[Market-farming] CSA start-up

Beth Spaugh lists at rhomestead.com
Mon Nov 26 16:59:52 EST 2007


I found the CSA very stressful. Not only did I worry about having good
variety, but I had a certain time that the boxes had to be at a delivery
point. And a customer who only wanted yellow tomatoes, and one no alliums.
And the local co-op and a health food store were delivery/pickup points, but
they did not feel comfortable using shares that weren't picked up. They
liked having customers come in and get the stuff, but I felt it was
intrusive of their space. That said, I am also questioning the time and
transport costs of farmers markets. In a couple years when I feel more
confident of my production, I may go back to CSA. I did the CSA three and
four years ago, and had a total of 12 customers. There is more interest now,
but several members said they would prefer to shop at our farmstand if we
had one (will put one up this year). I love the concept, but am too much
"Type A" for it I think. I know others who just started up and didn't worry
about it. I can't do that. 


Beth Spaugh
Rehoboth Homestead
Peru NY
http://rhomestead.com

~Without power over our food, any notion of democracy is empty.  Francis
Moore Lappe

-----Original Message-----
From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Bill
Shoemaker
Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 12:16 PM
To: Market Farming
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] CSA start-up

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
any responses.

Bill Shoemaker, Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops University of Illinois -
St Charles Horticulture Research Center
www.nres.uiuc.edu/faculty/directory/shoemaker_wh.html



> Lu,
>
> 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!
>
> -Krystle
>
> About me - http://www.SelfmadeFarmer.com Notes/research - 
> http://www.SelfmadeFarmer.wordpress.com
>
> On Nov 25, 2007 10:17 AM,  <frshstrt at baldwin-telecom.net> 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 
>> _______________________________________________
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