Shareholder guide

Fort Hill Farm CSA Shareholder Guide

Welcome to Fort Hill Farm CSA!  We want you to enjoy the CSA, and also keep everyone safe during your visits to the farm. The purpose of this document is to address distribution, communication, parking, and payment issues you may encounter during the season. You should keep this for as long as you are a shareholder in the Fort Hill Farm CSA. If you have any questions or concerns that are not discussed here, you can contact us at forthillfarm@gmail.com or by phone 860-350-3158.

CSA Season Start-up:

  • The CSA starts early June each season. We will send you an email by late May with the exact date.

“Mix and Match” CSA distributions

  • Fort Hill Farm has a unique distribution system that allows you to customize your share, up to volume, item number, and weight limits. If you are a new shareholder, you will be oriented to this system in your first week at the farm. It’s important to follow the guidelines posted during distribution, as they do change as the summer crops come in and the season gets underway.  If something is unclear, please ask a staff person for help.
  • Directions to the farm are available here.
  • Shareholders may pick up produce once per week.  Distribution hours are Tuesday and Thursday, 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Please do not bring dogs or other pets to the farm.  We do not have shade in our parking area, and dogs are not allowed on the farm.

The Newsletter:

  • The Newsletter is THE way for us to communicate with you throughout the season. Any important information that you need to know will be printed in the newsletter. It is your responsibility as a shareholder to read it! Please notify us as soon as possible in the event of an email address change.
  • We also include produce storage, handling, and recipe information in the newsletter.
  • When possible we also include information on what you can expect to see in the coming weeks.
  • Every newsletter also has a list of available Pick Your Own crops.
  • The weekly newsletter is emailed to all primary shareholders and to email addresses you may have given us for your share partners or family members. You can also view the newsletter online. Visit www.forthillfarm.com and click on the Newsletters option on the left hand side of the home page. Newsletters are posted on the web site weekly.

Sharing a share:

  • In general, it’s best to have one share per family. If you decide to split a share, the entire share must be picked up at once. This rule is strictly enforced! We suggest you trade weeks with your partner.  Alternatively, the entire share may be picked up at once and then and split it off the farm.  Picking up “half of a share”, or packing “half a bag” is not allowed.
  • We only need the primary shareholder’s name and information. All payments must come from this primary shareholder.
  • To minimize confusion on distribution days, please make sure that your share partner reads and follows the guidelines contained in this guide.

Shareholder Payments:

  • Payments made for your share must come from only the primary shareholder (i.e. the name the share is listed under).
  • Please make checks out to Fort Hill Farm.
  • Payments may be MAILED to the farm at

Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.

New Milford,CT 06776

  • Please DO NOT drop off payments in the farmer’s mailbox.  They often get picked up by the postman sans stamp and return address, and then wind up lost in the mail.
  • You can go online to find out your current CSA balance at http://forthillfarm.csasignup.com/members/statusemail
  • We charge a $25 late fee for all late payments. 

Vacations:

If you will be unable to pick up your share, you have three options:

  • Have a friend or relative pick up your share- no need to call us, just have them give your name at the farm distribution. This is a great way to share the produce with someone special to you. Have them tell us they are new to the CSA distribution system so we can guide them through picking out their share.
  • Donate your share to the New Milford Food Bank. Just email us and we will add your share to our weekly donation.
  • We are unable to offer “make-up weeks” if you miss a week.

Pick Your Own (PYO):

  • Every Shareholder may partake of the PYO patch, ONE visit per week. PYO crops are listed and updated in the newsletter each week. Usually shareholders choose to get their PYO crops when they pick up the bulk of their share in the barn.
  • PYO crops and limits are written on a board and displayed in the barn. Appropriate containers are provided. If you are unsure of container sizes, ask a farmer for help.
  • PYO hours begin 30 minutes before and end 30 after distribution times (distribution times listed above). 

At Fort Hill Farm:

  • When at the farm it is imperative that you DRIVE SLOWLY. This is a workplace. Farm vehicles are in operation, please give them the right of way by stepping off to the grass. There are also many, many children. We want our shareholders and farm workers to feel safe. PLEASE DRIVE SLOWLY!
  • Please park in designated areas only, and do not block side farm roads. There will be easy-to-see signs to guide you.
  • When entering the fields for Pick Your Own, please stay on the grass roads and only enter cropped areas that are marked for Pick Your Own. Do your best to walk in the pathways when picking, and be kind to the plants.  If you are not sure where to walk, ask a farmer or a fellow shareholder.
  • Children are not allowed on or near the farm tractors or implements for the tractors. These are large, very heavy, and dangerous machines. For your and your family’s safety we ask that you please abide by this rule.
  • Please respect the privacy of the farmers and the place that they live by limiting your farm visit to designated Distribution and Pick Your Own areas.

Share Renewal:

Towards the end of the season we will email renewal forms and surveys.  We will print reminders of renewal deadlines in the farm newsletter.  If you do not receive a renewal it is up to you to contact us so we can email you another.

  • Shares can be renewed by the Primary Shareholder only (i.e. the persons’ name that is on the renewal form)
  • Shares are not transferable, even if you are splitting a share with a partner.
  • We can only offer one share per family or address.
  • Deadlines are firm! All renewal forms and deposits must be postmarked by the deadline listed on your form. We charge a $25 late fee for payments received beyond the deadline.

Surveys:

Please fill out your “end of the year” survey. We are interested in your experience as a shareholder, and we really do read them all.  We take into account the feedback − positive and negative − for changing and improving the CSA for the following season.

Thanks for being a part of Fort Hill Farm CSA, and we look forward to seeing you at the farm!