two adults eating moderate amounts of vegetables
Medium Share (36 points) – two adults eating lots of vegetables or two adults and one or two small children eating moderate amounts of vegetables
Large Share (54 points) – family of four or five
Extra Large Share (72 points) – a vegetable loving family
You can always purchase extra points at a pick-up. If you are unsure, err on the smaller side. It is easier for us to upgrade your share than to downgrade.
How many pick-ups should I sign up for?
One of the benefits of being an Everdale Harvest Share member is that you can miss a limited number of weeks without any financial loss to yourself.
For example, let’s say our Harvest Share program was 10 weekly pick-ups. We might give you the option to pay for 7, 8, 9, or all 10 of these pick-ups. So if you know you are going to be away for two weeks, you can sign up for 8 of the 10 and not worry about missing out on your share the weeks you are away. You don’t have to tell us ahead of time which of the 10 pick-ups you’ll be missing, you could attend any eight that you choose. There will be a sign-in sheet at every pick-up, just initial beside your name so we know that you came and we’ll keep track for you. Things come up sometimes and you might find yourself in a situation where you can’t make a pick-up that you had planned on attending. You are welcome to send a friend, neighbour, relative, co-worker or anyone else you think might enjoy it! Just make sure that they know to sign-in beside your name so we know someone got your share. If they aren’t familiar with the program they can talk to a staff member to figure out how it all works.
It is important to note that you can’t “carry over” points from missed pick-ups or “double up” in subsequent weeks or seasons. We harvest very specific amounts based on our membership numbers and the value of your share for the missed pick-up will already have been donated to one of our Good Food Project partners working to address food insecurity in your community.