|Just one of the beautiful mineral rich|
fields in our secluded valley!
So here are some of the thoughts and ideas we gleaned from members’ responses:
- Overwhelming praise for “freshness, quality, variety, value and customer service!” “You need to advertise that!” “People don’t know you!”
- Convenience: CSA is a huge time saving convenience over “grocery store shopping” when the pick-up site is in their neighborhood, near to their home. We were encouraged to do recruiting around existing sites. Many neighborhoods have a Facebook group. It may be most effective for a member of the neighborhood to chime in and inform their neighbors of the convenient opportunity to participate in CSA in their neighborhood.
- Work Place CSA Sites: This is another way we may offer convenience and many employers offer incentives to “eat healthy” which, in the end, is a benefit to you, your employer and us!
- Recruitment: Our satisfied members are our best recruitment. “Give us an extra box to give to a prospective member.” Done, great idea! Just ask and supply us with contact information for follow-up and there will be 2 boxes under your name at the next pick-up, one for you and one for the person you’re introducing to CSA. Another idea that was suggested is to do a “Trial Share,” another great idea! We can offer a 4 box trial, pick your weeks, give us a try and then decide on a longer commitment for the remainder of the season.
- Easier sign-up and ordering—we have already committed to building a new website, being designed by a longtime business associate in our community. It will be friendly to new mobile devices (no PDF documents) and we’re working towards being able to accept sign-ups online and also accept orders for our special produce plus offers online with multiple payment options.
- More options for “Pack your own” boxes & produce plus. Again, offering an easier way for members to take advantage of our special offers with easy online ordering and more offerings to help customize your experience and meet your needs. For example, maybe we could put together some special offers before the holidays to allow you to stock up for holiday meals, guests, etc. It was also suggested that we provide more options for simple preservation, ie salsa packs, etc.
- More of a full meal option. Perhaps there are more offerings we could include that would allow you to stock your pantries with high quality ingredients to use in making your meals. Maybe we could have more opportunities to purchase maple syrup, Driftless sunflower oil, Marian Farms’ raisins & almonds or Frog Hollow Farm’s olive oil, we may even be able to make another batch of ramp cheddar cheese with Castle Rock Organic Dairy. We have trialed and know many, many more of the best organic producers in the area and our community of producers we’ve met through our fruit share. We are exploring the option of including an egg share with our neighbors who do a good job of producing organic eggs with nice, pasture, outdoor access.
- Changing the delivery day. Our largest decrease in CSA members is in Madison. We have long heard from some that they do not like Saturday delivery! So, we are considering a weekday delivery, possibly Wednesday, which would also allow us to have business drop sites. We have one good possibility. Could you help us find other businesses that have the potential for 20 or more boxes? How many members and coordinators would want to change to a weekday? Lots of questions!!!
So, these are the thoughts rolling around in our minds right now, but what can you do? For starters, help us find new members that have the potential to learn and be successful with “seasonal eating.” Perhaps you would be willing to mentor new members to help them make the transition to “eating out of the box.” Perhaps you know of a business that might be interested in serving as a delivery site for their employees and possibly even opening it up to other non-employees. Keep talking to us! We appreciate your perspectives & ideas. While we may not be able to do everything that is suggested, we want to explore different possibilities. This is our business, but it’s a business with passion for helping families eat better and be healthy.
|Peak Season Vegetable share from 2017.|
We realize that CSA is not for everyone, but our hope is that we can do a good job taking care of those individuals who do find it to be a good fit for their lifestyle and values. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to send a response and share your thoughts. We also appreciate those of you who took the time to talk to us in our webinars. We appreciate your support and look forward to another year of CSA!