> Subject: Farmers' Market-Based CSA?
> 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
> experimental fashion?
> Duncan Hilchey
> Farming Alternatives Program
> Cornell University
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