Frequently Asked Questions
The mission of Tehachapi CSA is to source sustainably grown, local, highly nutritious foods which benefit and enrich the local community by connecting agricultural producers with community.
What is Tehachapi CSA?
We are a direct to consumer connection to put agricultural producers and customers together. This is accomplished through selecting your items online, to either pick-up on your local CSA Day or opt to have it delivered for an extra charge. Weekly subscription services will be added here soon, pending their availability.
What does 'CSA' mean?
CSA is short for 'Community Supported Agriculture' and essentially means a direct link between customer and farmer. CSA's take many forms, some are free-choice with subscriptions or on-demand ordering, some are a pre-selected subscription by the farmer (such as a produce box of whatever is in season that week). Some require work hours on the farm from the customer in order to purchase, and more.
How does it work?
Tehachapi CSA operates in two ways. The first, think of it like walking down the aisle of a Farmers Market, picking out what you want and placing it in your basket for the week. Now, picture it offered digitally. The farmers and their goods are all still there, but you can now select what you want that week online and have your basket packed and ready for you on the upcoming CSA Day for pick-up.
The other option is through Subscription services, which will have options added online as they become available.
How do we sign-up?
No sign-up is required for weekly on-demand purchases, you can place your order at any time. Purchase and pick-up your items on the next CSA Day or pay a little extra to have them delivered to your doorstep in the areas we cover.
When items are ready for Subscription sign-up, you will be able to sign-up for a set duration and billed either monthly or upfront depending on the Subscription offered. More information on this will be posted as the Subscription options become available.
What or When is 'CSA Day'?
CSA Day is the day of the week for your local area to pick-up at a designated time and location, or have items delivered to your doorstep.
When can we expect more produce available?
Unlike a grocery store, we are sourcing from your local small-scale family farms and ranches. While produce may be readily available at the local grocery with items shipped in from Mexico, China or large commercial grow houses spread throughout the country, produce for the local agricultural producers is primarily a seasonal item. In Winter and Spring months in Tehachapi, for instance, the weather is not conducive for vegetables but you'll still find honey, meat, and as we ease into Spring egg production will begin again.
What kind of produce will be available?
Chicken and duck eggs will be added as in-stock as soon as the girls begin laying again! Eggs will also be offered as a Subscription item for weekly delivery. This is usually early March but can begin sooner, so check back! We will be sending out an e-mail when egg production begins again here locally.
Fruit and vegetables will be offered as early as May or June typically, pending weather effects on local crops. Tehachapi's season is generally a little later in the year than 'down-mountain' which warms up earlier and ends before Tehachapi's produce season ends in the fall. In an effort to keep things as local as possible, the emphasis is on 'Tehachapi' area, and branching out within the local vicinity to keep the good food coming!
How do we buy or sign-up for produce?
1. Make sure to join the e-mail list to get a notification when new farms and items are added or back in stock.
2. 'Like' us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram.
3. Think about what you use on a regular basis, would like to receive each week or are open to trying. Subscriptions will be coming up for various items, and will be limited on sign-ups as we 'scale up'.
4. You can make a purchase anytime (right now in fact!) from available items on the Order page, with pick-up and delivery options.
Why are Subscription services limited for sign-ups?
If there's one thing we've learned as farmers ourselves, it's don't grow too quickly! A steady, slow growth means a reliable experience for the customer, agricultural producers and for Tehachapi CSA coordination. We believe in 'scaling up' in phases allowing everyone to learn and grow together. We believe growth is an organic process which happens when a great quality experience and service is offered and managed well.
What farms participate in Tehachapi CSA?
We will be adding a page here soon, introducing you to participating agricultural producers and linking their website and social media accounts. Each farm must be incorporating some aspect of Sustainable Agriculture, which will be highlighted in their story and bio when the page is Published here online.
Who coordinates Tehachapi CSA?
Regenerative farmers and ranchers Ernie and Alex Mullenax, eat - sleep - and breath agriculture. After moving to Tehachapi, the purchase of a single goat led them down the 'rabbit hole' into creating Mullenax Ranch. The 'unintentional farm' has grown to become a 200+ acre small-scale farm and ranch practicing sustainable agriculture through holistic management. Now permaculture farming 'with intention,' the couple believes strongly in 'bringing back the family farm' and connecting community back to the land.
Their statewide public-outreach program, California Goat Yoga, showed their was a disconnect and an inherent need for people to learn about and connect with their local farmer. Their goal is to help small farms and communities thrive, grow, learn and prosper together. You can learn more about the Mullenax family and their farm by visiting: www.MullenaxRanch.com
Why 'Sustainable Agriculture'?
There are as many ways to farm as there are opinions about farming! "Organic" no longer means what it used to, and more often than not it may not align to the original goals and ideals. Whereas 'sustainable' 'holistic' 'regenerative' and 'renewable' are terms emerging across the world to describe a way of growing food which benefit the land and works hand in hand, even as a whole farm 'permaculture' approach.
Its been discovered soil biology is a vast network of microorganisms. Which is pretty exciting! (A little reminiscent of the movie Avatar). But when we add chemicals, or disrupt and till the top soil, leave exposed earth without a cover crop it's now showing this has a negative effect on what goes on beneath the ground. And what affects the soil affects water retention. Where there's no water retention, things don't grow.
Many know the story of the Dust Bowl, which affected the nation as top soil traveled in dust storms for hundreds of miles, creating zero visibility when coming into contact with vehicles and persons. This
led to the Soil Conservation Act passed in 1935. It's estimated 100 million acres of farmland lost their topsoil in the early 1930's.
There is much to be learned from history, and the practices Tehachapi CSA encourages are ones which benefit the land itself and preserve resources such as water and soil ecology.
Tehachapi CSA encourages 'No-Till' practices in addition to other sustainably managed farming techniques with farms looking to lower their footprint.
Did you know...
>Most large scale crops are grown today with chemical fertilizers.
>Most producers today practice large scale monoculture, the growth of a single crop.
>Many large scale farms today make their income via government subsidies.
>A large portion of fresh produce found at the grocery store is chemically ripened, including items such as citrus and bananas.
>Varieties grown for grocery stores are grown for durability while traveling and for longer shelf life.
>There are over 10,000 different tomato cultivars (types) around the world. How many have you tried? Yum!
>You need to eat more grocery store fruit or vegetables to equal the same nutrients found in a locally grown item of the same type. That means, you need to consume LESS per meal, of locally grown produce from your local mom and pop farm than the big box store which also equates to LESS water used to create the same level of nutrients. (Is your mind blown? Ours was! We'll add more on this later.)
>Most farms ~100 years ago were non-chemical, multi-crop, local distribution to their community.
>Grocery stores are a relatively 'new' thing with the first market opening in 1916, changing how we think about food and its availability.
>It's now known fruits and vegetables absorb what they're grown with. Great soil makes great food.
Concerns, Refunds & Responsible Party - Our Policies
Refunds and Chargebacks:
We encourage you to reach out immediately with any issues you encounter with the quality or food safety of any item. When ordering for the week closes for on-demand items, this is also the cancellation and refund deadline for the items on order.
After you have picked up an item, a refund is not available unless there is a quality or food safety issue with the item, and is at the discretion of the agricultural producer themselves and NOT Tehachapi CSA. If a customer cannot work out a satisfactory solution with the producer, we ask you to please reach out letting us know. 'Tehachapi CSA' is NOT a producer of any product, item or food and all responsibility is with the producer themselves for their product.
After 30-days, all sales are FINAL.
In the event a Customer does a Chargeback, they will be 'let go' as a Customer from all future ordering with Tehachapi CSA. Participating agricultural producers will be notified of the action and it is up to their discretion whether to serve this customer through their own direct sales in future. Electronic payments are offered as a Convenience to better serve Customers instead of being cash-only. When a chargeback is done, it takes advantage of the producer and harms their farm business. We encourage you to reach out immediately on any issues you encounter; it is understood you need to reach out within 30-days if there is any issue or concern with your order.
If you are signed-up for a Subscription based service, please refer to the Agreement details for the specific service.
Responsible Party & Liability:
Each agricultural producer is responsible and liable for their own product, item or food, and not Tehachapi CSA. Tehachapi CSA is an online platform and service to connect local producers with customers within the community. It is understood by purchasing any product through Tehachapi CSA that you release Tehachapi CSA from all product liability and understand liability is with the agricultural producer who grew, raised or created the product or good.
In the event a customer seeks legal action against Tehachapi CSA, they understand and agree all legal action must be through Arbitration within Kern County, California.
BY MAKING ANY PURCHASE WITH TEHACHAPI CSA, YOU AGREE TO OUR TERMS OF SERVICE.