FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I know which share size is right for me or my family? What's the difference between share sizes? 

Singles/Couples Share is a small share ideal for a single person or a couple.

Regular Farm Share is our standard size share designed to feed a family of 2-4. For those who want to make the most out of the season with canning, cooking and preserving!

Farm Share Plus is larger than our Regular farm share and intended for a family who eats lots of veggies or is ideal for two families that want to split a share, it is always divisible by two. This is the only share that you can split between two families.

All shares also include weekly access to U-Pick with a wide variety of flowers, herbs, cherry tomatoes and fruit.  U-Pick amounts depend on your share size.

For example, in June 2017, this is what was in each share size:

Singles/Couples
Regular
Share Plus
2 heads lettuce
1 head big bok choy
1 bunch radishes
1 bunch scallions
1 head baby bok choy

3 heads lettuce
1 head big bok choy
2 bunches radishes
1 bunch scallions
2 heads baby bok choy

4 heads lettuce
2 heads big bok choy
2 bunches radishes
2 bunches scallions
2 heads baby bok choy
Your choice of 2 bunches, choose from: 
swiss chard, toscano kale, red russian kale
Your choice of 3 bunches, choose from: 
swiss chard, toscano kale, red russian kale
Your choice of 4 bunches, choose from: 
swiss chard, toscano kale, red russian kale

For example, in August 2017, this is what was in each share size:

Singles/Couples
Regular
Share Plus
Mix and Match up to 7 lbs of the following items:

Summer squash
Cucumbers
Carrots
Baby cabbage
Eggplant
Hot peppers
Sweet peppers
Beets
Fresh onions (limit 2 onions)
Mix and Match up to 12 lbs of the following items:

Summer squash
Cucumbers
Carrots
Baby cabbage
Eggplant
Hot peppers
Sweet peppers
Beets
Fresh onions (limit 3 onions)
Mix and Match up to 14 lbs of the following items:

Summer squash
Cucumbers
Carrots
Baby cabbage
Eggplant
Hot peppers
Sweet peppers
Beets
Fresh onions (limit 4 onions)
In addition:  2 ears of corn
1 watermelon
1 cantaloupe
5 tomatoes
1/2 bag salad mix OR  1 head lettuce
In addition: 4 ears of corn
1 watermelon
3 cantaloupe
7 tomatoes
2/3 bag salad mix OR  1 head lettuce
In addition: 6 ears of corn
2 watermelon
4 cantaloupe
10 tomatoes
1 bag salad mix OR  2 heads lettuce

For example, in October 2017, this is what was in each share size:

Singles/Couples
Regular
Share Plus
Mix and Match up to 7 lbs of the following items:

Carrots
Beets
Potatoes
Hot peppers
Sweet peppers
Parsnips
Leeks
Fennel
Sweet potatoes
Butternut squash
Mix and Match up to 12 lbs of the following items:

Carrots
Beets
Potatoes
Hot peppers
Sweet peppers
Parsnips
Leeks
Fennel
Sweet potatoes
Butternut squash
Mix and Match up to 14 lbs of the following items:

Carrots
Beets
Potatoes
Hot peppers
Sweet peppers
Parsnips
Leeks
Fennel
Sweet potatoes
Butternut squash
In addition:  
1 bunch of kale
1/2 bag of mix and match greens
In addition:  
2 bunches of kale
3/4 bag of mix and match greens
In addition:  
2 bunches of kale
1 bag of mix and match greens


When does the season start and end?

The season usually starts the first full week of June depending on the weather and then goes for 22 weeks, taking us to the end of October or through the first week in November.


What should I bring to pick up my share?

You’ll need reusable bags (or a box, however you find it easiest to get your share home) and if you plan on U-Picking, you’ll need scissors and containers (we sell at cost containers for berries, beans, cherry tomatoes, etc, but feel free to bring your own). In addition, we have a small farm store, if you’d like to purchase anything we do take cards, cash or checks. We are trying to reduce the amount of plastic bags we use on the farm and we need your help. Plastic bags are ONLY intended for items like salad mix that need to be measured by volume. PLEASE do not individually bag items in your share or use plastic bags taken from the barn for U-Pick. If you want to use plastic bags at pick-up, please reuse bags you’ve brought from home. Thank You!


Can I bring my dog?

Yes, but dogs must be on a leash for the safety of your pet and others and are not allowed in the fields, they must stay on farm roads. We have chickens now and they sometimes loose, so be aware of this as well when bringing your dog. Also please always clean up after your dog.


What if I don’t like ____________ (eggplant, zucchini, radishes, etc), will it still be included in my share?

Share distribution is set up to allow for maximum flexibility and choice. Except in the very beginning of the season when we don’t yet have enough variety, pick up always includes a Mix & Match component. This means you have a certain weight allocation, say 10 lbs, and you can select any combination of vegetables to get to that 10 lbs. This means if you don’t like eggplant, you can skip it altogether, or you can try it one week and skip it the next. Designing the share this way maximizes your value because you are not forced to take things you don’t want and won’t use.


What determines what’s in the share each week?

The season largely determines what’s in the share: summer squash in early summer, heirloom tomatoes in mid-late summer, leeks in late-summer and fall. We grow a wide variety of crops suited to the growing season here in New England, but the weather week to week actually determines what's ready for harvest and what will be included in the share. We often don’t know what will be in the share until the first share day of the week or when we get out into the field to harvest the first crops, we try to predict what will be in the share and include a list in the newsletter so you can plan, but it is subject to change. We do grow on flood land - this land is very productive and fertile but has the added risk of flooding during the growing season.  For a more detailed harvest list, see our Harvest Calendar.


Will there be ___________ (watermelons, raspberries, strawberries, brussels sprouts) included in my share?

We can tell you broadly what we have planted for a given season and when we hope things will be ready for harvest, but due to the nature of farming and the flood , we cannot guarantee a certain crop for any given week. Although we do everything we can to avoid crop loss, we do experience crop failures from time to time. Weather and critters sometimes get the best of us and worst case scenario we won’t have celeriac, for example, in a particular year. Again for a more detailed harvest list, see our Harvest Calendar.


Can I purchase extra produce?

You can often purchase extra of certain items. When we have a limited amount of something, like watermelons you will sometimes be able to purchase extra and other times you will not. It depends on the supply, since our priority is to ensure we always have enough for every share member. Feel free to ask whenever you would like more of something and we can tell you whether or not you can buy extra, the answer to the question changes throughout the season. You cannot purchase any extra U-Pick crops.


Are you certified organic?

We are USDA Certified Organic by Baystate Organic Certifiers, a third party certifying agency. We have always grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides and in addition to growing according to organic standards we strive to produce food in the most sustainable way possible.


What does being certified organic mean?

Organic farming is a whole system (or holistic) way of producing food. Organic agriculture seeks to maintain and improve the productivity of the land by encouraging and enhancing natural biological processes. We do everything we can to maintain soil health and build fertility through the use of cover cropping, crop rotation and supplemental application of organically approved amendments and fertilizers. We monitor our crops through regular soil testing and tailor our nutrient management to the specific needs of each field. We only use non-gmo seeds and alternative practices, such as beneficial insects to address pest problems before we use organic materials review institute (OMRI) approved products.


Do you offer a payment plan?

We offer a standard payment, that starts with a deposit in the Fall, a payment in January and for the share to be paid in full by the end of May. We can also arrange custom payment plans on an individual basis. We are flexible. Feel free to call or email us to discuss options.


What if I go away on vacation, can I have a friend or family member pick up my share?

Yes! You can absolutely arrange from someone else to pick up your share if you go out of town. We do ask that you give them as much information as possible, including what to bring, what share size you have and the hours of pick-up. U-Pick is for members only though, so someone picking up for you will not be able to do U-Pick.


Why isn’t the farm open everyday or earlier in the mornings? Can I come and walk around the farm when it isn’t open?

We live on the farm and the fields are our back yard. It is important to us to have time as a family on the farm when our kids can play freely and safely without cars in the parking lot. We appreciate you respecting the farm’s hours of operation and not visiting when the farm is not open. In addition, we use the hours before the farm opens in the morning to do field/tractor work and other farm tasks that would be difficult to perform safely with people in the fields.


Do you accept SNAP?

We are in the process of getting set up to accept SNAP. We hope to be able to accept SNAP benefits for CSA share payments in the 2018 season.


What if I miss a week, can I pick up twice the next week?

No, we generally don’t allow people to make up a missed share pick up by coming two times the following week. You can have someone pick up for you if you are unavailable or out of town. Please keep in mind that U-Pick is non-transferrable to non-members, so if you have someone pick up for you they will not have access to U-Pick.


What if I have questions or need more information?

Check out our newsletter for answers to commonly asked questions, we also post pictures and news on our Facebook page and Instagram, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can always email us at info@mountainviewfarmcsa.com or call us at 413.329.0211. And during the season you can always stop by during distribution hours.


I used to receive the newsletter, but I don’t anymore. How do I sign up for the newsletter?

You can enter your email address on our website to sign up for the newsletter. If you unsubscribed in the past, we can’t sign you up, rather you have to resubscribe through our website. Check your spam folder if you think you are subscribed, but don’t receive the newsletter.

We encourage everyone to check out the newsletter every week. We offer lots of information and go in depth on many of the topics discussed here. We also offer recipes, storage tips and give updates on things happening on the farm. It’s the best place to get farm news first!



U-Pick FAQ

Here are a few common U-Pick questions, for answers to more questions, picking tips, information on flowers and U-Pick rules, see our U-Pick Handbook.


What is U-Pick?

In addition to the produce we harvest and have available for distribution in the barn every week, members also have access to the U-Pick fields where we have flowers, cherry tomatoes, peas, beans, dill, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, sage, okra, parsley and so much more! We post what is available each week on the boards at the U-Pick kiosk near the entrance to the field. U-Pick allows you the experience of harvesting in our beautiful home field. U-Pick amounts are based on your share size.


What do I need to U-Pick?

Please bring your own clippers/scissors and containers to harvest your U-Pick crops. Strong clippers or scissors are recommended for flowers, as some have thick stems like sunflowers. Reusable containers are the best way to harvest and keep your U-Pick items, but if you forget, we have quarts/pints/half pints available for purchase at cost in the barn. PLEASE do not use plastic bags taken from the barn for U-Pick. We are trying to reduce the amount of plastic bags we use on the farm and they are only intended for items like salad mix that need to be measured by volume.


What is available throughout the season?

U-Pick availability changes from week to week throughout the season and it is important to always check the board before U-Picking. We have peas in the spring, strawberries in late June, a variety of herbs starting in the summer through the late fall, cherry tomatoes in the summer, raspberries in the fall and flowers throughout the season. For a more detailed harvest list, check out our Harvest Calendar.


How much U-Pick do I get?

In late June 2017, this is what was available for U-Pick:

Singles/Couples
Regular
Share Plus...if you split a Share Plus, please also split U-Pick amounts
1 small bouquet of early flowers
1 small bunch of cilantro
1 small bunch of dill
1/2 pint of strawberries
1/2 pint of peas
1 medium bouquet of early flowers
1 medium bunch of cilantro
1 medium bunch of dill
1 pint of strawberries
1 pint of peas
1 large bouquet of early flowers
1 large bunch of cilantro
1 large bunch of dill
1 pint of strawberries
1 pint of peas

In August 2017, this is what was available for U-Pick:

Singles/Couples
Regular
Share Plus…if you split a Share Plus, please also split U-Pick amounts
1 small bouquet of flowers
1 handful total of: thyme, sage, oregano and rosemary
1 small bunch of basil
1 small bunch of parsley
Up to 7 okra
1 pint of tomatillos
1/2 pint of ground cherries
2 pints cherry tomatoes
Up to 3 plum tomatoes
1 medium bouquet of flowers
1 handful of each: thyme, sage, oregano and rosemary
Take what you can use of basil
1 medium bunch of parsley
Up to 10 okra
1 pint of tomatillos
1/2 pint of ground cherries
3 pints cherry tomatoes
Up to 5 plum tomatoes
1 large bouquet of flowers
2 handful of each: thyme, sage, oregano and rosemary
Take what you can use of basil
1 large bunch of parsley
Up to 14 okra
2 pint of tomatillos
1 pint of ground cherries
4 pints cherry tomatoes
Up to 6 plum tomatoes

In mid-late September 2017, this is what was available for U-Pick:

Singles/Couples
Regular
Share Plus...if you split a Share Plus, please also split U-Pick amounts
1 small bouquet of flowers
1 small bunch, your choice: thyme, sage or oregano
1 small bunch of rosemary
1 small bunch of parsley
Up to 5 plum tomatoes
1/2 pint of raspberries
1 medium bouquet of flowers
Take what you can use of: thyme, sage, oregano
1 medium bunch of rosemary
1 medium bunch of parsley
Up to 8 plum tomatoes
1 pint of raspberries
1 large bouquet of flowers
Take what you can use of: thyme, sage, oregano
1 large bunch of rosemary
1 large bunch of parsley
Up to 10 plum tomatoes
1 pint of raspberries


Can you explain the U-Pick boards?

We list rules, hours, amounts and harvest information on the U-Pick boards. Please remember that if something is not on the list, that means that it is unavailable to everyone, and you may not harvest it. This applies even if you see a few ripe berries when walking in the field. U-Pick is run on the honor system and the experience depends on everyone following the rules and amounts. There will be one of the following three instructions for U-Pick:

—“Take a specific amount”: Often we use our berry containers as a measurement for quantifying the U-Pick. For example, if we say one quart of green beans, that means you fill one quart container with green beans. Remember that you don’t “have” to take it all if you can’t use it, but please never take more than your share. Remember: If you have a Share Plus that you split, this amount must also be split, so in this case you and your share partner would each get 1 pint of green beans. It is important that you use the form of measurement specified to ensure you are taking the correct amount. We try very hard to ensure U-Pick is fair and everyone gets the amount for their share size. We also use “bunches” as a measurement and will sometimes have examples to demonstrate sizes, but often we will leave the interpretation of a “small bunch” up to you, use your best judgment and always ask if you are unsure.

—“Pick a few”: If the u-pick board says “pick a few,” that means there is not enough for everyone to take a given amount, but there is something, just enough for a taste! Occasionally we use this designation to avoid letting something go by and rot in the field. In these situations we ask you and your kids pick what you want to eat while in the field, but not harvest any to take home.

--“Take what you can use”: This means that we have an abundance of a particular item, and we want you to take what you and your immediate family can use. This is a good opportunity to preserve fresh herbs or can tomatoes for the winter! It’s important to follow the seasons and availability when preserving: for example early in a crop’s availability is not the time to preserve it, rather wait until the season for basil, for example, is almost over, that’s when we will allow you to pick an abundance for preserving.

Common amounts:
2 half pints = 1 pint        2 pints = 1 quart


How do I find U-Pick crops in the field?

We mark rows open for U-Picking with labeled yellow stakes. If a row is not marked with a stake it means it is not open! If you walk down the center road of the farm, just past the U-Pick kiosk to the right, you will see stakes on either side of the road indicating what’s what and what’s open for picking.


Can children U-Pick?

Yes, children can U-Pick! This is one of the important and valuable activities of the farm. Keep in mind, children should be supervised at all time during their visit to the farm.


How are you supposed to pick certain crops?

Always check the U-Pick boards for U-Pick information. We regularly include tips and instructions for harvesting U-Pick crops. We also have a U-Pick Handbook available on our website and in the barn with lots more information!


If I get my share on a weekday, can I come back and U-Pick on a weekend day?

Yes! We understand schedules can be tight and so we welcome you to pick up your share on one day and come back to the farm when you have more time to do U-Pick. Please note, however, that weekends are very busy at the farm. Because we are flexible with the days you can come for pick-up or to U-Pick, we tend to have hours and days that are very busy. We hope that the flexibility of being able to come at your convenience offsets the negative of it sometimes being busy.


What’s up with the copper on the tomatoes?!

When necessary and to ensure a long season of these crops, we spray our tomato plants and fruit with an organic copper fungicide to protect against disease. Caution should be used when picking and eating the fruit-- even though this product is approved for organic use, fruit should be washed before it is eaten. The product we are currently using requires a 48 hour non - entry period. Generally, we will spray Monday or Tuesday so that the fields will be ready when U-Pick opens on Thursday. Fields may also be closed if it’s raining or rained and the foliage is still wet since disease if spread more easily during these times, so please read the signs and ask us if you have any questions!


Please Note: U-pick is based on the honor system. In order for this to work we need your cooperation. Please always be respectful of U-Pick amounts as there are many members and remember that the U-Pick experience depends on everyone following the rules and amounts.


A note about safety:  For everyone’s safety at the farm we have a few guidelines. We ask that you stay off equipment and keep kids from playing on or around farm vehicles, tractors and implements. It’s also important to keep children out of the shop, away from maintenance areas, out of washing areas and out of the parking lot. Keep an eye on children when walking on farm roads as we often do drive tractors on these roads when we are open. We love having kids on the farm and want them to be safe. We also ask that you stay out of fields that are not open and be aware that we do use electric fencing here on the farm.

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