Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a CSF? CSF refers to Community Supported Food. It usually refers to a network or association of individuals who support one or more local farms and/or producers.
- Most CSFs decide what you get in your weekly box. What will I receive from RFBA? We are a different type of CSF. You choose what you want to receive and the frequency with which you receive it. Order what you want, when you want, and it will be delivered to one of our convenient drop sites located throughout the Bay Area.
- Do I have to pay a membership fee? No.
- Is there any commitment required? No.
- Is there a minimum order amount? No.
- Are there any additional charges on top of the price of the items listed on the site? Yes. There is a $2 refundable deposit on milk and cream bottles. There is a $1.50 refundable deposit on prepared food jars as well as a $1.50 refundable deposit on Coconut Yogurt and Kale Chip jars. The deposit is added when you check out. These deposits are refunded to your account on return of the bottle or jar. There is no additional delivery fee.
- How do I contact Real Food (Bay Area) CSA? Our email is email@example.com. Please allow 24 hours for our response.
- How do I place an order? Orders can be placed on our website using a credit or debit card.
- When are orders due? Orders for items delivered weekly are due by midnight Saturday for delivery the following week. If you are on a Monday route (Gilroy and Morgan Hill) your Family Friendly Farms meat order (beef, chicken, pork, and lamb) will be delivered one week later due to our order and delivery schedule.
- I have a standing order – can I suspend it if I go on vacation? Of course! After logging in choose the "Skip Deliveries" option on the "My Account" tab in the upper right corner. Simply fill out the appropriate dates and you'll be all set
- How do I cancel my standing order? After logging in choose the "Recurring Items" option on the "My Account" tab in the upper right corner. You may cancel by simply X-ing out the items you no longer wish to receive on recurring basis and choosing the "Save Changes" tab below your order.
- When is the latest time I can cancel my order for the following week? For weekly orders the deadline is Saturday at midnight the week before the order is scheduled to be delivered.
- Why is the order window for many of the Prepared Meals items so short (Thursday evening to Saturday evening)? Three Stone Hearth (TSH) My Sustainable Table (MST), Golden Roots Kitchen (GRK), and Becky's Kitchen update their weekly product offerings on Thursday evening. The weekly offerings will always be updated on our website by Friday morning.
- Will I get an email reminder about my order? You may choose this as an option on your account. On the "My Account" tab choose "Account Options" and scroll down. You will see an option for Delivery Reminder Emails. You may choose the frequency and number of these reminders.
- Do you provide door-to-door delivery? No. Delivering to centralized drop locations allows us to deliver more products in less time to more people while conserving energy and packing materials.
- Do you ship your products outside the Bay Area? No.
- When will I find out the exact address for the delivery location I selected? The exact delivery address will be sent to you a couple of days before your first delivery along with any specific instructions as to the locations of the coolers, parking information if necessary, etc. The email will also include the time that the products will be at the delivery site.
- What happens if the delivery is delayed? One the very rare occasion that a delivery is delayed due to traffic or delivery issues, those who have ordered will receive an email with the new estimated delivery time.
- What is the pick-up procedure? When you pick up your items, there will be a binder with a sign out sheet. Be sure to check your order and initial next to your order, every time you pick up. If you do not consistently sign out, you will not be allowed to order. If your name is not on the list, please don’t take anything as it means your order was not processed for whatever reason.
Consolidate items in the coolers, and shift ice or ice packs from empty coolers to fuller ones (if it’s not late). Don’t leave one or two items alone in a cooler if there is another cooler with other items. They’ll keep each other colder when together. Your consideration is appreciated.
Close cooler lids tightly. Push them down all the way. Don’t just let them drop or leave them open all the way. If you have someone else picking up for you, please inform them of the procedures so they can follow these guidelines as well.
- How long do I have after the delivery time to pick up my products? You have 24 hours to pick your items up (between the hours of 8 am and 10 pm), unless otherwise specified in the instructions you are emailed with the delivery location information. Please be aware that the ice is not refreshed by the host and thus we recommend picking up as soon as possible after the delivery time. Real Food (Bay Area) CSF and the hosts do not take any responsibility for items after they have been delivered.
- What happens if I can’t pick up within 24 hours or if I forget to pick up my products? After 24 hours the delivery location hosts will clear the coolers and donate any products that have been left. If they are yours, you will still be responsible for paying for them. If you have an unexpected emergency, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org immediately and we will try and arrange extended storage.
- What if my products aren’t there or not listed under my name? Please contact email@example.com immediately, but do not take any items not listed on the sign out sheet under your name because you will be taking someone else items.
- Can I return items? All sales are final, unless there is an issue with the product, in which case please contact firstname.lastname@example.org immediately. We are sorry but we are unable to offer refunds for products that you simply don’t like.
- How do I become a host location? Please contact email@example.com for our host site requirements.
Product Freshness and Availability
- How fresh is the Claravale and Real Food (Bay Area) CSF raw milk? Our drivers pick up Claravale raw milk and cream on Monday shortly after the morning milking. We deliver this same milk on Tuesday or Wednesday. Our drivers pick up RFBA raw milk twice each week - on Monday shortly after the morning milking for Monday and Tuesday deliveries and again on Wednesday for the Wednesday deliveries. You will not find fresher milk in any store!
- How fresh are the other products? Our products are as fresh as you would find at your local farmers’ market and fresher than you will find in any store. We store fresh or frozen products at appropriate temperatures for only a few days.
- What products are delivered frozen? All meat and fish items are delivered frozen in coolers with dry ice. Certain Three Stone Hearth products are also delivered frozen. These are indicated by the word (FROZEN) in the description.
- Why do you carry only certain Three Stone Products? The general production schedule for TSH products does not align with our delivery. TSH does a separate batch of cooking of most of their more popular items for us on Monday. We have TSH produced items such as chicken and beef bone broths, granola, crispy nuts, cultured ketchup, and lard, as well as their weekly selection of soups and stews, meaty pint, meat loaf or patty, sauce, kraut, and pudding or gelatina. In additions, we occasionally have TSH products that they have frozen for sale.
- Why does Three Stone Hearth itself have a cut-off of Wednesday morning for the same products? TSH does a separate batch of cooking for Real Food (Bay Area). We place the order by Sunday mid-day. Therefore, we have a deadline of Saturday at midnight to allow time to consolidate the orders and send them to TSH. TSH has store pick-ups in Berkeley on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. RFBA finishes our deliveries by Wednesday evening. We deliver the same products just a few days earlier given that we are getting specially prepared batches made earlier in the week.
- What happens if a product is unavailable? The suppliers we work with are for the most part small, local operations. Occasionally they do not have the item in stock—generally this occurs with specific cuts of pork, beef, or chicken. When this happens there will be a note on the delivery sheet “Not available will refund”. You should expect to see a credit on your account within 3 days. Please contact us if you would prefer a credit card refund.
Eating with the Seasons Fresh Produce
- Do you carry organic produce? Real Food (Bay Area) CSF has partnered with Eating with the Seasons CSF to deliver their organic produce to all our RFBA delivery locations. This means that you will be able to pick up RFBA items, as well as fresh organic fruits and vegetables all at the same time, saving time and money.
- How do I order Eating with the Seasons Produce? Please go to eatwiththeseasons.com to sign up. When choosing your delivery location choose the one that corresponds to your current RFBA delivery location.
- How do I put my produce bag on hold or cancel my recurring order of an Eating with the Season Produce Bag? If you wish to put your EWTS order on hold you will need to contact www.eatwiththeseasons.com directly. Cancelling or deleting your order on our website does NOT cancel or delete your order with Eating with the Seasons.
Real Food Raw Milk
- Where does Real Food Raw Milk come from? Our milk comes from 100% Jersey cows at the San Martin Milk Company in San Martin (Santa Clara County), the fourth licensed Grade A raw milk dairy in California. San Martin has a small herd of Jersey cows. Most supermarket milk is from Holsteins which produce a more watery milk. Jersey milk has higher concentrations of proteins, solids, butterfat, and beta-carotene than other breeds.
- Is Real Food Raw Milk from totally pasture fed cows? San Martin feeds its cattle a traditional diet of hay, grain-based dairy feeds, and pastures. It is a traditionally run dairy and adheres to the natural feeding cycles of cattle. Dairy cattle have access to pasture during the natural growing season (in California that is winter and spring) and are fed mostly hay, grain, and other produce during the rest of the year. This is the best use of our natural resources here in California with our wet and dry seasons.
- Is Real Food Raw Milk certified organic? San Martin Dairy is not certified organic by choice. They do have our own standards that they follow, including:
The Jersey cows are fed only organic hay, organic dairy supplement, and organic pasture.
No chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides are used on the pastures.
No GMO feeds or products are fed to the cows.
No antibiotics are used on the milking herd.
No artificial milk stimulants such as Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) are given to the herd.
The milk is never separated. What comes out of the cow goes into the bottle.
San Martin does not bottle milk from any other dairy.
Bottle Deposit and Returns
- Which products have a bottle/jar deposit and is it included in the price? We charge $2 for each Claravale RFBA and St. Benoit milk bottle; $1.50 for each Prepared Meal bottle or jar; and $1.50 for each Garden Variety Cheese Sheep Yogurt and Living Cultures Coconut Yogurt jar. These deposits are added automatically at check out.
- How do I return the bottles and jars? Please wash, label, and return the bottles and jars to your drop location. Please log your bottle returns on the return form. You MUST be logged in for this link to work.
- For full bottle/jar instructions please scroll to the bottom of this return form.
- Why must I return Claravale milk bottles in multiples of 6? This is to make the driver’s job of counting returns as quick as possible. If you have fewer than six Claravale bottles please wait until you have accumulated six and then return them. If you have more than a multiple of six, please only return the full multiple of 6 (6, 12, 18, etc.), and return the rest when you have accumulated more. You can mix Claravale bottles (cow milk/goat milk/cream) to make a multiple of six. Non-Claravale bottles and jars can be returned in any amount.
- Will I receive my full deposit back? Yes.
- How do I label my bottles to ensure I get my bottle deposit refunded? Place the lid back on each bottle or jar and write your name full last name CLEARLY on the lid. This will be the only way that we can match your refund up to your bottles/jars. DO NOT write on the bottles/jars themselves, as they cannot be reused.
- When should I log my returns on the return form? Enter your bottle or jar returns online the SAME week as you return them.
- When and how will I receive my deposit back? Bottle deposit returns will be credited to your account online by Friday of the week AFTER bottles are picked up by our driver.