Re: Salt Creek Farm CSA Turnover
Thu, 16 May 1996 14:13:29 CDT

> I run R farm in Chico, CA. I have around 50 active subscribers. I very
> much like the idea of a public domain "crop sheet book" with several easy
> recepies. I am pretty much a one person operation with some part time
> seasonal help for one person, and getting out newsletters has been one of
> my biggest hurdles, at least with any regularity. Some kind of cook book
> for csa's would be a great help.

I've seen at least two very nice CSA cookbooks, the problem is expense or
copyright. One wild idea might be for many CSA's to send what they've
done to one person or CSA, have them make a "best of" and send out one
copy and permission to copy to those CSAs, and others for a one time fee.
Something that could be customized to your bioregion would be great,
maybe include a disk with the computer settings to include your own stuff
seamlessly... You can get those special recipe sized binders, too.
> I know of some copy shops that would be
> willing to keep the master and run off pages for customers as they need or
> want them. This would make things even simpler for me.
> I have a sign-in sheet at the pick-up sites and every week I try to have a
> simple survey question they can answer to provide me with feedback.
I'm curious what kind of questions give you the most useful information?
Do you prefer your xxx younger or larger?, that kind of thing?

> RE:Giving subscribers too much. I am not sure yet but I question the
> assumption that you can. There were weeks when subscribers were taking
> home 35-45 lbs of produce (including melons and sweetcorn, etc.) They were
> making 2 to 4 trips to their vehicle to get it all. I have single women to
> larger families that split a share. Some use it all themselves, others
> take the excess to work to give away, others give the excess to friends
> and neighbors, some just pick out as much as they think they can use and
> leave the rest at the pick-up site. I try to emphasize that the "PRICE" is
> based on what a single vegetarian would eat. R farm as a csa is only one
> year old, so I'm not sure about this yet - it just seems there may finally
> be a danger in believing to strongly that you are giving subscribers "too
> much." It might be safer to assume you are going to be giving them more
> than what they paid for when possible.

We really emphasized in our first year that they are helping rebuild a
depleted knowledge base in our area. People can be overwhelmed with
radishes and turnips, but can almost never get enough peas, carrots and
tomatoes. Our first season was compressed by weather toward the mid season,
but over time we will smooth that bulge out, stretch the season both ways,
and provide greater variety throughout. If both grower and member have a
view of this goal, they can work together to reach it.
> Richard

On a totally different track, does anyone offer educational opportunities
outside the usual apprenticeship or grade school visits? One of our
college students wants to get Kellogg funds for a project linking our
land grant, Iowa State, the community colleges and CSA's (and maybe those
students working with younger ages too). If anyone has ideas, please let
me know; thanks!

Jeff Hall