[Market-farming] LOCALLY GROWN was CSA definition was End of season?

David Inglis mhcsa at bcn.net
Thu Oct 23 14:24:49 EDT 2003



> >another reason to educate consumers and promote "locally grown".
> 
> Agreed, but it's v. scarey how one concept can overlay the other. Now
> there's yet another one: Local conventional is preferable to 
> california organic. Now, I don't want to debate that exact topic! ;-) 
> But, what I'm seeing happen is people rationalizing not buying 
> organic produce by buying just conventional produce locally which, 
> again, is not building a market for sustainability produced local 
> foods.

 I believe this version will be self limiting. The first few times a CSA
'member' is told they can't go into a particular field because it was
just sprayed will produce a chain reaction, especially if they have
children. I think there is a reason almost all CSA's are organic. Remote
distribution CSA's are a different matter. If you are able to offer an
alternative that is comparable in all other respects then I believe most
'consumers' will choose the organic because you are offering them an
added value, even if it is only a perceived one.
> 
> How do we educate the public locally? Or how do we afford to
> educate them?
Offer them a superior product at a price that's affordable, do it year
after year and be clear how you are doing it. You said it yourself
'they are not sustainable'. The operators that are coming in without an
ideological anchor will not persist. Even if they succeed in flooding
your market everyone will be buying in a 'box' format and will then ask
what is the best kind of 'box'. Let them market the concept of buying
produce in a box format for you, then offer your kind of 'box
experience'.
Stay focused on improving what you are doing. 
Lose the fear. These folk are doing the best they know how. Remember
when you started probably some local producers were bent out of shape by
how you were changing their nice little arrangement and now you happily
co-exist.

David.


David A. Inglis 
Mahaiwe Harvest CSA





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