Serving Guelph and Hillsburgh
I’ve belonged to several CSAs over the years, shopped at health food stores and farm stands and consumed many an organically grown veggie! Zocalo Organics produce is truly a world apart! Bursting with colour, beauty, vitality, and totally delicious, their produce is consistently the best I’ve ever tasted! The Farmers’ devotion to the land, to community, and to good works shines in their eyes, lights up their faces and shows up in the food that they grow. It’s as simple as that. Truly I have never tasted such delicious and satisfying food. I’m hooked and can’t wait for more!
What is Community Shared Agriculture?
***We have not yet launched our 2021 CSA!
Please stay tuned on social media for an announcement of the launch of our 2021 Sales Outlets.
A CSA member is someone who is excited to share in the joys and challenges of farming by purchasing and consuming “a share” of the vegetables grown by a farmer through the growing season!
CSA members pick up a selection of in-season fresh organic vegetables from our drop-off location near downtown Guelph every week for 22 weeks, from mid June until mid November.
Every CSA operates a little differently. We have a “Market-Style” CSA which means we set up the vegetables on 5 folding tables, and it takes about 5-10 minutes to gather what is in your share by following a menu that we set out for you. There is a swap bin to trade if you don’t like a certain vegetable, and we provide recipes over email to help you cook with a wide variety of vegetables!
You pay your membership or deposit before the season begins so that we, the farmers, can use the money to buy seeds and the supplies we will need to grow your vegetables. It also allows us to plan how much to grow, so that very little is wasted in the field and after harvest.
The best time to sign up is in February/March when the farmers have more time to do administrative tasks, and are buying supplies for the season. However, we accept members until our program is full (which we will indicate on this page).
CSA members share in the bounty of our farm, get to be a part of our farm’s story, and celebrate eating with the seasons! In the event of a big crop disaster, ie. a tornado or catastrophic flood, we would call together our members to come up with a solution, and refund those who cannot afford to take on that loss. This allows us to work together with our community so that we are not left alone to withstand the challenges of farming in a changing climate.
10 Great Reasons to Join a CSA
Why we sell our vegetables through CSA
We got into farming to support and be supported by our community. Our first summer CSA program began as a 10-member program distributed out of the backyard of Seb’s parents house to friends and neighbours. That summer was the worst drought Southern Ontario has seen for a while, but we managed to help our members put local food on the table every week despite this because of the diversity of crops we grew. Sharing these struggles and our delights with our first members became the inspiration for our continued career in ecological agriculture. CSA is the most efficient way of farming on our small-scale, helping us with cashflow, crop failure, and crop-planning.
We have grown from 10 to 100 families, and from 18 to 22 weeks of local eating. We look forward to growing for you!
What's in a Share?
Are Shares Pre-Boxed?
On-Farm shares and Guelph shares are distributed “market style”. It usually takes 5-10 minutes to read through the list on the chalkboard and collect your items (and we are there to say hello and help!). We like to offer “market-style” as it means we can offer you some choice about what goes in your box, and chat a bit!
Late or missed shares can be boxed for a $5 fee to be picked up at the Guelph Farmer’s Market or on-Farm.
Payment Plans/What if I can't afford to pay all at once or at all?
We offer payment plans to those who need them. Here’s what you need to know:
- Our ideal is to receive cheque or e-transfers at the beginning of the month (ideally the 1st). If this does not work, cash is also an option. Please write it on your calendar and pay on time.
- You can make up to 6 instalments, and you should pay off the share by Sept. 1. (The less instalments the better since they are manually managed.)
- When you place your order please write in the comments that you will do a Payment Plan and when we can expect to receive your payments.
- Please ensure that you send your first payment before the CSA share begins.
If you cannot afford the share at the listed prices, would like a work-trade, or want to pay for the share in more than 6 transactions email us your request.
How do Vacation Days work?
When and Where do I pick up my veggies?
in Guelph on Wednesdays at 47 Meadowview Ave (just outside of downtown Guelph) from 4-7pm.
Or Saturday at Polestar Bakery from 8am-noon.
Or Saturday at our farm Zocalo Organics from 1pm-5pm.
Please select one location for the entire season. You can do so in our shop when you purchase your share.
In 2020 we will also offer Home Delivery within Guelph for $5 per week. Please write home delivery on your order form notes, and we will adjust the price to reflect this added cost.
If you miss your pick-up you can call or text (NO EMAILS) the next morning to arrange a late share. We ask a $5 late-boxing fee as it takes time for us to box up your share. If you do not indicate that you would like to pick up a late-box we will donate the produce.
Remember, you can send a friend to pick-up your share anytime you can’t make it.
Sliding Scale Pricing
We understand that eating organic and local can be expensive, so we provide some flexibility in our pricing. If you are able to pay the higher price (or somewhere in between) please do so!
We piloted this pricing model in 2015 with great success; we were able to reach our CSA financial target and more community members were able to afford our produce. Members pick up a selection of in-season fresh, organic vegetables from our farm (in Hillsburgh) or from a drop-off location in downtown Guelph, from mid June until mid November.
- 7+ different seasonal vegetable items per week (includes our signature salad blend and other staples, such as carrots, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, kale, beets, broccoli, squash, garlic, cucumbers, asparagus, rhubarb and more.)
- 22 weekly pick ups of fresh, organic vegetables (*small shares are biweekly with 11 total pick-ups), from June until mid-November
- A swap bin; trade one item for another item you’d prefer
- 2 vacation days for regular and large shares
- 1 vacation day for small shares
- A regular newsletter with recipes and stories from the farm
- An open invitation to farm events, such as tours and potlucks
Small SharesBiWeekly Guelph/Hillsburgh
- Biweekly shares of 7-8 items for singles, couples, or those just starting to add organic produce to their diets.
Regular SharesWeekly Guelph/Hillsburgh
- Weekly shares of 7-8 items, good for a veggie-loving couple or small family.
Large SharesWeekly Guelph/Hillsburgh
- Weekly shares of 8-10 items, good for a veggie-loving family/household!
Head to the Shop tab of this website to buy your share!