Q. How much does it cost?
A. Please see our 2018 subscription schedule here. There is a 3% discount for a double share and 5% discount for a triple. Discounts for employer/group subscriptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Q. How do I sign up?
- Once sign ups open for the season, follow the sign up instructions here. Step 1 prompts you to fill out an application form. After you submit this form, within 1 business day we will email you with a link to Step 2. Step 2 prompts you to enter your credit or debit card number, and your card will be automatically billed on each Tuesday of the 20 weeks of the program.
Q. Can I pick and choose which weeks I participate or opt out of the program if I decide I can’t afford it or no longer wish to participate?
A. No. At this time, we ask that you commit to the full 20 weeks of the program. We reserve the right to consider cancellations on a case-by-case basis at our discretion, and to assess a CANCELLATION CHARGE equal to your one week’s subscription fee. Please be sure you understand the program and are ready to try it out for the entire season, much like a CSA.
Q. Is there flexibility of what meal ingredients I receive each week?
A. Not at this time. This program is in its first official launch year and we simply do not have the capacity to plan and grow meals that will ultimately not be used by customers. However, please realize that in the end, we are simply providing you with meat, produce, and a suggested recipe. If you do not like the recipe suggestion we have given, you may opt to turn the ingredients into whatever you wish – you are limited only by your creativity!
Q. How long will the meals take to cook?
- The meals are designed to take 30 minutes or less to prepare, by a proficient home cook. If you are a novice or intermediate level cook, or have significant distractions while cooking, please allow for more time. We are doing our best to design meals that can be prepared relatively quickly to help families get dinner on the table, but this must be balanced against the reality that scratch cooking of whole foods takes time; you must be willing and able to invest some time. Schedule it in and enjoy it – it’s time to connect with your family! If you get a partner or the kids in on it, and divvy up vegetable chopping or other prep steps, that can help get the meal out on time too. Know that the program is designed to teach you cooking methods and terms in context; as you learn these techniques and terminology, your preparation times will improve. Make a game of beating your last time and have fun with it!
Q. Will my kit come with pre-chopped, pre-marinated, or otherwise prepared ingredients?
A. No. This is a kit of whole foods – produce, meat, and maybe an occasional dairy item – that came out of the ground or from the animal the way nature intended. We do not process your ingredients, that’s part of the fun of cooking so we leave that to you! What we try to do is eliminate as many of the other obstacles to cooking as possible – sourcing quality organic local ingredients, designing a menu and attendant recipes, screening for taste, ease, and nutrition, and then getting the ingredients to your doorstep. Your kit will contain approximately the right amount to create your 2 recipes, sometimes with a bit leftover, sometimes with none leftover. But the ingredients will not be prepared, cut, marinated, or otherwise processed when they arrive.
Q. What type of meals will I receive the main ingredients for each week? Can I see some examples of the types of recipes I’ll be getting?
A. Yes! The meals you will get each week are designed around 3 factors: Deliciousness (#1!), Nutritiousness (made from whole, unprocessed, organic foods), and Ease/Efficiency (designed to be made in 30 minutes or less by a proficient cook.) Please check out the Gallery of Menu Photos to see some of the pictures of last year’s finished meals. Please check out the Example Kits Page to see some pictures of example kits and their recipes. We also anticipate having the draft menu for each month posted in the “Recipe” folder on the Cooking Page about a week before that month arrives.
Q. My family is vegetarian (or pescetarian, or meat-lovers, etc.) Can I choose an all-veggie, all meat, fish option, etc.?
A. This year (2018) we are offering a vegetarian option, and an omnivore option. The vegetarian option is all plant based, and the omnivore option is half plant-based and half meat-based meals, with an occasional fish meal. There are no other dietary restrictions we are able to accommodate at this time.
Q. I have a vacation planned for one of the delivery weeks this summer. How do you guys handle that?
A. If you are going on vacation during the program duration,WITH AT LEAST 2 WEEKS ADVANCE NOTICE, you have several options:
- You may double up the week after you get back (preferred)
- You may gift your share to a family member or friend to pick up that week
- You may donate your share to the food pantry
Without at least 2 weeks advance notice, we are not able to accommodate requests to change the delivery or pickup schedule; we reserve the right to donate your share to the food pantry. WE CANNOT REFUND YOU FOR ANY WEEK OF THE PROGRAM.
Q. Where does the produce come from? The meat?
A. The produce and any eggs come from 2 main suppliers: Food Joy’s internal farm, South Auburn Organic Farm in Auburn, and Little Ridge Farm, in Lisbon Falls, both certified organic by MOFGA. However, we also buy in other organic and non-organic produce or dairy items from approximately 10 other farms in Androscoggin, Cumberland, and Sagadahoc counties. We notate all sourcing and certification info on the “What’s in the Kit?” document included in your kit each week. We never buy in anything from out of state. All of our meat comes from about 10 Maine supplier farms for Farmer’s Gate Market in Wales, an aggregator and butcher of the best sustainably grown meat in the state of Maine.
Q. I would like more than 2 meals per week. Why is the only option 2?
A. For now, we are operating the program using the feedback we consistently received over 3 years of running our more traditional CSA: That there was too much produce to be able to use it all in a week, forcing customers to either throw some away, or cook from scratch 7 nights a week. We believe our 2 meal per week option is more realistic for most families, allowing you to also shop farmers markets, grocery stores, enjoy occasional eating out/takeout – or have that one lazy night where you just eat Raisin Bran!
Q. Can I just put my cooler out on delivery day and leave it inside the rest of the time?
- Preferably not; we discourage doing so unless you have a reminder mechanism built into your calendar or phone to put the cooler out the night before. If the cooler is not out, or not out in time for our delivery, we cannot deliver your kit as there are perishables inside which can go bad and cause food safety concerns. If your kit is not delivered due to the cooler not being out, you will need to pick your kit up yourself at the farm.