You have questions? We've got answers!
Find out all you need to know about Poughkeepsie Farm Project here. If you can't find the answer, send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Are you open to the public?
Our grounds are open to the public, but please refrain from entering the fields or farm buildings before getting permission.
Where is the office? Where is the coop?
Please refer to this map to help you find your way around the farm. The office is closest to the parking lot and the coop is down the PFP farm lane.
What are your hours of operation?
Please refer the the office and farm hours on our contact us page for the current hours. Both the farm and the offices are seasonal. During the winter, the farm is closed and the office personnel are available by phone or appointment.
How do I contact you?
Do you allow dogs?
Dogs are not permitted in fields or in the distribution tent while produce is present. While dogs are allowed on Vassar Farm property, we do have a working farm dog and so we discourage dog owners walking their dogs through the farm.
Can anyone do Pick-Your-Own
Pick-Your-Own is only available for CSA shareholders. Why don't you consider becoming one?
What is CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It’s an alternative, locally-based model of food distribution in which customers (usually members or shareholders) buy a share of the farm at the start of the season, and receive a weekly share of the farm’s bounty. We use this money to buy seeds, equipment, fertilizers, and other things we need for the farming season. By the time crops are ready to harvest, we have sold all of our shares and can focus our energy on growing food.
What is a share?
A share is your weekly allotment of produce as a shareholder. The amount you receive each week depends on whether you are signed up to receive a Whole or a Half share, and can be increased with Pick Your Own crops which are included with your share.
How long does the CSA run?
The full season CSA is 23 weeks long, and runs from the first full week of June through the middle of November. In addition, we also offer the following options:
- a Fall-only season CSA, which is 10 weeks long and runs from September through the middle of November.
- Winter CSA, which is 16 weeks long and runs from December through mid-March. The Winter CSA is an every-other week pick-up for a total of 8 distributions.
- May Share, which is the last 2 weeks of May and includes some of the first spring harvest. Adding May Share to a full season CSA means 25 weeks of produce.
We also partner with a Hudson Valley orchard to provide a Fruit Share (15 weeks July – Nov) which can be added on to an existing CSA share. Learn more about our specialty shares and add-on shares.
How much does a share cost?The cost depends on the type of share you select. You can choose a full-season share (23 weeks June - November) or a fall-only share (10 weeks September - November). You can choose a Whole share (10 units) or a Half share (5 units). You can choose to work (work share members receive a discounted share price), or not. Each of these selections changes the price of your share. To view pricing for your different options, click here to view our sign up form. If you feel you are not able to afford a share, you may qualify for a sponsored share. Please contact us for more info.
How much produce will I receive each week?This depends on what type of share you choose. Whole shares give you 10 units, which comes out to anywhere from 12-20 lbs of food. Half shares give you 5 units, which averages 6-10 lbs of food. Both types of shares include PYO, which can add anywhere from 2-6 items to your share each week. Additionally, we sometimes offer “seconds” quality produce -- for free! Whether you take advantage of all of the extra produce or stick to what’s available at distribution, it’s a great value.
What if I don’t like cabbage? Can I choose what I receive?Yes! Our CSA lets you choose from what is seasonally available. Instead of packing up the same box for everyone, we harvest everything that’s ready on a given week, and offer a market-style distribution. This allows you to choose how you want to “spend” your units. Experiment with new foods, or get more of your favorites! Either way, you won’t have to take home foods you know you don’t like or won’t eat.
What is distribution? Where do I pick up my share?This is where we distribute (and you pick up) your weekly produce! Distribution takes place on the farm at 51 Vassar Farms Lane, just across the parking lot from the Vassar Barns. Distribution happens Tuesdays and Saturdays during the main season CSA (June - November) and every other Saturday for the Winter CSA. Produce is displayed in a market-style set up, and you take whichever items you choose home in your own bags or baskets. From the distribution area, you can easily walk into the fields for PYO crops and to many trail heads on the Vassar Ecological Preserve.
What is work share?Work Share is a way for shareholders to work on the farm for a certain number of hours in exchange for a discounted share price. For a full-season CSA (June through November), a Whole share work share member agrees to work a total of 12 hours on the farm, whereas a Half share work share member agrees to work 6 hours. Work could include helping with the morning harvest, field work, assisting with distribution, or delivering donations to food pantries and soup kitchens. For more details on work share, check out the shareholder handbook or visit our sign up page.
Are you organic?While we are not certified organic, we do follow organic principles. We are Certified Naturally Grown and are proud of that certification. Please ask us any questions you may have about our growing practices.
What is the membership fee about?Part of our organization's mission is to work toward a just and sustainable food system by providing education about food and farming, and improving access to healthy locally-grown food. Your membership fee allows you to be a member of the organization and helps further our mission. Plus you'll, receive newsletters, as well as get free plants and swag at our annual Spring Plant Sale.
When does pick-up (distribution) start and end?
We will confirm our first and last pick-ups with shareholders as they draw near. You can also check for beginning and end dates on our CSA Resources page. In general, summer pick up starts the 1st week of June and ends the last week of August. Fall pick up begins the 1st week September and ends the 1st week November. The full season is 23 weeks long.
What are the hours for picking up the share?
If you have a Tuesday pick-up, the hours are 3:00 to 6:30pm. If you have a Saturday pick-up, the hours are 9:00am to 12:00pm. These hours are firm on both ends—if you cannot make the pick-up because of an emergency, please contact us.
What happens if I miss a share pick up or I want to switch days?
If you know you're going to miss a pick-up, please let us know in advance by filling out this form. Shareholders are allowed to switch their pick-up day up to two times per season, as long as we are given prior notice. If you've already missed your pick-up, your share won't go to waste! We donate much of the produce at the end of distribution to emergency food organizations and resources in our area. To learn more about where donated food goes, visit our Food Justice page.
What is the Early Bird Share and how do I sign up for it?
Our Early Bird Share is great! It's an additional pick-up the week before Thanksgiving that is offered to current shareholders who sign up for the next season. Early Bird sign-up happens from late-September to mid-October, after which Early Bird sign-up is closed and regular sign-up begins.
How does Pick-Your-Own (PYO) work? When can I do PYO?
The PYO component of the share is a great way to get connected to the farm and enjoy everything the farm has to offer. Please see our latest blog post about the subject to get all the info you need about picking hours and tips for a successful and fair harvest. If you have any further questions, or you want to make sure something is still in season, you can always contact us.
How do I sign up for shareholder work hours?
Please always sign up for shifts online! Here's how:
- Click on this link (our signup.com group)
- Click on the orange/red "view" button
- Scroll down to peruse available shifts, or search by date
- Click the green "sign up" button to the right to register for your spot
- Enter the email address associated with your membership and follow instructions
- You will receive a confirmation email. Retain this in case you need to cancel.
I have a conflict. How do I cancel my workshare commitment?
If you need to cancel your work hours, please do so online. To cancel your spot(s):
- Find your confirmation email from SignUp.com
- Click on the link "View/Change My Commitments" at the bottom, then sign into SignUp.com
- Search for the date you need to cancel
- Click on the blue button to the right that says "My Spots"
- Change the number of spots to 0 (instead of 1 or 2 etc)
- To confirm that you have effectively cancelled your spot, look at the date again. The button to the right should be green and should say "Sign Up" instead of "My Spots".
There is no need to follow up via email to confirm your cancellation.
I have a conflict. Can I switch my workshare commitment?
Unfortunately we do not have the ability to handle switches or swaps. If you cannot make your workshare slot, please cancel it and sign up for a different one.
Where do we meet for Work Share and how do I get there?
The farm address is 51 Vassar Farms Lane. Most work share shifts (such as Tuesday/Friday/Saturday morning Harvest & Field Work shifts) meet at the coop, down by the wash station. Please check your individual shift for specific instructions (ie: Green Machines etc).
To get to the coop: Park at the parking lot near the Vassar Barns, and walk down the dirt road such that the parking lot is to your left, the farm/gardens are to your right, and the distro tent is behind you. (If the sports field is to your right and the gardens are to your left, you're on the wrong road.) Walk towards the high tunnels / greenhouses. We will meet at the graveled wash station area just outside the brown building. Look for a white tent with wash tubs & sinks.
Please allow 5 minutes to walk down the farm road from the parking lot to the coop / wash station.
Please note Distribution Assistant, Food Share Delivery, Green Machines and any other non-field work / harvest shifts might have different meeting locations. Check your SignUp.com email for information about your specific shift.
What should I bring?
We work in most weather conditions, including hot, humid, light rain / misting, and chilly weather. Please wear comfortable clothing that can get dirty. We require closed-toe shoes. We highly recommend long pants (you’ll probably be kneeling), hats, sunscreen, light layers, and/or rain gear. Please also bring a water bottle to fill up at the farm. Some people bring knee pads.
What kind of work will I be doing?
Harvest & Field Work shifts are a great chance to work with the farm crew and get your hands dirty! Both include lots of bending, kneeling, stooping, and lifting heavy bins. We may harvest on a field work shift, or weed on a harvest shift, depending on the (notoriously unpredictable) weather and the ever-changing needs of the farm for that day. Please be flexible and ready to go with the flow!
Distribution Assistant shifts include lifting heavy bins, stocking produce, sorting and cleaning. Cleaning garlic and onions generally involves some lifting of heavy bins as well as repeated use of clippers (requiring some hand strength). Other shifts (such as Green Machines) require different types of work. Please read the shift description for specific shift details.
What if I’m late?
Please don’t be late! If you are late, it is more work for the farm team to make sure you are signed in, and to go over the orientation again just for you.
IF you are late, come find us in the fields. IF you are more than 15 minutes late, please plan to stay an extra 15 minutes at the end, or adjust your working hours accordingly. It isn’t fair to the other members for you to receive the same credit for less work.
What if I can’t kneel/bend/lift etc? Is there other work I can do?
Most workshare work IS physical in nature. However, we do usually have some lower-impact projects over the course of the season. If you’re committed to participating in workshare and are looking for something a little less physically taxing, please email shareholderworkhours@farmproject with the subject line “Low Impact” to receive notifications about these types of work opportunities as they arise.
How many hours will I have to work?
Generally, whole shares require 12 hours of work over the season, and half shares require 6 hours of work. You can do this in 2- or 3-hour blocks.
What if there are no more slots left? What if I can’t complete my hours?
We have work share shifts available from June through the end of October, sometimes into early November. The majority of the shifts exist from July through September. In order for everyone to complete their work share hours, nearly all shifts must be full. We highly recommend NOT waiting until the last minute (October) to sign up for shifts.
If you are unable to complete your hours, you will be charged for the unworked hours.
What happens if I don't do the shareholder work hours?
We strongly encourage our shareholders to consider their commitment of time and energy when signing up for a working-share. If you do not complete your hours before the end of the season, you will be billed at the rate of $15 per hour for un-worked hours and you will not be able to sign up for next season until your balance is paid.
Is my online donation secure?
In a word, yes. Your online donation is processed through PayPal in a secure manner. For more information about PayPal's security measures, visit here.
Do you have your 501(c)3 status?
Yes! We've been a 501(c)3 organization since 2004!
Where does my donation go?
When you donate, you can choose what program your donation goes toward. If you do not choose a program, your donation, in the form of a membership, will go toward the organizational operating budget and will help us further our mission as a whole. When choosing a membership level for the CSA, any amount over $25 counts as a general donation to the organization. The first $25 of the membership goes towards admin expenses.
Will I get a letter confirming my donation?
Yes! If you've donated a dollar amount at or above $250.00 and you've provided a mailing address with your donation, you will get a letter confirming the amount of your donation. If you've made a significant in-kind donation and request a confirmation letter, you will receive a letter confirming the item you have donated. It is up to you to assign your donation's value.
How do I sign up for a farm visit?
You can use this form to sign up for a group visit to the farm. If you'd like to know more about what we do with groups during farm visits, please see our Farm Visits page. If you are an individual and would like a structured farm visit, please contact us.
What should I wear to a farm visit?
You will be most comfortable in clothes that can get dirty, and sneakers or boots. Be sure to wear clothing that's appropriate for the weather, which may include raincoats, hats, sweaters, gloves. The weather can change and layers are useful. Chaperones as well as youth should be dressed appropriately as all members of a visiting group will be in the field.
Can you help me with my school garden?
Our Summer Institute: Using Gardens to Teach workshop is designed for educators who need support in using garden learning as part of their curriculum and in finding resources to help maintain or grow their school gardens. Please see our Growing City Seeds page for more information and resources.
What if I want to learn more about gardening?
On or off farm, we'll help you learn! You can attend on of our upcoming workshops, or you can stop by the farm on Wednesdays from 4-6pm and volunteer in our Seed and/or Medication Gardens for a hands-on gardening experience.
How do I become an apprentice/intern?
Farm interns and apprentices are usually hired by the farm team between seasons. We post these openings on the Careers page in the fall, around late October. Education interns are hired through Vassar's Community Fellows program, and through other participating universities.
When do you post apprenticeships/internships?
Our farm apprenticeships and internships are posted in the fall, usually around late October. Keep an eye on the Careers page around then. Education internships are posted through Vassar's Community Fellows program. The education team also accepts interns through other colleges and institutions, if available.
I have a special skill and want to volunteer, what now?
Great! Sometimes we need help on the farm with specific projects. Contact us and let us know that you'd like to help out! We'd be happy to talk and see if you can apply your skills to a project for our organization.
What will I receive as a Poughkeepsie Farm Project CSA sponsored shareholder?
You will receive an average of 5-10 pounds of produce per week, depending on the size share you select.
When and where can I pick up my vegetables?
You may pick up your vegetables at the farm either on Tuesdays between 3:00 pm and 6:30 pm or Saturdays from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm, depending on which pick-up you choose.
Please refer to this map to help you find your way around the farm. The main part of the share is picked up at the distribution tent and pick-your-own is in the fields.
How much will I pay for my vegetables?
A Sponsored Share costs between $2 and $14 per week, depending on what you can afford. You may pay weekly, monthly, or upfront at the beginning of the season. Sponsored Shareholders are encouraged to volunteer and visit the farm; however, the payment for the share is not increased if you cannot do so. You may make your payment when you pick up your vegetables. We accept food stamps/SNAP.
When will I receive my vegetables?
You will receive your vegetables each week beginning in June through early November if you choose a full season share, June through August for a summer share, or September through early November if you choose a fall share.
What size shares are available?
We have two sizes available, a standard share and a small share. A standard share is designed for a small family of four or two vegetarians while a small share is roughly half the size of a standard share, designed for an individual or a family that doesn’t eat a lot of vegetables.
How do I apply for a sponsored share?
Got a suggestion for the FAQs? Contact us and let us know!