[Market-farming] CSA harder than farmers markets was CSA Start-up
deberryemail-website at yahoo.com
deberryemail-website at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 26 13:38:42 EST 2007
We would agree that CSA is more demanding than farmers markets. But then again, we're doing it all (picking, packing boxes, delivering, and manning the farm stand for pick up for about 50 subscriptions) as a husband/wife team with very little additional labor. The stress of making sure you have a good variety ready each week (and a little different each week) along with getting everything picked is substantial. There is a lot more planning involved over the winter as to when to plant things to make sure we have the 6 to 12 items ready for each of 50 boxes each week.
I do the newsletter each week, and really love doing it, but by the time everything is picked & packed it's usually late in the night. So I do the newsletter, post it to our website, and print it off late in the night. (I have a full time day job off the farm as well).
Farmers markets are more forgiving. Whatever you get picked that week, that's what you take. It's not like you HAVE to have a wide variety (even though it helps to have a wide variety on the table).
About 1/4 of our total sales are from our CSA, 1/2 our sales are from one farmers market, and the other 1/4 is from 4 other farmers markets we attend. Each year my husband begs me to not do the CSA, but we have a pretty faithful following of subscribers that keep coming back each year. They are from the "rich" part of the county, and are pretty prominent business-owners that we like to keep happy.
Our 2007 CSA details are online at www.DeBerryFarm.com if you'd like to peruse.
Thanks for the question!
Bill Shoemaker <wshoemak at inil.com> wrote:
I've found this thread interesting. It sounds like some believe the CSA
model is more demanding on the grower than the roadside stand or farmers
market model. In my area, long-established growers almost exclusively
operate their own stands. There are some newer growers who use the CSA model
or attend farmer's markets. I'd like to hear feedback on why you would use
the CSA model rather than farmer's markets or roadside stands. Thanks for
Bill Shoemaker, Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
University of Illinois - St Charles Horticulture Research Center
> Here are a few numbers that I've gathered from having worked on and
> visited a few CSA farms:
> Southern NM - 1.5 acres, 34 week distribution, average 5lbs per full
> share, approx. $500 per full share. Labor is the limiting factor.
> Southern CO - ? acres, 20 week distribution, ? lbs per full share,
> includes meat and baked goods (since veggies are difficult to grow at
> a high elevation), approx. $1000 per full share. Being near a very
> wealthy ski resort area helps.
> Ohio - ? acres, 20 week distribution, ? lbs per full share, approx.
> $600 per full share. Read about this one in the NY Times.
> Hope this helps!
> About me - http://www.SelfmadeFarmer.com
> Notes/research - http://www.SelfmadeFarmer.wordpress.com
> On Nov 25, 2007 10:17 AM, wrote:
>> Hi Everyone, I'm toying with the thought of starting a small CSA. For
>> those of you who do this- I need to know how many weeks, how much cost
>> per share and about how much per week in that share. Any hints are
>> helpful. Thanks, Lu in Wisconsin
>> Market-farming mailing list
>> Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
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