Commonly Asked Questions

Where is the farm located?

  • Canticle Farm and CSA Distribution is located at 3835 South Nine Mile Road, Allegany, NY.
  • Canticle Farm Market is located at 3809 Old State Road in Allegany.
  • Visit our map page for more details.

What is a CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Members pay for a share of the farm's harvest at the beginning of the growing season and become shareholders. Members receive a variety of vegetables on a weekly basis over the projected 17-week summer season. We also offer a separate 6-week spring season and a separate 5-week fall season. In addition to receiving fresh vegetables, CSA members are supporting direct relationships between the community and its food source, between ecologically sound agriculture and the economy of the region.

When can I pick up my vegetables?

  • For the Spring Share Program, you will come to the farm on Tuesday between 2 PM and 6 PM to pick up your share of the vegetables harvested that week.
  • For the Summer Share Program, on your assigned distribution day, either Tuesday or Friday, you will come to the farm between 2 PM and 6 PM to pick up your share of the vegetables harvested that week. You will be notified of your assigned distribution day before the Summer Share Program starts.
  • For the Fall Share Program, you will come to the farm on Tuesday between 2 PM and 6 PM to pick up your share of the vegetables harvested that week.

What if I can’t make it on my pick up day or I forget?

Click here to read about your options.

Will I get a tomato in my first weekly CSA share from Canticle Farm?

No. All vegetables distributed are grown at the farm in Allegany, NY. Vegetables are only available according to the local growing season. Fresh, locally grown tomatoes are not available in our area until later in the summer.

Are the vegetables from Canticle Farm pre-washed?

The bulk of the soil is removed from the vegetables. We recommend that you treat our produce like you pulled it out of your own garden. Wash it at home before consuming.

What if I am not familiar with all the vegetables?

Canticle Farm provides information about the vegetables such as how to store it and how to use it. Just ask the person overseeing distribution, another shareholder, or a staff member your questions.  Information and recipes are provided each week in the Harvest Times Newsletter.

What if my family does not eat a certain vegetable?

If you just leave it on the table at distribution time, it will be donated to a food pantry at the end of the day.

Can I take double of one item if I don't take another item?

No. We know how much of each vegetable to harvest based on the quantity given out and the number of shares that day. The extra amount that you are taking was picked for another shareholder.

What is PYO?

PYO stands for Pick-Your-Own. Extra quantities of certain items are made available to members in their weekly share if they do their own harvesting. PYO is optional -- we grow it, you harvest it! The item and the amount will be posted in the barn for the share that week.

Where are the Pick Your Own (PYO) beds and how do I go about it?

The Pick Your Own (PYO) beds are located between the high tunnels and the road. Information about PYO availability can be found in the Distribution Center next to the Choice Table. The supplies are in wooden box labeled PYO, just behind the former Farm Stand. PYO is not only available during distribution hours. Some shareholders prefer to visit the Farm on another day and/or time. Be careful to note which bed(s) are marked for PYO. For example, there are three beds of peas designated for PYO pea picking but all are not marked PYO because each bed was planted one week apart. Ideally, this should provide shareholders three consecutive weeks of PYO peas. One additional tip on PYOing - don’t always start picking the bed from the end closest to the parking lot. Many people do this and find very quickly that there are no peas. That’s because they’ve already been picked. Walk the row a bit until you spot some plants with lots of peas and start there. We only ask three things of you. Please only pick the designated amount. Please return baskets when done. And please do not pick on Mondays.

Why is a vegetable for sale at the Canticle Farm Market or the Farmers' Market but it is not part of the weekly CSA share?

On Monday, Mark decides what will be harvested and included in that week's share. The share is the same for the Tuesday shareholders and the Friday shareholders. That means that Mark needs a large quantity of a vegetable to hand out. For example, if a large share contains 2 cucumbers and he is handing out 130 large share equivalents for the week, Mark needs 260 cucumbers that week. Or, if a large share contains a pound of green beans, Mark needs 130 pounds of green beans to hand out.

There are times when he does not have enough of a certain vegetable to include it in the weekly share. For example, when the cucumber beds are just starting to produce he may only have 30 cucumbers that week. Or, when the first bean bed is just maturing he may only have 40 pounds of beans.

In these situations, Mark may decide to sell the smaller quantities of the vegetable at Canticle Farm Market in Allegany, NY or REAP Farmers' Market in Olean, NY so it does not go to waste.

Why did Canticle Farm start SELLING PRODUCT OUTSIDE OF CSA DISTRIBUTION?

Canticle Farm started as a CSA. The main focus of the farm continues to be the CSA. The CSA is the top priority of the farm. If there are extra vegetables after the CSA shares are accounted for, those vegetables are sold at REAP Farmers' Market in Olean, NY and the Canticle Farm Market in Allegany, NY. This gives shareholders an opportunity to buy additional quantities of certain items. It also gives the general public a chance to purchase and taste Canticle Farm's product.  Some of our shareholders first purchased our vegetables at the Farmers' Market and then decided to join as shareholders.

Do I have to be a CSA shareholder to purchase items from the Canticle Farm Market or REAP Farmers' Market?

No, anyone can purchase from Canticle Farm Market in Allegany, NY or REAP Farmers' Market in Olean, NY. This is open to the general public. Only the CSA distribution is limited to shareholders.

Why don't I see the word "organic" on your site?

We are Certified Naturally Grown.  Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) is a non-profit alternative certification program tailored for small-scale, direct-market farmers using natural methods. CNG is a grassroots alternative to the USDA's National Organic Program meant primarily for small farmers distributing through local channels - farmers' markets, roadside stands, local restaurants, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs and small local grocery stores - the farmers that make up your local landscape! The CNG Standards and growing requirements are no less strict than the USDA National Organic Program rules. The primary difference between Certified Naturally Grown and the USDA Organic program is cost to farmers and paperwork requirements.

Can I visit the farm to see what is currently growing?

Yes, we welcome visitors. If the main gate is open, park on the gravel driveway and walk around the farm. There is usually at least one worker around to answer questions. Be nice to the plants by only walking on the grass walkways.

When is payment due?

A minimum deposit of $50 will hold your shares. All shares must be paid in full prior to the first week of the applicable season. A partial payment may be submitted to the Farm Office at anytime before the complete payment is due.

Does Canticle Farm accept credit cards for payment?

For those who find it more convenient to pay for their CSA shares by credit card, that option is now available through PayPal or during normal business hours at Canticle Farm Market. When using the PayPal option, a full payment in one transaction is required. However, if using a credit card at Canticle Farm Market you can make a deposit of $50 and pay the remainder at another time. The remainder of the payment can be made by credit card at Canticle Farm Market, cash, or check.

What is Canticle Farm's Refund Policy on CSA Shares?

If a person decides to cancel a CSA share before the first scheduled distribution day, Canticle Farm reserves the right to keep the first $50 of the payment on the cancelled share. Any payment beyond the first $50 will be refunded.

Does Canticle Farm accept GOACC gift certificates?

Yes, as a member of the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce (GOACC) we accept the GOACC gift certificates.

What Does the cost of a share pay for?

The price of the share only covers the cost to produce the vegetables. The cost of infrastructure items, such as tractors, the barrel washer and the greenhouse, are covered by a combination of donations and grants. Also, the cost of the sponsored shares is covered by a combination of donations and grants.

Do I have to perform volunteer hours?

No. Shareholder families who choose NOT to participate in service activities will be able to purchase non-participating shares at a slightly higher price to help offset the additional labor costs.

How many volunteer hours do I need to perform?

Small participating shareholder families will volunteer a total of 5 hours of service over the course of the nine-month growing season beginning in February and ending in late October. Large participating shareholder families will volunteer a total of 10 hours of service during that time. Shareholder families are given the opportunity to participate in the farm through a variety of service activities. Areas of service are listed on the Participating Share Agreement. Many of the areas of service do not require fieldwork or physical labor.

How do I volunteer?

We solicit help with specific tasks in the weekly Harvest Times eNewsletter, in emails, and in the barn during distribution. Just talk to any staff member to agree on a time and place for volunteering. For some activities there will be a sign up sheet.

How do I record my volunteer contribution?

In the barn at Canticle Farm there is a Volunteer Records binder. Record your volunteer contribution on the Participating Share Contribution Record sheets located in this binder.

Are there volunteer hours for Spring and Fall shares?

No. Participating shares are only an option during the summer. If you only purchase a spring and/or fall share, there are no required volunteer hours.

Do you take compost or grass clippings?

Yes, many people collect their compost and drop if off at the farm to add to our compost pile. Our compost pile produces a mixture of decayed organic matter that is used for fertilizing and conditioning the land. Any part of a vegetable or fruit can be used in the compost pile. For example any fruit peel, apple cores, any vegetable peel, wilted leafy greens, and peach pits can all be included in the compost. Used coffee grounds and egg shells can also be included in the compost. The compost should NOT include dairy products or meat scraps. We also request that items such as the stickers on fruit, rubberbands or metal twist ties NOT be included in the compost. We have donated kitty litter buckets with lids that you can take home, fill up with items and bring back to the farm. We welcome any donations of empty, clean kitty litter buckets with lids.

We also accept grass clippings that have NOT been sprayed or treated in any way. The grass clippings are added to our compost pile.

Do you take fall leaves?

Yes, many people collect their fall leaves and drop them off at the farm for our use. Please call  Farm Manager, Mark Printz, at 716-378-9714 to arrange drop off. Note that we do not accept pine needles or leaves from trees that are members of the walnut family (ie, walnut or butternut tree leaves). We also do not accept any leaves that have been sprayed or treated in any way.

Why is it called Canticle?

Generically, "Canticle" is a kind of song praising God. Francis of Assisi composed "The Canticle of Creatures" which captured the essence of his values.  Naming the farm Canticle gives testimony to our roots in the Franciscan spirit.

Why is there a "T" over the front door of the barn?

This is a Franciscan Cross, called a Tau Cross. This reflects Canticle Farm's roots in the Franciscan tradition.

What's on top of the roof of the barn?

Click here to read the article about Canticle Farm Goes Solar.

Does Canticle Farm sell Gift Certificates?

Yes, we have gift certificates for sale in any amount for any of our products. Our Canticle Farm gift certificates can be applied towards the purchase of a CSA share or towards a purchase at Canticle Farm Market or the REAP Olean Farmers' Market. Contact the Canticle Farm office at 716-373-0200, ext. 3358 or via e-mail at office@canticlefarm.org to purchase a gift certificate today.

I am working with a group to organize a service project. Could I do a service project with Canticle Farm?

Yes, we welcome any volunteers, both shareholders and members of the general public. In the past we have had community organizations and school groups volunteer at the farm. Contact the Canticle Farm office at 716-373-0200, ext. 3358 or via e-mail at office@canticlefarm.org to discuss possible projects.

Do you offer apprenticeships?

Yes, we are excited to offer apprenticeship opportunities. Canticle Farm currently has an ongoing need for farm apprentices. Apprenticeships are generally focused on farm operations & management, crop & field management, and building, infrastructure, & equipment maintenance. Apprenticeships are seasonal, full-time or part-time positions (April or May through October) and are best suited for those who intend to pursue a career in agriculture. Click here to view complete details.

Do you offer internships?

Yes, we are excited to offer internship opportunities. Canticle Farm currently has an ongoing need for farm interns. Internship opportunities vary and could include: marketing, education, farming, research, etc. Internships are part-time or full-time positions for a predetermined time period. One need not be planning on a career in agriculture to be a Canticle Farm intern. Click here to view complete details.