At the end of 2013 we decided we would not offer a CSA program in 2014. Up until then it had been the principal way we sold our produce and eliminating it was something of a risk for us.
Looking back at our first year sans CSA we’re very pleased with how things went.
We had a great year at the farmers market, usually selling out of whatever we took. And instead of the CSA we emailed our customers a menu of items available each week, then made deliveries three times a week to nearby towns taking them what they’d ordered.
We had some customers who particularly enjoyed the CSA model and were disappointed when we cancelled it. But I didn’t like the stress of worrying about whether the shares were meeting expectations. As I told Cherie when we were deciding what to do, if I wanted stress in my job I would’ve kept practicing law. Of course under the CSA model the members take the risk of crop failures, and the idea is that they share in the ups and downs of farming. But I knew that if anything went wrong (and something always does) they certainly wouldn’t be to blame. So we decided to resume taking all the crop risk, and I preferred that pressure to worrying about letting anyone down.
As it turned it we had a good year in the gardens and lots of happy customers.
We’re still proponents of the CSA model and we appreciate the good folks who partner with farmers in that way. But for us the menu/delivery method works much better.
So for 2015 we will again offer no CSA option, but we’ll continue our weekly deliveries to Danville, Chatham and Altavista. We’re looking forward to being a part of lots of delicious nutritious meals this year.