Re: payment plans and units
Mon, 20 May 1996 11:46:26 CDT

We let people suggest their own payment plan, like West Haven. We are
concerned that our membership be as diverse as possible, so I don't think
we would consider discounts to people with more money, though we are also
relatively small. Our coordinator has been working with a nearby social
service grant writer, and hope to offer some assistance to low income
families next year, if all goes well.

In a somewhat related area, is anyone doing or thinking of writing core
group functions into your budget (ie paying both garden and coordination
work in food, paid for by other members)? Do working members decide where
to work, or does the group decide what work is available to people?

We also discussed at our last meeting approaching the farmers mkt, our
local food coop, and perhaps others (restaurants, grocery chains) about
working together to encourage people to eat locally, and perhaps help
invest in local growers through revolving loan funds and/or "local food
dollars". We think our state dept of econ. dev. would be interested in
funding this sort of thing, is anyone familiar with anything like this
around the country?

Finally, has anyone gone to the Equity Trust workshops on land trusts in
CA or CT? I'm signed up for the one in Chicago June 14-16, and am
interested in hearing what people have thought.

> At West Haven Farm CSA here in Ithaca, we do allow (but I wouldn't say
> encourage) payment plans. At first we made it cheaper to pay up front than
> to do installments, but we stopped doing that because we realized that if
> *we* wanted to join a CSA we'd need to pay in installments ourselves.
> Our system works like this: Shareholders who want to pay in installments
> contact us, and we tell them that whatever schedule works for them is OK.
> We make it clear that we want to be farmers, not bankers, and that we won't
> send them reminders or statements. They put in writing what they want to
> do, and send it to us with whatever deposit they can afford. When we get
> this we send them a reciept stating what they've paid so far, what they
> owe, and the schedule they've said they'll keep. We do our bookkeeping on
> Excel and we just keep track of when they make payments--it's almost always
> when they've said they will. We usually have about 20 shares each year who
> choose this option, and we haven't had any problems with it.
> Jen,
> who this season is hoping for 1/2 inch of gentle rain on Monday and
> Thursday nights

Jeff Hall