Monday, August 10, 2009

CSA Observations

We're approaching the midway point for the CSA distribution season. So, we thought we'd throw out some observations or feelings about how we see this year going.

  • The new approach for signs at pickup (vs the chalkboard or paper menus) seems to be working far better than the old approach. Now all we need to do is come up with a waterproof/erasable set of signs. We can do it, just need to set the time aside.
  • We have been pleased with the variety and amount of produce made available to our CSA members. Of course, there are always improvements to be made - but we're feeling pretty good about the way this year has gone thus far. This is saying something since we tend to be among our harshest critics.
  • The truck is very full on Tuesday (Waverly) and Thursday (Cedar Falls). Last Thursday's pack was a bit of a challenge, but there were many tweaks we could have done to fit more in. However, we're wondering how long it will be until we reach a point where it won't fit. And when that happens, we wonder what we will do? Tune in and find out at a later date.
  • With the CSA model, one of the difficulties is the budgeting of income from the beginning of the season for expenses throughout the year. For those who don't understand, subscribers pay at the beginning of the season unless they have a pre-arranged payment plan. This results in one big payday for the year, from which farm expenses must be paid throughout the remainder. We are hopeful that we will have a nice pepper/eggplant/ tomato season that exceeds CSA needs. Each of these crops are a reasonably good cash crop that can bring in extra $ in late summer and through the fall.

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