FarmBox FAQ

What is Good News Farm FarmBox?

The Good News FarmBox is an online order and delivery system that allows us to distribute our fruits and veggies directly to the consumer instead of passing through intermediaries along the way. While we also sell our produce to select retail outlets (e.g., Whole Foods, Goodness Greeness, etc), the FarmBox is an additional channel that permits a closer relationship between farmer and eater. Such a program is also known as CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture. While we at Good News Farm attempt to go beyond the traditional CSA by allowing for such conveniences as customizable boxes and pay-as-you-go options, the values that led to the model’s conception continue to inspire us.

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What are the benefits of certified organic, and what is veganic growing?

The benefits related to this agroecological practice and produce are numerous, and it might help to understand it as a culture as well as a farming method: we do not use any synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides (personal health), we protect soil fertility, biodiversity and our water systems (the environment), we promote smaller-scale, locally owned agriculture (community), and our fresh, organic produce simply tastes better. Veganic growing takes organic to another level. Not only do we meet all the requirements outlined by the USDA in order to use the organic label, we also believe using only plant-based inputs reduces the risk of contamination and is better for the environment. Chicken manure, for example, contains a high amount of arsenic while other animal-based products risk contaminating your produce with E. coli, antibiotics, growth hormones, heavy metals and other undesirables.

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Why Good News Farms?

Nowadays there seem to be plenty of CSA options. And that’s a good thing! But we at Good News Farms think we stand out for several reasons:

  1. Certified Organic and Veganic: Not only do we go through the paperwork, money and time to be certified organic by CCOF, we also employ veganic growing practices meaning all our soil media and fertilizers are plant-based. Although the certification process is rigorous on our end, you can rest assured there won’t be any synthetic fertilizers, arsenic, blood or chicken poop in your food.
  2. Sustainable: We’ve introduced the use of a biomass boiler system to heat our greenhouse, which is fueled using locally sourced pecan shells. Our greenhouse technology uses about 1/4 the amount of water required in the field. Old vines and other organic waste material serve as compost making for more of a self-contained ecosystem here than a conventional farm.
  3. Local: We plan to distribute The FarmBox only within Michigan because we believe in supporting the local community, the local economy, and in reducing our carbon footprint. Your partnership with us helps accomplish these goals!
  4. Know Your Farm: Everything you find in your box was grown and harvested right here on our farm. Aside from an occasional surprise from another nearby operation, we make sure you know where your food comes from: Good News Farms.
  5. Small-scale Farming: Here in mid Michigan we’ve managed to preserve a way of life that is increasingly being crowded out by the big agribusiness hotshots. You’re not just supporting Good News Farms, you’re supporting a movement.
  6. Convenience: After evaluating customer concerns, we decided to break from some traditional CSA features. For example, you have the option of building your own weekly box from scratch to avoid unwanted items. Likewise, you can pay on a weekly basis (instead of paying a lump sum up front) and can cancel your service anytime.
  7. The FarmBox: But the most important reason to participate is that you’re going to love receiving a box full of delicious, colorful and healthy food each week. Supplement your box with regular shopping habits and…have fun with it!

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What are The FarmBox options & prices?

When signing up for The FarmBox, you can choose between the Standard and the Custom options.

The Standard FarmBox:

This option comes in small ($22 per week) and large ($30 per week). Each week we will determine what to put inside these boxes depending on season and availability. It represents a portion of our efforts at any given time of the year, while our greenhouse technology and high tunnels help provide more year-round variety.

The Custom FarmBox:

If you have particular food needs or tastes, you also have the option of customizing your weekly box. As long as you build a box with a minimum value of our small Standard box ($22), we’ll get it to your community every week. If we run out of something in our Web Store, we’ll notify you to substitute with another item in season.

Keep in mind that you can always add items to any order. For example, if you opt for the small Standard FarmBox and need an extra loaf of bread one week, simply log in to your account, access the Bakery category in our Web Store, and add your chosen loaf to the order and submit.

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Should I choose the Standard or the Custom FarmBox? Small or Large?

These choices ultimately depend on your own needs and preferences. The Standard FarmBox tends to be a better value. Because it allows for more flexibility on our end, it may ultimately have more goods than any given Custom FarmBox. At the same time, while we encourage our members to have an open mind, you may receive items you simply can’t seem to force down the hatch. Because we understand that many members have particular eating needs/tastes, we created the customizable option so you can receive a box that has been completely tailored to your household’s recipes.

Within the Standard Share option, the small box is ideal for a household of 1-2 persons while the large for 3-4. Remember that you can always add items from our Web Store when there are more mouths to feed.

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When & where are your pick-up locations?

Please refer to our pick-up locations section.

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Is home delivery an option?

Home delivery is not a regular part of our service. For a number of reasons, we are currently equipped only to deliver boxes for pick up at select partners within the Michigan area.

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How do I pay for my FarmBox?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover & American Express credit and/or debit cards. By submitting your payment information you are agreeing to and will be preapproved for automatic charges to your account for each delivery. The value of that charge will never change unless you add/remove items to your box, or change your subscription altogether. If you do not own a credit/debit card, please contact us to see if there is any way we can accommodate your payment needs.

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What other fees do I have to pay?

None. There are no sign-up fees, no delivery fees, and no additional taxes. Its important that we provide you with a box of high quality fruits and vegetables. At the same time, we’re also committed to doing so at a reasonable cost. One of our long-term goals is to make programs like the FarmBox more accessible to households of all incomes, which is why our Web Store prices will likely be the same or less than those found at the supermarket.

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How long do I have to be a member?

Commit to The FarmBox for as long as you feel comfortable – there are no obligations. If you move or decide The FarmBox isn’t right for you, email us at farmbox@goodnewsfarm.com and we can either suspend or cancel your service. And remember that you can always place a temporary vacation hold on your subscription for whatever time period necessary.

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What if I’m out of town one week?

No problem. Your online account allows you to suspend service without being charged using start and end dates. Once that period is up, we will resume billing and delivery of your box. If you need to suspend your service indefinitely, give us a call.

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How fresh is The FarmBox?

Our fruits & veggies are picked and packed either same day or within 1-2 days before delivery. Remember that most retail items have been picked immaturely and ripened on the long road to the supermarket – sometimes up to 2 weeks – which causes depreciation of flavor and nutrition.

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What does eating with the seasons entail?

At Good News Farms we grow many of our items in controlled environments like the greenhouse allowing for a wide variety of fruits and veggies all year long. Nevertheless, we’re still compelled to obey the whims of the weather. Eating food grown according to the location of the sun will hopefully become something you can appreciate as a supporter of local agriculture. This may also mean receiving repeated items in the Standard FarmBox option. But we encourage you to be an inductive cook; instead of starting with strict recipes then ingredients, start with the ingredients from your box each week and adapt recipes or invent your own. Watch for recipes incorporating seasonal items in your FarmBox and on our Facebook page.

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Can I visit the farm?

We’d love to meet you, but please keep in mind our incredibly busy schedule on the farm. We’ve done children’s educational programs in the past and plan on hosting a harvest festival in the future. Just make sure you contact us in advance.

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How do I sign up for The FarmBox?

It’s easy. Just go to our Signup Page and answer some questions regarding pick up and payment options.

Use our to help guide you along. We have also created a separate instructions page to help guide you through the process. Remember that Farmigo, the independent website that hosts our online ordering system, has their own Help site regarding management of your online account. And, as always, never hesitate to contact us directly with any additional questions or suggestions.

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