First and foremost, we both feel good about our accomplishments this year. We also feel good about the support we have received from farm share members, our farm friends, our families and so many other people who are kind enough to give us positive notes when we need them. We actually feel good enough about it that we are already talking about things we can do to improve on this year.
If you have been a member of our program, or are looking to become one, we would love to hear your opinions on these ideas.
More Choice/Option Items
For a period of time, we took to offering kale OR chard bundles. We also often offered broccoli or cabbage or...etc in another box. A few times, we just threw things we had extra of (or a shortage of) into a box and let people choose that which appealed to them most.
In the first case, it was an attempt to address the fact that many people love kale and others do not - and other people seemed to love chard while others disliked it. In the second, it was a simple matter of the way the crops grew. If they didn't want to give enough for everyone at any one time, we just kept bringing some every week and put them together. We figured things usually worked out.
What we'd like to work out is a way to allow for a little more in the way of choice boxes. The issue is finding a way to do this that maintains a nice set of choices for everyone throughout the distribution. We don't want people coming at 5:55 having too much limitation on their selection. At the same time, we also don't want to bring a truck full of optional material that we have to go home with in order to maintain that choice.
Remember, signage is often limited because (unlike this season) we often set up in poor weather. Feel free to comment and give thoughts on what you would like to see. Opinions can include suggestions that we do less with this idea.
We get closer to doing something about this each year, but time always runs out on us. For example, we would have liked to have had some tomatoes sliced up for members to taste prior to selecting. But, this requires space and time to keep the tomatoes on the plates, etc. Another example, we would like to have had the time to have a bunch of kale chips available for everyone to taste. But, when push comes to shove, these things fall off the list because we only have so much energy and time.
Still, we like the idea of having a tasting day every fourth week of the CSA. If we want this to work, we will need some things to happen.
1. We need a good season where we have excess of a particular item for samples. (of course)
2. We need volunteers to help us with the sampling at the distributions.
and perhaps if the item(s) to be tasted require cooking/baking/preparation we might need
3. volunteers to cook/bake/prepare tasting items
What do you all think of this idea? It would be a way we could help you see why we say some of the veggies we grow taste good. It is often finding the way to prepare an item that is appealing to each taste.
Volunteering for the Farm - at the Distribution
We have had people suggest that they could help at distributions in the past - and we hope we have not seemed to dismiss these offers. They are always kindly given and appreciated. We just haven't always figured out how to accept and use the help properly. However, it is clear that there are people who would like to volunteer some time, but cannot do so by coming to the farm.
If we had people sign up for 1/2 hour increments during distributions, would there be enough interested parties to actually make this work? We're not looking for volunteers every single week. But, there are times when having a person dedicated to one task could be so helpful. Some examples include:
1. staffing a part of the table where we have brochures with recipes (or some other resource). This may sound silly - but if there is a breeze, they become a problem. It is also difficult to stock the trays, handle questions, clean things, up, etc etc AND remember to tell everyone about the nice brochures we printed up.
2. Helping with Tasting Days.
3. Contacting members who have not yet picked up at the end of a distribution - and perhaps taking that family's share to provide them with an opportunity to get their produce.
I'm not sure that we're looking for volunteers on every day. And, the goal of getting some volunteers is to further improve what we do during the distributions. Thoughts?