CSA Program

Introduction: The UBC Farm CSA program provides members of the UBC campus & broader community with a weekly box of fresh, healthy, local, organic produce grown at the UBC Farm.

Start Date & Duration: The 2017 season starts on Saturday, June 17 & Tuesday, June 20. The program runs for 20 weeks.

Cost: Membership in our CSA is $550.

Pick-up Days/Times: Shares are picked up at the UBC Farm on Tuesdays 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm or Saturdays 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. Members register & commit to one pick-up day throughout the entire season.

Add-ons: Members can purchase add-ons for an additional charge. Favorite add-ons include pasture-raised eggs, seasonal flower bouquets, berry flats, bulk storage crops & additional produce.

Registration: Interested in becoming a CSA member for the 2018 season? Click here to subscribe to our waitlist for 2018 (Note: this link will take you away from the UBC Farm website and to a third party website). We will notify you in early 2017 when registration opens if we can offer you a spot.

February 2017 Registration opens
Saturday, May 27, 2017 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, Saturday pick-up orientation potluck
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Tuesday pick-up orientation potluck
Saturday, June 17, 2017 10:00 am to 12:30 pm, first Saturday pick-up (subject to change)
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm, first Tuesday pick-up (subject to change)
Saturday early to mid-August (TBD) 10:00 am to 1:30 pm, CSA Potato Harvest & Potluck Party
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, CSA end-of-season potluck celebration (subject to change)
Saturday, October 28, 2017
10:00 am to 12:30 pm, last Saturday pick-up (subject to change)
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm, last Tuesday pick-up (subject to change)

What is a CSA program?CSA 162

CSA is an acronym for Community Supported Agriculture. CSAs connect farmers & consumers in a partnership creating an alternative, locally-based economic model of agriculture & food distribution. In such a partnership CSA members buy a share in the farm at the beginning of the season & then receive a weekly box of produce throughout the growing season. CSAs help farmers by providing income early in the season when startup costs are high, & by guaranteeing a market for the farmer’s produce. In return, members receive a regular supply of fresh, nutritious produce grown in an ecologically sustainable way. Members are also able to put a place & a face to their food by connecting to both the farm & farmer.

Access USDA’s database of publications related to Communtiy Supported Agriculture, including surveys & statistics on the economic benefits of such programs.

What is unique about UBC Farm’s CSA program?

The CSA program is an agricultural marketing & distribution initiative that is part of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems within the UBC Faculty of Land & Food Systems. While we strive to provide professional quality services to our CSA members, the ultimate goal of the program is educational. The CSA program provides experiential learning opportunities for both students & volunteers, & all financial proceeds go towards the operation of the farm. More than 2,500 students each year directly benefit from this unique learning environment.

What are the benefit of being a CSA member?

  • Fresh, healthy, local, organic produce.
  • Overall box savings compared to the retail cost at our markets.
  • Knowing the detailed face of your food: where it is grown, how it is grown, who is growing it.
  • Experiencing the joys of eating with the seasons.
  • Eating more sustainably by eating organic produce, by eating in season, & by reducing your food miles.
  • Priority with limited items such as eggs & seasonal specialty items through pre-ordered add-ons.
  • CSA potlucks & volunteer opportunities.
  • Increasing your food literacy by receiving unique produce items that you may find unfamiliar.
  • A weekly e-mail containing field up-dates & recipes for both staple & unique items.
  • Involvement in an organization at the leading edge of food security & sustainability.


Who can participate?

veggiebinThe CSA program is open to UBC students, faculty, staff, & to the general public. Part of our mission is to provide as much produce as possible to the UBC community. However, we strongly encourage all individuals to apply even if you are not directly associated with the UBC community.

In general, you will probably enjoy a CSA membership with us if you are not picky about what produce you receive, are happy with receiving primarily vegetables (minimal fruit), are open to trying new things, are comfortable communicating via e-mail, are able to pick up the shares during the allotted timeframes, & are not planning to be away for significant periods over the CSA season. Otherwise you might prefer to shop at our Tuesday on-site market, our Wednesday on-campus market, &/or our Saturday on-site market instead.

How long is the CSA season?

The 2017 program starts on Saturday, June 17 & Tuesday, June 20. The program runs for 20 weeks & ends on Saturday, October 28 & Tuesday, October 31. However, the start & end dates may vary by one or two weeks due to seasonal variations. Regardless of the start date, the program will run for 20 weeks.

Depending on the growing season, there may be the optional possibility of extending your share for several additional weeks in the fall. There is a cost associated with extending your share and is dependent on the amount of produce still available & the number of extension weeks.

How much does it cost & how do I pay?

Membership in the CSA is $550. This equates to a $27.50 value per week over a 20 week season.

Online debit or credit card payment for the CSA Program is due at the time of registration. The payment is 80% refundable through April 30, 2017 & non-refundable thereafter.

When & how do I pick up my share?

Members can pick up their CSA shares at the UBC Farm on Tuesdays 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm or on Saturdays 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. During registration members commit to one pick-up day throughout the entire season.

At each pick-up members build their own box with the produce set out on tables based on the weekly share list. Members need to bring their own bags/baskets/containers to bring their produce home. Members will have the opportunity to interact with both farm staff & with each other during this time. Members will also have the opportunity to purchase add-ons at the concurrent Tuesday or Saturday markets.

What if I cannot pick up my share?

We encourage you to pick up your share during the allotted pick-up window. If you have a scheduling conflict & cannot pick up your share during the given timeframe, we encourage you to have someone pick-up your share to either save for you or use for themselves. Unfortunately we cannot save your share for pick up at another time. If your share is not picked up during the allotted window the produce will be redistributed to avoid waste.

What is in a weekly share?

A weekly share consists of $27.50 worth of produce. Near the beginning of the season your share may contain less than $27.50 worth of produce because of produce limitations early in the growing season. However, share values will be higher most weeks such that over the entire season the average value is above the paid-for retail value. We price the contents via the same prices we use at our markets. Beyond the monetary value, your share consists of 5 to 8 items per week, enough produce for two people who eat a lot of vegetables. The share also consists of a weekly email newsletter with field updates, announcements, & recipes.

What if I don't like everything?

We encourage you to enjoy all the produce in your weekly box, even if it is not your favorite. Some things do take time to love. You may find yourself learning to love what you previously though unlovable. However, we do have a swap box available to trade out one of your not so favorite items for something you might prefer instead.

Can I purchase add-ons?

There are three ways to purchase add-ons. 1) Members can place an standing order at the beginning of the season for items available the entire season. 2) Members can place specific orders for seasonal specialty & bulk items communicated through the CSA newsletter. 3) Members can simply purchase add-ons at the Tuesday or Saturday markets while picking up the CSA share. All add-on items need to be paid for at the time of pick-up. We accept cash, debit or credit cards for add-on payments.

While add-ons are subject to availability, they are always filled on a first come first serve basis. Thus pre-ordered add-ons are more likely to be served for limited items. Assuming availability, members are still charged for pre-ordered add-ons even if they do not pick up their shares. Similar to your shares, if your pre-ordered add-ons are not picked up they will be redistributed to avoid waste.

Favorite add-ons include pasture-raised eggs, seasonal flower bouquets, berry flats, bulk storage crops & additional produce. Egg add-ons are only offered every other week due to quantity limitations.

Given your interest in the UBC Farm, we assume you know the health & ecological benefits of in-season, local, organic produce & eggs. However, the same benefits are also true for in-season, local, organic flowers.

What is the seasonal availability of produce?

All Season Items Spring Specialties Summer Specialties Fall Specialties
Eggs Garlic Scapes Annual Herbs Apples
Flower bouquets Rhubarb Beans Beets
Arugula Snap Peas Beets Carrots
Collards Snow Peas Blueberries Daikon Radishes
Kale Strawberries Carrots Fennel Bulb
Lettuce Heads Cucumbers Leeks
Mizuna Fresh Garlic Pac Choi
Mustard Greens Fresh Onions Parsnips
Perennial Herbs New Potatoes Potatoes
Radishes Peppers Pumpkins
Salad Mix Tomatoes Storage Garlic
Spinach Zucchini Turnips
Swiss Chard

Are there different share sizes?

We currently do not offer different share sizes. We recommend finding a friend to split a share if you are not interested in a full share. We also limit shares to one per household in order to provide more household access to UBC Farm produce. Members wanting additional produce can always purchase add-ons at the Tuesday & Saturday markets.