|2016 Vegetable Share|
We’re excited to roll out our 2017 offerings and are already receiving CSA sign-ups for next year! You’ll find our updated CSA sign-up form on our website and there’s a link to it in this week’s email. We are offering an “Early Bird” sign-up offer again this year for members who sign up before February 14, 2017. You can find more details about this offer on the front page of the sign-up form.
Our share offerings will remain the same for the 2017 season. We are continuing to offer the same vegetable share options, summer & autumn fruit shares and a coffee share in partnership with Kickapoo Coffee Roasters. While the pricing for our fruit shares will remain the same, we did apply a small increase to our vegetable and coffee shares. As we discussed the 2017 coffee share price with Kickapoo Coffee, they felt it was important to institute a small increase this year as coffee prices are rising. The good news is that this increase will be passed on to the producers! As for our decision to increase our vegetable share price, we’d like to offer a little background.
|2016 Fruit Share|
Unfortunately we have continued to see a slight decrease in CSA shares each year and overall the decrease each year has added up to about a 25% decrease in vegetable shares since our peak in 2010. We’ve queried our membership as well as other growers around the country who are also experiencing the same reality. Why is this happening? Perhaps it is related to the fact that organic food has become more available at farmers’ markets as well as in mainstream grocery stores, Wal-mart and even the local Kwik Trips and convenience stores! While it is good to see growth in the organic market, we believe it has impacted consumers’ choices to shop at other outlets instead of choosing to “eat out of the box.” We continue to value our direct relationship with our CSA members. We believe sourcing your food through CSA provides a value beyond just the price you pay when purchasing food at Wal-Mart and the like. We continue to invest resources, time and effort to produce the highest quality vegetables with good taste and nutrient density. We try to do our part to connect you with “your farm” and provide a transparency that is not always present in our food supply today. We understand that “eating out of the box” is different than shopping at the grocery store and do our best to provide our members with resources so they can find success in using the vegetables and creating delicious meals.
So, despite the fact that our CSA numbers have decreased, we still value CSA and want it to be part
|Weighing strawberries at 2016 Strawberry Days.|
Most of our CSA Sites will remain the same for 2017. In the Twin Cities we are adding a new site in the St. Louis Park area. We are still looking for a new site location in the North Plymouth area on the west side of Minneapolis. If you are in this area or have a friend who may be interested in hosting a site, please contact us for more information. Additionally, we are continuing our partnership with Lunds & Byerlys which allows us to expand our delivery options to the greater Twin Cities area with delivery to any of their 27 store locations. If you are interested in learning more about this option, please reference the “Lunds and Byerlys CSA Sign-Up Form” on our website. In the Madison area we will be closing our Marinette Trail site, however we will be adding a site located nearby on Robin Circle.
Before the end of the year you will be invited to participate in an End of the Season Survey. We appreciate your feedback and this is your chance to offer input about what vegetables you might like to see in the boxes next year (Time to grow jicama again? Radish seed pods, escarole, lemongrass or cardoons?) or communicate any other ideas or thoughts you may have for the future of our CSA.
In closing, we’d like to thank you for your support of our farm this year. While we had some weather challenges to deal with and certainly miss having sweet potatoes this fall, knowing our membership was behind us is a huge encouragement for us. We hope you and your families have a peaceful and restful holiday season and winter. We look forward to growing for you again in 2017.
Sincerely, Farmers Richard and Andrea