Short answer, sort of. Our values are more aligned with Community Supported Agriculture.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It’s a concept that originated in the 80’s as a way for a community to support a farmer at the beginning of the season (when the expenses and risk are high, but sales are low). In return for their support (or loan/subscription to the farm) each member of a CSA receives a share of the harvest throughout the season.
We find CSA to be a bit cumbersome to explain, especially for the uninitiated. It’s much easier to explain a subscription-based membership.
Our mission is to build community and awareness about social justice and ecological conservation by bringing people closer to where their food comes from. In this way (we hope!) our monthly membership is much more than a meat delivery service but rather a community of members who care for the health of the earth and the well-being of the farmers who grow their food.
Credit cards will be charged as soon as you submit your membership registration.
Checks will be deposited within 5 business days of receiving them in the mail.
Our newsletter with order form goes out the first and third week of the month. You should receive the newsletter following your membership registration.
For example, if you sign up the second week of May 2021, you should receive the newsletter with order form on the third week of May. Your first distribution will be on the fourth week of May.
As an annual member, your membership year will end the following April 2022.
Quarterly and monthly payment plans are intended to provide predictable income for us, the farmers, as well as flexible and intermittent payment for members. If you think that you will need to pause your subscription on a regular basis, please consider joining our membership on the “occasional” payment plan.
You will still receive the newsletter with order form twice a month, but you only order on occasion (delivery charges apply).
Members who have signed up for a quarterly or monthly subscription can request to pause or cancel their subscription at any time. Simply email us at email@example.com. Your will only be charged for orders you have placed and/or received.
You will continue to receive our newsletters with order form unless you unsubscribe.
Email us to request restarting your subscription when you are ready.
Short answer, yes.
There are three options:
- We can try to match you up with a buddy–someone you see regularly, or another member who lives close to you inside of the free delivery zone.
- We will deliver to your home for a $10 fee
- You can pick up at our farm in Cedar Grove for free.
No problem! The plans that we advertise are $50 (City Slicker), $100 (Homesteader), and $200 (Farm Family).
If, for example, you want to sign up for a plan that is $150, you simply need to sign up for both the $50 (City Slicker) and a $100 (Homesteader).
Feel free to mix and match any of the plans to arrive at the value you think best fits your household.
We will allow members to skip a month if they become overwhelmed with meat for some reason. For example, one of our members was bed-ridden with an illness for over a month and couldn’t eat as much meat as she normally does.
In these cases, we will allow folks to skip a month (without stalling their subscription payments) and add it to the end of their membership year.
For example, if your membership year is slated to end in January 2022, your monthly payments would stop, but instead of January, you would receive the last distribution in February 2022.
You could do that, but….
This whole arrangement is in good faith, and remember, the meat membership is intended to help us plan.
We base our production and future inventory according to the plans that folks have signed up for. Therefore, please think about your household’s meat consumption and try not to make a habit out of ordering A LOT of add-ons to your order each month. If every member took that approach, our inventory would fluctuate too much.
We will work with you to make this happen. To date, we’ve only had folks ask to increase the value of their membership plan.
To do this, we simply add a prorated subscription to their existing plan so that both plans end at the same time.
For example, if you signed up for a $100 Homesteader plan and two months into your membership year you decided that you wanted to add $50 worth of meat every month, we would simply add a $50 City Slicker subscription to your existing Homesteader subscription and set the renewal date for 9 months instead of 12 months.
In 2021, we are launching a farm stand in partnership with Botanist & Barrel and Nourishing Acres, less than a mile down the road from us, at Botanist & Barrel.
Subscribe to our newsletter for more details.
Order and Distribution Process
Check out this little video where I explain the process of placing an order.
We send out the order form in our newsletter on the first and third full week of every month. The form will be disabled until we send it with the newsletter because we want everyone to order from the form that has our most current availability.
Members have about 3-5 days to place an order at which time we start assembling everything and preparing for distribution.
In addition to email, we also send a friendly nudge to those we haven’t heard from, so don’t worry: you shouldn’t miss the boat on placing an order.
We’ve been told by the folks on the tech end of our order forms and payment processing platform that our forms are more secure when they require a password for access.
We will give members the password during the onboarding process (for new sign-ups) and in our monthly newsletter (for order form).
Here are our distribution dates for 2021.
Chapel Hill/ Carrboro/ Hillsborough
Second and Fourth Tuesday (of a full week) of every month*:
*except for Thanksgiving week
5/11, 5/25, 6/8, 6/22, 7/13, 7/27, 8/10, 8/24, 9/7, 9/21, 10/12, 10/26, 11/9, 11/22*, 12/14, 12/28
Second and Fourth Thursday (of a full week) of every month*
*except for Thanksgiving week
5/13, 5/27, 6/10, 6/24, 7/15, 7/29, 8/12, 8/26, 9/9, 9/23, 10/14, 10/28, 11/11, 11/23*, 12/16, 12/30
Second and Fourth Friday (of a full week) of every month*
*except for Thanksgiving week and New Year’s Eve
5/14, 5/28, 6/11, 6/25, 7/16, 7/30, 8/13, 8/27, 9/10, 9/24, 10/15, 10/29, 11/12, 11/24*, 12/17, 12/30*
We use an app called Routific which helps us optimize our delivery route and communicate with members. You will receive three text messages on distribution day.
1.) We send the first message in the morning to remind folks that its their distribution day and to please leave a cooler out for us.
2.) You will receive the second message approximately 30 minutes before your order is delivered.
3.) Your final message will be automatically generated when we complete your delivery.
No problem! There are several options:
- Ask a neighbor or house sitter to pick up your order and put it in the freezer for you
- Double up your order the following month (i.e. if you signed up for a $50 plan, you would place a $100 order the following month and leave us a note on the form to remind us)
- Pick up your order at our farm in Cedar Grove on another day
Short answer, no.
Because many cuts of meat have variable weights, our order form is designed to calculate the average weight of each cut. Therefore, the total value of your order is an estimate: we won’t know the exact value until we pack your order and add up the exact weights.
When the actual value of your order is less than the estimated value (i.e. your plan is $200, but the actual weights only add up to $175) we will pack some extra items in with your order to arrive at the value of your membership plan.
When the actual value of your order is more than the estimated value (i.e. your plan is $200, but the actual weights add up to $210) we give you three options.
- Preferred Option: Keep a tab for any amount that the order has gone over the value of my plan and send me a bill once a quarter for the difference (so long as it is not 20% more than the value of my plan.) Example: November exact weight total = $109, and your plan is $100. We will add $9 to your tab. If your November total =$92 we will add $8 more of something you have ordered to get closer to $100.
- Add-On Option: I have intentionally ordered extra this month so please keep a tab even if the total is over 20% of the total.
- Standard Option: I would like for my monthly order to stay within the monthly amount that I signed up for even if that means taking an item or two off of my order.
We believe that it is possible for everyone to eat better meat, and we’ve worked hard to remove as many hurdles to make that possible. Let’s face it, not everyone can wake up early on a Saturday morning to make it to a farmer’s market, or fight through rush hour traffic to make it to a pick-up site, or lay out a large amount of cash all at once.
Here’s where we refuse to comprise: price and commitment.
Price: We have priced everything on our order form such that the farmers can make a decent living doing the hard work of raising happy animals. Raising animals on pasture requires a lot of work and a unique set of skills: moving fences, managing nutrition, keeping animals happy and healthy in inclimate weather and so much more.
If you’re interested in learning more about the true cost of meat. Check out these references.
Breaking Down the Costs of Pastured Poultry, Center for Environmental Farming Systems
Commitment: Agriculture, particularly animal agriculture, requires a significant upfront investment. All of the infrastructure, materials, feed, animals, and labor has to be paid for before there is a pack of pork chops to deliver.
A year-long commitment from our members makes farm planning and liquidity (or cash flow) so much better for us. This is why we ask all of our members to sign a pledge that they’ll stick it out for at least a year (and we hope for a lifetime!)
The word organic is pretty loaded these days. Most folks use it as short-hand for anything other than conventional feedlots
Certified Organic is an official USDA designation, and only those who follow the regulatory guidelines and are regularly inspected can claim to be Certified Organic. We are not a part of this program and therefore we cannot claim to be Certified Organic.
That said, we believe that our animal husbandry practices go well beyond what is required to be Certified Organic. Our animals have 24/7 access to woodland and pasture forage from the time they are old enough to withstand the outdoor elements (chicks 3 weeks; turkeys 5 weeks; pigs 8 weeks).
We let our animals graze and forage for as much of their nutrition as they can in our pasture and woodland areas, and we supplement the rest with non-GMO feed from a local mill, whey from Boxcarr Cheese, and waste fruit and vegetable from chemical-free neighboring farms.
Here are a couple of resources from NC Choices to help you understand what labels mean.