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Old October 24, 2015   #16
ilex
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Prepayment is convenient and specially customers have a compromise. It depends on your cash needs and your customers.
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Old October 24, 2015   #17
bower
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My friends run a CSA as well as doing farmer's market and a couple of restaurants. Their CSA this year was 50 families, and that was full time work for two people, to plant, care, and harvest.

The way the CSA works, people pre-pay for a share of the crop during the season of x weeks - number of weeks and beginning or end of season is up to you. The amount they paid is divided up by how many weeks. So for example, each week you would pack up $25 worth of produce per share, if $250 was charged for a ten week CSA. So how much of each product you would have to deliver is reckoned by a market price for each product. Most popular here are tomatoes and peppers (hardest to grow here!) peas, beans, and herbs like basil, cilantro are always welcome. There is always salad greens, kale can be too much if you get it every week, so my friends have tried alternating kale, chard, bokchoy on different weeks. Broccoli, squash, cabbage, potatoes, onions, leeks, garlic are only available for a few shares during a season so nobody objects. Beets and carrots and turnips seem to be well accepted too, not usually seen every week of the year. My friends do some less common vegetables like kohlrabi and fennel too, and the CSA folks get to experience something they might not have bought in the supermarket. Ultimately you have to provide a diversity of veggies every week, as no one can eat $25 worth of lettuce or kale alone, and change it up each week as much as possible.

As Joseph commented about waste, $25 worth of veggies a week is sometimes too much for the folks who paid for it. Maybe doing more but smaller shares for a lower price would fix that. Also think "how many kinds of veggies" it takes to fill up $25 for a family. It takes a lot of planning and management, and space!.. to keep that much variety in play all season long. It would be easier to do a simpler and less expensive version, eg a 'salad CSA' where you deliver a week's worth of salad materials for say $10 a week.

Crop failures, nothing but lettuce - yep it is stressful for the farmer when a crop is not on time or failed or not enough to serve the CSA, and there's no way to deliver the share value for a given week. My friend will commonly buy any tomatoes I can spare, and even this year which was lousy and late I did sell her what she needed to cover the CSA when her tomatoes were just coming in. Outsourcing is ok but limited since local sources of organic product are not many. Sometimes they have added a share at the end of season to cover the value that was short at some point. It can be hard in a bad year. But the benefit of a CSA to the farmer, is that regardless of those shortfalls, the farmer will be able to pay herself the same amount every week of the season, and not have to go hungry in the week that there's 'nothing but lettuce'. If you don't need that kind of community support, no reason to do CSA, for all the reasons that simply going to market with your surplus when you have some is an easier gig.
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Old October 25, 2015   #18
Raiquee
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I think this solidifies my thoughts on a grab bag instead. If I don't have enough to make them, we don't do them. I currently have a 50x50 garden which is not quite there for feeding my family year round (prolly a 50x75). But you know how it is. I want to plant more dang tomatoes

I will prolly only offer them June-September maybe 10 bags (plus 1 to a person in need) for $20-$25 each. I do grow organically but it would have to depend how good they are looking. Maybe bi monthly.

I'm not ready for a CSA I'm realizing til I can lower my hours at my job and feel confident we aren't gonna go broke due to my "hobby".
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Old October 25, 2015   #19
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In Deep Creek Maryland there's a roadside stand that uses an honor system, when they're not there. The grower told me it works for them, somewhat. The have a lockbox (with a slot) anchored into the soil, in front of the stand.

-Jimmy
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Old October 25, 2015   #20
Worth1
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I always find it amazing how people think.
My neighbor told me that where he used to live if he left his garden tools out and left his shed unlocked he would be robbed blind.
He lived in an HOA in Texas City.
He was referring to my neighbor from Chile and myself that always leave stuff out at night and never has had anything stolen.
Him and his wife live in constant fear of being robbed or worse and have lights up all over the place at night.
It is annoying as can be.
The wife wont walk down the street for fear of being hauled off.
All they watch on TV is programming spouting about how bad the world is and how bad everyone is.

I bet I could put a stand up and never be robbed here.
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Old October 25, 2015   #21
Zenbaas
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Paranoia has its place in society I believe Worth. Without it many people would not be alive today.

I think it's just something that shouldn't be all consuming in your life but should be there to keep one vigilant. That said it also depends on the the places and communities we live in. There could very well be places where you could sleep with your doors open without a care in the world.
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Old October 25, 2015   #22
Worth1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenbaas View Post
Paranoia has its place in society I believe Worth. Without it many people would not be alive today.

I think it's just something that shouldn't be all consuming in your life but should be there to keep one vigilant. That said it also depends on the the places and communities we live in. There could very well be places where you could sleep with your doors open without a care in the world.
I used to live in a neighborhood that had killing every month or less.
No one bothered my stuff.

Where I live now I could sleep with my doors open, as a matter of fact I dont lock my doors and windows at night.
And my vehicle is unlocked.
The only reason the doors aren't open is my house would be full of wild animals in the morning.
Paranoia is actually a mental disorder that consumes a persons life.
I have two pistols one shotgun and a Kalashnikov all loaded in various areas of the house.

They aren't for people they are for the cat, dog and goat killing foxes and coyotes.
You might say I live in the red zone not the white zone.
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Old October 25, 2015   #23
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We live in an area where I leave a jar of money right out in the open and leave a note on it for people to make their own change. NOW, if I lived 10 miles to the east... UMMM NOT ON YOUR LIFE! I don't lock the doors, I don't worry about the what ifs...
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Old October 25, 2015   #24
rhines81
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I live in a rural area 90 minutes from Philadelphia and 90 minutes from NYC. So many random things can happen, especially in the 'tourist' seasons ... 98% caused by out-of-towners with not the same morals as the local folk.
I do absolutely lock my car doors, because they have garage door openers in them which provides open access to my house. There have been many times where my house has gone unlocked, but being smart and not having a false sense of security in this day and age can prevent isolated random things from getting out of control.
As for the CSA idea --- to me it sounds like a 'time share' ideology which I would never buy in to. I have a 21x36 garden space and grew a tremendous amount of food that 30% was given away, 20% was probably wasted due to my own learning process which left 50% of that space that was fully enjoyed by my belly! Better planning with crop portions and timing, I could fully get by with 1/2 the space and probably still produce what I did this year with even more variety. I grew waaaay too many tomatoes and an overabundance of cucumbers, more space would be dedicate to other vegetable varieties. I grew just about the right amount of beans/peas, but more could have been done in that same space. Beets and carrots can take up too much space for the long grow time they require. Lettuce and radishes are a very quick crop that can be increased with alternate planting times. I learned a lot this year, next year I will do much better, but I am sure I will still have some more lessons. Conservatively I would say that you would need about 200 sq ft of grow space per share, not including walking/row space.
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Old October 25, 2015   #25
Worth1
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I think the best way to stop folks from coming in your house is to put a life like dummy on the floor with a bloody knife sticking out of its back and another one tied to a chair.
The one on the floor needs to be right as they come in so they step on it.
Even a crazy person would turn around and run.


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Old December 3, 2015   #26
True Timbers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph View Post
I did CSA for a while. I hated being in debt!!!! I much prefer the farmer's market, because I can pick what is ready to be picked. I don't have to feel bad if all I have this week is lettuce. I don't have to feel bad about crop failures. If it's raining on harvest day, I can take a rain-day break which I could never do with a CSA. I hated all the wasted food with a CSA... At the farmer's market I never see the food that gets wasted. I often saw wasted food while making CSA deliveries. I like the social interaction of a farmer's market better than that of a CSA.

I estimate that it would take a 36' X 36' plot per CSA share. ...
100% agreement! Thought I was the only oddball thinking that life is too short for CSA "debt".. e..LOL
_--------------_----_

Why not just sell what you grow after you have grown it??

Especially to get started!

Last edited by True Timbers; December 3, 2015 at 10:42 AM.
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