Elk Meadow Farm & Nursery
Farm Member Rules and Responsibilities:
Elk Meadow Farm & Nursery’s ability to accomplish our goal of being a sustainable farm depends on –in part- the active, ongoing involvement of our Farm Members.
Elk Meadow Farm & Nursery is an actual working farm. Anyone entering the property must abide by the Elk Meadow Farm & Nursery Rules and Responsibilities including the Safety Section in these pages.
REGISTRATION AND SIGN UP FOR FARM MEMBERSHIP:
Fees: Each Farm Member is required to pay an annual fee of $25 to establish their membership at Elk Meadow Farm & Nursery plus purchase two punch cards for $100 each (worth $230 in product). Purchase of additional cards during the season is welcome. Please try to use your cards up by the end of the season.
Registration Process: Please print off, fill out, read and sign both the Commitment Form and these Rules and Responsibilities pages. Farm Members are required to agree to the Rules and Responsibilities each year at the time of their annual membership renewal.
The Head Honcho of the Membership: One individual must be designated as the “Farm Member of Record,” agree to, and abide by the Rules and Responsibilities, and be responsible for assuring all others who come with them to the farm (family or guests) abide by these rules.
Member Contact Information: Farm Members shall provide a valid email address with the Commitment Form and maintain it throughout the season or notify firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com of any changes. We use your email as the primary method of alerting members of what is available or for distributing appropriate farm information. You should be receiving at least one email per week during the growing season, if not, email us or call the Farm Cell phone at (208) 669-0908 (leave a message if necessary) and we’ll call you back. If you can’t reach us there, please feel free to call the House/Dr. office phone (208) 877-1222.
What can I use my Punch Cards for? Farm Members may select and pick a wide variety of seasonal vegetables, culinary herbs, and flowers. Potted vegetable, culinary and medicinal herb and flower/bedding plant starts, farm fresh eggs, baby ducks and turkeys will be available for purchase at times, as well. Custom growing of bedding plants and pre-approved crops (in small quantities) is also included. We will happily give you wholesale prices on flats.
Please make your checks payable to Elk Meadow Farm & Nursery LLC for any products or services. You can give them to us personally or mail them to the farm at 1069 Elk Meadow Lane, Deary ID 83823.
We may also stock some bounty from our neighbors for your convenience as we go along. For example, we love Sticky Fingers Farm Ice Cream. We do try to keep up on what our neighbors are growing and may be able to give you contact info if you’d like meats, cheese, baked goods, raw milk, fruits, ice cream, chicken feed and other fun stuff as we get along into the season.
If we don’t have something you desire, please ask. We may be able to give you a referral. We love doing that and have a Local Resource section on our website for this purpose.
Our current members are our priority: We’ll send notification for the 2013 season memberships in November of 2012. Existing members will have three (3) weeks to respond. Applications for the remaining shares will be sent out in early December, 2012 to the waitlist in the order that their waitlist form was received. You can submit your name for the list using the join the Wait List form. While waiting, many families take advantage of our many educational programs and sign up for our Facebook Farm Page.
Refunds: A pro-rated refund can be requested for special reasons (e.g. moving out of the area.) Alternately, unused portions of a share can be donated to the local food banks or to Backyard Harvest and a tax deduction taken. We’ve purposefully kept the membership expenses affordable hoping to accentuate your Farmer’s Market and CSA obligations. Please know though that we’ve invested a bunch of money here to please your growing wishes and it’s hard on small farmers to give refunds.
PRODUCTS AND PROCEDURES FOR HARVEST:
Weekly notifications will be sent during the growing season alerting members of the crops/products available via email and/or through our Facebook page. On the farm, crops which can be picked/harvested that week will be well-marked with a colorful flag. If you don’t see something you’d like, we may be able to accommodate you. Please ask.
Need help? Please let us know if you need assistance in learning at what stage to harvest your choices of fruits/veggies/herbs and cut flowers.
Tasting as you harvest is definitely permissible. It’s making a meal of it as you pick which needs to be paid for. Also, we’ll have washing stations for field washing available. It’s not such a great choice to wipe the dirt off of something and eat it without washing it first. That’s the way people infect themselves with roundworms. Wash the produce you pick before eating it.
Custom growing: We’d be happy to grow bedding plants such as flowers; annuals and perennials as well as vegetables, herbs and more to meet your specific needs. We can provide them to you as potted plants for planting in your home garden or we’ll grow them for you to pick/harvest here at the farm. You will need to tell us what you want before the growing season begins. We start planting seeds inside under grow lights around March 23rd (some even earlier). We can grow what you want assuming it fits with our other crops and we have the space. For example: do you have a favorite heirloom tomato you can’t do without? No problem. We can fit that right in with our other varieties. You may have to provide us with a few seeds but we’d be happy to grow the plants and look after them for you. There are a few limitations. For example: a favorite variety of corn may be a challenge due to cross pollination with other varieties of corn. Of course we may just decide to grow YOUR favorite corn as we don’t have a favorite variety at this time. We’ll work together on options you’re interested in and let you know when they are ready. You can check on your plants each week if you’d like to follow the process.
Custom Picking: If you assure us you are coming and would like us to pick something for you ahead of time we’d be happy to do that. There will be an extra charge of 15% for this service.
Crop shortages: When there is not enough of a crop for U-Pick we will harvest the crop and make it available for sale on a first-come, first serve basis. This is one of those items we’ll mention in our weekly emails… should it occur.
Crop failures: Some years are better than others. We always do our best to have a supply of a great variety of things to eat and flowers to pick but some years a crop just fails for reasons beyond our control. That’s the part of the fun and the challenge of gardening and farming. There’s always next year.
U-Picks: Farm Members shall harvest produce only in marked fields (marked with colorful flags). Care shall be taken to avoid damaging the plants while harvesting. *Please help your children learn to recognize plants and where it is ok to walk. Culinary herbs (enough for a meal or two) and flowers (bunch size less than 1 ½ inches in diameter) are considered a bonus each week, if you like. Herbs and flowers in amounts larger than this can be purchased with your punch cards. Medicinal herbs may be harvested and used only by preapproved members.
Picking Equipment: Each Farm Member shall bring sufficient bags/boxes to carry their produce home.
Attire: Appropriate clothing is recommended. Gloves, sun hat, long-sleeve shirts, appropriate sun-screen, long pants and shoes covering the entire foot are highly recommended. Please, no sandals or flip-flops.
Ready for Picking Flags/Signs: Ready-to-harvest crops will be well-marked with colorful flags or signs marking the row or patch to be picked. If you see other things that are ripe and you’re interested, please ask us before picking them. These crops may already be spoken for, a custom crop, for personal use, or not quite ready to harvest—or maybe we just forgot to mark them!
No dogs Policy: Please leave your dogs (and cats) at home. It’s too hot to keep them in your car in the summer and we’ve had issues with dogs killing our chickens and chasing our cats. This is our home and their home too. We do our best to protect our critters so they feel happy and comfortable. Children may pet the animals if supervised by a parent, but if the animals run away, please do not to let the child chase them.
Damaged goods: We love donating to our local food banks or helping families in crisis when we can, but we don’t like donating inferior looking product. Our chickens are given anything buggy, damaged or less-than-perfect. It makes their eggs healthier for us to eat and it’s a part of the cycle of life on a farm. We stack damaged produce and weeds at the end of rows as we harvest or put them into buckets as we go to feed after we’re done each day. We try not to forget about this debris after we harvest because we don’t want to attract bugs and slugs. This activity is really fun for kids to do so, when you get the hang of things, feel free to engage in this part of the cycle. If the plant material is not appropriate for use as chicken feed (we don’t feed moldy or rotten food) we deposit it in one of several compost piles.
Tithing: The actual cost of growing exceeds the price we charge Farm Members. Elk Meadow Farm & Nursery desires to keep membership prices competitive and keep locally grown beyond-organic produce available to a larger, more-expansive population. The difference is made up by fundraising activities and workshops. Of course, if you would like to donate some time or dollars to help us on the farm, we are open to that. Assistance with field work (such as weeding, seeding, planting and harvesting) frees our time to complete other projects and makes things nicer for our visitors. It also increases member appreciation for farming. As with any organization, the benefits of membership are generally in direct proportion to the degree of participation. And yes, we do accept $$ donations.
SAFETY POLICY AND FARM RULES:
Your safety is our first concern, so please follow these simple rules for the highest and best good of all concerned.
Farm Golden Rules: If you open a gate or door, close it. If you turn on the water somewhere, be sure to turn it off. If you lay a tool down, always put the sharp part of the tool into the soil.
Access paths may be uneven and may contain mud holes, pipes, wires, equipment and similar hazards that can cause injury. Vines, thorns, bugs, and critters are to be expected. We do our best to rectify these things but it’s a work in progress so members shall maintain awareness of hazards and exercise care at all times while on the farm.
Children must be supervised at all times. Parents and caretakers must ensure the children in their care understand and follow all rules and regulations. Children under the age of sixteen (16) may not be on the farm without having a parent or caretaker present. We have a child’s garden area, but we also have a pond close by. This is a concern. Please do not go down to the pond and do not take your children down to the pond. If your child accidentally ingests something they shouldn’t, please let us know right away so we can take appropriate measures. Not everything is edible here.
Power tools and farm equipment: Use of any farm equipment is expressly forbidden except with the specific permission and instructions by Farmer Mike (Michael) or Head Weeder (Denice).
Hand tools: Our tools are to be used only on the farm, cleaned and returned to the tool storage area when you are done. If you aren’t certain about how to properly use a tool please ask us. We’d be happy to show you how to properly use them. We’re pretty much hand-tool farmers at this point and our tools are very important to us. Tools are not to be taken off the farm. If you break something, please tell us. **Your offer to pay for the damage will be very much appreciated.
Visiting/Picking hours: You are our primary concern on the days the farm is open to members. Our farm is open to Farm Members Tuesday’s 1:00 PM until Sundown and Friday’s 10 AM until Sundown. Please don’t come to the farm during the days we are closed. Dr. Denice runs a home-based telephone consultation practice and can’t answer the door when she’s on the phone. We have a huge amount of farm work to keep up with. We don’t have the extra time to attend to you properly on closed-days unless by special arrangement. Feel free to request special treatment but please DON’T count on receiving it.
Punch Cards: Please bring your punch cards with you each visit. If you don’t have your card, you’ll have to pay with cash or check that day.
Parking: Always park your vehicle to the right side of the parking areas to make room for others. Do not block the main road so that service vehicles can use the circle driveway for deliveries and members can find their way off the farm. The driveway is narrow in some places and may have blind spots so please drive slowly onto and off the property.
Members are entitled to bring a guest. Guests may sign up for a Farm Membership if they like what they see, but generally, aren’t allowed on the farm unaccompanied by a Farm Member. Immediate family members are not considered guests.
Rule infractions: Inability or resistance to complying with the farm rules may lead to cancelation of your membership for the remainder of the season and for seasons to come. We reserve the right to cash out your membership at any time if the rules are not followed—especially if broken rules involve the safety of others.
JOIN THE FUN AND EDUCATION:
Picnic areas. Farm Members are welcome to have informal gatherings and picnics with guests and family on the farm during our days of public operation. No parties are allowed. Farm Members are responsible for the immediate clean-up of any associated garbage and we’d appreciate it if you take it home when you leave. A garbage can is available for disposition of these items if you can’t take your garbage with you. Please ask us and we’ll provide one. Note: At this time, we do not have picknic tables so you may want to bring a blanket or folding chairs.
Activities: We are planning for a group potato harvest, hopefully a group corn harvest, a pumpkin harvest/potluck and just before it freezes we’ll have a gleaning party to harvest perishables such as tomatoes, basil and other produce that won’t last once it freezes.
An End-of-Season Pumpkin Harvest/Potluck is planned for all Farm Members and their immediate family. We intend to provided one pumpkin to each Farm Membership at no additional charge. Farm Members may purchase more pumpkins if they like.
Pumpkin Projects/Class Farm Tours: Every year Elk Meadow Farm & Nursery grows pumpkins for the Deary Elementary School math class. We would be open to having your class tour our farm or do workshops as you feel appropriate, but this takes time and a bit of funding. Please let us know your ideas and we’ll see what we can work out. Our children are our future. They need to know where their food is coming from and how to take care of and grow plants.
Classes/workshops: Classes and workshops will be available to Farm Members at discounted prices and may include straw bale bed building, composting, a seed swap, learning how to grow your own starts and more. We’ll teach you and your children how to garden if you like. We enjoy answering questions about gardening, growing, what we are doing and and why, as well as questions about our plans for the future here at the farm. We’ll even show you the tricks and tips we use here on Elk Meadow Farm to grow our crops. We feel strongly that you and your children should be empowered to grow your own chemical-free foods if you so choose—or at least come to realize how much energy goes into that process.
Try before you buy: We invite you to try things you’ve never tried before. Samples of some seasonal foods/herbs may be available for you to take home and try. When availabile: If it’s your first time experiencing a food or herb we’ll give you enough for a few servings to see if you like it.
Recipes: Elk Meadow Farm & Nursery has a recipe section on its website. If you find a great recipe, please tell us and we’ll post it to share with the other members.
Interns: We are open to having an intern or two and we can barter for produce/product if you’re a consistent, dependable self-starter type of person. *A self-starter is a person who can perform work without needing to be told or encouraged to do so. Please fill out the Work Share Application form if you’re interested in this energy exchange.
If you have positive input or suggestions for making your experience better, we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to email, mail or drop your suggestions in our suggestion box at the Weigh Station.
HOURS OF OPERATION:
We are open Tuesday afternoons from 1:00 PM to Sundown and Fridays from 10am to Sundown.
The Growing Season begins around mid-May with bedding plants, dove-tailing into greens, cole crops and vegetable starts and a bit later into harvestable veggies and cut flowers… continuing through the season to the first frost (mid-September to early October for our zone.) After that, we’ll have some winter crops available to flesh out any remainder punches you may have on your punch cards. Produce will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Contact Us: Please no phone calls to Elk Meadow Farm & Nursery prior to 8:00 AM or after 7 PM. You may reach us on the farm cell phone at (208) 669-0908 or at our Home/Dr. Moffat’s office (208) 877-1222.
Enjoy your time here on Elk Meadow Farm & Nursery. Watch and help us grow!
I understand and accept the above rules:
Member Signature: _______________________________________________________
ELK MEADOW FARM & NURSERY 1069 Elk Meadow Lane Deary ID 83823
Michael L. Robison and Denice M. Moffat, Owners