November 6, 2012
Athens Hills CSA
During this time of year, we are busy planning for winter. It is an excellent time to be reading through all the feedback from our survey. I find it incredibly moving to read the comments from our happy customers and realize the impact that local food really can have on so many lives. All of you are speaking with your dollars, when you buy locally, through the CSA, farmers markets, and small independently owned businesses. Our CSA is proud to be able to promote the products of at least six other family farms and small businesses, and thus, support our local economy.
I am writing this to thank all of you who have given your feedback, and also to address some concerns and comments from the surveys. Since the surveys are anonymous, I am going to do my best to generally respond to comments, without mentioning specific remarks. We share all this feedback with everyone here at the farm and some of this feedback comes from the owners, workers, and farm manager.
My apologies for the survey that required answers for partner items. I did not realize that this survey program defaulted with mandatory response settings. I think I fixed it in time for more people to respond.
About customizing our shares:
I want to clarify the combo vs. a la carte options. You are welcome to purchase as many partner items as you like, as long as you are purchasing at least a half share of veggies. The combo shares are packaged for anyone who plans to purchase all that we offer. Some families choose to get two fruit, cheese, milk or eggs, and only a half share of veggies. Others get two shares of veggies and only add a half share of a partner item. If you have any questions, just ask!
As with any business, our farm in constantly evolving. We strive to grow the best food we can, using strictly organic practices, and provide year-round employment to our farmers. Some folks say that they wish we offered more variety, and we hear you! But, there are some things, like corn, broccoli and others that are simply not profitable for us to grow. Others crops do not work well in our soil.
Growing organically means that the labor on our farm is slightly higher per crop, and thus, the cost of our veggies is slightly higher than conventionally grown food. We believe that it is worth it to charge a little more for high quality local food. But that also means that you may not get as much produce per week as some conventional CSAs.
Finally, a few people said that they would like to see more of a singular type of veggie, rather than smaller quantities of more veggies, for example, more potatoes or beets at one time. We try to balance our small-family households and large-family households, so that individuals don't feel like they get too much of certain things, while families have enough of one thing to make a dish. We are trying to figure out how we can best supply more of a given veggie at a time. Rest assured, we are considering making some adjustments!
And, a note about mushrooms:
We hear equally as often from people who want more mushrooms and those who don't care for them. We have considered before, and are considering again for the future, the possibility of offering mushrooms less regularly in the veggie share and offering a mushroom add-on option, for those who want them every week. This is a possibility for next summer, so stay tuned.
About partner items:
I'd like to correct an error on our Winter Enrollment brochure: I accidentally wrote that the bread full share is 16 weeks, but it is actually 20 weeks. A half share of bread is 10 weeks. Sorry, for those who thought our bread price had inflated!! It has stayed exactly the same as summer! Fruit is the only partner item that is only delivered for 16 weeks, since there are not enough apples to supply in April.
I hope everyone knows by now, but in case you missed it, the bread share this season will include a variety of breads throughout the season! This is a change that was made based directly on member feedback.
About recipes/storing/preserving information:
We received some feedback about things wilting quickly or not storing well. I am going to make an effort to include more information about storing our veggies next season. We also have a veggie information section on our blog already, that provides some great tips: http://greenedgegardens.blogspot.com/p/vegetable-storage-information.html.
If you find certain websites or veggie resources particularly helpful, please let me know! I plan to expand our veggie resources on our blog.
Thanks to all of our members for your participation. I am always happy to speak with any of you, if you have further questions or comments about our Community Supported Agriculture program (firstname.lastname@example.org, 740-448-4021).
Have a great month and I'll be in touch with our winter members in December!
Posted by Athens Hills CSA at 2:42 PM