[Market-farming] twilley seed
mhcsa at verizon.net
Mon Sep 25 09:23:27 EDT 2006
You have as much right to be there as anyone. There are no territories.
However if you wish to cultivate good relations try the following;
If sharers come to you that would be better served by another CSA in the
area then send them there and ask that they let the other CSA know you sent
Do not set your prices lower than the other CSA's.
Never comment on another CSA even if they are badmouthing you for some
reason; focus on your own operation.
Cultivate in yourself an attitude that this is not a zero sum gain but a
cooperative effort on the part of the CSA's in your area to increase the
total pool of people who get their food this way.
Look carefully at sharers that have come from another CSA. More than likely
they are what we call shoppers and will dump you after a season or have
created problems were they came from. Remember you are looking to build a
long term loyal base of support that will, to some extent, call your place
"our Farm' not 'the farm'; shoppers should go to shops.
Give the prior CSA's public recognition that they have already done some of
your groundwork by introducing the concept in the area.
Ask an established CSA grower from the area to speak at a gathering of your
If you find yourself with surpluses of one or another type of crop offer
them to the other CSA's preferably at no cost; you will get the value back
in other ways.
Buy products you do not produce from other farms to sell to your sharers and
identify them as such.
Do a good job yourself so as not to drag down the reputation of CSA's in
Mahaiwe Harvest CSA [ since 1986 ]
PS there is a danger in having a huge market available i.e. you might
mistake the fact that you sell out each year for success. The measure of
success should be retention. After you have taken out the sharers that have
moved, got divorced or lost their job you should loose no more than 5% of
your membership each season and most of them should be first season sharers
who have found out it did not work for them.
. I also have a question about running a CSA in the same city as other
people who do it. I am slowly putting my field in order and planning out
how to best use it for cropping. My concern is that even though I live in a
city of a couple million people I would imagine, ( Phoenix ) , how do I best
operate without stepping on others territory as far as the customer base? I
have e-mailed the other person ( Kelly ) who is also on this list, and she
is very friendly and states that she is way open to free enterprise. I
check out her awsome website on occaision and she seems to have all of her
shares taken quickly but I never want to interfere with anothers livelyhood.
Look at me ! I'm talking like I'm a a real farming threat !!!!!!!! LOL !
But seriously I want to remain friendly with all who are interested in
quality produce. I am supposing that my entry into this will be at the
farmers market level until I am sure that I can maintain production to meet
demand. I love this list !! You guys are great people and I rush home
daily to read all the wisdom from you first thing from work. Joe Useldinger
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