Oh, wintertime on the farm! It conjures up visions of drowsy farmers curled up with a good book around an crackling fire. Alas, even farmers are not immune from the modern condition and winter for us includes more spreadsheets than catnaps.
The "off season" does offer a break from the sweaty toil of summertime and some time for reflection. 2017 was a year of experimentation with the CSA and the new ferments business. The 2017 CSA member survey has been a very helpful tool to judge the season behind us and plan for the one ahead. Here are some highlights:
With these results plus our own farm records in mind we have decided to keep things similar to 2017: every-other week share, with some added variety and quantity, and a share price of $375.
Regarding pricing: Through the handy software at Small Farm Central we were able to keep tabs on the value of the weekly shares and decided to split the difference between what we expect to hand out in 2018 ($400) and what the members want ($350). These prices include a 15% discount off retail price that we give the members since they are in effect buying in bulk from us. We will be planting more tomatoes and adding back some peas and green beans.
Bringing back the sliding scale: For 14 years our CSA offered a scale of prices that allowed for families with lower incomes to afford the shares. With the move to the online signup last year, we scraped this core concept because we couldn't wrap our heads around how to implement it in the new system. Now, a year later we think we have figured out how to bring it back. When you go through the process to join the CSA you will be given three price options: $425, $375, and $325. The center of the scale ($375) is what it costs the farm to grow a share of produce. Those that can afford to join at the $425 end of the scale allow for others to join for $325.
Partner Vendors: We are happy to announce that most of our Partner Vendors are back for another season. Parker Farms natural meats, Goatsbeard and Skyview cheeses and Companionship Breads are available in 2018. Tiny Whole Farm, who has provided the CSA with chickens, is not returning because they are shifting focus to running the Red Rooster restaurant in Polo, Missouri. We at Fair Share Farm will also continue to offer egg and ferment shares.
If all of this sounds like something you would like to be a part of, membership is now open for the 2018 CSA. We welcome you to join our CSA and eat well all season long. Follow this link to join now: fairshare.csasignup.com The strawberries will be here before you know it!