1

votes

Community supported agriculture

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 10, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Hello, I had a quick question. Currently starting a small (non certified) organic farm for public consumption. Was interested in starting a csa, community supported ag, farm. Would you be interested in purchasing from a farmer like that? ( not from me, just in general ) is it a wise move, or good idea? Essentially it'd be like $300 one time payment for 16-20 weeks of produce delivered to your door every Friday. We live in a fairly rural area, nearest big town is about 30 miles away and consists of roughly 30,000 people. I just don't want to start a venture like this and have it fail because of a bad idea lol.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 11, 2013
at 12:41 AM

Yeah it is good to have alot of variety since you pretty much have to eat it all right away or it will go to waste, so if it was all lettuce and tomatoes it would get old pretty fast. Ours does alot of stuff like kohlrabi, celery root, various herbs, cantaloupe, really mixes it up so you don't get bored.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on April 10, 2013
at 10:08 PM

There are tons of CSAs in the world, so it's clearly not a fundamentally bad idea. Beyond that, it seems like you need to find out about interest in the community you'll be selling to, rather than a highly non-representative sample of people on the internet.

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on April 10, 2013
at 09:28 PM

anything preserved, dried beans, james, jellys, krauts are a really good way to extend your season, check with your local ag board to see rules about value added products though, you might have to make them in a certified kitchen to be able to sell them with your csa. eggs are usually really easy to have a handlers certificate for, plus you get chicken poo!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on April 10, 2013
at 08:09 PM

Bread? really?

3a68ffb15d908ea2fada0218a431d0ca

on April 10, 2013
at 08:07 PM

Ok, thank you very much! We were actually discussing last night about including a dozen farm raised eggs and maybe a loaf of home made breads with some kind of dessert. Jam or jelly or something :-) not worried about hard work. Been farming for last couple years, just unsure of the whole csa thing lol

3a68ffb15d908ea2fada0218a431d0ca

on April 10, 2013
at 07:13 PM

Thanks very much! There's a strong market for it in OKc, about 110 miles away. Was just worried people would get tired of the same old veggies and stuff every week. I'm trying to be diverse with the crops.

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

4 Answers

best answer

2
37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 10, 2013
at 07:06 PM

I do this and it's great. They deliver the box into the city and it's an affordable way to get organic local in season produce. Also it's nice to know the farmer and go visit the farm to help out or let the kids play etc. There are always those with suburban sensibilities who will never do it because there's dirt and slugs on the lettuce or they don't want to learn how to cook unusual vegetables or whatever, but I'd say it's a growing market in general.

3a68ffb15d908ea2fada0218a431d0ca

on April 10, 2013
at 07:13 PM

Thanks very much! There's a strong market for it in OKc, about 110 miles away. Was just worried people would get tired of the same old veggies and stuff every week. I'm trying to be diverse with the crops.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 11, 2013
at 12:41 AM

Yeah it is good to have alot of variety since you pretty much have to eat it all right away or it will go to waste, so if it was all lettuce and tomatoes it would get old pretty fast. Ours does alot of stuff like kohlrabi, celery root, various herbs, cantaloupe, really mixes it up so you don't get bored.

best answer

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on April 10, 2013
at 07:21 PM

I love CSAs!

Most CSAs I know of have drop off points for folks to come & pick up their boxes, instead of home delivery.

Think about partnering with another farm for eggs/meat/flowers/fruit, if that's possible.

You can have "staples", plus one or two "specials" every week.

Make sure you do your math & market research locally & figure out how many customers you need to break even/grow the business.

You might check with your county extension office to see if they offer any start-up support for small growers.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on April 10, 2013
at 08:09 PM

Bread? really?

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on April 10, 2013
at 09:28 PM

anything preserved, dried beans, james, jellys, krauts are a really good way to extend your season, check with your local ag board to see rules about value added products though, you might have to make them in a certified kitchen to be able to sell them with your csa. eggs are usually really easy to have a handlers certificate for, plus you get chicken poo!

3a68ffb15d908ea2fada0218a431d0ca

on April 10, 2013
at 08:07 PM

Ok, thank you very much! We were actually discussing last night about including a dozen farm raised eggs and maybe a loaf of home made breads with some kind of dessert. Jam or jelly or something :-) not worried about hard work. Been farming for last couple years, just unsure of the whole csa thing lol

best answer

1
2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

on April 10, 2013
at 07:27 PM

I work for CSA farms in the summer, they are generally well supported by the community, especially if folks are lacking a place or "time" of their own to grow. How is the market in the city you are near? I would really put some feelers out, see if you cant dwell up some interest, check with and see if there are any local Weston a price chapters, raw dairy exchanges, waldorf schools where you might be able to drum up some interest.

Just know its a huge amount of work, wonderful fulfilling work, but a lot!

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on April 10, 2013
at 11:46 PM

You may be able to find free business counseling through the local county agriculture department, a local college, or other program to help you do some marketing surveys to find out if your plan is viable. I highly recommend doing that.

My husband and I drive a moderate distance (about 15 miles) to get organic veggies, grassfed meat, and pastured eggs. We've opted not to do CSA because we want to be able to pick and choose rather than get things we may not use up because we don't like certain items or don't have time to deal with them. These farms have sheds with an honor system--you take what you want and leave the money, so they don't have to staff the little "stores"--of course there are certain risks with that.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!