Frequently Asked Questions About Our CSA
What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Joining a CSA connects mindful "eaters" with local farmers through a reciprocal relationship. Participants purchase a "farm share" (also called a membership or subscription) early in the season. Members receive a wide variety of produce throughout the growing season AND farmers get paid fair prices for growing sustainable food for a local market. It's a win-win.
Collins Family Orchards offers an "all fruit" CSA, its easy just open the box and enjoy!
Do I need to commit to the entire season?
We kindly ask participants commit to the entire season. To offer some flexibility, we allow our CSA members to place up to two temporary "holds" on their subscription at no charge. You can opt our of the CSA and receive a refund if you are unhappy with your experience.
What if I am not home the day my CSA order is delivered?
No problem! All orders are packed in a cardboard box and our delivery team will leave your order on your doorstep (or in nearby shade), and pick up your empty box. If you are on vacation, you may put your account on hold or ask a friend to pick it up from your pick-up location.
What can I expect to find in my CSA box?
Our selection of fruit changes with the seasons so you can expect a lot of variety. Each box will be filled with as many different flavors as the season allows.
We begin our Summer CSA season with some of our most popular items: Cherries and Peaches! As summer progresses, expect to find many types of stone fruits: doughnut peaches, nectarines, white peaches, apricots, and hybrid fruits such as pluots and apriums (half plum/half apricot.) Then as the summer winds down, we get into numerous varieties of apples, pears, Asian pears, and plums.
Our Fall CSA features a mixture of apples (Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Jona Gold, Fuji, and more), pears (Bosc, Packham, Asian, Bartlett), and plums.
Why is there a $5 weekly home delivery charge?
The $5 weekly home delivery charge covers our delivery costs. (Don't forget: Pick-Up Sites are not charged a delivery fee.) To help make home delivery an affordable option, we keep the price of our fruit low, at an average of only $2.50 per pound.
Can I pick up my CSA share at a Farmers Market? How does this work?
Yes! We offer weekly pick-ups at the year-round markets: Ballard, Broadway, or West Seattle as well as our summer markets. Picking up at the farmers market is easy. You will receive a membership card when you pick up your first box which you will be asked to show to our staff when picking up at any of our markets. We will have an empty box for you on your first pick up that you can reuse throughout the season. You can place this box on the scale and fill it with any fruit you'd like (with the exception of cherries which we limit to 2 lbs. for a small box, 4 lbs. for a medium box, and 6 lbs. for a large box) up to the weight limit for your box (6 lbs. for a small, 10 lbs. for a medium, and 15 lbs. for a large). You're also welcome to add additional fruit to your box at the discounted CSA price!
Can I customize my CSA?
While we previously allowed custom CSA boxes, we found that, logistically, it was extremely difficult and expensive to customize boxes. We also found that our customers prefer our "Farmers Choice" option as you are guaranteed to receive the freshest and best quality fruit. However, if you are allergic to or simply do not like a particular fruit, you can always e-mail our CSA manager, Isabel, to have certain fruits removed from your box. Moreover, you can add additional fruit to your delivery by placing an order through our "Farm Store" when you are logged in to your Farmigo account.
What is a Pick-Up Site? How can I host one? Did someone say FREE FRUIT?
A Pick-Up Site can be a house, business, office, daycare center, yoga studio — almost any place with a Seattle zip code. As a Site Host, you are the contact person; you are responsible for recruiting CSA members, receiving the delivery, and dispersing each order to its correct owner.
To thank you for your time coordinating a Pick-Up Site, Collins Family Orchards will reward you with fruit! We'll give you:
- 15% off if you have 5 members or more pick up at your site,
- 30% off if you have 7 members or more,
- 50% off if you have 10 members or more,
- 70% if you have 12 members, or
- Free if you have 15 members or more.
Please note: Discounts will be distributed once sign ups have closed.
Pick-Up Sites are listed in our directory with an approximate address to indicate a neighborhood. We never show the address of a private residence until a member signs up to that specific Pick-Up Site. Lastly, Pick-Up Sites choose the number of deliveries they will accept, and whether they are open to all members, or only friends and family. More details can be found on our Pick-Up Site Host Information page.
If you're interested in hosting a Pick-Up Site, please contact the CSA Manager, Isabel, via email or by phone at 206-402-1300.
Is the fruit organic? What are your growing methods?
At Collins Family Orchards, we pride ourselves on quality fruit and sustainable practices. We have been organically growing since 1905, though we are not certified organic. We hope to be able to afford the certification in the future, but, we simply have not had the time or finances to get certified. Throughout our orchards, we use sustainable and natural farming practices that include organic fertilizers, seaweed, and fish oil. For pest control, we use organic Intrust, which works by mating disruption. Our livelihood and family has been connected with this orchard and this land for over 100 years; we take our responsibilities as land stewards seriously.
We grow the highest quality fruit in our family-run orchards: we never sacrifice quality for quantity, we pick fruit only when it's ripe, and we continuously trial new varieties.
Where is Collins Family Orchards Located?
We are in Selah, just north of Yakima.
Where else can I find your Fruit?
We sell year-round at the Ballard, West Seattle, and Broadway Farmers Markets, and seasonally at over a dozen farmers markets in Seattle and surrounding areas. We also sell our fruit at the Central Co-op and our fruit can be found on the menus at a variety of restaurants in the greater Seattle area.