Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How does this work?
Every Wednesday we harvest and deliver boxes of organic produce to pickup locations and homes around San Luis Obispo county. Our members pre-pay for our harvest season. Your produce box will be your “share" of the harvest.
What’s in a box?
Our goal is to give you a variety of seasonal veggies based on the different parts of the plant. Root, stem, leaf, fruit and seed. Availability of specific crops will vary through the year.
Roots: carrots, beets, potatoes
Stems: onions, celery, kohlrabi
Leaves: lettuce, kale, chard, herbs
Fruits: cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, loquats
Flowers: broccoli, artichoke
Seeds: beans, peas
How do I order?
Please fill out the customer information form and then choose a Produce Plan to pay for.
Or call our google number (805) 765-2753.
What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. By purchasing a CSA share, you are supporting neighbors who grow food for you. Paying for produce ahead of time allows farmers to plan ahead with greater security. Farming is not risk-free. While we do our best to ensure a safe workplace, accidents, weather and ecological events may affect production.
What if I go on vacation?
Send us an email, call or text at least by Tuesday and we'll hold your subscription for the dates you need.
What if I join the CSA late?
If you join after the start of the season, your membership will roll over into the next season for the duration of a 13 week period.
What if I want to cancel?
We will charge a $25 office fee to process your reimbursement on remaining weeks in the season.
Who, What and Where are Moon Phase Farmers:Angela “Angie” Schultz and Robert “Beto” Barnett own and operate Moon Phase Farmers LLC. We are growing vegetables and herbs, raising ducks and honey bees at Branch Mill Organic Farm & Retreat Center in Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo County, California.
Our main means of communication with you will be through email. We will be sending out newsletters every two weeks via email, with details about what to expect for your produce share, tips and recommendations for processing and storing your vegetables, with recipe suggestions and our musings on farm life. For questions, comments, to send us photos or recipes, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Phone and Text
You can reach your farmers at 805.765.2753. Texts are okay and voicemails are transcribed and texted to us. We will return your call usually within a day or two.
Farm Physical and Mailing Address
2815 Branch Mill Rd Arroyo Grande CA 93420
The CSA Way
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. (Here’s some food for thought). When we hear those words, we think “relationship” -- a direct relationship between YOU and the FARM, because the more you know about where your food comes from, the more educated you are about what’s going into your body and the healthier you can be! We think it should be delicious, nutritious, organic, and grown in accordance with the rhythms of nature. Now of course, nature includes bugs, birds, weather and weeds, and these challenges make farming somewhat risky, but a CSA model asks consumers to help bare that risk with the farmers. In return we promise to be transparent about our farming techniques. We like to share food and knowledge, so be on the lookout for upcoming workshops and educational farm tours. We’d love to hear what vegetables, workshops and classes you are hungry for.
All payments are primarily handled online through our order page. Alternatively, you payment can be made over the phone. Credit and Debit card payments over the phone are processed through Square and requires a $0.03 + 3% processing fee per charge. Moon Phase Farmers will cover $0.03 and the 3% charge will be passed on to you the member.
Notice of cancellation is required 1 week in advance. For example, if you decide you need to cancel your subscription three weeks into it and give us 2 weeks notice, you will receive a total of 5 deliveries. A $25.00 cancellation fee may apply.
Any scheduled automatic installment payments will be canceled (if you paid with paper checks, un-deposited checks will be voided and either shredded or returned to you). Any credit balance left on your account after all deliveries and fees will be refunded to you by check (see Refund Policy below).
There is a $25.00 processing fee for refunding of any credit balance that results from changes to your subscription initiated by you (including delivery holds or cancellation). This means balances less than $25.00 will not be refunded.
There is NO processing fee if an error or change on our part necessitates a refund.
Any “Bonus Credit” added at the time a payment was made will NOT be included in the refund amount.
Refunds are made by check within 30 days of the last delivery and are mailed to the address in your account contact info unless you let us know otherwise.
Membership Plans - Your produce box is your “share.” The size, frequency, and location of your pickup make up your Membership Plan
Share size- How much produce can you handle?
Juice Box Share: (not available this season) $12 per box 4-5 items for people who love to juice! You can expect cilantro, carrots, and a cucurbit or two.
Single Share $15 per box, Fresh veggies to feed one person. You can expect to get 5 to 8 items in this box
Regular Share $28 per box. A box of fresh veggies to feed 2 to 3 adults. You can expect to get 8 to 10 items
Family Share $50 per box. This is a good option if you want a box of fresh veggies to feed a family or household, double what we offer in our regular share
Frequency- How often do you want your share
Weekly: Your share is for 13 weekly deliveries
Fortnightly: Your share is for 7 deliveries every other week
Work Trade (not available this season)- we are exploring the appropriate models to allow members to volunteer their labor in exchange for produce
Pickup Sites and Procedures
Current Available Pickup Sites
Branch Mill Organic Farm and Retreat Center
2815 Branch Mill Rd
Arroyo Grande CA 93420
Contact: Angie and Beto, your farmers!
Joy Shell Beach
1801 Shell Beach Rd
Pismo Beach CA 93449
The HIVE (Arroyo Grande Village)
119 E. Branch St.
Arroyo Grande CA 93420
SLO Natural Foods Co-op
2494 Victoria Ave
San Luis Obispo CA 93401
Contact Gwen or Carol
Pickup instructions: Tell your friendly Co-op representative that you are picking up a Moon Phase Farmer’s CSA. You will be asked for your name so that you can be signed off of the pickup sheet, and your box will be retrieved out of cold storage for you.
Home Delivery: Shares can be delivered to your home or a specific physical address for a $5.00 fee. This is limited to a 20 mile radius from Branch Mill Organic Farm and Retreat Center.
Before each delivery an email will be sent out to let you know what is in your box. In the Moon Phase Newsletter we will include storage tips, recipes, and news from the farm. Specific instruction for your pickup site will be emailed to you, and is always available for reference through your Small Farm Central account.
Wednesday is Delivery and Pickup Day! Please pick up your box on the same day as deliveries before the designated closing time for your specific pick up site. Deliveries will be made Wednesday mornings. When you pick up your box, sign your initials next to your last name on the pickup sheet. Be sure to drop off your old box folded down so that they can be recycled. The pickup sheet will have your name, share size and your phone number. Depending on the host, you may sign your own box out, or someone may retrieve it from storage for you. If your name is not on the checklist please do not take a box. It belongs to someone else. Please call us immediately at 805.765.2753 and we will discover the problem and resolve it together.
Delivery Day Contact Info: Your contact information (name, share size and phone number) will be printed out for your pick up site host along with your share size. This is to make sure that you can be reached by your site host if there is an issue after the box has been delivered to the pickup site. You will always be able to access your site host’s contact info through your Small Farm Central account. Contact your site host for issues concerning your box after delivery hours (10am-1pm on Wednesdays). For all other questions and issues contact Angie or Beto, your farmers!
Unclaimed Boxes: If you do not pick up your box before the closing time of your designated pickup site, the site host is free to donate, share, or compost the contents. It is NOT the responsibility of the site host to store your box any longer than the time listed in your account. That being said, you and your site host will have each other’s contact information. After your box has been delivered to the pickup site, if you are for some reason unable to pick up your box, you may be able to contact your site host to make special arrangements.
We farm to preserve and build the fertility of the soil, in turn the land will produce delicious, nutrient dense food and medicine. Our ancestors who carefully observed natural patterns, used the phases and course of the moon as a maestro, or a timekeeper, which signaled the best times to water, plant, weed, prune, feed, cultivate, harvest and rest.
Where is y(our) food grown? Try this: google the following phrase “how far does your food travel to get to you” The answer may surprise you. Part of our vision for creating a more sustainable food system is reducing the amount of fuel consumption it takes for produce to get from the farm to your kitchen. That’s why we want to make sure that most of the things you find in your box are grown, washed, prepared and packaged at Branch Mill Organic Farm and Retreat Center. But at the same time, we small farmers and food-entrepreneurs have to stick together, so from time to time we’ll be happy to feature other products from local small business owners who we believe share our values and principles.
What are we growing? We are growing veggies that we like to eat, many of these we have had experience tending before, some chosen because they were recommended or requested, are appropriate or well adapted for our climate and soil type. We are especially interested in growing produce for smoothies and juicing, plants of culinary interest, and medicinally significant herbs and roots. We are excited to experiment with rare and exotic varieties in our greenhouse. The list for this season includes beans, chard, lettuce, carrots, beets, spinach, summer squash, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet and mild peppers, aubergine, herbs, edible flowers, and more!
Signs of Sustainable Practice in your Box:
Varied shapes and colors- Our produce won’t always look the way you’re used to seeing in the grocery store. Diversity= ecological health! And less food waste!
Holy Greens / Signs of insect damage: This is also a sign of no pesticides or toxic chemicals on your food! Did you know that when a healthy plant gets nibbled by a bug, that plants immune system kicks in? Which means a more nutrient dense food for you and me!
Harvest or Travel Damage: Our goal is to harvest your produce at the peak of nutrients. This may mean that the fruit or vegetable is more prone to damage during harvest or transportation. Many types of far traveling produce found in grocery stores are harvested before they are truly ripe, reducing flavor and nutrients. We’d like to provide a fresher, more nutrient alternative.
Signs of life! (slugs and bugs): We do give all our produce a soak, but we won’t be able to get every bug every time. ALWAYS rinse your produce before preparing or eating (yes, even organic from the farm should be rinsed). Some of the creatures you find may be small slugs (pests) some may be ladybug larva (beneficial insect!).
Weeds. Yes. sometimes you will find weeds in your box. Most of the time it will be on purpose and we will let you know ahead of time because they are edible “weeds” (more like forgotten gifts of nature!) that we think you will enjoy! But sometimes when bunching herbs like cilantro or parsley, other weeds sneak in with the good stuff. If you see something that you don’t recognize and wasn’t mentioned in your emailed produce list, feel free to give it back to the earth and compost it!
We are also doing our best to to use petroleum powered equipment as little as possible. Besides our desire to move toward renewable energy, working the soil by hand is deeply connected to our farming philosophy. Farming and feeding people is intimate work, and we want to make sure we are very closely connected to the entire process, seeing, feeling, wearing, and tasting the soil leads to active relationship with the land and its ecosystems. Hard physical labor paradoxically reminds us of our human limitations, while also reminding us of how awesome our hard work can be when it is thoughtfully synchronized with natural rhythms.
Weeding practices: Starting from seed in a greenhouse, gives our sprouts an advantage over weeds once they are transplanted into the field. Hand weeding, occultation with silage tarps, harvesting and feasting! Yes there are some very nutritious weeds that we count as harvest for us and for our chickens and ducks!
Pest control: For bugs: encouraging natural predators by planting attractive hedge rows for wasps, ladybugs, and birds, installing habitat for lizards & snakes. As a sustainable, earth-friendly farm, we control pests with companion planting, beneficial insect hedges, and creating ideal environments for natural predators like lizards and birds. All pesticides, organic and synthetic, have an effect on our ecosystem. We prefer not to spray, but sometimes it is vital to protect our plants. We consider each circumstance and try to use the method with lowest environmental impact. However, this is always balanced with a need to protect our plants and keep our farm healthy. Birds: Sprouting in the greenhouse. Bird netting used over berries and fruit trees, reflective tape, and fake owls. Gophers are caught by farm cats, gopher snakes, and our traps.
Field irrigation is primarily from Lopez Creek and our greenhouse is watered by rain and dew collected from the greenhouse roof. Low pressure, manually managed drip lines, means we are constantly checking for leaks and monitoring while water is running.
Greenhouse: Rainwater and condensation from morning fog. Growing our sprouts from seed in a greenhouse allows us to control temperature, and protect young plants from birds, bugs and harsh weather, reducing crop losses and preserving resources
Fertilization: We use locally made vermicompost from Black Gold Vermicompost in north SLO county. We apply vermicompost directly to the roots while transplanting and as a compost “tea” foliar spray or root soak. We in the beginning stages of starting our own compost program on farm for future use, consisting of landscape debris, food scraps collected from local juice bars, and poultry manure coop bedding
By purchasing a CSA share, you agree to accept the risks and rewards inherent to farming. You understand that Moon Phase Farmers will work in good faith to produce the best possible crop using sustainable growing methods, but you also understand that crops may be damaged by natural forces beyond the farmer’s control, and that my share may be affected by such damage.