>the following season
We have a series of planning meetings involving the farmer, the core groups
(our farm includes three separate core groups -- one for each of the three
areas to which the farm delivers) and the members. So when you say
"planning for the following season," do you mean: when does the farm plan
what to grow (the farmer decides this over the course of the current
season)? when do we decide how many shares will be offered and what the
share price will be (we have a budget meeting in early November)? or when
do we meet with the members to discuss any changes (we offer the shares in
early December)? I'd be happy to elaborate on any of those processes...
>and how to you 'advertise' for members'
In NYC, we get members by word of mouth and by people walking into our
distribution area (a church courtyard) off the street, so we don't really
need to "advertise" per se at this point. At our other sites in the
Capital District and in Columbia County, however, they make up one-page
brochures that explain the concept of CSA and the specifics of Roxbury, and
then they distribute the pamphlets at community sites such as churches,
synogauges, schools, libraries, etc. (anywhere with a bulletin board,
basically) and at local farmers' markets, where the customers are already
interested in fresh, local produce in season. They will also offer to do a
presentation to a group of people (a book club, a bunch of Rotarians,
whomever). I don't know if anyone has done this for Roxbury, but in a
small community, a local newspaper might be a good spot for an ad.
Bottom line: an excellent way to build a true "community" for your CSA is
to have the existing members bring on their friends. The SERIOUS drawback
to this method is that you wind up with a fairly homogeneous group (so
while CSA is not about growing veggies for educated, upper-middle class
folks, it can be hard to diversify). We're grappling with this problem
>would be 'How large of a permanent paid staff does the grower have'
The farmer and his wife draw a salary from the CSA budget (of course,
everyone's salary comes from the CSA budget); there is one 2/3-time person
who co-ordinates deliveries with the sites and does some field work; there
is one permanent part-time worker who does some field work and some office
work. In addition, the budget allows for up to three full-time apprentices
who each receive a stipend ($250 -$500/month, DOE), plus produce, a food
allowance and housing (a farm building has been converted specifically for
apprentice housing). Last year, there were two apprentices, this year
there were three, next year there will be at least two. If you were to use
migrant labor rather than apprenitces, your work distribution might be a
>I'm the WWW master of the BD Association home page. If you would like your
>CSA mentioned there - with a write up of your own - please let me know and
>email me all the materials.
I've been meaning to get over there and look -- once I do, I'll give you
>Did you make it to Santa Fe? We did and will never be the same! A
>wonderful, inspiriing, educational event!
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend. But I'm very much looking forward
to the Kimberton conference.
Feel free to ask me more questions or have me clarify my answers.