MAJOR PROGRAM UPDATE FOR 2018:
Starting in May, your box will be a base of regular veggies
plus YOUR CHOICES made in an online shopping platform!
Starting in May, your box will be a base of regular veggies
plus YOUR CHOICES made in an online shopping platform!
Large Summer Box
Summer Box Overview
**Starts in June (exactly which week depends on Spring Weather)
**Ends after 22 boxes (early November, then winter box starts)
**Sign-up between Feb and May (late and mid-season signups are often accommodated)
**Delivery every week on Thursday
between Noon and 6 (usually done before 4pm).
**Large box base is $13-$17 to which you add selections from the online shop each week
**Small box base is $9-13 tbd to which you add selections from the online shop each week
**Payment: Full Box Subscribers pay $300 upon sign-up. Pay-As-You-Go Box Subscribers pay $50 towards their first boxes on registration, and then pay-as-you-go.
Dresden Farm Pickup is free
Depot Delivery $1.25/box
Home Delivery $5.00/box
Sign up by emailing as shown here ----->
Tell all your friends!
Small Summer Box
Summer Box Box Sign-Up
Registering indicates you have reviewed and accept the program details below.
To Register please send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org include the following information:
1. Box Size Desired
- Large Box
- Small Box
2. Delivery Option
Farm Pickup (Dresden)
(Wallaceburg, Port Lambton, Chatham or Blenheim)
(within Wallaceburg, Chatham, Dresden or Blenheim)
3. Subscription Option
Full Subscriber:Pay $300 up front and then midway through the season, receive 1st Choice of Veggies and special deals.
Pay-As-You-Go Subscriber: Pay $50 up front and after that pay-as-you-go, 2nd choice of veggies each week.
4. Your Name, Address and Phone#
Local Businesses that serve as depots for our program:
80 William Street South, Chatham 45 Talbot Street West, Blenheim 504 James Street, Wallaceburg
Major Updates for 2018:
- Instead of a large or small box assembled “one size fits all” by the farm, your box will be made up of a base, to which you add fresh produce from the farm along with choices from our online inventory.
- Additions to the box can be fresh produce from our farm, produce from partner farms (potatoes, blueberries for example), River Bell preserves from our shop, or retail food items from our shop (maple syrup, honey, oatmeal for example).
- For Full Box Members (pay upfront and sign up for the season) you will be able to skip boxes for weeks in which you are out of town (no longer a limit on box skips). Pay-as-you-go Box Members will be able to order a box whenever they like, but will have second choice from the online store.
- Invoicing and payments are tracked through the website (prior to May 2018, invoicing will be as before, but then we commence with the software).
- General price increases fo 11% are enacted across the board in 2018to account for higher labour costs (minimum wage increase) and higher costs of borrowing. Thanks in advance for the raise!
Registration Payment *,+ Later Payments+ Benefits
Full Box Members $300.00**, A second lump sum of equal Greater Choice:
(Large or Small invoiced at registration, or lesser value (depending on -Online store is open to
Box) due upon receipt of how much of the season Full Box Members 24hrs
invoice. remains) once the initial before others
amount is spent. -Special volume deals
will periodically be
offered at sale price Pay-as-you-go $50.00 invoiced Pay-as-you-go per box - small investment
Members at registration, due Invoiced online, net 30 days. -low commitment
(not locked into upon receipt of -pick large or small
large or small) invoice Drawback: 2nd Choice
*Registration payments will not be refunded.
**For mid-season signups as Full Box Members, the amount will be tailored to the qty of boxes remaining in the season.
+At the end of the season, any unspent amount from registration payments will not be refunded but will be good towards winter boxes or the next season.
Possible Box Bases (just as examples). To bases like these you will add selections
of River Bell Produce from the online store (multiples of the same veg or others).
Small Box Base Large Box Base
June (early) Spinach+Radish ($8.25) Spinach+Baby Lettuce+Radish ($13.25)
July/Aug Baby Lettuce + Cherry Tomato Baby Lettuce + 2 Tomato + 2 Cucumber ($10.5) + Cucumber + Green Bean ($14)
Sep/Oct Carrots + Tomato Carrots + Spinach + Cherry
+ Baby Lettuce ($10.5) Tomato + Beet ($16.5)
Oct/Nov Carrots + Spinach ($9.5) Carrots + Squash + Mustard Greens ($13)
SUBSTITUTIONS: We reserve the right to make reasonable substitutions or else reduce your order if at packing time physical inventories do not match the projection upon which the orders were received. Invoice adjustment would be made accordingly, if necessary. This disclaimor is because our online offerings will be made in part based upon forward harvest projections.
PAYMENTS: Payment by cheque in the mail, cash at the farm, debit machine on the farm and e-transfer will be accepted. NEW Option starting May 2018: payment online through your account login by visa or payal will be possible.
River Bell Market Garden is certified organic. See our website for information on our certifying body and certificate. Humble Bee is in transition, and will be certified organic in 2018.
When will my box be delivered?
The boxes are packed in the morning and delivered between the hours of 1pm and 6 p.m on Thursday. Boxes will be available for pickup at the drop locations no later than 4pm, and available for pickup until the establishment's closing time. Deliveries to the doorstep will normally occur between 2pm and 6pm.
We are offering to cluster home deliveries for you to combine the convenience of home delivery with the lower cost of depot use. We call it a Neighbourhood depot. If you would like to team up with a neighbour, friend or relative and use one home as a small group depot, you can take advantage of this by having your 2, 3 or more boxes delivered to one location (one of your homes – let us know which house). Pricing is shown later in this document. Note that the delivery home location will be fixed for the whole season. So if your neighbours are in it too, and you get along well enough to coordinate this, it might be an economically sound opportunity to add convenience to your River Bell program.
All Depot Options:
When you register, please specify your box delivery option. We encourage neighbourhood depots because our main business-hosted depots are getting to be at full capacity, and it helps to spread it around:
Wallaceburg – James Street Eatery. You may request a neighbourhood delivery in Wallaceburg, and if there is one closer to your location we can see about accommodating you. You might also want to volunteer your house as a neighbourhood depot and we will see if there are others for whom it would be convenient.
Chatham – The Dutch Market at their new location at 80 William Street. The Dutch Market includes some of our vegetables in their grocery section: especially carrots, kale, tomatoes and cucumbers.
Other Communities: We have had Blenheim (The Life By Design Centre, 45 Talbot St), Ridgetown and Port Lambton depots at customers' homes in 2016. We hope to do so again, if there are enough customers again in each town. New depot possibilities, if we have enough customers located there, could be Tilbury, Thamesville, Sarnia, Oil City and Petrolia. Ask about the possibility of having a neighbourhood depot in their community and get your neighbours on board to make it possible for us! Special delivery premiums may apply to some new depots.
Do I have to be at home to accept my box for a home delivery?
You need not be at home for us to deliver your Organic Box. We will leave the Box wherever you indicate in your delivery instructions (ie. garage, porch, front step, shed, balcony, with a neighbour, lobby, etc). In the summer months, please select a location out of direct sunlight and rain. Remember to leave out your empty box for collection. Other re-useable packaging (pint baskets etc) returned to us can also be left for return.
Can I pick up my Organic Box in Dresden?
Certainly, you may also pick up your Organic Box from the farm. We are located at 559 Sydenham Street, Dresden Ontario, and are available for pick-up on Thursday from noon to 9pm, or Friday through Saturday between 10 am and 7 pm. We also have pickup locations in Chatham and Wallaceburg. There is no delivery premium if you pickup at the farm.
How is my Organic Box delivered?
We deliver your fruits and vegetables in a sturdy plastic tote. At each delivery, we collect your empty box and replace it with another one full of fresh organic produce.
What about empty box returns?
For depot or farm pickup bring your empty box with you on the next pickup, and make an exchange of new stocked box for empty. For home delivery, leave your empty at the place where we leave your bins, and we make the exchange.
Do I have to clean my box?
Please make sure you box is clean. We now use a light garbage bag as a liner, so that the bins stay much cleaner. If for some reason your box becomes dirty, do a quick wipe with a wet cloth might be all that is required, then air dry or with a dry towel. This is important because the box will sit for a week at the depot, normally, before we get it and any organic matter left in the boxes will spoil and stink, which is not good for our depot hosts. At River Bell we check all bins and wash as required prior to re-use.
What if I forget to leave last week's empty box at my front door?
This is not a problem. We will still leave your full Organic Box for you and can collect the two empty boxes at your next delivery date. Just try not to make this a habit, because if too many forget and skip a week too often, we will quickly run short of totes for a delivery day.
What if I forget a pickup on Thursday, or cannot make it until a day or two later?
The longer your box waits for you, the less fresh it will be, but it is possible to pick up your box a day or two late if necessary. On the farm, we are able to keep the orphan boxes in our cooler after Thursday, so they have a better chance. At the depots this is not usually possible so you will usually be losing some of your more perishable items. Please be as prompt as you can with the depots, because the spoiling vegetables do little to enhance their atmosphere, sometimes, plus the boxes eventually are perceived as clutter. To mitigate this burden to the depots, it is policy now that after Saturday the boxes must be considered forfeit, and are cleaned out. Especially in the summer boxes, little of value is left after 3 warm days.
What if I live in an apartment building?
We will do our best to deliver your box to an apartment. However, we require delivery instructions that will instruct our driver on what to do if you are not home. Apartment deliveries, without delivery instructions or access inside the building, will be brought back to our farm for customer pick up. Boxes left in vestibules at the customers request, will not be replaced if stolen. If you would like to discuss your specific delivery circumstances please call our office to make arrangements at 519-683-2052 or email us at email@example.com
Why do Full Members commit to a 22-week membership?
We purchase seed and plan our production to support the Box program, as a priority over other sales outlets. An abundance of varieties is a key characteristic of how we gear our year's production to the box. A committed membership base provides us the resources to produce reliable quality. Cash flow for a small farming operation can be a major challenge – your payment up front makes our farm much stronger financially and more able to produce a reliable selection.
What if I want out and I cannot sell or give it away?
If the above solution is not possible AND River Bell is able to sell it for you, we will allow you to transfer the remainder of the years subscription to another new customer. Three stipulations: (1) this depends on River Bell having another buyer, if not we will hold you to your 22-week commitment (2) you will be charged a $40 admin fee for the transfer and (3) We will only make this transfer after the tenth box out of 22. You will only be responsible for payment for the boxes delivered to you (so there may in some cases be a reimbursement to you, less the $40 admin fee).
What if I'm on vacation or need to skip delivery for a week or two?
To skip a delivery, email us to tell us the weeks that you will not require delivery. As an alternative, you could share (or sell) your box when you are on holidays with a friend, neighbour or relative – just have them pick it up in from your regular location (the drop spot or your 'doorstep') on the weeks you are away. If that gets us a new subscriber for the next season (or someone coming into the program mid-season), tell us so we can share some extra good veggies with you to show our gratitude.
Can I give an Organic Box membership as a gift?
What a good idea! Glad you brought it up. A box subscription is a terrific way to make sure your kids, your grandkids or your elderly parents are getting the best food possible every week during the season. Think of people you know who are too busy or pre-occupied with other things to make those trips to farmers market for the good stuff, but who could make good use of fresh local food.
What does the box contain?
We include the wide variety of fruits and vegetables from our farm. Common and easily utilized staples like lettuce, tomatoes, onions and green beans will be fairly common to the box. Goodies like kale, zucchini, and sweet corn (but no strawberries in 2016) will be enjoyed periodically. Also, you'll have chance to try new things like eggplant and kohlrabi, but only once and a while. Here are some possible box compositions you could expect.
Spring Box – spinach, radish, peas, lettuce, cherry tomatoes
Summer Box – beets, tomato, cucumber, green beans, potato, sweet onion.
Fall Box – lettuce, carrots, broccoli, leek, kale, onion, radish
Winter Box – spinach, carrots, parsnips, squash, leek, onion
The Large Box Base will typically have 4-6 items and the Small Box Base will typically have 2-3 items. These vary based on vegetable portion size and value.
Will there be a Winter Box?
Yes. Details will go out in September most likely. Space is offered first to current summer subscribers and previous winter subscribers, then to the waiting list.
What if I don't want certain vegetables or fruits?
If they are a part of your base box (large or small) you must take them. Any box ordered must include at least one box base. Beyond the base, you have full choice to pick what you like and leave what you don't.
How do I store my organic produce?
Your River Bell box will be coming to you fresher than the grocery store stuff, so you should be able to keep it well for a longer period.
* Your drop spot should be as cool as possible and out of the sun, and do your best to limit the amount of time before it is safe in the fridge. For pickup from the depot, do your very best to pick it up Thursday afternoon or evening, and not wait for Friday or Saturday. If necessary, have a friend pick it up and refrigerated it for you if you are not available on the delivery day.
* For most things, cold is key to extending its shelf life. A nice cold fridge set to no warmer than 4 degrees will help all your organic fruits and veggies last longer.
* Many things will do better in bags or the crisper to keep the fridge from drying them out.
* Greens and other things may need hydration and will perk right up if given a cold water bath in the fridge.
* Exceptions: tomatoes, garlic and sweet potatoes (like bananas) need a cool but not cold temperature – countertop or cool pantry will be fine.
We often include storage and cooking tips in our weekly box reminder emails (these go out the day before the box delivery).
What if I'm not happy with something in my Organic Box?
Please do not hesitate to send an email to us – firstname.lastname@example.org. Your problem might be something we are unaware of, and worse; it might be a problem that others are having with their box. Feedback from members about the quality of the produce assists us in preparing better and better boxes for everyone. Please keep in mind, however, that organic fruit and vegetables by their very nature are generally not uniform in shape and colour. Our priorities are taste, nutrition and freshness before uniformity and appearance. Fresh produce also requires refrigeration to keep from spoiling quickly.
Where is the food in the box from?
Everything is from River Bell with a few exceptions:
*Certified Organic Sweet potatoes in the fall and especially in the winter box come from Paul Watson. Paul's operation is in Tupperville, a few miles from our farm, and is certified organic.
*Certified organic potatoes and apples we purchase from Pfennings in New Hamburg pfenningsorganics.ca. Pfennings is an Ontario leader in organic vegetable production, processing and distribution.
*Certified organic blueberries we purchase from Blueberry Hill Farm in Rodney. You should make a trip out there if you like to pick your own - their berries are unbelievably good (and abundant on the bushes!).