On Being a Customer at the Market

Alex McGregor waldenfarm at sprintmail.com
Mon Aug 14 13:17:52 EDT 2000


Lucy offered some good advice about CSAs.  I've done one for years and it's not as easy
as portrayed in books- lots of stress and time consuming.

I suggest you start at a market.  This will give you some experience about what people
are buying and if you can grow it successfully.  It will also give you some idea of
quantities from harvest.  You may be able to get regular customers and make contacts at a
market for a core membership of a CSA for later.

About organic certification- some growers-only markets require it for calling your
produce organic.  I suggest that growers get certified only if they are wholesaling and
get a premium.  For a small operation it doesn't make financial sense- especially if
you're direct marketing.  It's still legal to call your produce "grown without
chemicals."  You could make up a flyer or leaflet that tells about your farm and how you
grow, thus avoiding the "O" word.

If you do plan to get certified at a later date, it might be wise to get a copy of the
proposed USDA organic rules so you don't do anything now that would delay certification

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