Has anyone ever heard of a "farmers' market-based CSA?" I was just
considering the possibility of combining these two marketing strategies in
some way so that vendors and their farmers' markets could generate
additional early season income, and shareholders could get greater variety
than at more conventional CSAs.
For example, let's say 10 farmers' market vendors as a group (including
bakers, food processors as well as growers), take on 50 shareholders at
$500/share for the duration of the farmers' market (e.g., 25 weeks). Of the
$25,000 generated from the sale of shares at the beginning of the season,
$2,000 goes to each grower (for a total of $20,000) and $5,000 would go to
the market for helping to facilitate the CSA. For their investment, the
shareholders would receive a given share of the produce, bread, jams,
sauces, etc. from the participating vendors.
This is purely hypothetical, of course, and I see several problems (1) it's
not really a CSA since there is a less direct connection between consumers
and the farm-its more like a subscription; (2) the economics don't seem to
make sense to me yet; and (3) the benefits to each party are not clear.
Would anyone like to take a stab at critiquing this marriage in concepts,
and give me some sense of whether this is worth pursuing in some
Farming Alternatives Program