Placing an Order from our Farm

We use a very basic order form to collect orders from our customers. It’s not fancy but it works, and has very little cost involved to us as farmers. Many online ordering software platforms come with high fees and/or take a portion of the sale. As someone who is good at organization, I’ve found our basic system works great. More importantly, the full value of your purchase goes to our farm (meaning I, Teri, am getting paid for administering the orders rather than some distant software company).

You won’t see flashy pictures, just a list of veggies, with the size, and price. I usually include any important info or crops that are currently at their peak or on sale in the email I send out with the link, or I note it on the form.

You won’t find the link to the order form on our website as I only send it out to specific customers. No shows are a common problem when we’ve opened our orders to the public in the past and as we are at capacity for orders most of the time, we choose only our best customers for this option.


Tips for Ordering:

  • Make sure to spell your email address correctly or you won’t get the confirmation email!
  • Place a “1” (or the desired quantity) in the box provided next to the item(s) you would like. You do not need to total your order, we will do that and send you a pickup reminder and order total on the morning of pickup.
  • When you place your order, you will be redirected to a Thank You screen, and you’ll also get a confirmation email with a copy of your order. Please review this and let us know if there’s any errors asap. If you don’t receive the email your order may not have gone through, please contact us asap so we can look into it!
  • The order form is how we communicate what we have available. As things sell out during an order period I will remove them from the form. If we oversell on an item you may be shorted. We generally don’t keep track of this for future weeks/orders, so if this happens you will likely need to reorder in the future unless you make an arrangement with me to bring it a future week.
  • Please do not send payment until you receive the reminder email on the morning of pickup with your total. This is to ensure that we have been able to fulfill your order completely, and that you don’t qualify for any bulk discounts that we may apply.
  • Don’t leave the form open for a length of time on your computer before placing an order. It is live and updated all the time as we sell out of things. If you leave it open you’ll be looking at a different list of items and your order will come through to me incorrect.
  • Please do your best to always have your order on the form as that is the easiest way for us to collect and fill orders. If you have trouble filling out the form you are welcome to email me your order.

Payment:

We accept debit, cash, and cheque at the pickup spot, and we can accept e-transfer to sales@brownsugarproduce.com (we have autodeposit so you shouldn’t need a secret question). We don’t accept credit cards unless absolutely necessary due to higher fees. Please don’t pay your farmer with credit card.

Please pay within 24 hours of receiving your order whenever possible.

CSA members are welcome to hold amounts on their accounts for payment in the future, especially in cases of small orders (ie don’t e-transfer me $3!). Or, CSA members are welcome to pre-pay amounts on their account to use towards orders if they prefer.

I appreciate your support in making sure you pay on time and in full. I have a lot of orders to keep track of, so if you can keep track of yours and make sure you pay, it makes my life so much easier!

Missed Orders:

When you place an order from our farm, you are entering an agreement with us. We agree to fill your order, send you a pickup reminder and total, and to be at the pickup spot at the specified time. You agree to pay for and pickup your order during the time provided.

It is ESSENTIAL that you remember to pick up your order. We do extremely fresh produce and having items left over at the end of a pickup often means they go to waste. I regularly have errands to run after pickups and any remaining veggies will either be donated or mishandled on that trip home.

If you do miss an order, please be in touch with us by email right away: sales@brownsugarproduce.com.
We may not contact you if you miss pick up, because we have already fulfilled our end of the agreement and have lots of other things to do. I generally make sure to check my emails before leaving a pickup spot and so that is the best way to contact us if you are running late or missed it. I am often alone at pickups and my cell runs the debit machine and so not a reliable way to contact me if you are running late.

We reserve the right to choose who can place orders from our farm. Those who don’t follow our process won’t be invited to place future orders. (Generally this has not been a problem, and as always, those who are engaged and reading this are definitely not the problem!)

Please don’t make collecting payment a hassle because I don’t enjoy it at the best of times. If money is tight and you need some veggies we are happy to help you out IF it is discussed in advance. I have never forgotten the (very) few people who “stiffed us”: don’t be on that list!

Some common FAQs:

How much is….
– 0.5 lb lettuce/spinach: enough for 4 side salads or 2 meal salads
– 1 lb lettuce: enough for 4 meal salads or 8 side salads
– 10 lbs of most root veggies is a standard t-shirt shopping bag full
– 4 lbs of kale is about a Red BSP bag full
– 2 lbs of carrots is around a dozen standard sized carrots (ours aren’t standard/graded!). Think 2 sticks of butter.
– 5 lbs of root veggies is about a dozen medium potatoes, or a very large volume of greens, or a large-but-not-huge squash.

Why don’t you use “X” online ordering system?

Many of those programs come with a more user-friendly front end, and I get that it’s fun to see photos of what you’re buying and click buttons and to be able to pay online. That comes with a cost to our farm, and when I am a capable human who is good at coming up with functional systems, it makes sense to me to use those skills that we already have on the farm team. We are able to sell 100% of our veggies with me doing all of the administration, which means I am getting paid for that aspect of what we do rather than some software company.

I make things intentionally a bit esoteric/complicated because it encourages a higher level of engagement from our customers, which I find more rewarding. So, you have probably endured a “test” before you got to the point of placing orders from us, and it looks like you passed! Often just sending me an email back is sufficient to show me that you are a conscious human being. We can’t serve everyone, so I am picky. Emails with “do you have asparagus” as the subject line, with no salutation or name, get deleted without a reply.

When things go wrong:

It happens! I often get the wrong date on the form, or miss adding an item, or forget to turn on “autoresponder”. Please help me out and let me know if and when anything doesn’t work for you as expected! The form is usually pretty foolproof and it’s just user error, which is fixable.

When you receive your order, it will come with a copy of your order form. Please check your order against the form, and look for any notes or shorts or calculation errors. I’m human and I do make mistakes, and I’m happy to admit them and make it right.

If something you receive in your order isn’t up to par, please contact us right away! It is never our intention to share sub-par produce with you (barring certain circumstances ie if we have hail, which we are always very transparent about). It is usually helpful for us to get a photo of the sub-par item so we can determine what went wrong. In many cases, we can’t see inside the veggies and they are outflowing at a faster rate than we can try everything before it’s sold. So if you get something not up to par, please tell us first and we’ll make it right!

How do I place an Order?

As I mentioned, currently ordering is something we can only do in limited quantities and so it is reserved for our best customers and CSA members. The best way to stay in the loop with what we’re up to is to make sure your name is on our mailing list.

The only way to become a best customer is to seek us out and buy from us at public markets. We have relationships with most of our customers because we find it rewarding to know the people we are growing food for: This is more than a transaction.

%d bloggers like this: